Celtic tattoos and body art (as well as other tribal tattoos) have been very popular for the past decade or so. ... They lived in tribes and roamed the territory of Western Europe.
These designs are made up of intricate knots. Celtic comes in many forms; knots, crosses, spirals, trinity knots, tree of life, and animal forms. This style of art represents the people from Gaelic, Welsh, and Breton folklore.
Tattoos represent more than art to the Celts. Warriors wore them in battle as a psychological form of armor and intimidation. Some Celts even covered their whole bodies in tattoos! They developed their own method for tattooing, which remains one of the most ancient tattooing methods in history. They used the Woad plant to create bright blue dyes, and imbued their warriors with symbols of good luck, strength, peace, and more. Nowadays, we can use safe inks and aftercare tattoo lotion to ensure a healthy recovery. In today’s Celtic Tattoos gallery, we’re going to talk all about the meaning of Celtic symbols and how to recognize the origins of the tattoos you see.
Celtic tattoos and body art (as well as other tribal tattoos) have been very popular for the past decade or so. Put it down to the graceful, timeless beauty of these designs which seem to lend themselves particularly well to tattoo art.
Celtic Cross Tattoos
The Celtic cross (aka Irish cross) is the standard Christian cross, but with a circle around the intersection. Intricate knotwork adorns the cross, making it both simple (in its overall design) and complex at the same time.
The legend goes that the Celtic cross was "designed" by Saint Patrick who was trying to convert the pagan Irish people. The Celtic cross is a combination of the Christian cross and the sun, which was worshipped by the druids.
The Celtic cross is also used by neo-fascist movements, albeit in a very simple design and without ornamentations.
The meaning of Celtic crosses is not really clear and varies a lot:
For Catholic people the circle is a symbol of eternity, for them the Celtic cross symbolizes the infinity of God's love.
In the ancient world of the druids, the Celtic cross was a phallic symbol.
For neo-pagans the Celtic cross is the symbol for the sun.
A Celtic cross is a popular choice for the upper arm – a great spot in general to put a tattoo, as that location makes it easy to hide it and show it, as you wish.
Celtic Butterfly Tattoos
Celtic butterfly tattoos are quite popular nowadays as well. Butterflies have a similar symbolic meaning in many cultures:
The butterfly is a symbol for rebirth and transformation. Just like a beautiful butterfly comes out of his cocoon, the person who wears a butterfly tattoo has gone through some difficult times and is ready to face the world again.
In some cultures the butterfly is the personification of someone's soul.
The Celtic butterfly tattoo is often quite small and feminine looking, making it appropriate for the ankle or shoulder. The butterfly is also often seen as a lower back tattoo, adorned with Celtic swirls.
These designs are made up of intricate knots. Celtic comes in many forms, such as knots, crosses, spirals, trinity knots, tree of life, and animals. This style represents the people from Gaelic Welsh, and Breton folklore.
Celtic Knot Tattoos
Celtic knots (aka mystic knot, endless knot) work really well as a tattoo design or part of a tattoo. The symbolic meaning of Celtic knots is not really clear, although some people attribute magical powers to the knots.
One type of Celtic knot is the Celtic love knot, symbolizing the constancy of two people in love.
For me, Celtic knot tattoos symbolize eternity because the lines of the knotwork form an endless loop, without a beginning or an end.