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Categories: Tattoo Fonts | Author: admin 20.12.2014

Well, animal tattoo designs are the only permanent way to bring out the animal in you and put it on you! Theriomorphism is the word used to describe the attributing of animal characteristics to a human being. Often, in their vision quest search for power and protection, tribesman acquired a guardian spirit in the form of an animal or bird.
Lakota Indian Brave 'Buffalo', of Standing Rock Reservation in the United States, proclaimed. And what better way to think about and try to understand the animal than to inscribe its image on our skin? In ancient lore, birds often accompanied Heroes on their quests to defeat villains, monsters, and dragons. Granted, there are some other interpretations for birds, but they may be a stretch for tattoo meanings.
Flora images are used frequently in tattooing, especially floral tattoos (flower tattoos) and tree tattoos.
In his worldwide travels, anthropologist Jack Goody observed flower rituals across the globe, including Bali, China, Asia, India, the Sahara, the Mediterranean, Europe, and North America. Evidence shows that, 100,000 years ago, Neanderthals placed flowers on graves to honor the dead. Flower tattoos, though sometimes viewed as feminine, are appropriate for men and women alike. Of course, insect tattoos and reptile tattoos are not the same thing, but they do share a common bond. There's just something about a big bug or a slithering snake that makes our hair stand up on end.
Reptiles, particularly snakes, are often associated with stages of the life cycle: creation, destruction, and eternity. It is not surprising that religious tattoos are growing in popularity, given our tattoo choices often reflect our deep, personal values. Christians will generally tell you that the Old Testament provides the history of their faith, but the New Testament - and Christ's teachings - brings a new law.
Well, it seems that plenty of religious people are willing to take the chance and get a tattoo anyway. Humans have always been fascinated with the ocean, and sea life tattoos have become a popular way of keeping the magic of the ocean close to home.
In Japan, the carp symbolizes love, courage, and dignity, while salmon - for the Celts - can symbolize inspiration, wisdom, and prophecy.
Mythical sea creatures, such as mermaids, are also very popular for tattoos, and will be discussed later on this site under Fantasy tattoos.
A great advantage to shape tattoos is that they are relatively small (and therefore inexpensive), and can be placed in subtle and easy to conceal locations. A disadvantage is that, unless the shape has an immediately recognizable meaning associated with it (e.g. Most often, it is people from Western backgrounds and religions that choose these kinds of non-Western images. If these symbols have profound meaning for you, by all means consider them as possible spiritual or mystical tattoo designs. The zodiac refers to a belt or strip of constellations that are centered on the elliptic path of the earth around the sun (though early believers, of course, thought it was the path of the sun around the earth!).
There is some disagreement on what the word "zodiac" actually means, but the common viewpoint is that it comes from the Greek word "zoe" (meaning "life") and the word "diakos" (meaning "wheel"). People today like to look at their horoscope in the newspaper, to see what suggestions their astrological sign might have for them. When you look at a horoscope, you see that it begins with advice for Aries birthdays (March 21-April 19). When Ptolemy first created his astrological calendar, the constellations selected were correctly aligned overhead.
One way to custom design your zodiac sign tattoo would be to include artwork representing the corresponding element within your zodiac tattoo designs. As you will see on the pages that follow, each zodiac symbol is also associated with a part of the body, a color, a metal, a flower, and a gem. Until the Edo period in Japan (1600–1868) tattoos, world wide, were done with marks and symbolism rather than imagery. Woodblock artists began tattooing, using many of the same tools for tattooing  as they did to create their woodblock prints, including chisels, gouges and, most importantly, unique ink known as Nara ink, or Nara black, the ink that famously turns blue-green under the skin, which is the true look of the tattoo. Tattooing was legalized by the occupation forces in 1945, but has retained its image of criminality. When a dragon is seen with color in its scales, it is thought of as being at least 500 years old, younger dragons have not earned or developed colored scales yet, and if the dragon lives as long as 1,000 years it can grow colorful feathered wings, similar looking to the wings of the Japanese phoenix.
Not all koi are headed for dragon gate, and not all koi are stoic, there are other stories.
