The flower has been a symbol of natural beauty for hundreds of years. While flower tattoos are more likely on females, these vibrant images are not just for women. Flower tattoos have adorned virile men for years as accompaniments to other symbols such as crosses, banners, and various other figures. Such tattoo designs can be found at membership sites such as Tattoo Me Now and Chopper Tattoo
Besides being beautiful, flowers are representative of many ideas and beliefs. Flowers in general symbolize nature, birth, regeneration, and the cycle of life. Individually, most flowers have significant associations as well.
The Rose is likely the most popular flower tattoo. The significance of the rose is its association with relationships. The color plays a key role in what the flower represents, for instance, the red rose proclaims beauty, love, courage, and respect, the yellow rose speaks of joy, gladness, and friendship. The pink rose symbolizes appreciation, and grace, while a black rose signifies death. The number of roses is a significant symbol as well. A single rose of any color says devotion, two roses intertwined cries “marry me”, and six roses imply a need to be loved or cherished.
Next to the rose, the Iris is the most symbolic flower. Named for the Greek goddess, the Iris has long been associated with good news. The three petals represent faith, courage, and wisdom.
The lotus flower is symbolic of perseverance in adversity, faithfulness, beauty, and light. It also represents purity and divine wisdom. The Anemone and the Poppy represent death and sleep, and Carnations can mean many things based on the color. A white carnation, once considered an aphrodisiac, symbolizes betrothal, love and fertility, while a yellow carnation signifies rejection and a red one denotes an aching heart.
There are many striking flowers to choose from when considering a botanical tattoo. The most effective are those that are bright and colorful, have recognizable petals and stems, and represent clearly the sentiment of your choosing.
Getting a tattoo is a very personal and permanent reminder or symbol of someone or something you hold dear. The Cross is a very common tattoo and while that might not surprise you, it might surprise you to find that the cross has been an important symbol for centuries, predating the Christian cross. Before getting a cross tattoo it would be worthwhile learning its history and origin.
The symbol of the cross has been found on artifacts dating as far as 1500b.c. The cross symbol has been found in nearly every known culture on the planet and has various meanings, but nearly all of them refer to the sacred, protective, and transcendent.
The cross can represent an intersection of time, space, and psyche. The sign of the cross has been associated with torture and death, and for the Christian it represents not only those things, but also forgiveness and renewal.
While some denominations argue that tattoos are forbidden in The Bible, this is a matter of dispute. The verse that comes into question is Leviticus 19:28. Most scholars agree that this was a cultural and ceremonial edict and not a moral one. Most agree that if you believe in Christ as your savior then you agree that His death on The Cross was propitiation for your sins and that makes the matter moot.
Designs For Cross Tattoos
There are many cross symbols to choose from and the style often determines what is being represented. A cross within a circle often represents the seasons or cycles of nature, eternity, or unity and is one of the oldest symbols in the world. The Egyptian cross represents both physical and eternal life, and Chi-Rho, The Celtic, and many other cross designs represent the Christian faith or some saint.
There are many cross designs and coupled with banners, flowers, names, or other meaningful symbols, the cross tattoo has definitely “made its mark”. If you would like yo make your make with a cross tattoo, check out the membership site Tattoo Me Now and Chopper Tattoo. They have hundreds of cross and religious tattoo designs to view and print out.
Body art is not a new idea. Archeological evidence proves that man has adorned himself for thousands of years. The oldest form of tattooing involved tribal art that identified the wearer; as part of a specific tribe, according to rank or status within a particular group, for protection or status, as a form of intimidation for warriors, to signify that a person had achieved adulthood or was ready for battle or marriage, or even the number of victories in battle or on hunting expeditions.
One very popular category of body art hails from the Polynesian culture. Tahitian, Samoan, Hawaiian, and Māori design, whether traditional, authentic, modern, or enhanced are beautiful, intricate works of art on a canvas of skin. Traditionally completed over a number of days, the Samoan tattoo was a mixture of dots, lines, waves, and net like combinations. Placement ranged from simple to elaborate as well including simple chest emblems to sleeve to full body coverage.
