Celtic symbols have become extremely popular as tattoo art. There is something about celtic knotwork, crosses, zoomorphic (depiction of animals) images and other Celtic symbolism that seems to lend itself naturally to tattoos.
These symbols can be used in an infinite number of combinations, with the design and colors limited only by the imagination of the tattoo artist and his or her client. One interesting fact to note about Celtic tattoo art is that it’s a relatively new field. This seems almost surprising considering how popular it has become. You would be tempted to believe that the ancient Celts wandered through the British Isles with their bodies colorfully ornamented with tattoos! This, however, does not seem to be the case. While Chinese, Japanese and Polynesian tattoos are also popular today, tattooing was also native to these lands. The Celtic tattoo phenomenon, on the other hand, is a question of bringing traditional Celtic art into a new medium. This does not diminish it in any way; I am only pointing out an interesting fact about tattoo history.
I think that Celtic art and symbolism is popular with tattoo aficionados because it overlaps with an interest in things mystical and sometimes related to shamanism. Recently it has been pointed out that ancient Celtic spirituality was actually a form of shamanism.
The Celtic knot, in particular, represents infinity in a way similar to the Chinese Yin-Yang symbol and the caduceus of Western esoteric tradition (and later used as a symbol for medicine). Mythical creatures such as dragons are also very popular tattoo images. Dragons, of course, were spoken of in many parts of the world, Europe as well as Asia.
The Celtic Cross, which also usually incorporates some kind of knotwork, can be seen as a synthesis of ancient mystical beliefs with later Christian faith (at least this is one interpretation.
Another fascinating symbol used in Celtic tattoo art is the triple spiral or triskele. This is a truly ancient symbol that has been found on megaliths thousands of years old. It also sometimes appears in crop circles! This symbol evokes the Celtic (as well as others’) belief in the sacredness of the number three, or trinities. This can be found in the pagan idea of the Triple Goddess as well as the Christian Trinity.
These are only some of the more well known symbols used in Celtic art and tattoos. Often, such designs only represent the basic outline of a tattoo.
The Celtic tradition has certainly proven to be a vast source of inspiration for modern people, especially those fascinated with tattoos.
Celtic tattoos are also sometimes put in the wider category of tribal tattoos, which are extremely popular.
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about 4 years ago - Comments Off
The dragon is often thought of as a Celtic symbol, though it came to Celtic lands relatively late. Dragons, of course, are important mythic symbols in China and other Asian lands. In the West, they tend to have a darker image, often associated with evil. Today Celtic dragons are best known as symbols of Wales.…
about 4 years ago - Comments Off
Celtic symbols, designs and artwork make great tattoos. You can use Celtic knots, crosses, spirals and zoomorphic images in an infinite number of ways to create a great traditional or unique tattoo design. Celtic tattoos are part of the tribal tattoo type, although they have a distinctive quality of their own. They are especially good…