The moon is a poetic light in the darkness, and its brightness makes stars disappear in the sky. Its cycle is not as steady as the sun, sometimes appearing during the day, and sometimes thirteen times in a year. Nonetheless, it is used as a calendar and guiding sign not just among people, but among animals too! Animals align their mating time with the moon’s calendar, and pets are more likely to be injured outside during a full moon than any other time—probably because they have more light to play in. This beautiful symbol is at the center of all kinds of stories, legends, myths, religions, and magical tales. Getting moon tattoos inked can have all kinds of meanings, and this moon tattoo gallery will help you understand all of its styles and symbolisms!
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Moon Tattoo Meaning
Let’s start by talking about the moon’s opposite—the sun! The sun is a fiery ball of light that rules over the day, and has earned a masculine reputation. The moon is considered feminine in almost all cultures and rules over the night. Moon symbolism has everything associated with femininity, plus some extra time-based meanings. Because it appears at night—when we are more likely to think instead of act—the moon represents the mind, intuition, wisdom, mystery, and wonder. Although it is not as powerful as the sun, it pulls the ocean along as it moves and causes the tides.
Crescent Moon Tattoo Meaning
Celtic moon tattoo meaning is a little complicated due to the fact that there are multiple designs and concepts attached to them. A Celtic crescent moon tattoo that is waxing (the empty space is on right) represents growth and rebirth. Its opposite, the waning crescent, represents a quest for purity and cleanliness in your life. Triple moons, which can be next to each other or intertwined with one another, represent the Maiden, Mother, and Crone. Similar to the Moira, these ladies represent the passage of time and the change that comes with it.
Triple crescent moons represent the same as triple moons, although they are intertwined and have the added meaning that your life’s path affects both your present and future. If it had to be simplified in one word, ‘lifetime’ would be it. A moon tattoo with a waning crescent, full moon, and waxing cresent aligned next to each other is called the triple goddess moon and also represents the Maiden, Mother, and Crone in their eternal cycle of life and rebirth. It’s also associated with a goddess in Wiccan religions.
There is more to crescent tattoo meanings than Celtic symbolism. A star and moon combination is called the hilal and has come to represent Islamic cultures. The symbol is older than actually older than the religion we associate it with. The star and moon symbol meant power in much of the Middle East—just as lions and crosses were in European heraldry. It is most widely associated with the Ottoman empire, while some sources claim that they stole the symbol from Constantinople when they conquered it. They also used the symbol in the same time period it first appeared. Muslim-dominant countries continue to use the lovely sign in their country’s flags and seals.
Moon and Sun Tattoo Meaning
Combining the feminine moon with the masculine sun gives them the spiritual meaning of rebirth, eternal cycles, cooperation, and love despite differences. Half sun, half moon tattoos are especially common in Latin American cultures or anywhere the Aztecs had influence. The appearance of a sun and moon tattoo in a family almanac represented marriage, and ancient marriage contracts would change the shape of the moon and sun to better represent how many children the married couple might have in the future.
The eclipse was well-documented by both the Mayans and the Aztecs, and it represented the balance of order and chaos. This is interpreted by some groups to mean destruction of the world and creation of a new one, but that’s taking things a little far. The eclipse most likely has the same symbol of rebirth that it does in other cultures—and the multiple faces in the symbol make it similar to Janus, the two-faced god that looked into the past and future at the same time, and was especially renowned around New Years Eve (Sol Invictus).
So, what sort of moon tattoo do you think you will get? Perhaps you want a simple moon tattoo that has the outlines and craters? Or maybe a braided Celtic crescent? You could even get a moon and sun combo to represent change in your life! The moon is constant, but its shape is not permanent. Your tattoo will be permanent, but you will not be constant. Nonetheless, your moon tattoo represents the time, change, and renewal that comes with living life.
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