Thursday, July 5, 2012

Native (Indian) Symbolism


KOKOPELLI FLUTE PLAYER....According to the many stories about him, this humped-back flute player has a bag of songs on his back and is said to travel from village to village.  His songs bring fertility to the crops, to women who desire to have children; he entertains the children and his songs also bring healing and love.

BEAR....power, protection and strength
EAGLE....strength, courage, wisdom and keen sight
WOLF....a guide, intelligence, steadfastness, protection
BUFFALO....abundance, generosity, strength, survival, healing, soul carrier or sunkisser
GILA MONSTER....sign of the desert
HORSE....swiftness / journey
SNAKE....defiance / wisdom
DEER TRACK....plenty game
MAN....human life
LIGHTENING ....spirit
WATER WAVES....constant life

Indian Animal symbolism

Animals Used in Indian Symbolism

Alligator - Survival, strength and aggression.

Avanyu - the feathered skysnake - Frequently found in Tewa, Keres and Zuni pottery and in some jewelry. He is the storm bringer, the changer of seasons. Connected with lightning, thunderstorms and violent, sudden change.

Antelope - Symbolized partnership, grace and speed.

Badger - Fierce hunters and honorable healers. Also have spiritual powers. Their tracks may signify health and strength as well as a way of summoning the power of the animal spirit, or as an indication of the presence of the spirit. Badgers are revered as healing animals and as tenacious hunters. Their tracks may signify health and strength. Bear Paws/Tracks are also symbols of authority and leadership. 

Bear - Symbolized steadiness, patience, pragmatism, balance, big hearted and secure, first helper, direction protector from the west Bear Paws are usually considered a way of summoning the power of the animal spirit, or as an indication of the presence of the spirit. Bear Paws/Tracks are also symbols of authority and leadership.

Beaver - Symbolizes busy, in charge, efficient, strategic, wit and untiring.

Birds - Bird feathers represented creative ideas, honor and prayer.

Buffalo - Symbolically and realistically prized and equated with medicine and honor. The buffalo signified all good things such as sacred prayer, goodness, reverence and honour.

Bull - Represented richness in life, wealth, courage and strength.

Crane - Symbolized the end of the growing season.

Cricket - Symbolizes a singer, is connected with springtime, fertility and water.

Deer - Represents speed, alertness, institution, purity, sense of humor, quick wit and protector. Deer Tracks, are symbols of prosperity, safety, shelter, and also of the proximity to prey. Also used as a directional indicator, and as a clan symbol. 

Dragonfly - Connected with water and Springtime, fertility, renewal; considered a messenger.

Coyote - Symbolized a powerful prey animal, an excellent tracker, associated with unpleasant happenin, a trickster.

Eagle - Symbolized as one who carries prayers, vision, possesses courage, wisdom and directioal protector close to the gods The master of the sky. The eagle is often confused with the "thunderbird" image concept. Almost universally, the Thunderbird as a Native American symbol conveys concepts such as: Power, provision, expansiveness, transformation, divine dominion, indomitable spirit, unquestioned authority and messages from the other worlds.

Elk - Represented freedom, majesty, power and stamina.

Feathers - Symbols of prayer, ideas, honor, creativity.

Falcon - Symbolized a natural leader, clear judgment, efficient, effective, active, persistent, passionate and compassionate.

Fox - Symbolized intelligence, elusiveness, cleverness, cunning and discretion. Also the fox was symbolic of feminine "magic," and still is!

Frog - Symbolized fertility, the coming of the spring and renewal.

Goose - Symbolized ambition, business sense, staying power or driven.

Horned Lizard - Symbolizes lizards. Significant in some Navajo stories connoting perseverance and keeping ancient secrets. They are also used in story telling to be an annoyance to the Coyote!

Horse - Symbolized purity, nobleness, courage, power, independence of spirit, freedom to roam and pride. Horses were also used to attribute special qualities that people possessed such as the ability to be sympathetic, loving and giving--always offering a helping hand.

Hummingbird - Symbolized as ferocious fighters and defenders. Represented devotion, the cycle of life, permanence and eternity.

Moose - Symbolized wisdom, spontaneity, integrity, stubbornness, positive self-image and unpredictability.

Otter - Symbolized honesty, unconventional behavior, effective, imaginative, intelligent and perceptive.

Owl - Warm, changeable, enjoys life to its fullest, good listener, a teacher, an excellent hunter. Can be excessive and mean at times. Some tribes associate the owl with death and darkness. Among the Zuni and Keres Pueblo people, the owl is respected as the guise of departed, wise elders and leaders' spirits. 

