Most often associated with Christianity, there are nearly countless ways to depict a cross. There’s the Celtic cross, with its circle around the middle, the negative connotations of the Swastika, and the Hebrew cross which more closely resembles an “x”. The original meaning of the cross referred to nature and the four directions, or seasons. It is also said to denote Mother and Father Nature, or the yin and yang which exists in everything natural. Nearly every culture, and every religion, uses some form of the cross.
Photo by “Tobyotter” on Flickr
Besides its ancient origins dating back to the days of cavemen, the cross is used today in various ways that make it quite appealing as a part of body art. It is often included in biker patches, with a serpent to symbolize the medical profession, or complete with the image of Jesus Christ nailed to the cross bars. Memorials to a lost loved one usually include a cross; paired with swords or a crown the cross denotes power and privilege. For most Christians is the ultimate symbol of their faith.
Photo by “Micaeltattoo” on Flickr
A cross means something different to everyone. Regardless of its personal meaning, the simple and timeless form of the cross lends itself perfectly to a variety of tattoo designs appropriate for a man or woman. Large crosses work well for a back, as they mimic the shape of the human body. Yet they can also be quite small and fit in a variety of areas on the body. Combined with flowers, fire, atmospheric elements, or even skulls, the cross is a perennial favorite, just as it has been for centuries.
Photo by “Tattoo_Lover” on Flickr