Celtic tattoo designs can make very attractive and interesting tattoos for both men and women. There are many Celtic symbols that have become popular as body art, and there are almost limitless ways to use them in original ways to suit your own preferences.
One of the cool things about Celtic designs is that there are some very simple yet beautiful types of images out of which many different types of tattoos can be created. The most basic of these is Celtic knotwork, which is the basis for much Celtic artwork. Celtic knots can be seen as symbolizing infinity, the way they intertwine in a continuous spiral. Celtic knots make great tattoos by themselves or they can be made into other designs, such as Celtic crosses. Knotwork can also serve as a border or addition to other types of tattoos.
Celtic crosses are also popular as tattoos. They can be used, like other crosses, as a Christian symbol, but they also have other meanings, as the cross actually predates Christianity as a symbol. The Celtic cross is also called the equal-armed cross, as the horizontal and vertical lines are of equal length represents balance between opposing forces.
Spirals are another type of Celtic symbol that work well as tattoos. One type of spiral, called the triskele, is a kind of triple spiral that was found in the British Isles dating back thousands of years, which even predates the Celts. This is a very interesting tribal type design that makes for a great tattoo.
Another type of popular Celtic design are zoomorphic or animal images. These can include birds, lions, serpents, dragons or other animals. Of course, any animal can be drawn Celtic style. If you look at one of the classic sources of Celtic art, the medieval Book of Kells, you can find many examples of this animal art. Many images from this book have been used as the basis for modern Celtic style tattoos.
Celtic tattoos work especially well with rich colors, which can be anything from the traditional green (at least traditional to Ireland) to blues, reds and any color combination you can imagine. Celtic knotwork in bright colors is very striking on the arm or anywhere else on the body.
Some people wonder about how “authentic” Celtic tattoos are. This is an interesting question, because there is no actual evidence that the ancient Celts even used tattoos! They did paint themselves, especially to prepare for battle, but whereas other ancient peoples, such as natives of the South Pacific, definitely used permanent tattoos to decorate their bodies, we really don’t know for sure if the Celts did.
This does not change the fact, however, that the symbols people use today to create Celtic tattoos are traditional to the Celtic lands. If we are using them today in a way that is different, that’s just part of the way cultural symbols and practices change and evolve over the centuries.
You can find many examples of Celtic tattoo designs in books on Celtic artwork, websites on these topics or in the studios of tattoo artists.