My Moon Tattoo

“Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars.”

J.R.R. Tolkin ‘Lord of the Rings’

I have been thinking about getting my next tattoo and trying to decide on what image I would like, but unless I am having a tattoo to represent a specific period in my life I am curious to know more about any symbolism connect with an image.

People it seems are fascinated by opposites, male (yang) and female (yin), right or wrong, night and day; and the moon is seen as the opposite to the sun.  For a long time it was thought that the moon was luminary while in fact it produces no light of its own and is dependent upon the sun’s light to reflect its image.

The Moon and Sun have been given genders for thousands of years, the sun being thought of as male and the moon female.  The Egyptians often linked the moon to Isis, the Queen of the Heavens.  All of life it touched and affected by the moon; from how our planet spins on its axes to how our oceans rise and fall to its phases; also being linked to the female’s reproductive cycle.  Through the moons constantly changing form reminds us of the inconsistencies of life and time.  This has also led some people to believe that the moon is also a representation of our inner child, past present and future.

Now knowing why the moon is considered feminine it is understandable that a tattoo of the moon is said to represent feminine emotions and feelings; and is symbolic of feminine power and fertility. Mythical goddess depicted with the moon was meant to convey their hidden powers and wisdom. In both Western and Eastern astrology, the moon is a symbol for “motherhood”, and tattoos can represent not only being a mother but also your children. Because the moon is said to be significant of Mother Nature’s instincts, it therefore symbolizes a caring nature and love toward her loved ones.

Whilst within the majority of cultures the moon is considered feminine, and (opposite to the sun which is masculine).  Some Native American (Eskimo and Navajo), Japanese and Maori tribes have given the moon a male gender, where it is therefore seen as a major inspiration in hunting cultures.  Whilst other Native American tribes who consider the moon as a feminine symbol there are legends of the Great Woman beaming in the moon, who is said to be eternal, and always watching over her children.  In Taoism the moon is yin, and referred to as the eye that shines through the darkness.