One of the twelve symbols of sovereignty (imperial authority), the moon is a symbol of heaven. It pulls the tides and seas, governs daylight hours, and changes peoples moods. The moon is an object of power, mystery and imagination and is highly symbolic of feminine power and fertility. Countless goddesses in ancient myths have been featured with a silvery moon to convey hidden powers, secret wisdom and subtle influences.
Although the moon is mostly associated with feminine qualities, there are also some very masculine associations too. Cultures that prescribe male gender to the moon include some Native American tribes, Maori, Japanese and African cultures.
In the western world, moon tattoos are fitting design themes for both men and women. Howling wolves, whimsical fairies and Celtic knots are only a few of the many elements commonly combined with moon shapes to create the numerous moon designs found in tattoo studios today. In many cases, the moon is depicted as having a personality and is drawn with a face. Whether bold and full or delicate and crescent, moon tattoos can easily range from realistic to childlike in style and can be as visually effective in grayscale tones as they are in full color.
Childlike Moon Tattoos
Many of the moon tattoo designs seen on the walls of today’s tattoo studios have childlike or storybook characteristics. These particular designs have majestic qualities that are meant to represent worlds of wonder and fantasy. Popular examples of these particular designs include small fairies sitting on crescent moons, cows jumping over moons, and napping moons wearing colorful sleeping caps on their heads. Cute moon tattoos such as these are generally chosen by women and are usually kept small in scale.
Sun and Moon Tattoos
The moon is an important symbol in Asian culture because the moon (yin) balances the sun (yang). In the yin-yang philosophy, the entire universe is kept in balance because for every object, element or force, there is a counter balance. The sun and moon are actually contrasting bodies of the universe; however, if they are formed together, they can make a more powerful and greater body. The sun represents the elements of masculinity like authority, wisdom, strength and power while the moon represents feminine qualities such as emotion, imagination, intuition and beauty. Sun and moon tattoos can also signify the union of opposing energies and the merging of yin and yang as opposing forces of good and bad. A popular interpretation for sun and moon tattoos includes the creation of harmony and balance in a person’s character.
Full Moon Tattoos
Full moon tattoos have long been associated with images of howling wolves, grim reapers, vampires, owls and other creatures of the night. Throughout history, there have been many myths associated with full moons: transformational werewolves, increased madness in society, and the belief that more births occur during a full moon. However, most full moon tattoos are not as symbolic of these specific age-old myths as they are representative of a hidden “wild” side to one’s personality and mystery.
Some full moon tattoos may have unexpected meanings. Native American tribes were known to name each cycle of the full moon to keep track of the seasons. This given name would apply to the entire month that each full moon would occur. Below is a list of the twelve calendar months and different types of moon tattoos that could represent the Native American name for each month.
January - Wolf Moon Tattoos
February - Snow Moon Tattoos
March - Worm Moon Tattoos
April - Pink Moon Tattoos
May - Flower Moon Tattoos
June - Strawberry Moon Tattoos
July - Buck Moon Tattoos
August - Sturgeon Moon Tattoos
September – Harvest Moon Tattoos
October - Hunter’s Moon Tattoos
November - Beaver Moon Tattoos
December - Cold Moon Tattoos
Blue Moon Tattoos
Blue moon tattoos may symbolize the original meaning of the term “blue moon” – the third full moon in a four full moon season. Today, however, the second of two full moons occurring in the same calendar month is called a blue moon. Thought to be rare occurrences (hence the common phrase “once in a blue moon”), blue moons actually occur about every two and a half years.
Alternatively, blue moon tattoos may also simply be a play on color psychology, with the blue ink referencing calmness or sadness. It can also symbolize communication and clarity of expression, as is often associated with blue color hues. Blue moon tattoos may also suggest coldness in one’s personality.
Religious Moon Tattoos
There are many symbols that represent different religions around the world. Just as cross tattoos may suggest Christian beliefs, so do moon tattoos featuring two overlapping, thin crescent moons. One moon represents the crescent before the new moon and the other moon represents the crescent afterwards. This is symbolic of the fish symbol that is associated with Christian religion.
