The Symbolic Meaning of Sun and Moon Tattoos

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By Anna Marikar

The sun and moon symbols have been a part of human civilization for thousands of years, representing everything from time and the cycles of nature to spiritual beliefs and personal identity.

These symbols have been used in a variety of cultures and traditions (which we’ll take a look at in a moment), and they continue to be popular in modern times, particularly as tattoos.

Whether you’re looking for a simple, elegant design or something more complex and meaningful, a sun and moon tattoo can be a beautiful and powerful way to express yourself and showcase your interests and values.

beautiful sun and moon tattoo meanings and tattoo design ideas

What Is The Sun and Moon Symbol Meaning?

In this post, we’ll explore the rich history and symbolism behind the sun and moon, and provide some inspiration for those considering a sun and moon tattoo.

The sun and moon have held a great deal of significance in ancient cultures throughout history.

Sun and Moon Meaning And Symbolism In Different Cultures And Ancient Civilizations

In Ancient Civilizations such as the Ancient Egyptians and the Mayans, the sun was often worshipped as a deity and was associated with life, light, and power. The moon, on the other hand, was revered for its connection to the night sky, the tides, and femininity.

In Greek mythology the sun and the moon hold great significance and are associated with various gods and goddesses.

The sun, known as Helios, was seen as a powerful deity and was often depicted as a radiant young man driving a chariot across the sky. Helios was associated with the power of the sun, and was said to bring light, life, and warmth to the world.

The moon, known as Selene, was the goddess of the moon and was often depicted as a beautiful, serene woman riding a chariot across the night sky. Selene was associated with the mysteries of the night, and was believed to have control over the tides and the changing phases of the moon.

Read more here about the deep symbolism of the crescent moon in ancient mythology and modern spirituality

sun and moon symbolism

In Hinduism, the sun represents permanence and immortality and the moon represents recurrence and rebirth. In Hindu folklore, the moon is also associated with romance and friendship.

In Chinese culture, the sun is seen as yang, a symbol of masculinity, and the moon as yin, a symbol of femininity and feminine energy.

The sun, which symbolises the source of life, is sometimes tradtionally depicted by a three legged bird on a red circle or disc.

Meanwhile, the round shape of the full moon represents family reunions and is a sign of peace and prosperity.

In many Native American Cultures, the sun is seen as a source of warmth, energy, and life, while the moon is associated with mystery, intuition, and femininity.

These symbols have been incorporated into art, literature, and spiritual practices, and they continue to be powerful symbols of the natural world and human experience.

Sun and Moon Tattoos

Sun and moon tattoos have been popular for decades, and they continue to be a favorite among people looking for simple, yet meaningful designs.

These tattoos often incorporate the sun and the moon together, creating a harmonious balance of light and dark, yin and yang, or masculine and feminine. Sun and moon tattoos can be designed in a variety of styles, from realistic to abstract, and they can be customized to suit the individual’s preferences and beliefs.

Floral Sun and Moon Tattoos

These floral black ink line art sun and moon tattoos are absolutely beautiful and feminine.

beautiful line art sun and moon tattoo design floral
image credit source Pinterest

Matching Sun and Moon Friendship Tattoos

The sun and moon concept is also a beautiful idea as a matching tattoo ideas for best friends, sisters or romantic partners.

matching friendship tattoo sun and moon

The sun and moon are opposite forces, polar opposites both equally beautiful and equally necessary. The sun and moon balance each other and complete each other.

You can convey this beautiful partnership with a minimalist line art tattoo, or with something more bold at detailed. Either way a matching sun and moon tattoo is a gorgeous sentiment.

sun and moon matching tattoos for sisters

Sun and Moon in a Yin Yang Design Tattoo

This detailed sun and moon, day and night, yin yang tattoo is a beautiful reflection on the cyclical nature of life.

day and night sun and moon yin yang tattoo
source Pinterest

Combining the Yin yang symbol with the sun and moon design elements can be done as simply or as detailed as you like, resulting in some powerful imagery.

sun and moon yin yang tattoo design
source Pinterest

Sun and Moon Line Art Tattoo

This gorgeous simple design would be beautiful for a back tattoo

simple line art minimal sun and moon tattoo design
image source Pinterest

of this one, incorporating the facial expressions of the sun and the moon
sun and moon with faces tattoo design
image source Pinterest

Moon Tattoo Meaning

The moon is often seen as a symbol of mystery, intuition, and femininity, and is associated with concepts such as change, cycles, and subconscious thoughts.

A moon tattoo can represent a connection to the natural world, a desire for self-discovery and introspection, or a celebration of one’s own femininity and sensitivity.

