Celtic tattoos were the prerogative of Celtic warriors. They used to go into the battle bare chested, so to cover their chests with tattoos was a sign of intimidation against the enemy. To make a tattoo they used a bluish dye from a plant native to northern Europe and the British Isles: the Isatis tinctoria.
The process was long and laborious. Before tattooing the leaves were harvested, dried and then brought to a boil. The final product was filtered and boiled again to obtain a viscous indigo compound. They used it to dip the needles before use. Main Celtic symbols used in tattooing are: - Triskelion: derives from the Greek and means three legs and in fact is associated with movement, the competition and progress.
- Triquetra: is the Celtic trinity, a lunar goddess who embodies three personifications in one, exactly as the lunar phase and the faces of the same goddess.
- Triple spiral: represents the three powers of the woman (maiden, mother, old) through the transition of growth.
- Three rays (Arwen): the two external rays symbolize the male and female energy, the middle one shows the balance between the two.
- Single Spiral: Represents ethereal energy that radiates growth and expansion of consciousness.
- 5 circles: in this case we are dealing with balance; the outer circles are the natural elements of earth, air, water, fire, while the central unites them all by obtaining a natural balance.
- Double Spiral: annual symbolizes the equinoxes.
- the Cross is the bridge between heaven and earth.