The Different Meanings of Geometric Tattoos

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The Different Meanings of Geometric Tattoos

Tattoos usually carry very personal meanings behind them. You may choose a tattoo that remind you of an event, a friend, or an emotion.  Outside of personal symbology, many tattoo designs have commonly accepted meanings as well. Geometric tattoo meanings come from cultures across the world and are used to represent spiritual, cultural, or emotional significance. As you decide what your next tattoo will be, consider including some of the following symbology in your design.

The Different Meanings of Geometric Tattoos

Elemental Symbology

The four elements – earth, fire, wind, and water – can be visually represented in many ways. Many tattoos include flames, gusts of wind, or streams of water swirling throughout a design.

Geometric imagery is a more subtle way to include elemental connotations in your tattoo. Each of the four elements is associated with a different three dimensional geometric shape.

Cubes represent earth and stability. A cube has four corners and four sides, and it looks the same from any angle. A cube could be the foundation of a more complicated tattoo design, or it could stand on its own as a sign of a grounded personality.

Tetrahedrons, or three dimensional triangles, represent fire. Most tetrahedron designs point upward, like a flame or a blade pointing at the sky. Tetrahedrons represent the connection between the spiritual and the mundane, just as a flickering flame is real but at the same time intangible.

Octahedrons represent air. These eight sided polygons bring to mind compassion and love, healing and energy. The number eight has many spiritual connotations that this shape can call to mind.

Icosahedrons represent water. This geometric shape has twenty faces which can be likened to the shifting nature of ocean waves. Icosahedrons represent change, fluidity, and flexibility.

Traditional Symbology

Sacred geometry is a study all of its own. Many ancient and meaningful patterns have been incorporated into popular modern tattoo designs. Sacred geometric tattoo meanings rely on mathematical symmetry to create exciting visual patterns and call upon cultural emotions.

The Flower of Life is a symbol composed of overlapping circles. The symmetry in the Flower of Life relies around the number six and the number thirteen. Thirteen circles are in the traditional design, and each “flower” occurs at the intersection of six different circles.

Spiral designs riff off the beautiful symmetry of the golden ratio. Throughout nature, plants and animals move in spirals that follow the Fibonacci sequence. The repetition of this pattern is considered extremely sacred and meaningful, and the math behind it ensures that your design will be proportionally excellent.

Geometric animals are used to represent the individual aspects of each animal alongside the mathematical certainty of nature. Popular animals include owls for wisdom; stags for strength; and foxes for cunning. Any animal can be geometrically design, and the results can be visually stunning.

Celtic knots come in a variety of patterns, each with its own unique meaning. Three sided knots represent the forces of nature; four sided knots represent love and harmony.

Mandalas are adapted from traditional Hindu artwork. These circular designs often represent harmony. The beauty of a mandala is that they can be built from any repeating pattern, allowing you to incorporate your own meaningful imagery.

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