If you have been thinking about getting an attractive Christian tattoo, then chances are you have at least given some thought to some Celtic Cross tattoo ideas. If not, then you will probably be thinking about them once you have found out about their history and all of the design options that are available. Below you will find all of the information you’d ever need on Celtic Cross tattoos and some ideas for how you can make them your own.
The rich blue imagery of traditional Celtic tattoos, which includes the Celtic Cross, has a long history in its meaning. You can be sure that if you see someone with any other the popular Celtic designs on their skin, there is a lot of pride there and there is a lot of meaning in whatever the design may be. You might see the Celtic Cross by itself or it might be included in a much larger design that contains multiple Celtic symbols and images.
The Celts had no written language, so imagery was their main communication from pictorial warnings, storytelling through pictures, and as history recorded. The Celtic Cross, though, always had a spiritual and peaceful meaning. From the artwork centuries ago to the Celtic Cross tattoos that you see today, the image has always been one of peace and love. It might surprise some people that it also represents inclusiveness, though it is often seen as one of the primary Celtic symbols of Christianity.
The Picts and Celts were warriors who used tattoos and wildly colored hair as forms of supernatural intimidation for their foes. Pict actually has the Latin root of Picti which literally transcribes to “Painted Ones” and was first used in written from ancient texts dated AD 297 with the reference meaning “painted or tattooed” people. Battle among the tribes was considered an honor on the way to a noble death, the only way to enter a golden afterlife. Naked or bare-chested warriors decorated with only paints, leather and furs were a fearsome sight. Their hair would be dyed brightly and fashioned into tribal mohawks or thick with flower pastes much like Punk rockers. One of the tattoos that was seen on many Celts was, you guessed it, the Celtic Cross tattoo, which was a peaceful symbol but also showed the warriors’ unity.
The warrior’s bodies were embellished with protective and symbolic tattoos from the Woad plant. The Woad plant is a native plant to the British Isles and Northern Europe that only could be harvested every other year. Indigotin, the chemical for making deep blue dye is made from the Woad plant. Its leaves are harvested then sun dried. Once dried a tincture is made and then strained and reduced, created a thick viscous liquid rich in pigment. A paste is made, Woad paste, and needle pointed implements are tapped implanting the indigo stain in a design under the skin layers.
Those who are looking to get an “authentic” looking Celtic Cross tattoo will often look to make it look as close to those made with the Woad plant paste as possible. Some will actually still get their tattoos with the Woad paste, but we definitely do not recommend going that far since the paste can make you sick. Instead, you can pretty easily find an artist who will be able to make your Celtic Cross tattoo look as authentic as possible simply through the use of specific colors and giving it that “dreamy” look that the original tats had.
When Christianity took over the area to “spread religion” the tattoos became a form of cultural recognition and public relations. The tribes used them as a way to display their heritage and pride of race and the cultures merged into what is now the traditional Celtic tattoo, with no distinction between tribe origins. This is actually why the Celtic Cross became so widespread and why we know so much about it today. People now love to get the Celtic Cross tattoo not only because of the meanings that come along with it, but also because it helps them feel connected to those tribes of the past.
The Celtic Cross tattoos came to portray emotion over simple imagery, becoming a fiery passion and code of honor in a wild, untamed land. Even back then, seeing the cross on someone else gave people an immediate bond since they recognized that they shared very important beliefs. Keep in mind that these tattoos were how they communicated with one another, which means that the crosses were far more than nice looking body art. They allowed everyone to know what they stood for and who they wanted around them. It doesn’t hold the exact same meanings today, but the “inclusiveness” and “openness” meanings are certainly still there.
These days, more than anything else, the Celtic Cross tattoo has come to symbolize peace and love. Chances are those are not the meanings that most people think about when they see the cross, which is why it is good choice for those who don’t want to get the cliché tattoos that symbolize those same meanings. Obviously it also helps if you are a Christian since the cross is universally seen as representing the Christian religions, but the fact is that you really don’t have to be religious at all for Celtic Cross tattoo to make sense for you.
Does one have to have Celtic ancestry to get a Celtic Cross tattoo? That might be a question you’ve asked yourself since the word “Celtic” is right there in the title of the image. Well, no, you definitely do not have to have a Celtic ancestry, though that is often a reason why someone might get one of these tattoos. Of course, you shouldn’t get a Celtic Cross tat only because you think it looks good, but if the meanings work for you, don’t hesitate to get one!
If you do decide to get a Celtic Cross tattoo, then you will want to come up with a design that you will be happy with for the rest of your life. To do those you should talk with a tattooist or an outside artist who help to make your vision a reality. In most cases people will want to get multiple designs drawn up so they have more choices to choose from and so they don’t end up settling on the first Celtic Cross that they see.
Placement of Celtic Cross tattoos can be tricky for some people, but the shape of the cross means that it can usually work very well at the top of the arm. Many people decide to put the vertical bar of the cross right down their shoulder through some of their bicep, and the horizontal bar usually goes straight across the bicep. You can actually get a Celtic Cross tattoo placed anywhere if you shrink it down a bit. It can work as a small wrist tattoo or even as a neck tattoo. The placement is completely up to you, but you will want to be sure that it works well and it goes along the lines of your body, regardless of where it is placed.
After you’ve decided on a design and a place to put your Celtic Cross tattoo, you’ll then want to hire an artist who will help bring your vision to life. Do a little research on the tattoo artists in your area and pick one with a good reputation.
With all of that being said, you should now see that the Celtic Cross tattoo is a lot more than just a simple religious symbol that people get. It is an image that symbolizes inclusiveness and love while also being a very attractive piece of art. Best of all, there is a very low chance that you will regret getting a Celtic Cross tattoo since it is so meaningful and it honors people who saw the symbol as one of the most important in the world.
Here are some of our favorite Celtic tattoos: