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How To Recognize A Celtic Tattoo From A Tribal Tattoo

Jan 19, 2008
There can be little doubt that a Celtic tattoo is very popular at the moment, especially amongst the glitterati such as movie stars, sports stars and rock/pop stars. If you are planning to get one inked, you need to know the difference between a real 'Celtic' tattoo and a 'tribal' tattoo. There is a difference and, hopefully, this article will put you on the right track!

Knot Work

It is essential to look for excellent knot work in the design of your Celtic tattoo; an authentic Celtic knot has no beginning or end. Why? Well, this 'never-ending' knot design is a symbol of infinity in areas such as faith, love and life. These kind of knots have been used by meditators for centuries because they are ideal for fixing one's attention (essential when attempting to reach a state of intense relaxation and concentration). In particular, the 'Trinity Knot' has proved to be popular with many people and is a fine example of a Celtic knot that is 'unending.'

Symbols of Territory

The Celts were a mysterious people and often used different kinds of symbols as a way of demonstrating where they came from:

1. Harps and Shamrocks: Irish Celts.
2. Red Dragon and Thistle: Scottish Celts.
3. Daffodil and Leek: Welsh Celts.

It makes sense, if you have roots in these areas of the world, to add these symbols into the design of your Celtic tattoo. This will give you a more personalized design and be a talking point amongst friends and family!

More Celtic Symbols

This is just the beginning of the story because the Celts had many more designs and symbols in their art:

1. Numbers were very important to the Celts. 'Nine' was a special number with much power, as was twenty seven (9 X 3 = 27). 'Three' was also an essential number with lots of symbolical meaning (the relationship between the sky, earth and sea; the human soul also had a three-part nature). Other popular numbers, include thirty three (honor and royalty); five (family unit symbol in Ireland); seventeen (the passing of the moon and also the limits of generational ancestral memory in a clan).

2. The Celtic Cross/the Tree of Life. These symbols represent the amalgamation of Celtic Mysticism and Christianity by Druids around the seventh century. Again, these symbols are weaved into the fabric of endless knots.

3. The Claddagh. This symbol consists of a heart and a crown, both linking. For those about to get married this is a lucky symbol as it represents love and friendship.

4. The Pentagram. Over the years, this symbol has come to represent many things, sometimes evoking images of devil-worship and the supernatural. This is unfortunate, for the pentagram, to the Celts, represents the five stages of life: birth, youth, adulthood, old age, death. It can also represent the five elements: fire, water, air, spirit and earth.

So, this is how you recognize a Celtic tattoo. You now know that you need a mixture of these symbols in your design and a tattoo artist with some skill!
About the Author
Tom Moore invites you to learn more about the celtic tattoo and also discover the best tattoo designs, tattoo art and tattoo ideas at his website www.BestTattooForYou.com
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