Sun tattoos have remained popular skin art selections for a number of decades. These designs work well in a number of different tattoo styles: old school, new school, Celtic, tribal and oriental to name a few. Chosen by both men and women, sun tattoos have no limitations when it comes to placement due to their versatility in size. Men tend to choose masculine, fiery, and strong designs, while women are drawn more towards feminine, delicate and colorful tattoos. Although the traditional sun tattoo is thought to be created of yellows, oranges and reds, it is not uncommon to see sun tattoos that incorporate an entirely different variety of colors such as, greens, blues, purples, pinks and blacks.
Black Sun Tattoos
There are many different types of sun tattoos to choose from; however, the ink color chosen for the sun may determine how their bearer is perceived as some black sun tattoo designs prove controversial. In particular are the black sun designs that are symbolic of the Nazi emblem called the “Wewelsburg sun.” These black sun tattoos consist of three swastikas within a circle forming a sun-like pattern. Anyone choosing this design should take the time to fully research and understand its symbolism before permanently marking themselves with it.
Other black sun tattoos (that are far less controversial) include tribal forms of sun tattoos. These stark designs incorporate the shape of a sun (either stylized or traditional) into the curved and graphic pattern of a tribal design to form one unified piece. Tribal sun tattoos are often symbols of inner strength and power. This comes from the idea that the sun is the soul provider of life and strength for earth, just as a person’s own inner strength is the provider of their life.
Patriotic Sun Tattoos
Many people choose to adorn their bodies with national flags from countries in which they currently live or have a linking heritage with. However, veterans and military personnel are among those who request this particular tattoo design most often – particularly in the United States. Many of these tattoos are representative of nations whose flags feature sun symbols. For example Argentina and Uruguay both have centralized suns representing Inti, the Inca sun god. Australia and Tibet have simple, round circles in the centers of their flags that also represent the sun. Similarly, Japan, known as the “Land of the Rising Sun,” has a solid red “sun” in the center of its flag. The gold sun featured on the Namibia national flag stands for life and energy while its gold color represents warmth and the color of the Namib Desert. Other national flags that feature suns include Macedonia, Taiwan, Antigua and the Philippines. Although all of the elements of a national flag may not be used in sun tattoos of this nature, their suns (particularly Japan’s) are, many times, strong enough symbols to associate them with their intended countries.
Sun Tattoos Relative to Ancient Civilizations
Many early civilizations worshipped the sun. After all, the sun dictates the changing of seasons, plant growth, day-to-night cycles, levels of energy and even color (photosynthesis, sun tans, etc). Sun tattoos featuring these sun gods many times depict them in boats or chariots that are traveling across the sky. Some popular deities from the ancient world include:
Ra (Egyptian sun god )- considered the highest supernatural being with significant power in early Egyptian civilizations. It was through his travels that the idea of a twenty-four hour day was conceived.
Helios (one of several Greek sun deities) - rode a golden, horse drawn carriage to guide the sun across the sky.
Liza (West African sun god) - known as the god of heat, work and strength.
Lugh (Celtic sun god) - known as the God of light. Lugh evolved as a man/God capable of miracles, magic and healing.
Huitzilopochtli (Aztec God of war) - heavily associated with the sun, his name means “hummingbird of the south”. This meaning came from the Aztec belief that the spirits of warriors killed in battle followed the sun through the sky for four years, at which time they were transformed into hummingbirds.
Freyr (God of sun and rain)- patron of bountiful harvests, god of peace and a brave warrior. Also seen as God of fertility and reproduction, the Freyr is often called upon to grant a fertile marriage.
Sun Tattoos Meaning and Symbolism
The sun has always been considered a sacred part of history. Sun tattoos are commonly designed to honor and symbolize the magical partnership that exists between life and the sun. In most cultures the symbol of the sun is used to represent all that is good, just as sun tattoos are often representative of the positive qualities of vitality, personal power, leadership, dignity and passion. One of the most religious meanings of sun tattoos is that of fertility and rebirth. The image of the suns light is often symbolic of health, while the rays commonly symbolize healing. Most widely, though, sun tattoos are representative of eternal renewal and the shining virtues of both truth and light. Sun tattoos promote a feeling of hope and peace, and sense of well being, in numerous different ways.
Sun Tattoos Symbolizing Sun Signs
Sun signs are determined by the position of the sun at a person’s time of birth. Modern day horoscopes predicting future behaviors and happenings are based on these specific set of dates. Below are the twelve tattoos that represent each zodiac sign and their corresponding dates:
Aries Tattoos (Ram): March 20 – April 19
Taurus Tattoos (Bull): April 20 – May 19
Gemini Tattoos (Twins): May 20 – June 20
Cancer Tattoos (Crab): June 21 – July 21
Leo Tattoos (Lion): July 22 – August 22
Virgo Tattoos (Virgin): August 23 – September 21
Libra Tattoos (Scales): September 22 – October 22
Scorpio Tattoos (Scorpion): October 23 - November 21
Sagittarius Tattoos (Archer): November 22 – December 20
Capricorn Tattoos (Goat): December 21 – January 19
Aquarius Tattoos (Water Bearer): January 20 – February 18
Pisces Tattoos (Fishes): February 19 – March 19
Celebrities with Sun Tattoos
As trendsetters, celebrities continue to earn top honors. Here is a short list of star personalities who have chosen to adorn their bodies with sun tattoos:
ORLANDO BLOOM / Actor: Sun tattoo on lower abdomen
LAURA RAMSEY / Actress: Tribal sun tattoo on lower back
RACHEL ROBERTS / Actress: Sun tattoo on ankle
SISQO / Singer: Tribal sun tattoo around naval
NIKKI SIXX / “Mötley Crüe” Band Member: Sun tattoo on back
NIKKI TAYLOR / Model: Sun tattoo on foot
LISA SEIFFERT/ Supermodel: Tribal sun tattoo on left shoulder
JULIANNA MARGULIES/ Actress: Sun tattoo on right shoulder
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