The Moon is one of the first and earliest human symbols. For centuries we’ve been transfixed by its celestial appearance on the night sky. From the start, we knew it had an incredible impact on human existence, and to this day we’re inspired by it and enchanted by the moonlight, every single night. The Moon has inspired millions of people and continues to be the main source of our creative, artistic inspiration.
Naturally, the Moon is one of the most common tattoo design choices. If you’re looking for inspiration for your new tattoo, you’re at the right place. In the following paragraphs, we’ll explore and explain some of the most common Moon tattoo symbolisms and designs, which you can consider for your new ink. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
The Moon and Its Cultural Impact
Before we get into the tattoo designs, we should first discuss the reason why the Moon plays such an important role in our creative and cultural expression, even to this day. As one of the first human symbols, it was used as the main creative inspiration, from our prehistoric forebears to Vincent van Gogh, and numerous contemporary artists around the world. Why is that so?
Some of the first primitive sketches, found in France, show that people were aware of the constellation, as the drawings first suggested. Later, scientists discovered that the sketches represented a lunar code, which is a calendar that follows the Moon’s appearance in the sky. One can only imagine how impactful that must have been for the ancestral people.
From then on, humans became obsessed with the Moon. Some viewed it as a deity, others paid respect by offering sacrifices. Humans saw the moon as the leader to the right path, since the moonlight was the only light source in the night.
In ancient Egypt, the Moon is generally found sitting on the top of different gods’ heads, like Khonsu for example. Khonsu, whose name also means ‘pathfinder’ and ‘traveler’, was believed to defend the spirits of the dead from the demons, ensuring their posthumous voyage is safe.
For Celts, the Moon was the center of their spiritual system. They also believed the Moon helps departing souls navigate their posthumous journey. That is why there are findings of lunar map carvings in Ireland burial tombs, dating as far as 5,000 years.
Thanks to its shape, illuminance and celestial appearance on the night sky, numerous geniuses of art have been inspired by the Moon. Some of the greatest works of art feature Moon as either a centerpiece or an important aspect of the painting. Here are some examples of the Moon in the masterpieces of the human artistic expression;
- Joseph Wright of Derby – An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump – The full moon is one of the most significant elements of the painting. It shows how the meeting of the Lunar Circle (later known as Lunar Society), was timed to make the most use of moonlight when traveling. The painter had strong connections to this Circle, so the Moon in the painting was a nod to the monthly meetings of the Circle.
- Vincent van Gogh – Starry Night – This is one of the most recognizable paintings in the world. Of course, the starry night depicted in the painting is beautifully accompanied by a disquieting and blazing Moon. The whole painting is illuminated by the Moon in the corner, which furthers its necessity and symbolism as the piece that connects and tightens the painting, as well as the nature in the night.
- Caspar David Friedrich – Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon – The Moon has always had the power the make us contemplate its existence, and life itself. This painting is no short of depicting just that. The meditative, pensive energy of this painting truly shows the human neverending interest in the Moon.
The cultural impact of the Moon is endless; it would take us a whole article to write just about the basics. So, we’ll continue the further explanation of its symbolism and meaning through the examples of the most popular Moon tattoo designs. So, let’s continue with just that.
Moon Tattoo Designs and Meanings
Moon Phase Tattoo
The most common meaning and symbolism of Moon phases (and such tattoos) are generally connected to the human phases of learning, growing young and old, letting go and rebirth. Each Moon phase also carries specific and individual meaning.
For example, the full Moon phase symbolizes one’s peak success, fulfillment, power, and one’s ability to obtain things of wish or necessity.
New Moon symbolizes new beginnings, fresh ideas, and the leap of faith we all have to make once in a while.
Waning symbolizes surrendering, peace, and silence, as well as the ability to accept a loss. Waxing on the other hand symbolizes positive growth and attainment.
Here are some of our favorite Moon phase tattoo designs you can use for inspiration;
Sun and Moon Tattoo
The Sun and Moon correlation is very specific and interesting. For example, the Moon is believed to be the mirror of the Sun. Because of the sunlight, we have moonlight, so the Sun and the Moon have a yin and yang interaction. The Sun is, for example, associated with the masculine, while the Moon is associated with the feminine.
