What Do Sun Tattoos Symbolize?

Small Sun Tattoo @museoambulante

Throughout human history, the sun has held huge significance in many cultures – this stands to reason, as very few things can grow without the sun’s rays. It’s little wonder as to why there are many ancient deities that are related to the sun.

From Amun-Ra, the creator god, in Egyptian mythology; and Apollo the Greek god who was said to pull the sun into the sky with his golden chariot; to Inti, the god of the sun and patron deity of the Inca empire. 

The sun has been worshiped and personified by humanity for millennia. While worship of deities from ancient civilizations has decreased as the years have gone by, people still give reverence to the importance of the sun and what it represents through sun tattoos. 

Sol Sun Tattoo @gracedoestattoos

When it comes to sun tattoos, there are many different ways to go. From the duality of the sun and the moon, to a small, minimalist inking, there are lots of solar-themed options.

Sun And Moon Tattoo

Combining the sun and the moon can create an eye-catching, deeply symbolic tattoo design. The sun traditionally represents masculinity, while the moon is oftentimes seen as a feminine celestial symbol. The two together can be a symbol of balance in life.

Sun Moon Tattoo @rodrigomtattoo

“The sun is often recognized as a symbol of rebirth, strength and power. The moon is associated with the female in many cultures often in the form of a goddess,”

Tattoo Me Now

Both the sun and the moon can be merged into a circle – one that represents the never ceasing circle of life. This circle and merging of opposites can also be represented as a Yin Yang tattoo. 

For more about moon tattoos, click here

Simple, Small Sun Tattoos

While a large sun tattoo with a lot of details can be visually appealing, there is certainly something about small, minimalist tattoos that are eye-catching. 

Minimalist Sun Tattoo @ziggiestattoo

A sun can be a great choice for a mini tattoo. Plus, there are benefits of going small with your tattoo design: You can cover your ink up easily, you aren’t limited by placement options, and it can be a good way to dip your toe in the tattoo waters if you’ve never been inked before.

If you’re thinking about getting your first tattoo, click here for what you should know before getting inked. 

However, when it comes to fine line, delicate tattoos, there are a few things to be aware of. One being that fine line tattoos use less ink than traditional tattoos, so they can blur and fade at a quicker rate. 

Solar System Tattoo @alix.duma

To counteract this, it is essential that you look after your tattoo when it’s fresh and after it’s healed. So, protect your sun tattoo from the actual sun by covering it up when going out or putting on a strong SPF. 

Aztec Sun Tattoo

The Aztec people had an advanced, flourishing empire before the Spanish came along. Also, the Aztecs themselves practiced tattooing. 

“Aztec tattoos were first worn by the ancient Aztec people who inhabited parts of Central America and Mexico. Their tattoos were applied as a part of rituals, meant to honor a chosen god. The art on their bodies was also used to differentiate between tribes and display a warrior’s prowess,”

Authority Tattoo
Aztec Tattoo @olaf_kaminskiy

One Aztec symbol that is a popular choice for a tattoo is the Sun Stone, a sculptured disk believed to have been carved in the 15th century. 

“At the center of the stone is a representation of either the sun god Tonatiuh (the Day Sun) or Yohualtonatiuh (the Night Sun) or the primordial earth monster Tlaltecuhtli, in the latter case representing the final destruction of the world when the 5th sun fell to earth,”

World History

Aztec culture is vast and fascinating, so there really is a lot to dive into before deciding to get an Aztec symbol tattooed. 

Sun and Clouds Tattoo @kaylee.tattoos

To put it simply, it is said that the Aztecs believed that the world passed through four eras or suns, and they lived during the fifth sun. It was during this fifth era that the sun god, Tonatiuh, reigned, as displayed on the Sun Stone. 

“Tonatiuh and the sacrifices he demanded were part of the Aztec creation myth. The myth said that after the world had been dark for many years, the sun appeared in heaven for the first time but it refused to move. The dwellers had to sacrifice themselves and supply the sun with their hearts in order to propel the sun on its daily course,”

Thought Co.
Simple Sun Moon Tattoo @_lena.tattoo_

The Aztecs revered the sun, so getting a sun tattoo inspired by this culture is hugely symbolic. For the Aztecs, the sun was central to everything, and so this tattoo can represent the giving of life, but also the sacrifices that they gave the sun. 

The Eye Of The Sun God, Ra

In ancient Egypt, the sun was represented through many deities. Amun-Ra was seen as the creator god, and his name evolved over the centuries. While both Amun-Ra and another famous Egyptian god, Horus, have a falcon head and are associated with the sun, they are not the same deity. 

Eye Of Ra Tattoo @adambohomaz

What can also get confusing is the Eye of Ra and the Eye of Horus – these are two different things. 

The Eye of Ra was seen as an independent, feminine aspect of the powerful sun god.

“She has consistently played a part in the continued cycle that we associate with the dawning of a glorious new day. She is seen as a form of rebirth, a rising of the sun that spreads out over the land,”

Give Me History

An Eye of Ra tattoo can represent the light and good that’s in the world. Also, the ancient Egyptians used this symbol as a tool to ward off negative spirits, so this tattoo can also symbolize protection.  

Sun Eye Tattoo @ivanruotolo.ink

For more about ancient Egyptian-themed tattoos, click here

People’s fascination with the sun is still seen today through the variety of incredible sun tattoos. If you are looking for a tattoo idea with deep spiritual meaning, going through ancient sun gods and different creative ways to depict the sun can be a good place to start.

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