Celtic TattoosCeltic Tattoos

Knots, crosses, spirals and shamrocks are just a few of the images Celtic tattoos
are made of. You’ll have no trouble recognizing a Celtic tattoo because it has a very
distinctive look. Most Celtic tattoos involve elaborate arrangements of intricately
interwoven sinuous lines that have no beginning and no end; a design used centuries
ago to decorate the pages of Irish Illuminated manuscripts.

History of the Celtic tattoo

The Celts relied on storytelling rather than on written records to pass down their
traditions. That’s why you won’t find anything that specifically points to the first or
the continued use of Celtic tattoos.

Like other tribal tattoos, it used to be that people of Celtic descent (Scottish,
Irish or Welsh) adorned themselves with Celtic tattoos. But today these attractive
designs have universal appeal and it’s not unusual to see people from all different
backgrounds sporting this unique style of tattoo.

Why the Celtic tattoo?

If you’re of Celtic descent, a Celtic tattoo is an easily identifiable way to show pride
in your heritage. But if you’re like most people you’ll choose a Celtic tattoo simply
because you love the look.

If you’re considering a Celtic tattoo, keep in mind that these are complex designs.
The attention to detail and precise line placement needed to recreate Celtic art
requires a steady, experienced hand. So make sure the tattoo artist you choose is
up to the task. Otherwise the Celtic tattoo you end up with might look more like the
path walked by someone who’s had way too much to drink!

Here’s a rundown of the more popular Celtic tattoos:

The Celtic Cross

Symbolizing the conversion of the Celtic people to Christianity, the Celtic Cross
is believed an extension of the solar cross. You may also hear it described as
representing the bridge between earth and heaven.

The Celtic Spiral

Originally a symbol of spirituality, the single black continuous line is said to represent
man’s journey through birth, life and re-birth. The Celtic spiral was the first Celtic
design to appear in history and the first to disappear from general use in the middle
of the 10th Century.

Celtic Knot

If you’re trying to figure out the true meaning of the Celtic knot you’ll end up as
confused as anyone who has ever tried to research this. No one has yet been able
to determine with certainty what the Celtic knot symbolizes or whether it has any
symbolism at all. Since its earliest use was as adornment for the pages of Celtic manuscripts, that may be its only reason for being.

But there are some who believe the interlacing so prominent in the Celtic knot
represents the continual crossing of the spiritual and physical world. That the strands
have neither a beginning nor an ending have been interpreted by some to symbolize
the permanence of faith, love and life. Other interpretations of the Celtic knot include
eternity, or continual motion, or a complete cycle.


A symbol of luck, the Shamrock is more Irish than Celtic but gets grouped into this
category regardless.

Why the Celtic Tattoo?

People of Celtic heritage proudly wear their clan symbols to identify themselves to
other kinsmen. Non-Celtics are enamored with the symmetry of the designs and the
mystical beliefs of these ancient people.

Celtic Tattoo Trendsceltic tattoos

Celtic tattoos are fast-growing favorites among those seeking unique tattoos. If you
appreciate geometry, you’ll definitely appreciate this style of tattoo, regardless of
your heritage. The Celtic tattoo’s popularity is driven by new age spiritualism and a
general regard for the beauty and mystery of the Celtic heritage.


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