Celtic tattoo designs are some of the most interesting and intricate tattoo work one can get. It’s often composed of a series of interlocking and inter-weaved lines, spirals and circles which are both beautiful and steeped in symbolism. While no one is sure of the exact origin of the designs, most scholars cite influences from Irish and Welsh societies. And there are many different types of celtic tattoo designs which include knots, shields, crosses and looms. They can be displayed individually, as part of larger more elaborate designs or include the addition of polymorphic creatures such as the flying horse or griffin. The celtic tattoo in the picture contains a dragon element which further adds to its symbols. In many cultures the dragon represents personal power and the attainment of power and glory. The rest of the design is typical of a celtic shield knot, though it does appear to have some gothic elements added to it. It may have been used as a clan crest at some point in time or the wearer may be using it to elude to it’s deeper symbolic meaning. This celtic tattoo design is symbolic of great personal power through harnessing the deeper forces of nature.
One of the most easily identifiable celtic tattoos is the celtic shield knot. There are strong Norse design influences in Celtic knot work, and there is some debate as to the exact origin. Clearly there were exchanges between cultures through both trade and conquest. The complexity of Celtic design is thought to mimic or echo the complexity of nature, the use of celtic knots in spirals and mazes, the intricate interweaving showing no beginning and no end, reflective of the cycles of the seasons and of life. Celtic tattoos like the shield knot were often emblazoned on warrior’s shields and armor. Besides their symbolic meaning they were often used as a means of identification among clans. Entire families, everybody from close clansmen to distant cousins would often bear the same symbols. It made it quite a bit easier in the heat of battle for one to recognize friend from foe. Another popular design in celtic art is the celtic cross. This symbol is believed to predate Christianity by at least a thousand years. No matter what capacity you use celtic tattoos you can be sure that not only are they visually striking but bear a long and honored history.
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