The Meaning of the Cross Tattoo
Crosses are one of the oldest symbols known to mankind and date back to the very beginning of our culture. The cross symbol is and was used by many religions, such as Christianity, and by many cultures throughout history. The meaning of the cross varies as well as the meaning of the cross tattoo itself, however, in most cases the cross symbol is associated with any type of religion.
Crosses come in many different forms and shapes and symbolize many different meanings depending on the time in history and the geographical location. A particular cross symbol might have two totally different meanings in different parts of the world, or throughout history. In this article we will cover the most common types of crosses, cross tattoo designs, and their meanings:
The Ankh Cross:
The Ankh cross or Egyptian cross is an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol and a very popular tattoo design among tattoo artists and tattoo enthusiasts. It symbolizes life and fertility, which is basically the meaning of Ankh cross tattoos in the modern world.
The Christian Cross:
The Christian or Latin cross is the symbol of Christianity. The Christian cross symbolizes the death of Jesus. Christian cross tattoos are worn for religious reasons, as well as many other reasons, just like a cross necklace. Therefore the meanings of a Christian cross tattoo may vary and depend on the individual wearing the tattoo.
The Celtic Cross:
The Celtic cross is found throughout the British isles and was used by the Celts during the iron age. It combines a cross and a circle surrounding the intersection and is mostly used as a grave mark. Celtic tattoo designs like the Celtic cross are very popular in the modern world and their meanings may vary.
The Celtic High Cross:
The Celtic high cross is commonly found in Ireland's churches and graveyards. Also a very popular tattoo design.
The crucifix is commonly found in Catholic churches and symbolizes the death of Jesus by crucifixion. The crucifix is a Catholic cross with the body of Jesus affixed to it. The crucifix tattoo is usually worn for religious reasons.
The Greek Cross
The Greek cross is probably the most basic form of the cross commonly used by the eastern orthodoxy and early Christianity.
The Eastern Cross
The eastern cross is used by the eastern orthodox church.
The Lorraine Cross
The Lorraine cross is a two-barred cross with a shorter upper bar. The cross of Lorraine is a symbol of the French forces of World War II. The meaning of the Lorraine cross may vary today.
The Papal Cross
The papal cross is the pastoral staff used by the pope.
The Cross of Salem
The cross of Salem is similar to the Eastern cross and consists of two shorter cross bars above and below the main cross bar which is positioned in the middle.
The Iron Cross
The iron cross or cross pattée was used by the “Luftstreitkräfte”, the German air force in World War I.
The Mariner's Cross
The Mariner's cross is a cross combined with an anchor and commonly used by Mariners and sailors, which is the basic meaning of the Mariner's cross tattoo.
The Saint Peter's Cross
The Saint Peter's cross is a Christian cross turned upside-down. In the modern world it is commonly used by anti Christian or satanic cults. This cross can often be seen in the black metal scene. It symbolizes Satan, which is the basic meaning of the Saint Peter's cross tattoo, or the upside-down cross tattoo today.
The Meaning of the Maltese Cross Tattoo:
The Maltese cross (also know as the Amalfi Cross) is a Christian symbol which originated in the Mediterranean island of Malta and identified the knights of Malta during the 16th and 17th century.
The eight points of the Maltese cross symbolize the eight lands of origin of the knight of Malta and represent the eight points of courage. However, the meaning of the Maltese cross varies from one country to another.
In Australia, the state of Queensland features the Maltese cross in its flag, several Australian ambulance services use the Maltese cross in their logo.
In India, the Maltese cross is used as a symbol for the Indian army. And in France, a football club uses the Maltese cross in its emblem. Although the meaning of the Maltese cross tattoo may vary greatly depending on the wearer, in most cases it symbolizes it’s original meaning given by the knights of Malta.
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