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  • Writer's pictureMandira Antar

Tattoo symbols / The Moon symbol, mythology-meaning-tattoo placement

Updated: Sep 3, 2023


Mankind is observing the moon from the very start with awe and wonder. For millions of years it was the only available light during the darkest nights, it is earth's constant companion and the observer of our dreams and fears. Scientifically speaking, we owe our existence to it, keeping "things" together here in our planet, the climate, the waters, everything as we known it.


Spine tattoo of a woman embracing herself, black and grey
Crescent moon mandala custom design for the spine by Mandira

The moon has inspired love, romance, magic, poetry, science, dreams... you name it! Even nowadays that we have walked on it, analyzed it, touched it, travelled far beyond it, still hasn't lost its magic a bit!

Sometimes, I am trying to connect to the primitive man who did not know what this round shinny object on the sky was, so naturally it must have been a kind of God, the one who supervised the deeds of the dark nights, the opposite of the bright and warm sun. The cold blue icy light. Maybe they thought it was the sun just turning off the light and putting on the night gown to enable nature to rest and recharge for the next day.


One of the things that is really fascinating about the moon is that it reminds us of constant change. The stages of the moon are a source of observation and understanding. Every 28 days it is reborn, becoming full and starting all over again. The cycle of life and death, the new beginning that follows every completion.



Moon planet is one of our greatest teachers, so let’s talk about the moon energy... science might agree or disagree but sensitive souls will certainly feel it... so imagine the full moon one bright night and ask yourselves why?

Why does it has so big influence on our thoughts? Why is it so much connected to every inspiration, deeper thoughts and fears? A symbol of a constant companion, the one who supports and guides, does it remind you of the feminine element yet?

Sun eclipse
Sun eclipse / Photo by Jongsun Lee on Unsplash

For those who know, the moon is a symbol of femininity as opposed to the sun who is considered a male symbol. They are complementary seemingly never meeting, but co-creating and coexisting in our vast sky! Once in a while their shadows meet one another, rare times yet so powerful.


Full moon is said to urge people with mental issues to have episodes, and this is the reason they were called lunatics. When someone is fully in love or dreamy and a bit weird we call them moonstruck.


Did you know?

In England, in the past, people that were accused of serious crimes could achieve a lighter sentence if the said crime occurred under a full moon.



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Moon Symbol Mythology and Religion


In Ancient Greece it was called "Selene" which is translating as "the Goddess of the moon". her name derives from the word root "Selas" which mean "light". Selene was daughter of the Titans and sister of the Sun (Helios) and the Dawn (Io). She was master of the months, the waters and her chariot was pulled by a pair of Bulls. It is said that in every full moon she bathed in the Ocean, an act that gave her, her distinctive glow.

Romans named her "Luna". According to Hesiod her parents were Titans Hyperion and Theia. She was associated with magic, fertility, alchemy and mysteries. Her brother was Sol (the Sun) and she is depicted as a beautiful woman with a crescent moon on her forehead.


Did you know?

Native Americans had a name for every moon of the year related to season changes.

Tagalogs, first native inhabitants of Manila, believed the sun and the moon where created after a big dispute of two sisters Sun (Araw) and Moon (Buwan), the first was the kind and good one, and the second was the cold and cruel, so the two planetary objects are the result of God's punishment that led to both the diamonds. He offered as presents to be nailed in the sky. The brighter one of Araw is the Sun and the dimmer lighted is of Buwan , the Moon (source https://www.aswangproject.com/tagalog-sun-moon/).

In Hindu Mythology the Lunar deity is called "Chandra", also known as Soma and Rajanipati. He was the son of Sage Atri and his wife Anasuya. He is also called Nishadipati, Nisha meaning night and Adipathi means Lord. According to tradition he had 27 wives, each of them representing constellations around the moon!


The Chinese Goddess of the moon is Chang'e originating from myths about her flying to the moon after drinking the elixir of eternal life and choosing the moon as her permanent residence. She is a symbol of elegance and grace.



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For Egyptians Thoth was the God master of the moon among other attributes such as magic, medicine, mathematics, wisdom and writing. He was one of the most important deities for Egyptians and his birth story has various possible versions: One myth says he was self-born, another one that he was created by the eye of Horus when it was shattered and last it is said that he was created by the lips of Ra. Thoth was also responsible for keeping records of Ma'at's feather of truth which was the factor of whether the spirits should pass to the AfterLife!



He was depicted with a full moon as a crown and with the head of an Ibis, the sacred bird of creation.


 

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Illustration card with meanings of the symbol of the Moon, mandala design by Mandira
Moon Symbolism Illustration by Mandira Antar

The moon chakra


“Chakra” is a Sanskrit word literally meaning "wheel."


The chakra energy system has seven basic energy centres, or energy wheels on the human body. Each of them is represented as a lotus flower with different number of petals and is also associated with the energy of an animal, a color, a shape, as well as a natural element.



There is although a lesser known chakra, the 8th chakra that is associated with the moon. It is called Bindu chakra or Moon chakra and is connected to eternal youth and health! Yogis follow various practices to activate it and stop its distruction that comes through the connection with the Sun (the Manipura chakra).


The crescent moon is also part of the symbolization of the sacral chakra, also known as Hara.













 

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Moon tattoo / placement


The moon is a tattoo choice that can be depicted in any form and style. Phases of the moon are a very common choice for females, representing the female hormonal and symbolic rythm of creation and let-go that follows the period cycle.

A woman standing on her elbows with a tattoo on her arm lines, leaves, triangles and dots, a full and a crescent moon on it
Full and Crescent moon geometry tattoo by Mandira
Wolf and Native American girl custom tattoo design
Wolf and Native American girl custom tattoo design by Mandira

Full moon is often associated with the wolf and werewolves and their magic energy. This option is common in arm sleeves, and very popular among Native American culture lovers or spiritualists.


Realistic tattos of the moon demand a really talented artist and a carefully selected positioning on your body. Choose an arm or forearm and hand placement to enhance the energy of wisdom and change, to strengthen your spirituality. Get a moon tattoo on your left side, if you are a woman that needs to be more in touch with her feminine qualities.


Place a moon element in every tattoo synthesis that is representing a dream or a goal. It will improve your realization of possible subconscious reasons that are an obstacle to what you need to achieve!



Full moon in particular, as all circles are, symbolizes completion and in many ways the full blossoming of whatever you want to empower.

Choose a half moon as a remembrance of patience and observation. Some people find it really difficult to wait and embrace whatever they have achieved so far.


Crescent moons are about beauty, elegance and creation. New ideas and openings and fresh starts. Place a moon symbol around your legs to help you in any new steps you are about to take and if you are afraid of the dark, the moon will guide you and make you wiser.


Create a design combining the sun and the moon, a deep alchemic symbol about the union of the opposites and the duality of life's aspects.


Be informed before you get inked!


 

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Reminder:

Never forget that every tattoo and symbol takes it's meaning from the wearer !!

Sources:


 

About the Author (Mandira)

Check out my tattoo page and message me for a custom design that we co-create with love and enthusiasm! Like my facebook page to stay in touch! About Mandira Antar


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