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Celtic Tattoos And Meanings

Updated on July 20, 2017

In other similar hubs that I have written, I have confessed to never actually having gotten a tattoo myself. You may immediately think it strange that I write about a topic, such as tattoos, in which I have very little experience in actually obtaining. Though I have never actually found myself to be brave enough to endure the ceremonial like this past time, this is, indeed, an art form that I have come to highly respect and cherish at a distance. With his thirteen years of military service inspiring a canvas of body art, my husband has several. Among several different types of art, he does have one Celtic inspired tattoo.

You may or may not be familiar with these.

Celtic culture is rich with symbols and designs, and these symbols have elaborate and deep meanings. When choosing a design, it's important to understand the meanings of your choices. It would be impossible to do justice to all Celtic tattoos and meanings, so in this article I will cover a few of the most popular choices.

It's important with any choice to do your research and pick carefully. As a permanent part of your body, they are certainly not something to take lightly. Though there is an air of permanency behind any body art decision, I admit that one day I just might find myself to be brave enough to venture into an art form that is celebrated by many people from bikers, to rockers, to service members, to bold teenagers attempting to derive meaning from life and all its complexities.

I hope this article helps you decide upon a Celtic inspired tattoo that you like!

First in our list is the Celtic cross. The cross is popular because it spans several cultural images all at once. Those who are deeply connected via birth or philosophy to history will appreciate them, and those with religious affiliations will find meaning that way.

This design symbolizes faith and devotion as you can expect with a cross. But the cross is filled with mazes and knots, symbolizing the complexity of life. This design is viewed in that culture as a religious icon, but also as a crossroads. It's a point of reference for your spirituality, your place in life, and time in general.

The Celts had a very interesting view on time and space (which I will have to write on later), and the cross tattoo should reflect this belief.


Next in the list of body art designs we'll look at is the Triquetra. The Triquetra, like the Cross, is a holy design that symbolizes divinity and balance. There are a number of meanings that are popularly associated with the Triquetra, but most symbolize things that are found in threes. One well-known interpretation is spirit, body and mind. Another is father, son and holy spirit.

Your choice can represent the Celtic relationship to time, by meaning past, present and future. Or it can be a symbol of you and your parents, or two people who mean a lot to you, a spouse and a child perhaps.

When choosing your tattoo and meanings, notice that the Triquetra is all linked together. Hopefully if you choose this one, you can find meaning in it.

United by Charmed:


The Triskelion is a Celtic tattoo design with a few specific meanings. The three 'legs' are meant to represent competition and achievement, and the round and rotating image is meant to symbolize the circular nature of life and work. Other words to describe the Triskelion are action, revolution, cycle, and progress.

You'll notice the important of threes in celtic tattoo designs and meanings, as well as the repeat appearance of circles. Each design has individual meaning, but many represent body, spirit and mind with their circular, swirling designs.

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      david 3 years ago

      i was thinking a Celtic pin an lock (I can't remember the items actual name) attached to feathers