Considered to be the supreme of all land animals by the Chinese, representing strength, courage and long life.
The local Shinto religion of Japan, which predates Buddhism, also has a lion protector, with a red head, who drives away evil spirits and brings health and wealth. With their pointed ears and their curly but subdued manes of hair, there is certainly a resemblance to dogs. Probably the most important of the mythological birds, its unmatched splendor and the immortality it derived by rising from its own ashes.
In some versions of its story, it flew to distant lands gathering fragrant herbs which it returned to its altar, setting them afire and burning itself to ashes -rising three days later. There is also a tradition, however, in older tales, that they can become benevolent protectors — such as monks who become an oni after death in order to protect temples. There is actually a more in-depth meaning to the skull tattoo designs than just anger, fear, danger or death -  in fact it was not originally conceived as a symbol to represent any of these things. Today it is extremely unfortunate that the majority of the general public does not understand the true meaning of the skull, and when they see it they automatically relate the symbol to negativity. Hannya Tattoo – The hannya mask is just one example of the many different types of masks used by the traditional Japanese actors of Noh theater.
In the Chinese zodiac, people who are born in the Year of the Snake are generally enigmatic but they are also the wisest. The snake is an excellent example, used in many different types of tattoo … to withdraw into it for protection has also been associated with strength. One of the most popular backgrounds is the Japanese maple, a symbol of time passing, a symbol of the wind.
A single leaf or a multitude of leaves are also potent symbols of regeneration and resurrection as they cycle through the seasons.
Autumn is the season of this flower and in China the chrysanthemum is a symbol of Taoist simplicity and perfection.


Although traditional Japanese tattoos give an initial impression of chaotic complexity and a seemingly infinite number of design elements from which to choose, such is not the case, In fact, traditional Japanese tattoos tend to be drawn from a smaller set of symbols – primarily the cherry blossom, the peony, and the chrysanthemum. However, its symbolic link to longevity and happiness in Japanese culture may be draw more from its actual appearance.
More often than not, when cherry blossoms appear in tattoo artwork, they do not appear alone. Lotus flowers are amazing and have strong symbolic ties to many Asian religions, especially throughout India and the lotus has become a symbol for awakening to the meaning of life. In modern times the meaning of a lotus flower tattoo ties into it’s religious symbolism and meaning. Since the dawn of time, humans have aligned themselves, and the images of their gods, to animal forms and spirits.
Animal designs demonstrate our connections to the spirits of the fine beasts that define our personalities; that symbolize our instincts and innate nature. Since the dawn of time, and almost universally across all cultures worldwide, the bird has symbolized the human spirit or soul, and is frequently connected to the divine. Images of birds have been found everywhere, from hovering over mummies in Egyptian crypts to adorning Arapaho Indian Ghost Dance costumes. Sometimes the plant is the centerpiece of the tattoo, while other times flowers, vines, and trees are used as the backdrop in a larger floral tattoo. As you think about your tattoo design, realize that other cultures may have different associations for the flower than you do, or different associations for the flower colors you choose.
For lack of a better description, they generally fall under the "creepy crawly" design category. Maybe it's the fact that they are alive like us, but also cold-blooded, that gives us the shivers. For example, in Central American lore, flying insects were said to be the souls of the dead revisiting this world.
Because many reptiles can live both on land and in water, they are associated with two of the primary elements of life and thus revered. Some of the most beautiful insects and reptiles - and the tattoo designs that go along with them - include colorful butterflies, chameleons, tree frogs, and several species of turtle. For our purposes, this category refers to symbolism associated with the Judeo-Christian tradition, i.e. Granted, the New Testament tells us that our bodies are temples (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), but that is referring to sexual promiscuity, and not tattoos. In an effort to keep our pages manageable and our searches easy, we need to use some simple category schemes.
The sea is often viewed as the primordial source of all life, thus a sea creature tattoo connects us symbolically to our past and the endless ebb and flow transition to our future.
Symbolically, salt water is associated with the Earth, with the exoteric (public domain), and with power, force, and chaos.
