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Irish Celtic Cross Tattoos: More Than Just A Pretty Design

Updated on May 5, 2011

Irish Celtic cross tattoos are one of the best looking and most symbolic designs available. The people from Scotland, Ireland and Wales are fond of spotting these tattoos to reflect the historical and religious background of their ethnic heritage. Others simply find the designs of the Celtic cross tattoos to be visually appealing. Indeed, the Celtic cross is a particularly beautiful representation of the almost universal symbol of cross. What with artists like Justin Timberlake and Robbie Williams showing off their Celtic cross tribal tattoos, it pushes the popularity of the Celtic cross designs even further.

Designs of Irish Celtic Cross Tattoos

A big attraction of the Irish Celtic cross tattoos is that the cross itself is just different enough from modern crosses and crucifix designs to make it stand out. A common design you'll see has a circle around the point where the vertical and horizontal parts of the cross meet. Instead of a circle, a Celtic knot can be placed over the area where both parts cross over too.

Another variation of the Celtic cross tribal tattoos has a series of Celtic knots surrounding the border of the cross. Alternatively, the knotwork may adorn the inside of the cross. Whatever the designing variations, the effect of these cross tattoos is usually stunning, whether in plain black or bold Celtic green.

Celtic cross tribal tattoos are typically worn by men. In recent years though, they have caught the eyes of the women. With more delicate and curvy ornate lines than the usual cross, Celtic cross designs are very beautiful and can look very feminine. No wonder the women are starting to embrace the Celtic cross tattoos. But Irish Celtic cross tattoos are more than just a pretty design.

Irish Celtic Cross Tattoo
Irish Celtic Cross Tattoo
Irish Celtic Cross Tattoo
Irish Celtic Cross Tattoo

Symbolism of Irish Celtic Cross Tattoos

Wearing Celtic cross tribal tattoos did not originally represent one's Christian faith since the Celts were pagan. Christianity was only associated with the Celtic cross much later when the Gospel was being introduced to Ireland. As the legend has it, St. Patrick blessed a sacred standing stone marked with a circle when shown. The sacred stone was believed to be a Celtic cross. Thus began the union of Gospel and Celtic culture in the Celtic cross.

Going all the way back to the original design of Irish Celtic cross tattoos, the structure of the cross itself is the main feature rather than all the knotwork infill. The Celtic cross was initially equal in length and width. This gave rise to four planes symbolizing the four basic elements of air, earth, water, and fire. There was also a circle in the middle of a Celtic cross illustrating eternity or the never ending cycle of life. The middle circle is originally a distinct feature separating the Celtic cross from the regular crosses.

Nowadays, the knots interweaving the borders of the cross tend to be the distinct feature of the Celtic cross tribal tattoos. The strands of the Celtic knots are normally designed in such a way to have no beginning and no end. This is another way to symbolize the never ending nature of human life. The knot itself on the other hand represents the joining together of the physical and spiritual worlds.

Celtic cross tattoos are highly appealing to many people as they combine the beauty of a cross with the Christian and Celtic ideologies behind them. Over time, the artistic images of Celtic crosses have changed such that the crosses don't always have equal length. Nonetheless, you can still reflect your faith while at the same time hearkening back to ancient civilization by wearing Irish Celtic cross tattoos.


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    • tattoodesigns69 profile image

      tattoodesigns69 7 years ago from Illinois

      Amazing Hub on "tattoos"! I highly enjoyed the content. Keep them coming!

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      Irish Symbols 7 years ago

      No wonder the women are starting to embrace the Celtic cross tattoos. But Irish Celtic cross tattoos are more than just a pretty design.

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      Celtic Cross Tattoos 9 years ago

      I'm really diggin all of the great content on celtic cross tattoos on your page. I really love them because they are a great way to represent your faith and heritage in a truly unique design. Thanks!