Celtic tattoos and body art (as well as other tribal tattoos) have been very popular for the past decade or so. The Celts were an Indo-European group of people who's history goes back to the second century BC.
The Celtic cross (aka Irish cross) is the standard Christian cross, but with a circle around the intersection.
The Celtic cross is also used by neo-fascist movements, albeit in a very simple design and without ornamentations.
For Catholic people the circle is a symbol of eternity, for them the Celtic cross symbolizes the infinity of God's love. A Celtic cross is a popular choice for the upper arm – a great spot in general to put a tattoo, as that location makes it easy to hide it and show it, as you wish. The Celtic butterfly tattoo is often quite small and feminine looking, making it appropriate for the ankle or shoulder.
Celtic knots (aka mystic knot, endless knot) work really well as a tattoo design or part of a tattoo.


One type of Celtic knot is the Celtic love knot, symbolizing the constancy of two people in love.
The Celtic trinity knot is a very simple, but powerful symbol and very suitable for a tattoo. Nothing symbolizes Ireland (homeland of all Celtic design) more aptly than the shamrock (a three-leafed clover), the quintessential Celtic design. It is often confused with the four-leaved clover, a very auspicious symbol to have on your body (the chances of finding a clover are 10.000 to 1)!
A Celtic heart tattoo symbolizes the union of souls and is a good tattoo to express your devotion to your loved ones. The axis mundi (center of the world): the connecting line between the underworld, the earth and the sky.
Dave Cahan: singer from Depeche Mode, has got a green Celtic cross tattoo on his left upper arm.
Put it down to the graceful, timeless beauty of these designs which seem to lend themselves particularly well to tattoo art.


Intricate knotwork adorns the cross, making it both simple (in its overall design) and complex at the same time. The Celtic cross is a combination of the Christian cross and the sun, which was worshipped by the druids. Just like a beautiful butterfly comes out of his cocoon, the person who wears a butterfly tattoo has gone through some difficult times and is ready to face the world again.
The symbolic meaning of Celtic knots is not really clear, although some people attribute magical powers to the knots.
The tree of life is not a traditional Celtic design, it first appeared in the Book of Kells (an illustrated manuscript made by Celtic monks around 800 AD).




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