Parrot - Symbolized the coming of the rainy season and the sun, spiritual, symbol of beauty. Parrots were considered carriers of these specific prayers and would confer blessings. Kept for their feathers and color, by many Pueblo people (secured through trade with people to the far South), and also considered a very expensive posssesion thereby denoting prosperity.

Pheasant - Represented a warning sign. Silver feathers of the pheasant symbolized prosperity.

Quail - Symbolized in mated pairs: devotion, permanence, eternity and the life cycle. These are often modified in many simple forms.

Raven - Symbolized enthusiasm, charm, energy, creative ideas, idealism, diplomacy and ingenuity. Also symbolized vindictiveness and abrasiveness.

Salmon - Symbolized focused, purposeful, goal oriented, intuitive, creative, stable, a motivator and different.

Snake - Symbolized spiritual, healing powers, passionate, fertility, lightning, speed and stealth.

Tadpole - Immature frogs that connote fertility and renewal. Because they change, they are considered very powerful.

Turkey - Represented resourcefulness, freedom, courage, sustenance (food for life) and faith. The turkey is mentioned in several Tewa Pueblo stories. Its feathers have many ritual uses.

Turtle - Symbolized strength, fertility, long life, and staying power. Considered to be able to defy death, and is also an annoyance to Coyote.

Water Birds - Symbolized renewal of life, wet seasons, rivers distant travel, long vision, wisdom. often inaccurately called "thunderbird", which is not a Southwestern tradition, but rather one of the plains people. In that context, connected with lightning, thunder and visions. Those who dream of the thunderbeings must become Heyokas -- those who live out their dreams backwards (Lakota tradition). The image has also been modified and used as the symbol of the Native American Church, founded by Commanche Quannah Parker around 1910.

Wolf - Symbolic of a tracker, directional finder, leader, loyalty, intuition, a problem solver, stability communicative skills and teacher. Wolf Tracks, or any other predators tracks usually signify a direction rather than simply the spirits presence. These also are a clan short hand indication of kinship - "wolf clan", for example. Also symbols of authority and leadership.

Woodpecker - Symbolic of a nurturer, listener, empathizer, supporter, organizer, and resourceful. Frugality is also symbolic of the woodpecker.

Native American Hopi Symbolism

Native American Hopi Symbolism

Hopitu-shinumu (Hopi) means Peaceful People; this serves as a background to understanding their use of symbols.

The Hopi are expert craftspeople, and possess uncommon agricultural skills.

Their connection with the land, cultivating, and harvesting is truly superior. Specifically, their ability to skillfully coax yielding corn from the desert sands is to be commended. This connection to earth, and nature is constantly exhibited in Hopi symbols.

A few Hopi symbols and their meanings are provided here with an aim to bring about understanding and respect to these diverse and skillful people.

Hopi Maze SymbolMother Earth or Maze Symbol:

This is a common symbol among many Native American tribes, including the Hopi.

One of its representations is that of mother and child, the connection of earth mother to us as her children.

The beginning, straight center-line represents the child – or our philosophical beginnings – the surrounding maze represents the enfolding energies of mother earth.

 Note the maze does not enclose the center –line representing the child. The symbolism then is strong when we realize the support of the mother is constantly around yet our ability to venture out on our own is always there.

Hopi World Symbol:

This symbol signifies world to the Hopi The "cosmic cross" or four bars represent north, south, east and west correspond to the outermost points on the horizon where the sun passes through the year; the solstice and equinox points.

The four circles inside the outer outline represent the four nations (the first four tribes of mankind), which came to the world to keep balance.

Hopi Sun Symbol:
A symbol of creative and natural energy.

The supreme god due to the Hopi's dependence upon it for the growth of corn, and other sustaining crops.

The sun symbol represents the heart of the cosmos and deals with vitality, growth, and passion.

Hopi Spiral SymbolHopi Spiral Symbol:

This rendition of the Hopi spiral is also common among North, South and Central Native American Indian tribes.

The spiral represents the number of journeys or treks a tribe or nation has made to the four corners of the earth.

Engraved on stones, the spiral suggests an intricate journey made to the Otherworlds on back.
Generally, the spiral represents a broadening of consciousness, which is the destination arrived after a long journey.

Hopi Kachina Sun SymbolHopi Kachina Sun Symbol:

Also known as a Tawa kachina, it is a spirit symbolizing of life, growth, strength of spirit, and abundance.

The likeness of this spirit is donned during the solstice ceremony to beckon the sun's return, and begin the growing season.

