Crosses are extremely popular tattoos because of their deep and personal meanings, their historical and cultural symbolism and their easy-to-customize design. It is a design that is suitable for both men and women and a tattoo that can be placed almost anywhere on the body, either alone or as part of a more elaborate drawing. Depending on the size, the type of design and the elements that accompany it, the cross can represent a large number of different meanings, which makes it a perfect tattoo for almost everyone.
Meanings of cross tattoo designs
Although many people think that a cross has purely religious connotations, this is not the case. The ability to add your personal touch and integrate other symbols and elements into the design means that the cross can symbolize many different things and ideas, such as:
- Christianity / Christian faith
- Family / cultural heritage
- The memory of a loved one
- The dedication
- The constellation
- The ascent
- The death
- What is Gothic / Gothic Culture
- The sun / sun worship
- The union between man and woman
- Atheism (cross of Saint Peter or reverse Latin cross)
- What is hidden
- Suffering because of love or loss
- The peace
- The royalty
Variations of cross tattoos
1. Christian / Catholic wooden cross
Christianity, of which Catholicism is a variant, holds the cross in high esteem, since the foundations of this religion are the crucifixion of Jesus and then his resurrection from the dead.
2. Small cross
This simple and fairly feminine design is perfect for those who want a subtle reminder of their Christian faith or their spirituality.
3. Celtic / Irish cross
Celtic designs contain knots, complicated curls, and are often colored in green, gold or black. The knots represent the link between the physical and the spiritual, while the loops represent the both cyclical and eternal nature of life.
4. Tribal crosses
This particular style is excellent for those who want their cross tattoo to represent strength, dedication and courage.
5. Iron cross
The iron Cross comes from Germanic history and was used by the German military at the end of 19e century. It was a symbol of bravery that was represented on the medals. The iron cross eventually became a kind of decorative symbolism of the German military. A iron cross tattoo, today can also represent a certain rebel symbolism and send a message of non-conformity and refusal to submit to the conveniences.
6. Gothic cross
This cross represents the obscure nature of Gothic culture but also refers to the art, architecture and literature of the Gothic movement.
7. Maltese cross
This particular cross dates back to the Crusades and symbolizes sacrifice and courage: it is therefore a popular tattoo with firefighters, police officers and members of the armed force. These men and women use it to symbolize their commitment to their work, their community and their country.
8. 3D cross
A 3D cross tattoo is perfect for those who want their tattoo design to have a truly artistic side.
9. Cross of Saint Peter (or Cross upside down / Cross upside down) –
The inverted cross comes from Christian history and tradition. It is often called the Cross of St. Peter: this martyr was crucified upside down because he did not feel worthy to die in the same way as Jesus. In this context, the cross represents our humanity and the fact that, although we can never reach the perfection of Christ, we must try to follow in his footsteps. But, while this cross was first seen as a symbol of Christianity, more recently, the inverted cross was used to symbolize atheism and occultism. For example, some Black Metal bands use the inverted cross to represent their supposed devotion to Satan.
If you want the cross to represent your Christian belonging, you will probably prefer a simple drawing (a wooden cross, for example) but if you want to represent Satanism and what is occult, you will probably prefer to draw your inverted cross in a gothic style.
10. Nail and cross
Nail and cross tattoos are a very powerful and moving way to represent your Christian beliefs and your spirituality.
11. Latin cross
The Latin cross is a design of the cross which symbolizes Christianity. The vertical branch of the cross represents the deity, while the horizontal branch represents the world. The intersection of the two symbolizes the union between the world and the divine.
12. Ankh / Egyptian Cross
Egyptian crosses are a particular and popular choice of the fairer sex. Also known as Ankh, this little drawing is considered a symbol of life, hence its popularity with women. The Ankh can also represent the union between the masculine and the feminine, which has prompted many couples to have identical Egyptian crosses made on their bodies. The Ankh can also be used as a sign of respect for the ancient wisdom and Egyptian culture, which is why it is a perfect tattoo for those who have an Egyptian heritage or affinities with Egyptian culture.
13. Cross and rose
These two symbols, put together, create a powerful representation of balance: sometimes we have to suffer when we love.
14. Heart and cross
A cross associated with a heart can represent the union between love and faith or be a tribute to a person you love and who has died.
