The tattoo is a means for showcasing that which is meaningful to a person. Religious beliefs are among those closest to the heart, that many people most want to share with others. It only makes sense that religious tattoos would become popular. The religious tattoo can announce to the world your beliefs without you even having to open your mouth.
Although some religions forbid cosmetic alterations of the body, some see it as a desirable part of the religious life. Some cultures go so far as to make it a requirement for worship. Religious tattoos can serve as a mark to help believers recognize one another. They may also be seen to enhance the sacredness of the body, and thus allow a closer connection with the higher power.
The most popular design might be a cross. The origin of the tattoo goes back to the Crusades, when soldiers would tattoo a small cross on their bodies to ensure they received a Christian burial. Other than the cross, there are many loaded Christian symbols to choose from—hands joined in prayer, angels, fish and doves. A tattoo of your patron saint is always a good idea.
While once loaded with religious meaning for the tribe that developed the tattoo, religious tribal tattoos have emerged across all cultures and religions. Tribal tattoos, including those of a religious bent, can seem stark by the use of bold simple lines and heavy dark colors. Tribal tattoo art is a very broad category and can symbolize many different things according to the style and origins. Popular choices include the Celtic cross, totems (personally sacred animals), and depictions of the afterlife. In some tribes, the number and type of tattoos serve to mark one’s rank or cast within the society.
An oft overlooked tattoo that can be considered religious is drawn from the heavens above – the sun, the moon, the stars and constellations. You don’t have to believe in horoscopes to look up at the night sky and see the divine hand. While once seen only as decoration, these tattoos have adopted deeper meaning and subsequently increased popularity.
Since religious convictions are the most deeply held personal beliefs you can have, you religious tattoo may be the most personal tattoo you have get. Hopefully it will bring inspiration throughout your life.