Whether incorporated into a larger design or displayed as a standalone image, a moon tattoo can be a powerful and personal statement.

There are a few different routes to go down for your moon tattoo design. Each of the phases of the moon has different meanings, in astrology and symbolism so the way you choose to depict the moon can change the meaning of your moon tattoo. Or you could choose a design which shows all phases of the moon, from a new moon to a waning moon.

moon phases

Crescent Moon Tattoo

A cresent moon tattoo can be as simple and minimal as you like. This moon design lends itself well to simple line art in black ink. It’s a popular choice if you’re looking for something small.

simple crescent moon wrist tattoo

Phases of the Moon Tattoo

A Moon Phases Tattoo works perfectly as a back tattoo, as this design lends itself beautifully to being presented in a vertical line, which is ideal for a long thin design for a spine tattoo.

phases of the moon back tattoo on the spine

Floral Moon Phases Tattoo

This floral moon phases tattoo is a beautiful way to connect with your female side.

floral moon phases back tattoo
source Pinterest

Full Moon Tattoo

A full moon tattoo may lend itself more to being in full color, so that you can use all the different colors to create some really powerful imagery, with a hint of magic.

full color full moon tattoo
source Pinterest

Boho Moon Tattoo Designs

These gorgeous hippy moon designs incorporate gorgeous imagery like the lotus flower, and mandala moon tattoos.

These designs are available as a pack of temporary tattoos from Etsy, if you want to try them out before you commit (affiliate link)

boho designs for moon tattoos with lotus and mandala crescent moon designs
Buy on Etsy

Crescent moon in the night sky tattoo

Convey the beauty of the night sky and the vastness of the universe by depicting the moon within a larger night sky. This also gives you space to incorporate a constellation tattoo within the same space if that fits your concept.

Crescent moon in the night sky tattoo

Check out the tarot card the moon meaning here to compliment your deeper understanding of moon symbolism.

Sun Tattoo Meaning

The sun tattoo has a rich history of meaning and symbolism, and is often seen as a symbol of power, strength, and renewal. Itis often associated with concepts such as enlightenment, consciousness, and growth.

A tattoo of sun can represent a connection to the natural world, a desire for renewal and growth, or a celebration of one’s own strength and power.

Although the moon is often seen as the more feminine of the two, the sun is a powerful symbol of fertility because of its life-giving energy.

Minimal Sun Tattoo

This minimalist sun tattoo on the back gives a perfect balance of sun symbolism, a minimal simple sun design and a pop of color.

sun tattoo on back

Icarus and the Sun Tattoo

If you want to incorporate greek mythology, Helios is not the only way to do it. How about this Icarus and the sun tattoo, symbolising never giving up on your dreams and goals

icarus and the sun tattoo
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Half Sun Tattoo

This simple and feminine half sun tattoo showing a rising sun instantly makes you feel optimistic

minimalist sun tattoo for women
image source Pinterest

Dots and Lines Sun Tattoo

This super minimal dots and lines tattoo conveys so much meaning in just a few strokes of ink, creating a radiant sunshine effect with an emphasis on the sun’s rays.

dots and lines sun tattoo
image source Pinterest

Check out the tarot card the sun meaning here to compliment your deeper understanding of moon symbolism.

If you want to use the imagery of the sun in tarot in your tattoo, talk to your tattoo artist and see what she can come up with.

Star Tattoo Meaning

If you’re considering a tattoo of celestial bodies then don’t forget the possibility of star tattoo. You can also combine a moon and star, which is symbolic of Islam.

Sun and moon tattoos are a beautiful and meaningful way to express yourself and showcase your feminine energy and power.

With a rich history of symbolism and significance, these tattoo designs are popular today for good reason and offer a deep meaning for those who choose to get them inked.

Whether you’re looking for a simple, elegant design or something more complex and intricate, a sun and moon tattoo can be a beautiful and personal way to connect with the natural world and the cycles of life.

So if you’re considering getting a sun and moon tattoo, take the time to explore the rich history and symbolism behind these designs and find the one that speaks to you.

beautiful and feminine sun and moon tattoo meanings and symbolism

More Tattoo Designs and Symbolism

Good luck finding your next tattoo design. Whether you’re looking for a simple linework design or something bold and detailed with vivid colors, we have so many meaningful and symbolic different designs for tattoos here on On Your Journey for you to browse through.

Please go ahead and share them on social media or with friends too!

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Anna is a Wales-based writer and graduate from SOAS University of London.
As the voice behind On Your Journey, she empowers women to embrace holistic well-being and spiritual growth through her expert insights into wellness and symbolism.
When she isn't writing thought-provoking articles, you'll find her busy crafting and raising her 4 children.