If you’re considering a cross tattoo, you’re not alone. Thousands of people choose the option of putting a cross somewhere on their bodies. Just as every tattoo has a special meaning to the person who wears it, the cross they choose is important to their beliefs and history as well. Which cross tattoos are right for you?

The most common cross is a variation of the Latin cross. It’s the one you’re accustomed to seeing on church buildings all over the world – the three shorter points at the top and the long point at the bottom, the most common symbol of Christianity in the world. The tattoo ideas for this cross are endless – you can embellish it any way you want, create it in a myriad of colors, and even put it in the middle of a scene of tattoos on your body, almost like a living nativity of sorts.

Many Catholics will choose a different variation of the cross, one that depicts a crucifix on which Jesus is hung. There are many variations of this one as well, but the underlying theme is the man on the cross who died for the sins of the people. It stands for resurrection, salvation and so many other beliefs of the religious person who bears it on their body.

The Celtic cross is also very popular. It usually includes a Latin cross and a circle or a knot. The knot or circle stands for the circle of life, the belief that life and death are eternal. Some choose this not for religious purposes, but for pride in their Celtic heritage. Celtic cross tattoos can often be a family affair, with several generations having the identical tattoo on their bodies.

The St. Andrews Cross is often worn by those who follow the Goth culture, and is meant to express pain or anger against society – that’s why the cross is often depicted with elements of torture, such as sharp pins, needles, flames or barbed wire.

All the cross tattoos can be modified to reflect what the wearer believes or loves. Crosses have been depicted with everything from fire-breathing dragons to sweet, cherubic angels. The choice of which cross to put on your body might have nothing to do with religion at all – in fact, the cross was used as a symbol long before Christianity came into existence, so using it as a pagan symbol is also common.

Choosing the proper cross tattoo for your body is a big decision. Keep in mind your beliefs, your heritage, and the things you want to represent. When someone asks you about your cross tattoos, you will be ready to tell them exactly what they stand for!

By: Cary Bergeron

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