The most common meaning which is currently given to this tattoo is linked to love. In the past it has token several meanings. At various times, in fact, as in ancient Egypt, the meaning that was given was related to the human intellect, while for the Aztecs the human heart was sacrificed to the sun for being a source of energy.
The spread of this tattoo began with the sailors, that they were the first to use a heart tattoo, usually on the arm.
The heart tattoo is represented in many forms. The range is from the classic red hearts, to tribal hearts, with a strong visual impact, to hearts with wings or with the written of name of their beloved used as proof of love.
Another representation is given by a dagger through the heart, which may indicate a betrayal by a loved one or a love affair gone bad.
There are also variants of this religious tattoo, like as sacred heart. In this case the heart is surrounded by a crown of thorns, symbolizing the pain suffered during the life of Jesus Christ.
Finally, another representation that is given to this tattoo is the broken heart. This type of design can mean the loss of a loved one, or can be used to communicate the paint that is felt within us.
The most used positions are the chest or biceps for men and wrists, ankles, lower back for women.