Sometimes they are viewed as ferocious creatures or monsters, other times they are gods or transformed humans.
Despite these powerful associations, however, we don't see a lot of carp and salmon tattoos!
From ancient alchemy to modern day industry, simple shapes have been used to convey everything from feelings to formulas. Cross tattoos can be found under Religious tattoos , Sun tattoos can be found under Spiritual tattoos . Often, those values are not necessarily tied to a specific religious organization or belief system (see, for comparison, our section on Religious tattoo designs), particularly Western religions.
Perhaps they have soured on formalized religious organizations, or the old symbols they grew up with no longer have the same appeal.
This belt is divided equally into 12 sections, and there is a primary and viewable constellation pattern of stars in each of those sections. A similar Greek word, "zoon," means "animals" or - more correctly - "life beings." Put together, we see the word zodiac refers to a circle of living beings, both animal and human.
Knowing the path of the star, astronomers can fix the date of the pyramid's construction to approximately 4700 B.C. The Babylonians developed an early form of writing, known as cuneiform, and began to record their stargazing predictions.
It was Claudius Ptolemy, a Greek scholar and astronomer living in Egypt, who blended the Mesopotamian and Greek views to develop astrology as we now know it. The word "horoscope" also comes from the ancient Greek, and roughly means "look at the hour," i.e.
Since constellation paths change over time, the actual stars in the sky no longer match up with the dates associated with them.
Different sources sometimes list different characteristics or colors; we've included the most popular choices.
Usually embodying wisdom, strength and manipulating the forces of the universe for the benefit of people. This item is essentially seen in various Buddhist designs including temples and grave markers.
More than likely, it is that resemblance which has caused the widespread confusion about these animals, also known as Chinese Lions and even Lion Dogs. In ancient China, the feng-huang bird was able to unite both yin and yang and was used as a symbol of marriage.
In other versions, when the time of its death would draw near, it built a nest of aromatic twigs in which it would burn, simply from the heat of its own body.
They are probably the most common of the ghostly beings in Japanese cosmology and are typically depicted as rampaging, violent, and cruel.
Noh performances are very stylized representations of traditional and well known stories, developed in Japan during the 14th century. Characterized as thinkers and philosophers, they are seen as fond of conversation and intelligent discussion.
The flower is depicted with petals radiating like flames from the sun, the center of which symbolizes the Emperor’s status in the scheme of things. Circular and symmetric with numberless rays that flow from its center, the chrysanthemum fits into the class of symbols that we recognize as solar.
The meaning varies slightly between myth to myth of course but essentially religious traditions place importance on the lotus flower. Ironically enough, the two, koi fish and lotus flowers can often be found in the same pond in front of a temple.
Please see our other pages for bird tattoos, sea life tattoos, and insect and reptile tattoos for further reading. It is no surprise that our Judeo-Christian depictions of angels and cherubs include bird-like wings.
Generally, though, if you get a bird tattoo, people will not associate these less frequent meanings with it unless you tell them.


For example, he noticed fewer flower rituals in Africa, as the residents were more interested in local trees and barks (since they are a source of food and medicine).
From the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to the Rose Garden at the United States White House, flowers help define who we are. For the Hmong, legend states that grasshoppers were the first life on earth, but the gods thought them stupid and made humans instead. These tattoo designs don't make your skin crawl; instead, they make your skin glow with the colors of your favorite exoskeletal or scaly creature.
Others look at the Old Law of Leviticus and understand it as a series of prescriptions that were necessary for the time; but ones that have less relevance in our practices of today (such as "do not wear clothing made of two different kinds of material" or "do not clip off the edges of your beard").
While conducting our research, it became clear that tattoo symbols could often be distinguished between those stemming from Judeo-Christian perspectives and those that do not. Fresh water, on the other hand, is associated with the Heavens, the esoteric (private), and with life and wisdom. See the links below for the most common (and most attractive) sea life - sea creature tattoo choices.