Mayan and Aztec tattoo design includes various elements of nature including celestial bodies, trees, plants, and air, water, and land animals, all integrated with intricate shapes to make colorful and striking images. The Native American tattoo offers vivid and beautiful designs that incorporate natural and spiritual element as well.
Often tribal art is interesting and intricate, most symbols are very visually appealing, but all have significance for those belonging to that culture. Those who care deeply about preserving their culture find that a tattoo is a great way to accomplish that and encourage discussion and awareness of that culture.
When choosing tribal are for a tattoo, please use caution and respect as some symbols were sacred and inappropriate use might be offensive to members of a specific tribe or nation. If this is a concern of yours, research your design choice carefully. You can find many great Tribal Tattoos at Chopper Tattoo.
Today, Japanese tattoos are very popular and now well-know to Western eyes. Thanks to the power of the Internet and the spread of Japanese traditional and popular culture, Japanese tattooing conventions are less of an arcane event they they used to be.
Like many Japanese traditions and customs, Japanese tattooing is an art unto itself. However, Japanese tattooing is still regarded with some suspicion in mainstream Japanese society. People who display their tattoos may be ostracized and struggle to rent an apartment or secure a job. Even being admitted to hot spring bath houses or public swimming pools can be problematic.
No doubt, from some Hollywood movies you have seen, you’ll know that Japanese tattooing is associated with the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia. Yakuza members are renowned for their extensive full body tattoos. These tattoos are revealed to other gang members in ritualistic ceremonies or tattoo festivals, but otherwise tend to be covered up by clothing, as they are considered a private endeavour, not to be shared with strangers.
The Yakuza tradition dates back to the era of the Shoguns, when criminals would be marked with crude ring tattoos signifying their status and convictions. The subsequent adoption of tattooing as a sign of belonging underlines their refusal to abide by the rules and conform to society.
Recently, Japanese tattoo masters have traveled to tattoo shows in the West and divulged the finer points of their art, books have been published on the subject, and a few western tattoo artists have actually completed much sought-after and rare apprenticeships with Japanese tattoo masters.
Kanji scirpt tattoos are becoming increasing popular with Westerners. Kanji is one of the writing systems in Japan, in which abstract symbols are used to communicate. I must note that Kanji script tattoos are not what we would call traditional Japanese tattoos. While I have seen hundreds of Westerners with Kanji tattoos, I have never meet a Japanese who has had one. Most Japanese find it amazing and quite add with the westerns fascination of Kanji.
However, to the Western eye Kanji have mystic and a natural beauty. If you decide to get a Kanji tattoo then you want to make sure you get what you want. I have seen several Kanji fail tattoos over the years. I met on man who though he had the kanji “Samurai” tattooed on his arm when it was in fact “ambassador”. On an other occasion, I saw a man with a Kanji tattoo on his foreman meaning “family”. The problem was, while it is translated to family in most dictionaries, the symbol actually relates to things done at home like “house work” or “home tutor”.
If you are wanting to get a Kanji tattoo and need an accurate translation of a word then I recommend you purchase Design For You – Japanese Symbols Takanori Tomita, a Japanese Translator specializing in translating and designing Japanese symbols. If you are looking for traditional Japanese tattoo designs the I recommend you check Tattoo Me Now.
The appeal of tattoos in jail is easy to understand: in a place where all freedoms are confiscated, marking one’s own skin is the one thing that cannot be taken away. Jailbirds risk cross-contamination to have their mark of individuality in an environment that is designed to dehumanize. As you would image the lack of sterilising facilities make cross-contaimination extremely high.
Tattoos in jail take on a very significant meaning with most being territorial and culturally defined within specific nationalities. These rough and undefined tattoos are made with rudimentary homemade machines which sometime use just needles and ink. Ink is often made from urine or shampoo mixed with soot. The poor equipment and lack of coloured ink hinders the quality of the work a tattooist can perform.