15. Cross with angel wings
To tattoo a cross with wings, whether angel or any other type, is a wonderful way to honor someone you have lost. The cross with wings can also symbolize the fact that Jesus rose from death and is now in heaven watching over us.
16. Cross and dove
Choosing a cross and dove tattoo is a wonderful way to promote peace. The dove is a universal symbol of peace and tranquility and associating it with the cross creates a doubly significant representation of peace through faith.
17. Cross and anchor
This cross design, a combination of cross and anchor, symbolizes hope, faith and the fact that faith has the capacity to anchor us.
18 ,. Cross and butterfly
A butterfly generally represents rebirth and renovation, which is why associating this image with a cross creates a doubly significant symbol. A cross and butterfly tattoo can be drawn in many different ways and made in the color range of your choice – although placing vibrant colors and well-defined patterns on the wings enhances the renewal of life that a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis and the resuscitating Christ of death symbolize.
Most often, this tattoo presents a cross with butterfly wings. This drawing can also represent a loved one that you have lost and is now in heaven with Christ, or may be a symbol of your own rebirth in faith.
19. Rosary cross or cross with a rosary
A cross drawn with or surrounded by beads of rosary beads is an excellent and unique means of representing Christianity – and more particularly the Catholic faith. A cross with a rosary is a double representation of your beliefs: the cross represents Jesus Christ, while the beads of the rosary are often associated with the image of his mother, the Virgin Mary. This prayer necklace is used by Christians to meditate through prayer and represents a deep and personal faith in God.
20. Cross and crown
Combine a cross and crown in one tattoo can have different meanings, depending on how you see this symbol. Often the images of the cross and the crown are used to represent your Christian beliefs, clearly demonstrating that God is your king and your governor. But this tattoo can also be used to show that you have overcome your internal struggles (and therefore that you have governed them) or that you have lost an important model that was “like royalty” for you.
21. Cross and clouds
This tattoo, as serene as it is equal, is a wonderful way to represent your faith or to remember a loved one who has died. A cross with a cloud tattoo can climb the cross with a single cloud in the background, or with a sea of clouds: in both cases, the cloud (s) is / are often representative (s) of the presence of God in the heavens. You can also choose to include sunbeams in the design, which represent the light of God radiating on you and / or his presence near the loved one who passed away in heaven.
22. Cross and skull
While a skull is almost always considered a symbol of death, the cross can be both a symbol of renewal / resurrection and death – your tattoo can therefore be either a doubly macabre drawing or a unique juxtaposition of death and renewal.
23. Cross and flower
Combining your cross tattoo with one or more flowers is a good way to represent the delicate nature of your strength or to clearly juxtapose the soft and strong qualities of your personality. In general, the cross is a symbol that represents strength and the ability to carry a heavy weight, while the flower represents kindness of mind and the renewal of life.
A cross with lotus flower is a particularly powerful combination of symbols. The lotus flower is in itself a representation of purity, piety of the soul and the beginning of life or reincarnation. Associated with a cross, symbol of deep faith and the sacrifice that was made so that we can be reborn, the image becomes even more powerful.
24. Clover and cross
Placing a shamrock on your cross tattoo is a great way to show off your Irish heritage and add another touch of religious symbolism to your tattoo. St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, used the clover and its three leaves to explain the mystery of the trinity to (at the time) pagans of Ireland.
25. Dragon and cross
A vivid demonstration, both of power and of your Celtic heritage, the dragon and cross tattoo represents a dragon with the tail in the mouth, a symbol of the sacred cycle of life and the ultimate emblem of power. In this tattoo, there are two Celtic symbols: the dragon, symbol of power, wisdom and prophecy; and the Celtic cross, symbol of the four elements of nature (earth, wind, fire and water).
26. Cross and flag
Wear a cross and flag tattoo is a unique way to represent your patriotism and your faith, or even to honor a deceased loved one. Although it is often a combination of faith and patriotism, this tattoo is also perfect for representing a friend or family member who died in combat. In this case, you will probably want to write his name or a memorable quote to personalize the design.
27. Cross with flames
Fire is often a symbol of cleaning and purification, which is why combining a cross with flames can form a doubly powerful tattoo image.
The flames can be found at the base of the cross, showing that you can overcome all challenges, or they can be found at the bottom of the image, representing the potential of hell and damnation that every human being must face . Another drawing option is to place wings on the cross, to symbolize your hope of going to heaven or the presence of your guardian angel, moving you away from temptation.