So, the Sun and the Moon tattoo can symbolize duality, genders, yin and yang, active and passive, light and darkness, and so much more. The Sun can represent the active, energetic, and passionate in life, while the Moon can symbolize the spiritual, celestial, and psychic.
This kind of symbolism, especially when used for tattoos, is generally uniquely interpreted and different for every person. Everyone applies their own interpretation and life experience to these kinds of tattoos. Nevertheless, here are some of our favorite and inspirational Sun and Moon tattoos;
Full Moon Tattoo
Now, the full Moon carries a lot of symbolism, depending on every person’s individual interpretation. For example, in astrology, the full Moon symbolizes maturity and pregnancy. In other interpretations, the full Moon stands for one’s ability to reach success and power; it stands for the fulfillment of dreams and desire, and one’s ability to obtain them and become a complete, fulfilled individual.
Because the full Moon is completely illuminated, while the other side of the Moon is completely dark, such imagery can also symbolize self-exploration, spiritual enlightenment, and complete maturity. Furthermore, such imagery can also represent the balance between lunar and solar energy, which is a completion of yin and yang.
All of these interpretations and symbolism can be applied to a Full Moon tattoo if it fits your interpretation and life experience. Having said that, here are some of the best Full Moon tattoo designs you can use for inspiration;
Moon and Stars Tattoo
Generally speaking, there is no actual symbolism applies to the image of the Moon and the stars surrounding it. Often, those are two separate celestial objects which happen to exist together in the solar system.
However, to some people, the Moon, and the stars together carry the symbolism of destiny, hope, maybe even the fleeing of time, change, mortality, etc. Here, we would have to apply the separate symbolism of the Moon and start to create a unified interpretation, which is something everyone should do individually.
When it comes to Moon and Stars tattoos, people sometimes get a specific number and shape of starts to deepen the symbolism; for example, a Moon and a lot of stars may imply infinitude, or the Moon and an ascending star may symbolize the spiritual, or the feminine/masculine. A seven-pointed start for example may symbolize progression or the human skill, etc.
If you like this kind of symbolism and interpretation, here are some of our favorite Moon and Stars tattoo designs to get inspired by;
Half Moon/Crescent Moon Tattoo
Also, knowns as Luna, the sickle of the Moon, the waxing or waning Moon, or the crescent moon, the half moon is a popular symbol across the world. Often associated with religions, numerous Biblical references, and Islamic symbolism (half-moon and a star is the main symbolism in Islam, often seen on Islamic countries’ flags, for example).
However, the universal symbolism of the half moon is generally associated with feminine energy, maternity, and lifegiving. It is even associated with fertility and the menstrual cycle, or virginity and chastity. Half Moon is a rather feminine symbol, so by getting a half moon tattoo, you will be showing off your womanhood, femininity, or feminine energy. If that sounds interesting to you, here are some of our top picks for half Moon tattoos you can use for inspiration;
Blue Moon Tattoo
Blue Moon is actually the second full moon appearing in the same month. Although there is no significant association with that, some cultures do interpret its appearance as something magical. Many even believe it symbolizes the female energy and the phases of a woman’s life. It also stands for wisdom and knowledge, and one’s ability to grow.
A Blue Moon does have a more spiritual sense to its appearance, as it feels otherwordly and completely rare. The expression ‘once in a blue moon’ doesn’t exist for no reason. An occasion that occurs so rarely, like the Blue Moon, makes us ponder and contemplate life, our role in it, and all of its beauty and mystery.
As a tattoo, the Blue Moon might be one of the best designs to get inked. The tattoos depicting the blue moon have a special energy and generally look amazing. So, here are some of our favorite Blue Moon tattoo designs you can use for inspiration;
Hopefully, our explanations and tattoo design recommendations were useful. The tattoos used in this article are not to be copied or used for your own tattoo. These tattoos are owned by respectful tattoo artists who have done original work. These tattoos only serve as a source of inspiration for people looking to get some kind of Moon tattoo.
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The phases of the moon symbolize immortality and eternity, enlightenment or the dark side of Nature herself.
Its round shapes gives it also the meaning of a circle – constant, eternal and life-giving.
As a result of its cycle of renewal and regular phases, the moon often gets linked with feminine aspects.
