It is said that swallows symbolize time spent at sea for Sailors. I have yet to get a pair of my own swallow tattoos. A pair of swallows facing one another is also meant to symbolize love and when located on the shoulders, they represent freedom. Although my favorite story behind the swallow tattoo is that if a Sailor with a swallow tattoo drowns, "the swallows would come down to lift his or her soul to the heavens". This may be why I have such an affinity for swallow\bird prints; their images instill within me such feelings of serenity and peace.