Featuring simple shapes – squares, triangles, rectangles – and precise lines, the patterns that make up geometric tattoos create mesmerizing designs. This style of tattooing also takes inspiration from spiritual motifs.
So, what are geometric tattoos, what do they mean, and what do common geometric tattoo shapes symbolize?
What Are Geometric Tattoos?
Geometric tattoos can be made up of fine lines or bold lines, be delicate shapes of black and grey or strong blocks of vibrant colors – there is so much variation to play around with when it comes to geometry.
This style of tattooing doesn’t just have to contain sharp shapes; a design can include more flowing shapes as an eye-catching juxtaposition.
“Geometric tattoos can be both abstract, as well as taking organic shapes, such as animals, to form renditions of them through geometric form.”Tattoo Stylist
Modern geometric tattoos take a lot of inspiration from sacred geometry.
What Is Sacred Geometry?
No, it’s not the geometry found in high school mathematics books. Sacred geometry is the study of the underlying patterns that are found in nature.
“The spiral of a snail’s shell, the captivating pattern of a single snowflake, and the branches of a tree can all be examples of sacred geometry. Sacred geometry is also thought to exist beyond the naked eye, both on a cellular level and in the stars and orbiting planets,”Mind Body Green
This study of the architecture of nature can go all the way back to the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamia; famous philosophers, Pythagoras and Plato, also dived into this subject.
What Do Sacred Geometric Symbols Mean?
There are a few sacred geometry patterns that are popular and have deep spiritual meanings:
The Metatron Cube
This pattern is said to have every shape that exists in the universe.
According to ancient Judaism, Metatron is an angel. Symbol Sage explains,
“In Jewish legends and myths, it’s said that this angel created the cube out of his soul. Metatron’s cube represents all the geometric shapes found in all creations and is associated with the belief that the god is the geometer of the universe.”
This can be seen as a symbol of transformation, as well as balance and harmony.
Flower Of Life
This symbol is old – one of the oldest known depictions of the Flower of Life dates back over 6,000 years in the Temple of Osiris in Egypt.
“It is believed that there is a secret symbol embedded within the Flower of Life. This symbol is said to hold the most important and most sacred patterns of the universe and is the harbinger of all life and existence – from molecules and atoms to planets and galaxies,”Ancient Symbols
The Flower of Life can symbolize spiritual awakening and growth.
This symbol is made up of interlocking triangles and comes from Hinduism. It is said to represent all the gods and goddesses of the Hindu faith.
Sri Yantra can be seen as a representation of opposite elements complementing each other, and how the whole figure is balanced and symbolises the unity of god.
It is also a symbol used in the practice of yoga,
“The outer pattern bears 16 lotus petals whereas the inner pattern has eight. These petals represent the sanctity of the diagram inside, used as a tool for yoga meditation. Each of the eight petals governs an activity such as speech, motion, grasping, revulsion, enjoyment, attraction, equanimity and excretion,”Symbol Sage
This symbolic maze is thousands of years old, with its image popping up in places such as America, India, Ireland, and Greece.
“In Greek mythology, the legendary craftsman Daedalus designed and built an elaborate and confusing structure called the Labyrinth. It was made for King Minos of Crete for the purpose of holding the half-bull, half-man monster called Minotaur,”Symbols Archive
The meaning behind this symbol in ancient Greek terms could be a protective force guarding against the bull, or dark life force.
A Labyrinth includes a single path towards the middle of the maze. This pathway can symbolize the way towards enlightenment – getting there is a long, tough journey.
Geometric Tattoo Ideas
The above is an amazing example of hard, geometric lines mixed with organic curves. The tree is encompassed inside a fine line circle, with extra diamond elements above. When it comes to fine lines, it’s easier to see mistakes, so make sure you go to a tattoo artist who is experienced in this style of tattooing.
This forearm tattoo is formed with strong lines and includes a hint of wanderlust because of the compass star. While thinking of a compass does bring to mind travel, this tattoo can also, paradoxically, symbolize home.
“The nautical star comes from the tradition of sailors following the North Star to find their way,”Tatt Mag
The added simple stars reiterate the travel and sailing theme.
This bee tattoo is another example of sacred geometry in nature. The hexagonal shapes form a strong pattern despite the fine lines, and are a more structured mirror of the bee’s wings, which have their own distinctive composition. When it comes to the meaning of a bee tattoo, Saved Tattoo says,
“Generally speaking, a bee tattoo stands for loyalty. These tiny insects are loyal to other members of a beehive and the queen. Your tattoo could show you are a loyal person in general, or to a specific individual.”
Geometric tattoos can be a great opportunity to include negative space in your design. In the above design, the negative space (where the skin is showing) creates a pattern just as the black ink does.
Tattoo trends come and go. From barbed wire armband tattoos and ankle dolphins of the 90s, to delicate mini tattoos of the 21st century, styles come in and out of vogue throughout the years. There is something about geometric tattoos that are timeless – perhaps it’s because of the ancient origins of sacred geometry.
If you’re looking for a tattoo design with intense meaning that goes beyond tattoo trends, geometric tattoos might be the perfect source of inspiration for you.