Such aspects are nurturing receptivity and life rhythms. It might reflect inner knowledge, or the phases of man’s condition on earth, since it controls the tides, the rains, the waters, and the seasons.
Below you can find all the moon phases as described in the amazing guide by YogiApproved.com.
The Moon is positioned between the Earth and Sun so it cannot be seen from Earth. This moon phase signifies new beginnings.
Waxing Crescent Moon
‘Waxing’ means the Moon’s illumination is growing, and ‘Crescent’ means less than half of the Moon is illuminated. This moon phase signifies intention.
First Quarter Moon
Exactly half of the Moon is illuminated and the other half is shadowed. This particular moon cycle signifies decision making.
Waxing Gibbous Moon
‘Waxing’ means the Moon’s illumination is growing and ‘Gibbous’ means more than half of the Moon is illuminated. This moon phase signifies refinement.
The Sun illuminates the entire moon. This particular moon cycle signifies release and sealing of intention.
‘Waning’ refers to the decreasing of the Moon’s illumination, and ‘Gibbous’ means more than half of Moon illuminated. This moon phase signifies gratitude.
Exactly half of the Moon is illuminated and the other half is shadowed. We will see the opposite side than the First Quarter Moon. This moon phase signifies forgiveness.
‘Waning’ refers to the shrinking of the Moon’s illumination, and ‘Crescent’ means less than half of the Moon is illuminated. This particular moon cycle signifies surrender.
The Moon is positioned between the Earth and Sun so it cannot be seen from Earth. This phase signifies new beginnings, and the moon cycle begins again.
Outstanding Meaning of Moon Phase Tattoos
There is one simple truth in life, all is stimulated and touched by the moon. The moon phase tattoo can represent magic, purity, dreams, mystery, shadows, and eternity, similarly to the meanings of celestial and coffin tattoos.
This life affirming symbol appears to always be changing and many people easily associate either their past, their present, or where they are heading by the phases of the moon.
Although symbolizing a consistency in all life here on earth, it also comes with it some very unique and obscure meanings that give it mass appeal.
Here are just a few of the unique moon phase tattoo meanings.
Cyclical Nature of Time
Of the biggest appeals to getting the moon phase tattoo is that is has a unique associate with karma.
This karma can be represented in a number of ways with the tattoo, one being don’t mess with me or karma will equal the playing field.
Perhaps you are living out the rest of your live in a particular manner to balance the positive karma in your life.
Life tends to move in non-linear terms, so this big circle of the moon cycle symbolizes what comes around will certainly go around.
The moon phase tattoo represents the infinite process of regeneration and recycling.
The Women and Moon Association
The moon phase tattoo holds a very unique appeal to many women.
The mystery of this tattoo and the reference to eternity of the moon, allows a woman to closely associate her own inevitable tie to the cycles.
The moon is often referred to as the symbol of fertility and power, and many goddesses in Greek mythology used the moon to convey hidden powers, subtle influences, and secret wisdom.
Women utilize the moon phase tattoo to represent their connection to lunar energy.
That undercurrent that harnesses unlimited potential energy is symbolized by the moon phase skin art. It also represents her intuition, sensuality, divine light, and overall feminine power.
Men and the Moon
Ever since the first man landed on the moon, men have also had this unique association with the phases. Dating further back than that, Japanese, African, and Maori tribes associate the male gender with the moon.
It was pivotal for Native American male hunters to utilize the power of the moon to hunt, and lunar gods were associated with many men.
The moon phase tattoo can be a representation of strong yet purifying energy.
Represented as the yin, or the eye that shines through darkness, it brings with it the illuminated vision of spiritual enlightenment.
The moon is also the great protector at night, lighting the way against evil, and helping to keep those warriors on the right path.
The moon phase tattoo also is a call to the animal inside. Many of the greatest animals on the planet come out at night to rule their world.
These nocturnal creatures are able to draw their energy at night from the moon, and wearing the moon phase tattoo symbolizes that a person becomes more efficient and powerful as the sun sets.
The moon moving from one phase to another represents change of one type or another, and eventually we will return from which where we began.
Moon Phase Tattoo Gallery
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101 Amazing Phases Of The Moon Tattoo Ideas You Will Love!
