A Guide to Cross Tattoo Designs

The cross tattoo is one of the oldest symbols known to mankind. Celtic coins found dated back long before Christianity and cave drawings have also revealed crosses' dating back to the Stone Age. It is not known when or why the first cross was drawn but after the circle the cross is one of the first drawn by children across all cultures, this may be due to the simplicity of the design and the children's exposure to the cross symbol, but its still an interesting point to ponder.

One of the earliest crosses was the Ancient Egyptian ankh ("meaning handled cross"), or the Key of the Nile, this cross predates the modern cross and was seen as a symbol of life and fertility. The circle on the top represents the sun, the creator of life. The most popular and easily recognisable cross is that of the Christian cross as a symbol of the death of Jesus. The word cross comes from the Latin "crux", meaning to torture, and torture it certainly was, and whether you believe the biblical version of events or not, there can be no doubt that this symbol of sacrifice propelled Christianity into the religious juggernaut we see today.

Jesus was not the first to die on a cross and he certainly was not the last. Many of the disciples of Jesus also met the same fate, most notably St. Peter who insisted on being crucified upside as he thought he was unworthy to be compared to Jesus. This upside cross is still used today in some Catholic ceremonies to symbolise humbleness and respect to Jesus. The upside cross has also been associated with anti-Christian or Satanic groups.

The Anchor cross has been a popular tattoo design for sea fairing folk for centuries, although the origins of the anchor cross are not so cheerful. The story goes that a Roman Emperor by the name of Trajan took a distinct disliking to the bishop of Rome, so much so, that he tied the poor bishop to an anchor and threw him in the sea. The bishop, now known as St. Clement has been remembered as a martyr to Christianity. Other popular crosses are the Greek, Coptic ankh, Canterbury, Serbian, Presbyterian, Maltese, Nordic and many more. The cross has also been represented on many flags, such as, the Flag of Denmark, Finland, United Kingdom, Australia, and many others.

The cross has been utilized by almost every culture in various shapes and sizes with varied symbolic meanings. For example, the cross can symbolise health, life, death, immortality, fertility, the sun and stars, the alliance of Heaven and earth, and that is why the cross has always remained one of the most popular and best tattoo designs today. As you can see there are many interpretations other than religious for you to think about for your cross tattoo design. I hope this guide to cross tattoo designs has been of some benefit to