Understanding the Celtic Cross Tattoos

Understanding the Celtic Cross Tattoos

By  | 19 September 2011

Understanding the Celtic Cross Tattoos

There is a wide range of traditional designs when you look into Celtic cross tattoos. Symbols used in ancient Celtic imagery draw on the powerful forces of nature. Celtic design tattoos and artwork originated from the Celts’ magical legends, which recognized the connection of all life forms. The Celtic cross design shows a cross with a ring around the intersection. This detailed design is also called the Irish Cross.

What is the symbolism of Celtic cross tattoos? Much of the translation of the Celtic design tattoos and symbols remains a mystery to us because they are dated before the time of written records. We rely heavily on oral histories to guide us in the observations of such extraordinary Celtic art that we see displayed in age-old manuscripts such as the prized Book of Kells.

The High Cross is one of the best-known Celtic symbols and Celtic tattoos. Celtic knot word interweaves a complex pattern to form a cross, which stands for a crossroads. You may find yourself at the beginning or end of a long journey. Celtic cross tattoos can symbolize a decision you have made or a plan. The circle is drawn as a sign of everlasting.


There are many different ways of interpreting the original purpose of Celtic crosses. As a Celtic design tattoo , the owner allows it to take on a personal meaning. Celtic cross tattoos evoke a spiritual vision of the universe. The cross points to all four directions: north, south, east, and west. It can also be related to four elements: air, earth, fire, and water. The cross enclosed within the circle suggests a place where time and space cease to exist.

The cross emerged as a Christian symbol in the 4th century, although it has a much older, pre-Christianity origin. Despite its long reign as the adopted symbol of Christians, its prehistoric meanings have not altogether vanished. Religion groups are often surprised to learn that their recognized religious symbols often had beginnings in pagan rituals. Pagans saw the circle of the Celtic cross as representative of the sun. They viewed sketches of the Celtic cross as a communication between their worlds and beyond.

The word cross in English comes from the Old Irish word, crux. The Celtic cross was believed a symbol of protection across superstitious medieval Europe. They found solace in the notion it would dispel bad spirits from the wearer. The cross continues to be respected in regards to the religious protection of the bearer.

The Celtic monks of the early Church practiced a simpler style of life, close to nature. St. Patrick was said to have used the Celtic cross to bring the Druids to Christianity. By using a familiar sight to them, it helped bright them together. Druids worshiped nature, and the missionaries build on what the groups shared in common to convert them.

Celtic cross tattoos can represent your ethnic heritage. They are often worn as a decorative emblem of pride in Irish, Scottish, or Welsh ancestry. Scandinavians are also drawn to the Celtic cross. Norse and Celtic art was exchanged between cultures during both trade and war. We have not discovered a magic codebook to explain all the hidden meaning behind Celtic art creations. The conclusions drawn from Celtic Cross Tattoos can be decided on your own.

Darryl Paul is the author of this article and runs the blog 
TattooDesignGuide , which features and reviews top websites and top design galleries


About Working Holiday Ireland

The Working Holiday Ireland website dedicated for those who are planning to visit the magical emerald isle. A place to meet like minded travellers, find out what's happening, get some really great travel info, or just catch up on adventures in Ireland. Come on in and enjoy the Craic!!!

Posted on 27 Feb, 2014, in What's happening in Ireland and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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