Which phase of the moon is your favorite? Did you even know that there are many different phases of the moon? Make yourself comfortable, and browse through many different tattoo ideas that we have in store for you, and learn a lot about different stages of the moon!
How Many Phases Of The Moon Are There?
Speaking of different moon phases, did you know that there are eight of them? As the moon orbits Earth, the moon will go into four primary phases every other week.
What Do The Phases Of The Moon Represent?
Different moon phases and the moon cycle can have an impact on your mood, believe it or not. Here is the magic, power, as well as meaning behind every phase:
- The first phase is the new moon phase. It stands for new beginnings and is the phase when the moon stands between Earth and the Sun.
- The second phase is the waxing moon phase, where the moon is growing, also known as the crescent phase. This moon is illuminated and stands for intention.
- A third phase is the first quarter Moon phase where one half is shadowed. This moon stands for decision making.
- The fourth phase is the gibbous moon. It is when more than half of the Moon is illuminated. The meaning is refinement.
- The fifth phase is the full Moon phase. This is when the Sun illuminates the entire moon. The meaning of this one is sealing the intention.
- The sixth phase is the waning gibbous phase, where more than half of the Moon is still illuminated. This moon stands for gratitude.
- The seventh phase is the third quarter where the moon is shadowed. This moon is all about forgiveness.
- The eight and the final phase is the waning crescent phase, where the crescent side is illuminated. This moon stands for surrender.
Top 12 Phases Of The Moon Tattoo Design
1. Arm Small Moon Tattoos
Phases of the moon can look amazing even if tattooed super small. You can go for your forearm placement if you love noticeable tattoo designs. This tattoo is simple, yet pretty popular.
2. Sun And Moon Tattoo Designs
Women love seeing beautiful tattoos on guys. If you are on a search for something that symbolizes good energy, and you are into lunar inspired elements, get this perfect moon tattoo!
3. Black Ink Moon Phases Tattoo
This black ink tattoo would look perfect if you are on a lookout for a cover-up. You can easily hide any mistake, and fall in love with your arm tattoo all over again! Get these moon stages and stick with black & white ink for the full and realistic looking moon tattoos.
4. Bright Stars And Moon Tattoo
If you feel like you are changing more and more each year and in time, why not go for a tattoo that represents your current state? Create something unique, and stick with bright ink tattoo designs if you truly want it to stand out.
5. Moon Phases Tattoo
Phases of the Moon would look amazing once stretched out and placed either on your arms, legs, or back. If you are into realistic designs, make sure you go for the right size and the perfect balance!
6. Realistic Moon Tattoo
Are you a fan of nature? Do you like tattoos with deeper meanings? Get several different moons that will stand for change – from head to start. The mountains are a symbol of mystery, as well as the sign of going through obstacles in life.
7. Moon Phase Tattoo Ideas
Moon phases tattoo designs will look amazing on guys who are into different tattoo ideas, and who can’t make up their mind for just that one tattoo. This tattoo stands for power, magic, and will look the best on those who love a good transition, as well as deeper meanings.
8. Moon Tattoos On Forearm
Make sure your tattoo artist has experience with circles, round, or moon designs! This tattoo is night-inspired, perfect for men who love geometrical pieces.
9. Moon Tattoos Small
This is a super small tattoo, ideal for men who truly dislike pain. It will take you only one hour to achieve this or similar moon phases tattoo designs.
10. Blue Moon Tattoos Phase Designs
Men who like bright ink, and who don’t mind spending 4+ hours with their tattoo artist will love this tattoo. Bright blue, purple & red ink will look amazing once combined together.
11. Crescent Moon Tattoo Ideas
A moon tattoo can be playful and simple, such as this one. You can choose only 2-3 phases and tattoo them on your arm, or any other body part.
12. Sun Moon And Stars Tattoo
Lastly, if you are a fan of black tattoos as well as astrology, this design is perfect for you. It is not that moon phase-oriented, but it is still very beautiful and attention-seeking in its own way.
On That Note
Phases of the moon can change, but which one is your favorite? Get a tattoo that speaks to you the loudest, and stick to the phase that has the prettiest and deepest meaning!
Need More Inspiration
Feature image from Pinterest
Phases tattoo moon
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