KOKOPELLI....According to the many stories about him, this humped-back flute player has a bag of songs on his back and is said to travel from village to village.  His songs bring fertility to the crops, to women who desire to have children; he entertains the children and his songs also bring healing and love.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Star Tattoo Symbolism

Star Symbolism

The star symbolizes honor, achievement, hope, divinity, intuition, the feminine and guidance.

For centuries, the symbol of the star has been used to reference  divinity, intuition, the feminine, hope and guidance.  Stars offer the ability to guide us through the night. They can also refer to your need to discover their own inner light.  Stars exists above us as well as within us. They encourage us to trust in something much greater than ourselves.
One of the most popular associations to the Star is its reference to our aspirations, dreams and hopes. They represent our ambitions and desires. They remind us that when things may appear to be out of our grasp, through diligence and faith we can travel beyond our current limitations. 

Fivepointed star :

without crossing lines is also one of the most common and important Western ideograms. It is used in the flags of some 35 countries, both Western and Eastern. Its first appearance on a national flag is believed to have been in 1777, when the United States of America declared itself an independent country. 
This star is also the most widely used military symbol and is found on the tanks and fighter jets of all the superpowers, as well as in the armed forces of all other countries on officers and petty officers' uniforms.  For nearly all armed forces on this planet the golden fivepointed star without crossing lines is the symbol par preference of military rank and power.

It is also the sign for the planet Venus as the Morning star and the goddess of war

Stars with wavy points are emblems of God's goodness, or some other eminence that elevated the first bearer above the common people. 

Stars, estoiles and mullets are often confused because of their similarity, which is not helped by the fact that no definite lines have ever officially been followed regarding their specific differences. 

In England
Estoliles: stars with wavy rays are called estoiles
            An estoile can have any number so one must be provided 

Mullets: when "stars" have straight lines they are called mullets.
           A mullet has five points unless another number is specified, which it often is.

So technically there is no such thing as a star in English symbolism. 

In Scotland 
The distinction between a mullet and a star is that a mullet is pierced, which actually makes it a spur-revel, and a star is whole. 

In France
The definition of a mullet is different yet again; this time, it has no less than six points.

A star depicted on a coat of arms, in some cases, may represent a falling star and denote a divine quality bestowed from above, whereby men shine in virtue like bright stars on the earth.


Six-pointed star formations are rare as an ideograph in Western cultures except in the case of law enforcement badges. 

In astrology some formations of a six-pointed star can signify fixed stars. In some rare instances it can signify the date of birth on a gravestone, synonymous with the five-point star.

If the collinear edges of a regular six-pointed star are connected, so that two interlaced triangles are formed, a symbol results that is variously known as the hexagram, Star of David, or Shield of David (Magen David). This symbol is most commonly associated with Judaism; it is also used in Christianity and Islam and Hinduism, but on a less frequent basis. The six-points represent all twelve patriarchs (Vav or Man) or tribes. The two "Triangles" are actually the letters "Dalet" and "Yud", the two letters assigned to Judah. The two triangles form a diamond, which is the gem assigned to Judah. These letters are found in the assigned zodiac of Leo.

Several varieties of six-pointed stars are used in Western culture:
  • The Star of Life, which is a six-armed cross
  • German and German-American hex signs and barn stars often incorporate both five- and six-pointed stars as central themes.
  • The six-pointed star is used as the symbol for Folks Nation alliance of gangs from Chicago. Crip gang members tend to use this symbol also.

When surrounded by a circle, it represents the "divine mind" (a counterfeit of God's wisdom) to numerous occult groups through the centuries. Many still use it in occult rituals. But to Jewish people, it is their Star of David. 

Nautical Star 

In the five-pointed star, a line is drawn from each point to split it into half and each section is filled with an alternating color. The colors used for the nautical stars are either red and black, or green and black. The sailors would usually get two nautical stars tattooed. The port side, which is the left side of the ship is represented by the red and black nautical star tattoo, while the green and black star tattoo is used to represent the starboard side or right side. Those who served the port side of the ship had the red star while green star was for those who served the starboard side of the ship.

Sailors donning a red and black nautical star was linked to their pride as it meant that the sailor had traveled across the Pacific ocean at least thrice. That was a great achievement in itself. Some of them got a red and black nautical star tattoo as the compass at the bottom of most of the sea maps was colored red and black. Since sailors completely relied on celestial navigation in those days, the North Star being a fixed reference point was a great aid. These nautical star tattoos were also symbolic of hope. They got these tattoos to ensure safe passage. Since the sailors were staying away from their loved ones, they hoped to reach back home safely to reunite with their dear ones. Their beliefs about the nautical star stemmed from their dependence on the celestial navigation to get back home.