Moon tattoos may also be symbolic of Islamic faith as the combination of a crescent moon and star can be seen on the flags of many Muslim countries. Other recognizable religious moon tattoos would be those of the Wiccan and modern Neopagan belief systems: the horned God icon (a circle with a crescent moon on top), the Lunar Triple Goddess symbol (two crescent moons with a circle in the middle or three interlinking crescent moons), and the emblem of Seax-Wicca (crescent moon connected to the inside of a circle with an eight “edged” star representing the eight holy days know as the Sabbats).
Moon Tattoos Representing Astrological Moon Signs
The most popular astrological tattoos are those of sun signs (Pisces, Taurus, Virgo, etc.). Surprisingly, people also have moon signs –tattoos that can be just as appealing but much more individualistic. Sun signs reveal individuality while moon signs uncover personality traits, inner feelings and private emotions. Moon tattoos meant to represent moon signs are more precise than sun sign tattoos as one’s moon sign is determined according to where all the celestial bodies were positioned at his or her time of birth. Therefore, moon signs are dependent on both birth dates and birth times. In theory, the moon goes through all of the zodiac signs within a twenty-eight day cycle and enters a new zodiac sign approximately every two and a half days. This process is what makes a moon sign more exact than a sun sign. Moon tattoos of this nature make them the perfect selection for those seeking designs that are personal, meaningful and different. The following is a list of all twelve moon signs and their significant meanings:
Aries moon tattoos: represent individual’s who are quick thinking and have a love for the instantaneous. These people have no hidden agenda and have a wonderfully warm heart.
Taurus moon tattoos: symbolize sexiness and sensuality. People under this moon sign are generally emotionally stable and strong, and have very loyal bonds of friendship.
Gemini moon tattoos: represent individuals who are witty, clever and easily changeable. These people thrive on communication as well as the cut and thrust of the social world.
Cancer moon tattoos: symbolic of one with a sympathetic, kind and compassionate nature. People under this moon sign are typically sensitive of others’ feelings and are often drawn to the underdogs in society.
Leo moon tattoos: represent those who are natural leaders and who exude energy and drive. Individuals under this moon sign are typically generous, encouraging, optimistic and have a grandiose sense of style.
Virgo moon tattoos: symbolize sociable, logical, clear-headed people who always seem top be organizing and arranging the next big event. Individuals under this moon sign have a strong code of conduct and have the need to set high standards.
Libra moon tattoos: symbolic of a charming and creative nature; individuals under this moon sign are typically in pursuit of both harmony and excitement.
Scorpio moon tattoos: represent fearlessness, individuality and a strong moral conscience. With the moon in Scorpio, relationships are filled with depth, passion and intensity.
Sagittarius moon tattoos: symbolize independence and freedom of spirit. People associated with this moon sign typically have a need to keep moving and exploring different views and ways of being. They are also firm believers of justice and fair play and will help out anyone who is in need, or has been unfairly treated.
Capricorn moon tattoos: represent those with an earthy practicality who often carry a sense of responsibility towards those around them. Individuals under this moon sign are typically enduring and brave, and have a sense of duty.
Aquarius moon tattoos: symbolic of integrity and honesty. People associated with this moon sign are generally idealistic and have their own set of moral standards, most of which don’t often coincide with that of society’s.
Pisces moon tattoos: representative of sacrifice. People associated with this moon sign will often sacrifice their own needs to help with the needs of others. Individuals under this moon sign are typically creative and have a strong desire to make the world a better place.
Celebrity Moon Tattoos
DREW BARRYMORE / Actress: Black, crescent moon tattoo on toe
GISELE BUNDCHEN / Model: Crescent moon and stars on inside of right ankle
MEGAN FOX / Actress: Colorful moon and star on inside of right ankle
ANGELINA JOLIE / Actress: Blue moon and star on foot
ANTONIO SABATO, JR. / Actor & Model: Moon and stars on right arm, yellow moon with a Batman symbol above it on lower back
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