Sun and Moon Tattoo Designs & Their Meaning
The sun and moon are vitally important figures in cultures around the world. Both have captivated the imaginations of people everywhere for centuries; it’s no wonder that so many people feel such a strong, personal connection to them.
That deep connection with both sun and moon has inspired tattoos in cultures around the world for hundreds of years. These tattoos carry a wide variety of meanings and come in many different designs and art styles.
Some of the most popular tattoo designs that incorporate the sun and moon are:
- Crescent moon and sun
- Kissing sun and moon
- Moon phases with the sun’s rays
- Mexican sun and moon
- Dreamcatcher sun and moon
- Minimalist sun and moon
Meanings of Sun and Moon Tattoos
Sun and moon meanings vary widely by culture and personal beliefs, but there are a few common threads. For example, the sun and moon tend to represent masculine and feminine energy, respectively, which translate to tattoos really well.
Together, the sun and the moon represent two halves of one whole in a tattoo—in other words, they represent duality. For instance, they stand for good and bad, light and dark, and above all, equilibrium. Together, they represent opposing energies in the universe, but the two symbols have their individual meanings, as well.
Along with masculinity, the sun represents logic, the rational mind, and the ability to solve problems in daily life. It means power and strength and is a symbol of rebirth.
Along with feminine energy, the moon often represents wishes for fertility, and the energy of a goddess, which is important to those who are interested in the occult.
Other meanings the moon carries are instinct, intuition, imagination, and creativity. Those meanings exist in contrast to the sun’s logical, pragmatic nature. The moon also represents emotions, the senses, mystery, wonder, and time.
The sun and moon is an easy design to add your own personal touch to, and there are lots of popular ideas to grab inspiration from.
Crescent Moon and Sun
The crescent moon resting inside of the sun is easily one of the most famous designs. Usually inked in vivid colors and striking lines, this tattoo design is also highly customizable, making it a popular choice. These two symbols together represent duality.
Kissing Sun and Moon
A variation of the crescent sun and moon design, a tattoo of the sun, and moon kissing represent lovers. This design is often chosen by people who want to honor a significant other or celebrate love. It’s another design that’s normally tattooed in vibrant colors.
Moon Phases With the Sun’s Rays
Another popular design is the phases of the moon with sun rays enveloping the full moon. This tattoo is typically found on the arms, back, or legs. It represents life’s cyclical nature. The moon phases with the sun illuminating the full moon is also a popular design among those who practice magic and believe in the occult.
Mexican Sun and Moon
This Mexican design is one of the most well-known depictions of the sun and moon. In this design, both the moon and the sun are depicted with faces, and artists tend to ink them in bright colors. The sun and moon together represent life and opposing forces in nature.
Dreamcatcher Sun and Moon
This Bohemian design is typically made up of a crescent moon and sun surrounded by an ornate dreamcatcher. Dreamcatchers are a symbol of protection—a powerful image when combined with the spiritual meanings of the sun and moon. This is another design that’s well-loved by those who are interested in the occult.
Minimalist Sun and Moon
Usually made up of only a few lines, minimalist sun and moon tattoos tend to be small and only the outline of the sun and the moon. It’s common to see these tattoos placed on the wrist or ankles, sometimes with the sun on one wrist or ankle and the moon on the other. These tattoos are usually done in black and white.
Popular Art Styles
Sun and moon tattoos are inked in an amazing array of art styles. From minimalist to watercolor and everything in between, there’s a style for absolutely everyone. Here’s a quick look at some of the best styles for sun and moon tattoos.
Traditional ink tends to be done with strong lines and colors that pop. Sun and moon tattoos are particularly popular in this style, especially flash tattoos. The Mexican sun and moon is a popular design done in this style, as well as the kissing sun and moon.
Another art style that has exploded in popularity in recent years is the minimalist style. Using simple shapes and motifs, as well as clean lines, these tattoos are usually small and colorless. They tend to be placed in discrete areas such as the wrist or the ankle.
The Bohemian art style is another that’s gathered a significant fanbase in recent years. Bohemian tattoos are usually colorless and ornate, with lots of tiny details incorporated into the design. Sun and moon tattoos in the Bohemian style are often paired with designs like dreamcatchers and feathers.
Watercolor tattoos have splashes of vibrant color that bleed through the outline of the tattoo. These beautiful designs are becoming increasingly common. As with most of the colored sun and moon tattoos, the sun tends to be orange, and the moon is generally blue. These tattoos can take up a lot of space and are typically found on the back, arms, or legs.
Easily identifiable by its bold, black lines, the tribal style is usually colorless and tends to take up a large amount of space, though this isn’t always the case. These tattoos are normally done in black, and the sun and moon tend to be more abstract when done in this style.
Common Sun and Moon Tattoo Colors
With sun and moon tattoos, colored ink is very common. The most frequently used color combinations are blue and orange with yellow highlights. The sun is normally orange, and the moon tends to be blue. Blue and orange are complementary colors, so they really pop when used together.
Other designs incorporate elements like lotus flowers and dreamcatchers, and those are usually green or red. With Mexican-inspired tattoos, the sun is sometimes represented in several different colors, including orange, turquoise, yellow, green, and red.
Choosing a place for your ink is a big decision, and it’s not one that should be taken lightly. Pay attention to popular choices when choosing a spot for your new tat. When it comes to sun and moon tattoos, these are the most common places for ink:
- Front and back of the legs
- Back of the neck
Larger tats tend to end up in places like the shoulder, the forearms, the back of the neck, and the arms and legs. These spots provide the artist with a larger canvas and allow them to work their magic on more detailed pieces.
Some of the most common large tattoos are back pieces with the sun and moon on opposite shoulders, full sleeves, and leg pieces depicting the moon and the sun together.
Smaller designs, on the other hand, are usually placed in areas where there isn’t as much space to work with, like the feet, ankles, and wrists. Minimalist designs work well with little space. Ink in these areas also tends to be easier to conceal than in other places.
There are a few especially popular small tattoos that incorporate the sun and the moon. For example, both the sun and moon on opposite wrists or ankles is a common placement. Other designs that receive a lot of attention include minimalist tattoos on the back of the neck or behind both ears.