Prison Tattoo Meanings
Laden with meaning, jail tattoos tell a story with visual symbols. The teardrop is a classic example for this. Originally, a teardrop near the eye was a counter for the people the wearer had killed. Now, it has also come to signify the number of lost loved ones or the number of terms in prison the wearer bears.
Another tattoo people serving time get is tattoo of a spiderweb on an elbow or a neck. It comes from the notion that a spider web catches and imprisons its prey.
Barbed wire tattooed across the forehead signifies a sentence of life imprisonment without possibility of parole.
A career thief will often have tattoo of a cat. A single cat means the bearer worked alone; several cats mean the bearer was part of a gang.
Not surprisingly prisons are the place where most hate tattoos are inked. as many convicts entering the prison population are affiliated with the hate or racist movement before their incarceration. In prison, new convicts from different ethnic backgrounds often join racist gangs once inside . Many of them do this for protection, not just because they adhere to the gang’s racist ideology.
Popular hate tattoos include:
- The Celtic Cross: It is part of the racist white power movement.
- The Swastika Symbol of the Nazi party.
- The SS: two sig runes were the symbol of the Schutzstaffel, Nazi insignia.
Recently, prisoners have become very creative with where and how they tattoo themselves. The producers of the prison documentary television show, Lock Up, were stunned when they several inmates who had tattooed the whites of their eyes.
“Everybodys got tattoos. Eveybodys got stretched ears, but you never see anybody with the whites of their eyes tatooed”
Today, tattoos are everywhere. It was not so long ago that tattooed people were regarded with distaste, suspicion or downright contempt, associated as they were in the public consciousness with gang culture, crime and irresponsibility. How times have changed! Tattooed people are on the covers of magazines, on prime time TV and are some of the world’s most admired artists and sportspeople .
The history of the tattoo goes way back. In fact, Tattooing has been around for millennia. It is one of the oldest forms of body decoration and visible communication. There is evidence of permanent body markings from hieroglyphics found on mummies from the Egyptian and Neolithic eras. And there is also evidence of tattooing and various tattoo implements dating back to the Paleolithic era exists in Japan and continental Europe, providing proof that primitive forms of tattooing were practiced some 10,000 years ago. Now, that’s old!
The first human remains remains to be found bearing tattoos are from about 5,300 years ago. ‘Otzi the Iceman’, the oldest mummified body ever found, that happened to bear 57 distinct tattoo marks.
The word ‘tattoo’ has an exotic origin: it comes from the Polynesian ‘tatau’ itself an onomatopoeic word derived from the noise made by tapping of tattoo sticks used in hand-tapped tattoos. the word was introduced to the West as ‘tataw’, which was then adapated to its modern Western incarnation.
Tattooing in tribal societies past and present has long been used to communicate a social status, to mark an achievement or an affiliation, or to invoke protection, and in ancient and in relatively recent times it has been considered an important rite of passage into adulthood and into a particular social role.
Tattoos have also been used to ward off evil, mark someone’s courage, for embellishment and for punishment. Early tattoos were not figurative , as they tend to be now. They consisted mostly of dots and lines which were positioned on visible parts of the body as a means of non-verbal communication
It was sailors and explores in the 18th century who first came into contact with tattooed tribes in Polynesia and brought back the art form to the West.It was a concept that for many years held a deeply negative connataion. The perception of tattooed people as marked criminals or circus freaks was rooted in the public consciousness for a long time.
In recent years tattoos have been applied in a reconstructive fuction, administrated after surgery such as mastectomies or to restore skin discolouration in conditions such as vitiligo. The psychological benefits of such work are immeasurable, and it is an aspect of tattooing which deserves much more publicity.
Whether to beautify, decorate, shock or commemorate, the tattoo is a memento which will accompany us for the rest of our life, is one of the reasons why this is all so fascinating. And one of the reasons we might even go back for more.
If you haven’t found the tattoo design that you want, then check out Tattoo Me Now, a membership site with thousands of professional tattoo designs.