The nautical star tattoos were earlier a symbol of hope and guidance for sailors. A nautical star was a symbol of hope and good luck. It may give one strength to succeed in life. 

Nautical star tattoos have also been linked with the gay or lesbian movement and punk rockers.

Shooting Star

symbolizes a brief fleeting moment in ones life just like the brief wonder of seeing a shooting star race across the night sky. 

They can also be a symbol of reaching ones ultimate destiny.
Traditionally shooting stars also meant a new birth and changes in ones life and also a wish for a better life.

Celtic and Irish Cross Tattoo Symbolism

Celtic Cross and Irish Cross Symbolism

Symbolism of the Celtic Cross

The Celtic Cross was a symbol of the four quarters
North, which represents wisdom, stability, and winter
East, for knowledge, learning, and spring
South for vitality, passion, strength, and summer
West, representing intuition, emotion, and inner knowledge
The circle connecting the four arms of the Celtic cross symbolizes the unity and the eternal cycle of life and rebirth.

Also it's four arms were perfect for denoting
The four elements
The four directions of the compass
The four parts of man - mind, body, soul and heart. 
The addition of the ring around the cross has many explanations, including sun worship

The Celtic Cross had it's evolution in the British Isles, with it's earliest form dating to approximately the ninth century and appearing mostly in Ireland. This early version is called a recumbent cross-slab, and they lied flat rather than standing upright. Eventually these made their way into an upright position (now called erect cross-slabs), and acquired a slightly rounded top. Both versions were often decorated with key patterns, interlaced knotwork, and spirals

The celtic cross then underwent another change. Extraneous rock was carved away from the head of the slab, leaving the rock with the outlined shape of a tall cross, usually on a wider base. Because the cross form was in effect "freed" from the rock now, these types of crosses were commonly called erect free-standing crosses. From these, the arms of the cross eventually became extended beyond the ring of the cross, and the inner quadrants between the rings and the arms were cut away or recessed from the rest of the cross design. The free-standing crosses were elaborately made, and often composed of several pieces of stone. A large cross could have been made of up to four pieces of stone (the base, the shaft, the head, and the upper cross arm), held together by mortise and tenon joints carved into the stone. 

An Irish legend tells how St. Patrick created the first Celtic cross by drawing a circle over a Latin cross to incorporate a pagan moon goddess symbol. 

For an Irish Catholic, the circle in the Celtic cross may be a symbol of eternity and the endlessness of God's love. It can even represent a halo emanating from Christ.

The celtic cross and Irish cross shape itself has been widely used by many ancient peoples, long before the arrival of Christianity. 

Irish Claddagh Tattoo Symbolism

The Hand Signifies Friendship, the Crown Loyalty, And the Heart Love.

The Claddagh's distinctive design features two hands clasping a heart, and usually surmounted by a crown. The elements of this symbol are often said to correspond to the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown). A "Fenian" Claddagh ring, without a crown, was later designed in Dublin. Claddagh rings, with or without the crown (most commonly with a crown), have come to denote pride in Irish heritage, while continuing to be symbols of love or marriage.

The Irish Claddagh consists of two hands holding between them, or presenting, a heart.  Over the heart is a design representing a crown or fleur de lis.  The phrase or posy, that usually accompanies the ring is: "Let love and friendship reign."

The original expression which accompanied the passage of the "Claddagh" was:  "With these hands I give you my heart and I crown it with my love."

There is an old tradition in Ireland that goes with wearing a Claddagh ring.   If you wear your Claddagh ring with the heart facing outwards it means that your heart is available.  If you were the Claddagh Ring with the heart facing inwards it means that your heart has already been taken by someone.

Also it is said that a  Dublin version of Claddagh Rings appeared about 100 years ago with two Hearts and two hands and No Crown. This is the Fenian Claddagh 
It is growing in popularity because of its unique design, its peculiar history, its sentimental appeal and its close association with the ancient Claddagh of Galway.

The Claddagh symbol is commonly used as friendship symbol, but are most commonly used to represent engagement/weddings. 
In Ireland, America and other places, the Claddagh is handed down mother-to-daughter or grandmother-to-granddaughter. 


Engagement ... by placing the tattoo on the left side your body wtih the heart pointing outwards indicates you are spoken for

Wedding (married)...represented by placing the tattoo on the left side of your body wtih the heart pointing inwards towards your heart

Friendship... by placing  the tattoo anywhere on your right hand side.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Animals tattoos that Symbolize Love

Animals to Tattoo that

Symbolize Love

Dolphin: Due to its association with Delphi, which signifies the love embodied within the womb. Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, was said to take the form of the dolphin and was also known as the Woman of the Sea. When depicted on an anchor or pierced with a trident the Dolphin is a symbol of the church being guided by the love of Christ.

