Geometric influence is everywhere you turn right now: fashion, architecture, home goods & art. Fashioners.com called geometric print the #1 trend for early 2015. Trends will always be reflected in tattoos, but some geometric tats have a much more profound meaning. Geometric tattoos are linear and precise, requiring the most talented of artists. They seem more timeless and less susceptible to becoming outdated. They are often deeply rooted in philosophy, religion and nature. Here are some of our favorite geometric tattoo designs, along with the history behind them.
One of the current trends in tattoos is sacred geometry. Sacred geometry is the geometry-based design and creation of religious or scared buildings, spaces, and art. In sacred geometry, specific geometric shapes and patterns carry symbolic meaning. Sacred geometry is rooted in a philosophical belief that God created the world according to a geometric plan. Churches, mosques, and tabernacles are usually according to the principles of sacred geometry. Greek, Ancient Roman, Egyptian and Indian architecture also incorporated geometric proportions.
Sacred geometry can also have ties to nature. Certain natural specimens like flowers and animals dwellings are proven to exist and grow in accordance with geometric principles. These beliefs are reflected in sacred geometry tattoos. The use of three dimensional solids to represent primal elements like earth, fire, air and wind are especially popular.
When placed strategically, sacred geometry tattoos are believed to benefit some aspect of the owner’s physical or psychological wellness. Sacred geometry pieces can also have religious significance. Some are even blessed by Priests or Shaman.
Maybe elaborate patterns aren’t your thing, or you are looking for a small accent tattoo rather than a large, complicated piece. Minimal geometric designs are appealing in their simplicity and they are a great way to begin your foray into the world of tattoos. These tattoos deliver spiritual symbolism in a more understated way. Triangles can represent holy trinities. Circles can symbolize the cycle of life. Tiny constellations can boast a deeper astrological meaning.
Tattoo meaning is personal for every wearer, but whatever the intention, these delicate tattoos send their message with elegant ease. Because geometric tattoos are successful only in their perfection, choose your location wisely. Curved areas will not lend themselves well to designs that work best with perfect symmetry.
Tribal tattoos date back to the 4th millennium BC and have been utilized within various cultures across the world including African, Aztec, Samoan, Buddhist, and Native American. The word tattoo itself is derived from the Polynesian word “tatau” meaning “to make something.” Tribal tattoos served a wide variety of purposes. They were used to distinguish different tribes from each other. Unique designs were used to designate genealogy and social status within the group or tribe. They were also used to depict historical events like battles and to memorialize religious rituals. Tattoos were even used to camouflage their wearer’s within their environment.
Thousands of years ago, tattoos were created using objects like animal quills, needles or bones with natural pigments. Modern tribal tattoo meanings are individual to the wearer and often include a variety of cultural references or can be chosen strictly based on aesthetics.
Arrows are a very popular segment of the geometric tattoo trend right now. Depending on size, placement, and grouping, they can be subtle or imposing. Many arrow tattoos are rooted in Native American symbolism, the arrow being important in its relation to hunting and sustenance for the people. In this culture, arrows offer protection from those who wish to do harm. Friendship is depicted by two arrows twisted together. A broken arrow signifies the end of a battle.
Arrows that include a bow may also symbolize moving forward with force and intention towards future goals, like an arrow being launched. Cupid might be responsible for arrow tattoos meaning love. The zodiac sign Sagittarius is also depicted by a bow and arrow. Whatever the meaning behind these beautiful tattoos, the effect they create is modern and uncomplicated.
Some geometric tattoos have a Celtic influence. Celtic tattoos, dating back to 700 BC, were worn by warriors to intimidate their enemies. Celtic imagery is known for its braids woven into intricate patterns. Animals were included in Celtic tattoos to illustrate bravery and protection. It is believed that the geometric circles so familiar in Celtic imagery represent earthly energies like wind and motion and the marriage of opposites like feminine and masculine. Celtic astrology was another popular subject of ancient tattoos. People were associated with trees and symbols based on their birthdate, much like modern zodiac signs are associated with constellations.
To make tattoos, Celts used a dye derived from a plant native to Ireland, Britain and Europe called the Woad plant. After the leaves were boiled, the water became a think blue paste – or an ancient tattoo ink. The ink was inserted into the skin with primitive needles leaving a permanent design.
Mandala’s, a type of sacred geometry, are used in Hindu and Buddhist religions to represent balance, unity and harmony. Mandala is a Hindu word meaning “concentric energy circle.” Though mandala means circle and the overall shape is always concentric, they are also comprised of triangles or squares which serve to represent natural elements earth and fire. The visual appeal of mandalas helps to quiet the mind and encourage deep contemplation.
In Buddhism, mandalas are contemplation aids, painstakingly assembled on the floors of religious temples. Monks blow sand or grains through tubes to create striking patterns that will soon be blow or washed away as a demonstration of the Buddhist principle of impermanence. These mandalas are meant to be studied and absorbed into memory to be recalled in its entirety.
Mandalas also appear in other cultures. In Native American imagery, mandalas mean good luck and a promise of protection from the gods. They channel good health and fortune when displayed in the home.