Cross tattoo designs tells the story behind Christian, Celtic, Gothic cross tattoos and drawings of crosses. Find the tattoo design ideas that most appeal to and suit your tastes.
Cross tattoos are not to be confused with the crucifix style crosses. Crucifix crosses bear the figure of Christ crucified upon it and are the most popular icon of the Christian faith. There are many different forms of the cross tattoo design, below are the most popular and symbolic.
Canterbury Cross Tattoo Design,
Cross, Three crowns and Star This is a combination of several styles. The principle cross has a bar at each end of each arm. A smaller cross is contained in each of its quarters. These smaller crosses are often referred to as Jerusalem crosses.
Atop the crosses are three crowns and above the central crown is a star with its lowest star point extended further downwards. Extending from left hand side down under an up to the right had side are two branches joined by a bow.
Many crosses are symbolic of a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, however this cross tattoo design is symbolic of a pilgrimage to Bethlehem. The tree crowns symbolize the three wise men and the star is symbolic of Bethlehem.
There are thousands of cross design ideas below are some worth considering for your tattoo. The image directly below is the very famous Jerusalem cross.
Cross over Globe This cross tattoo design shows a cross above a globe. This represents Christianity being the dominant force over the earth. It is also used to symbolize territorial rule such as by a king. It is a familiar design of both Byzantine and Christian art.
Cross Swords Tattoo Design It is not unusual for crosses to be composed of swords. This tattoo Design is associated with death with the crossed swords representing military battles and power. This symbol of crossed swords can also be seen in use in tattoos of the skull and crossbones used by pirates or even on poisonous or toxic substance containers.
Cross Gemmatta - Gem Cross tattoo This is a Christian design where both axis of the cross are studded with gems. Versions of this cross design often have thirteen gems. The thirteen gems are symbolic of Christ and the twelve apostles. These are arranged in the order of five horizontal gems and nine vertical gems, sharing one central gem, Christ.
Cross of Equal Lengths The same design as a 'plus' sign, it is probably the oldest form of the cross and subsequently one of the most popular cross tattoo design. Its use is very widespread and very ancient, with examples being found in pre-historic caves in Europe, Ancient Chinese writing as well as in ancient North America.
It has many symbolic meanings, in Chinese it is a sign for perfection, in astrological tattoo design it is a symbol for physical matter. This cross tattoo design is often combined wit circles to give further meaning. The beauty of this cross tattoo design is that it can symbolize different meanings. In the world of maths it is a 'plus' sign that unites or combines. In the world of map making it separates. In other spheres it is used as a sign of positive or good news.
Transients or hobos leave this sign behind them to tell other hobos that 'here they give nothing'. The most ancient example of this cross tattoo design can be found on the knee of a bronze age man discovered in the Swiss Alps.
Cross of Golgotha Another cross tattoo design is the Cross of Golgotha. Golgotha is Hebrew for skull. It is also sometimes referred to as the cross of Calvary. Calvary is a small hill on the outskirts of Jerusalem where Christ was crucified and Calvary is the Latin word for skull. There is a slight difference in the two versions of this cross. The Latin version has a three tiered base at the foot of the cross. Some believe that the three tiers symbolize faith, love and hope. This cross tattoo design was often seen on the coat of arms of the crusaders.
Cross of the Archangels This cross tattoo design is very similar to the Cross of Golgotha. The Cross of the Archangels has an extra but shorter cross-arm just above the main horizontal. This higher placed cross symbolizes the higher-standing and greater role of the Archangels. The role of angels is to protect humans but the role of Archangels was of a higher calling – to protect the faith itself.
Cross of Evangelists This cross tattoo design is a merger of the Cross of Equal Lengths and Cross of Golgotha. This designs contains a cross of equal lengths above a four tiered base. The cross and its base were the symbol of the four gospels and their writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Pope's Cross This design is a Latin type cross but with three horizontals. Each horizontal is shorter than the one directly below it. It is symbolic of the three roles that a pope fulfills, chief pries, chief teacher and chief shepherd. This cross design also symbolizes the popes three roles as a co-ruler of heaven, earth and hell due to his being Christ's chief representative on earth.
Cross of Philip A cross tattoo design showing the Cross of Philip would show a Latin cross placed horizontally. One of the twelve apostles, Philip was martyred in Hierapolin in this position.
Crosshairs tattoo design Crosshairs are the marking on the eyepiece of a firearm that allows the marksman to centre the target for the best possible shot. In Cross tattoo designs it usually represents hatred or anti-social views. Sometime the imagery will be that of the crosshairs within a circle and the image of the hated object placed directly in the centre of te cross.
Celtic Cross Tattoos Celtic cross tattoos are a prime example of Celtic Christian art but there is a lot more to these designs than meets the eye at first. The original Celts were from central Europe and were not one race of people but rather a collection of peoples who shared similar religious, language, material and burial customs.
The ancient Celts left no written account of their lives but instead told of their lives through the oral tradition and the use of imagery.
Celtic High Cross Tattoo Design,
Eventually the Celts spread throughout Europe and the Classical writers of Rome and Greece wrote about them. In their own language they referred to themselves as Celts, but in Latin they were knows as Gauls. Around 400 B.C. a massive migration through Europe began wit many Celts making it as far as Britain and Ireland.
However, the Roman Empire was in its pomp and subdued them throughout mainland Europe. Celtic Christian art emerged due to the spread of Christianity and with it emerged the Celtic Cross. The cross and spiral are two very ancient Celtic symbols. The cross is the union of Heaven and Earth where the spiritual and material worlds merge.
The spiral is a symbol of infinity and the creative force of life and death and is a recurring theme in Celtic artwork.