Dove:  Slavic legend states that upon dying, the soul is transformed into a Dove which wings its way into the loving heavens. In Hinduism the Dove is an emblem of spirit, and the inifinite capacity the spirit has for love. In Greco-Roman mythology, the dove was a sacred creature to Aphrodite/Venus. Ancient Jewish practices permitted the Dove to be sacrificed as a love gift which signified the purification of a new mother after childbirth. In the West, the Dove (as well as turtledoves) symbolize love and are frequently seen in wedding traditions.

Horse: In the Chinese zodiac, the Horse is equated with practicality and love. As highly skilled horsemen, the Celts attributed the horse to Epona, also known as the Horse Goddess. Among other attributes, Epona was known for abundance, love and fertility. In Mesopotamia there arose a legend that the sun was drawn by a Horse riding across the horizon - the Horse was known as the embodiment of love for the land as it carried life-giving light and warmth with it.

Ladybug: Best known as an emblem of luck, the Ladybug is a love symbol also. Asian traditions hold to the belief that if caught and then released, the Ladybug will faithfully fly to your true love and whisper your name in his/her ear. Upon hearing the Ladybug's message your true love will hurry his/her way to your side. Ancient farmers of the land have considered the Ladybug a good omen as she controls aphid populations. The number of spots on a Ladybug's back is said to indicate the number of months to pass before the wish for love comes true.

Starfish: In Christian symbolism the Starfish represents the Virgin Mary (Stella Maris which means Star of the Sea) who lovingly creates safe travel over troubled waters and is also seen as an emblem of salvation during trying times. The star as well as the Starfish are seen as celestial symbols and as such, they represent infinite divine love. In addition to love, the Starfish also holds characteristics such as guidance, vigilance, inspiration, brilliance and intuition.

Swan:  Swans holds a multitude of representations including love, grace, purity, beauty and sincerity. Another attribute of Aphrodite, the Swan also symbolized chastity. The Celts believed the Swans were benevolent dieties and legend has it that their images were forged into silver medallions worn around the neck for protection. In Hinduism, the Swan is known as the Hamsa bird and signifies the divine mind and the breath of spirit. The Swan is also another symbol of the Virgin Mary and the purity and love she symbolizes.

Circle Symbolism

Circle Symbolism

Some circle symbol meaning keywords to contemplate:

Inclusion, Wholeness, Focus, Unity, Nurturing, Cycles, Initiation, Everything, Perfection, Womb, Centering, Revolution, Infinity, Mobility, Completion

Circle symbol meaning is universal it represents the infinite nature of energy, and the inclusivity of the universe.
Since ancient times circles have represented the cycles of time, specifically in the movements of the seasons. In the revolutions of the earth around the sun.

In alchemical symbolism the circle is a center point of focus. Circles are a feature in alchemical art. Circles are an emphasis on the featured work within its contoured border.  If fire is a feature in the work, a circle around it will illuminate the focus of fire.

Northern Native Americans believe the circle is the sun, the moon and her children, man and woman. Native perspective is vastly deep. And so, the circle also embodies a spiritual energy all things - sun, moon, etc holds spiritual connotations. Consider the circle symbol meaning in conjunction with the Native medicine wheels. Here we sense the integration of energy and matter - spirit and man, combining for the purpose of greater spiritual understanding and evolution.

Circles were protective emblems to the Celtic. Circles were often drawn as protective boundaries, not to be crossed by enemy or evil. Circles were also Celtic symbols of the cosmos - representing the intangible procession of time.

In Chinese symbology, the circle expresses the shape of heaven, with earth signified by a square. When we see a square inside a circle in Chinese art, it represents the union between heaven and earth. The deeply significant yin yang symbol is circular, and thus speaks to us of encompassing the whole of duality with intent for unified balance.

 Dr. Carl Jung viewed the circle as an geometric archetype of the psyche. When combined with a square it explains the relationship or balance between psyche and body.

When a symbol, (any symbol) is shown with a circle around it the symbol beckons the viewer to be drawn in, and included in the experience of whatever symbolic message the center may hold.

Consider these cirlces: 
Planets, Sun, Clock faces, Wheels, Seeds, Eyeballs, Coins, Rings, Cells, Fruit, Egg

In a broad sense, these random circular objects can be assembled like puzzle pieces to provide a big picture of our view of nature.