It should come as no surprise that the sun is a popular tattoo symbolizing vitality, renewal, and truth. Historically speaking, the sun is a very persistent image. From the earliest surviving records of Mayan carvings, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and the cave paintings of early humans, the sun has endured as an inspiration for life and art.
The importance of the sun for life may mean that it is one of the earliest tattoo designs. Native Americans viewed the sun as a healer, whose warm energy encouraged growth and goodness. In Northern Europe, the Norse and Celtic peoples included personifications of the sun (Freyr and Lugh, respectively) in their pantheons. They were warrior gods who brought light to the world.
Although ancient cultures once worshipped the sun as a god, a tattoo of the sun has new meaning in modern times. Throughout the ages, the following ideas have become associated with the sun:
• Some cultures view the sun as a symbol of selfhood and individuality.
• The recurrence of the sun every morning leads to a symbol of eternal renewal
• As the source of energy that drives the earth and solar system, the sun is a symbol of vitality.
• As the source of light, the sun is the ultimate symbol of truth, and as such may carry religious significance.
The variety of symbolism with the sun has brought about a number tattoo designs for the sun. We typically associate the sun with a bright and cheerful image, but it is not limited to a glowing circle. It can be stylized and even depicted with a tribal tattoo. Pick what is meaningful to you.