The symbol of the cross left its mark deep on the human society, with its presence in every corner of the world, in every aspect of life. People have tattooed crosses on their bodies ever since this body art tradition was invented, using them as representations of their religious or spiritual beliefs, or maybe just for their simple beauty.
Cross designs can vary a lot, from the simple crossed lines, to complex artful shapes that are chosen according to either a culture or a style of drawing.
Christians tattoo crosses on their bodies most commonly as a representation of their faith, but also as a sign of remembering a deceased loved person.
Looking back at the history of the cross, we learn that it became a holy symbol only after Christianity and the crucifixion of Christ appeared. Up to that point, it was used as a torture instrument for people who were condemned to death and tied up on a wooden cross.
After Christianity became officially recognized, crucifixion was abolished and its evil meaning dissolved. The two intersected beams of the cross immediately became symbols: the horizontal one a symbol for the woman and her passivity and earthliness and the vertical one a symbol for the man with its stoutness and its active, celestial behavior. However, many people don’t think about more subtle meanings when they tattoo a cross on their body, they do it either because they love the design or because they are religious.
Cross tattoos have varied appearances except for the classical one, which come from the adaptation of the symbol to different cultures. There are Celtic crosses, tribal crosses and Gothic crosses, which are very popular for tattoos because of their beauty and complexity.
Tribal crosses are maybe the most popular designs among tattoo fans, having multiple variations, most of them done in black ink. Tribes from Philippines, Polynesia and others have made their art famous and immemorial, although their meaning and tattooing techniques are totally different than the modern ones. People who get tribal tattoos rarely get them thinking about the tribes they originated from, but for their appealing design.
Celtic crosses are symbols of the Celtic faith and heritage, very common in Scotland and Ireland where there are still Celtic communities. This type of cross distinguishes itself from the others due to its special artwork that consists of knots, loops and mazes. The meaning of this artwork relates to the never-ending loop of life, so people who choose Celtic crosses as their tattoos will most commonly refer to that meaning.
Gothic crosses are variations of the standard cross and they have a totally different interpretation than the religious one, quite the opposite actually. The gothic crosses are decorated with barbed wire, snakes, roses, thorns, dragons and other dark images that lead to the idea of darkness and mysticism. People who like the Gothic subculture and its symbols will surely enjoy Gothic cross tattoos somewhere on their bodies, attributing them meanings packed with strong negative emotions.
So, if you fancy the idea of getting a cross tattoo, pick your preferred design and think of the best place on your body where you could get it inked.