The Emerald Isle has been a source of inspiration for many forms of art, from poetry and music to paintings and tattoos. At the same time, there are many icons and symbols from Ireland, which have inspired a number of tattoo artists around the world.
As a matter of fact, Irish tattoos are among some of the popular tattoo designs in the world today. It can be attributed to the fact that there is a great variety of styles, which stem out from the rich and varied artistic traditions that have been a part of Irish culture. All of us are aware that the Irish have a soulful, spiritual and very colorful culture and the tattoos are a mere reflection of the full spectrum.
Irish Tattoo Ideas for Men
The ancestors of today's Irish are the Celts and the Irish have not forgotten this fact. The Celts were well-known for fabulous body of art, consisting of beautiful and complex knot-work as well as stylized images inspired by nature. Hence, often Irish tattoos are also called Celtic tattoos.
A shamrock is a three leaved clover and one of the most common Irish tattoo symbol. A shamrock is said to bring good luck to the wearer. Same is the case with the shamrock tattoos as well. According to an Irish legend, St. Patrick was the Saint who nominated shamrock as a Celtic symbol. He was of the opinion that the leaves stood for unity and was a symbol representing the Holy Trinity (of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) of the Christian Church.
Celtic Knot Tattoos
Celtic knot and Irish Gaelic tattoos designs are also deep-rooted in the Irish heritage and culture. The meanings attached to them include strength, endurance and spirituality. Celtic knots also make for great Irish armband tattoos or also be used as a single element on different parts of the body.
Celtic tattoos are often made on the chest, back, ankle and look great in black as well as in colors. The Gaelic alphabets make a visual impact and are very beautiful. Names, words or phrases written in the Gaelic script are very popular.
Irish tribal tattoos often imitate Celtic rune symbols. The most commonly imitated symbol is the Ken rune, which stands for flame, heroism and action. This Irish tattoo design is often chosen by fierce warriors. The other set is the Ogham symbol of Duir, which depicts an oak tree, as well as stability and power and is also said to be a source of powerful cosmic energy.
There is a belief that the wearer of Irish tribal tattoos designs invokes the assistance of the Gods of war and is also capable of unleashing powerful forces on the battlefield when he charges into the battlefield against the clan's enemies. Normally warriors went into the battlefield bare-chested displaying their Irish tribal tattoos with proud arrogance, reinforcing their stance as warriors.
Irish cross tattoos are commonly called Celtic cross tattoos. The symbol is unique and is made of a cross and a circle in the center. It is actually a remnant of an ancient druid symbol of life and eternity as represented by the circle in the center of the intersection between the vertical and the horizontal lines of the cross.
Irish cross can also be made with Irish knots around the edges of the cross, which makes the tattoo truly intricate and elaborate. Similarly the circle at the center can also be filled with knots. The other variation can be a cross with wings, which is seen as wings of an angel.
The Claddagh represents friendship and love. The two hands in the Claddagh stand for friendship and the heart stands for love, while the crown made on top represents loyalty. Hence, it is a great tattoo for lovers. Many people opt to get this tattoo as it is better than getting the name of the loved one tattooed, as even if the relationship comes to an end a Claddagh is looked upon as a universal symbol for love and friendship and the person does not have to deal with the pain of tattoo removal.
Four Leaved Clover
The four-leaved clover stands for hope, faith, luck and love. Since finding a four-leaved clover is a difficult task, a person who spots one is said to be lucky. A number of people want to get this tattoo design made, because they want to be sheer lucky.
Four leaved clover is seen as a symbolic representation of Ireland. Hence, people who want to show their love for Ireland, often decide to get this tattoo design. This design is often made by men either on the back or on the chest. Combining a four leaved clover with another tattoo design is also a great idea.
Lately animal tattoos, also called Zoomorphic tattoos have come in vogue. Therefore, you will see more and more people opting for this tattoo design. It can be attributed to the fact, that there are several designs, which one can make use of for the same.
Different animal designs can also be combined to form a large tattoo design. Often different Irish designs are mixed with an animal tattoo design. When one decides to get a zoomorphic tattoo, it is often the characteristics of the animal that appeals the most to the person, that is chosen.
Tree of Life
Crann Bethadh is the name of Tree of Life in Gaelic. It has been associated with many spheres of life, including theology, mythology, philosophy, etc. It is looked upon as a connection between the heaven and underworld.
Tree of Life is said to connect all forms of creation. As a season changes, the tree goes through seasonal changes. This seasonal changing phenomena is looked upon by the Celts as different cycles of life, namely birth, death and rebirth. It is also looked upon as a wish-granter. Therefore, people who want their wish to be fulfilled often get this tattoo design made.
These are just some of the Irish tattoos designs. You can also be creative and design a unique Irish tattoos for men from the various Irish tattoo ideas that I have mentioned in this article. Putting up all the important values, thoughts, beliefs, etc. in your tattoo design will make it a unique tattoo.