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Celtic Cross Tattoo: Meaning

The meanings of a Celtic cross tattoo are intertwined with the importance of faith in Christianity, having a strong direction in life, and having love in your love, even loving your enemies.

The Celtic Cross is a form of the Christian cross that encompasses a ring/circle around the head. Some believe that the circle is a halo.

According to legends, Saint Patrick, also known as the “Apostle of Ireland,” first formed the Celtic Cross — he combined a Christian cross symbol with the pagan sun god. The idea was that the symbol might appeal to pagans.

For this reason, many Christians reject the Celtic Cross due to its possible connection to paganism.

Other scholars have suggested that placing the Christian cross on top of the circle signifies Christ’s authority over the pagan sun.

At the same time, it is thought that the circle may represent the celestial sphere.

celtic cross

Celtic cross at the old churchyard in Clonmacnoise

Its exact origins are unknown. The earliest examples of Celtic Crosses appeared in the Irish monastery of Iona, located on the Isle of Iona, and at Ahenny, a village and townland in County Tipperary.

Recently, the Celtic cross has gained immense popularity, and it is used as the centerpiece of pendants, bracelets, and necklaces.

It is also popular among tattooists. Here are some meanings behind a Celtic cross tattoo.

Celtic Cross Tattoo – Meanings:


Celtic Cross Tattoo

A woman with a Celtic Cross tattoo on her back – @Getty

A tattoo with a Celtic cross is a beautiful representation of faith since the cross represents the Christian religion as a whole.

Faith is trust, assurance, faith, and confidence in God and Jesus Christ.

Matthew 10:38 states — “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”

As per Hebrews 11:6, “Without faith it’s impossible to please God.” It’s through faith that Christians express their dependence on God, Who gave use faith to make it through those times.Celtic Cross Tattoo

The cross is also the symbol of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ — which was the most evil act ever committed on Earth. At that time, the cross was a form of execution that brought about a slow death. But now, the cross represents Jesus’ victorious resurrection.

So, the meaning of the Celtic cross is intertwined with Christianity, with faith in God. Therefore, having a tattoo with a Celtic cross shows your faith in God and your faith that there is life after death; there is a heaven (possibly represented by the circle from the Celtic cross) where Jesus awaits.


Love is the common denominator in how we relate — to ourselves, to others, or to God.Celtic Cross Tattoo behind ear

Love is not a temporary feeling or attraction but is self-sacrificing, unending, and generous.

The circle in the Celtic Cross is evocative of the Celtic symbol for infinite love. It is an ancient symbol of everlastingness that accentuates God’s love. God loves us because we deserve His love.

God made people because he loves us, and He wants us to have a spiritual life. He wants to help you fulfill your purpose.

As such, a Celtic cross tattoo shows your capacity to love and to live with a purpose. Undoubtedly, we are all born with the capacity to love. This tattoo shows that you are ready to love and to be loved. Wear it proudly.Celtic Cross Tattoo on neck

Mark Groves said that “our capacity to love others will always be limited by the depths to which we love ourselves.”

You must also love your enemies. Jesus was very clear about how we should love our enemies. “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you.” (Matthew 5:44)

When you do follow Jesus’ command to not love your enemy, you are actually bringing a living Hell upon Earth. However, you should not forget that you can only love your enemies by trusting God to help you. In this situation, a Celtic tattoo, like for example, on your wrist, is very useful.Celtic Cross Tattoo on wrist

Especially in stressful situations — to not forget that you must love your enemies — even if it is very hard and you don’t understand why. We are very limited in our understanding and wisdom. God is all-wise. And God knows us better than we even know ourselves.

You Are A Tree Lover

According to Celtic experts, the shape of the cross may have symbolized trees or that this cross may have been modeled by trees, which the Celts venerated since they practiced Druidry, a form of nature-based religion.

Celts particularly venerated the ash, the yew, and the oak. The oak is a symbol of inner strength and power.Celtic Cross Tattoo on chest

The word Druid probably comes from a Celtic word meaning “knower of the oak tree.” The Celts also believed they were descended from the great Oak. This shows how important was the oak tree in Celtic culture.

Trees were seen as powerful symbols of connection to the divine, longevity, and wisdom. They also believed that trees had spirits.

So, a Celtic cross is strongly related to respect for nature as well as with inner strength.

You Have A Strong Direction In Your Lifeceltic cross tattoo on one finger

The four cardinal directions are the four main compass directions, and these are:

  • North;
  • South;
  • East;
  • West.

The four arms of the Celtic Cross represent the four cardinal directions.celtic cross tattoo sleve

Astrologically, the four directions are represented as:

  • North is Aquarius — Aquarians are innovative, progressive, confident, assertive, truthful, technical, analytical, and clever;
  • South is Leo — Leos are loyal, ambitious, drama-adoring, comfortable being the center of attention, and confident;
  • East is Taurus — Taurus natives are sensual, loyal, reliable, tenacious, down-to-earth, and hard-headed;
  • West is Scorpio — Scorpios are independent, great natural leaders, enigmatic, deep, strong, and ambitious.

Cardinal directions are used to determine navigational pathways. Therefore, a Celtic cross tattoo symbolizes that you are looking or that you have found a clear direction in your life.

If you haven’t found your path, the best way is to search for the true self of you. Looking daily at your Celtic cross tattoo can also work to not forget your way.Celtic Cross Tattoo on the back of a woman


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