They find themselves attracted to the mystical and often sincere simplicity of these other symbols, e.g. If you plan to co-opt the symbols of another culture or belief system - particularly those that are spiritual in nature - the respectful thing to do is learn all you can about the symbol first. Other terms associated with the zodiac are generally Greek in origin, but also include Hellenistic, Arabian, Babylonian, Egyptian, and Indian (Sanskrit) language and words.
Surprisingly, very little has changed in the images or interpretations since those early days.
Since the zodiac was about life, it made sense to link it to the time of the year when new things started to grow.
Aries is a ram), or simply the letter-form glyph (sometimes called a sigul) associated with the constellation (e.g.
It represents the spiritual essence of the universe, by which the dragon controls and protects it from those who might usurp those powers.
But the resemblance is accidental and due to the fact that virtually all knowledge of actual lions was second hand to the Asian artists who initially created them. Almost always shown with horns, their faces can be quite varied, similar to noh masks, and are typically pink, red, or blue-grey. The masks are used to convey the identity and mood of the various characters, who number nearly eighty in the different tales.
Snakes found in a home are even welcomed as good luck and the embodiment of the spirits of the ancestors as protectors, thus they are called protection snakes.
They do, however, tire quickly of repetitiveness and are not particularly inclined to take advice, although they will listen to it. Since it blooms right into winter, it may also symbolize the ability to mediate between life and death, between Heaven and Earth. This reflected not only the moral sentiments of ancient Rome, but also showcased springtime as feminine, desirous, and connected to procreation. To bear the brand marks of Christ could be interpreted as the tattooing of Christian symbols to show that Christ is one's new master. Our current use of January as the start of the year is a modern day practice by comparison, having been around since only 46 B.C. Now, when we celebrate birthday parties for those born under Aries, the Pisces constellation (soon to move backward to Aquarius) is actually overhead! Modern gems will be set apart in parentheses.) Each one even has a food assigned to it, which sign-bearers are recommend to eat for optimum health! The Foo Dog to the right is typically thought of as male, with the mouth open (to let evil out), one front paw resting on a sphere, which is often carved as open latticework and represents both heaven and the totality of Buddhist law. Their knowledge was second hand because, although dogs abound the world over, lions have never been native to the orient.
Although Snake people will examine a situation from many angles, they can also act with speed and determination. In some Japanese tattoo designs, canopies of maple leaves float over shoulders and drift over the torso.
It is the flower of fall and of fullness, symbolizing not only a long life but a complete and happy one as well. Poignant for some but hopeful for others, the symbolism of this staple in tattoo artwork seems almost more than one flower could bear. As the lotus flower grows up from the mud into a object of great beauty people also grow and change into something more beautiful (hopefully!).
As a form of witnessing, tattooed Christians are even invited to join the Christian Tattoo Association (CTA).
While it is not necessary to include these characteristics in your zodiac tattoos, it may help you custom design one that is truly unique.
On the left is the female, mouth closed (to keep evil out), paw resting on a small cub, typically shown upside down on its back, which represents the earth. Her anger and envy have so consumed her that she has turned into a demon, but with some important traces of humanity left.
We could do worse than to meditate upon a rotting leaf on a damp forest path, often just a ghost of its former self. For example, Aquarius is associated with the ankles and shins, the color blue-violet, and the tulip. Often in tattoo the Foo Lion crawls menacingly, up or down an arm or leg in protection of the wearer and aspiration of heroic ability and mind. The pointed horns, gleaming eyes, fang-like teeth, combined with a look of pure resentment and hate are tempered by the expression of suffering around the eyes and the artfully disarrayed strands of hair, which indicate passionate emotion thrown into disorder. You could design artwork of a flowing water pitcher, decorated with blue-violet tulips, and have it tattooed on your lower leg. The deeper and more extreme the coloring of the face, the deeper and more extreme run the emotions of the character. Tattooing takes full advantage of these fanciful and engaging images, often using them in larger pieces of Japanese work or sometimes juxtaposing masks of good and evil characters. Often a Noh mask will also appear in isolation, as a work of art unto itself, not unlike the actual masks which are highly prized and very collectible. She turns into a demonic serpent who wraps her body around the temple bell consuming it and the priest in the process.



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