Like with any other tattoo, when getting a sun tattoo, it is essential to know what it means. Otherwise, you may easily get embarrassed with your choice of the inked image. So that it will not happen, we have rounded up the most common meanings of sun tattoos in different cultures. As a bonus, you are offered the most exclusive ideas for sun tattoos. Make sure to study our guide carefully before getting inked.


Sun Tattoo: History And Symbolism

The sun tattoo meaning varies from culture to culture. No wonder there are so many tattoo ideas that feature the sun. Yet, in general, it symbolizes revival and light. Also, as our life cycle is affected by the sun, it is intrinsically linked to the existence of humankind. And here is what the sun tattoo means in different fields.



In astrology, the sun signifies the power of space. It comes as no surprise that many ancient objects feature the sun symbol painted or carved on their surface. Also, one of the representations of the Self is the sun since you project it on people in the same way sun rays shine on them. Another meaning of the sun is associated with its position when the child is born. In astrology, it is thought to bestow them specific traits of character.

Ancient China

The sun and the moon in Ancient Chinese philosophy represented Yin and Yang. So, the sun and moon tattoo may be interpreted as two opposites that complement each other and merge into one whole. There was another belief. It claimed that a human was an embodiment of the sun and also had a cosmic eye. It was supposed to lighten knowledge.



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For alchemists, the sun, or “sol” as it was called, signified intellect and spirit. In the alchemical practice, gold was used to represent the sun.

Planetary Symbols

In planetary symbolism, the sun is represented by a circle and a dot inside it. It is referred to outstanding work completion and how the Self and the planet are related. Because the sun is often associated with light, it also implies that the Self is lit up, thus allowing others to see the inner being.




Christianity interprets the sun as archangel Michael’s home. The moon, in its turn, is the home of the angel Gabriel. Christ is believed to exchange light with the sun. As you can tell, the sun plays a very important role in Christianity.

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptians linked the sun to Ra, Osiris, and Horus, Egyptian gods. Sunrise was associated with Horus and when the sun was at the zenith, it was under the aegis of Ra. Osiris was responsible for the sun setting.

Greek Mythology

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There was a connection between the sun, vision, and optics in Greek mythology, which is why the former was frequently considered Zeus’s eye. Hindu mythology assumed that Varuna, the god of waters, could see through it.



Masculinity is often attributed to the sun. Yet, in Paganism, the rays of the sun were thought to transfer femininity.

Animal Kingdom

In Animal Kingdom, the sun also has a symbolic meaning. As such, the tiger represents sunset, while eagles symbolize the sun surpassing civilization.

Meanings of a Sun Tattoo

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The sun tattoo comes in many styles. Each of them is unique and unusual. Some of the popular sun tattoo designs include black, Celtic, tribal, Egyptian and suchlike. While it has quite a few meanings, light and truth are considered the most widely accepted ones. The light of the sun is believed to be the guidance during a hard period in life. Those who have had to endure many troubles choose the sun tattoo as the representation of their struggles. On the one hand, it signifies that the person has overcome difficulties. On the other hand, it reminds them of the experience they have had.

Another reason why people get sun tattoos is to demonstrate that their lives were positively affected by others, kind of shining light on them. So, if you would like to show that you appreciate someone who has saved you or helped you, getting the sun tat is a good idea.


What Does A Sun And Moon Tattoo Mean?


The sun and the moon often go together in tats. They both have a separate symbolic meaning though. The sun denotes power, vigor, stamina and harmony. If you have it inked on your body, it suggests that you are optimistic about your life because you have been through some difficulties or you have helped others to overcome theirs.

The moon tattoo is a more preferable option for women, as it is a way to indicate that you are sensitive, feminine and sympathetic. It may imply that people should give you space from time to time. Another meaning of the moon tattoo is your monthly period reminder.

Plus, since the moon morphs into several different forms, it is often compared to people's minds. Thus, if you and your partner are looking for matching tattoo ideas, the moon and sun tattoo may be your best bet. Not only is it a symbol of balance and harmony in life but it also demonstrates that you are mentally connected. And the most prevalent sun and moon tattoo meaning is two opposite elements interacting with each other and working as a unity, which originates in Paganism.

Size And Location


Any tattoo placement depends on various factors with the size being one of the most contributing and sun tattoos are no exception. Also, you need to consider whether you want it to be on display or it is better to hide it under your clothes. If you cannot decide how big you want the image to be and where to locate it, then you may ask the tattoo artist for advice. They can also weigh in the complexity of the image and if the chosen location allows for enough space to achieve the desired result.

The most popular body parts for a small sun tattoo are fingers, wrists, ankles, the back of the neck, collarbones and feet. For a simple sun tattoo, you can choose any location provided there is room for the chosen design. More intricate and extensive sun tats require some extra space. So, the best placement for them will be the back, the chest, hips, the belly, etc.


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To ensure your freshly inked tattoo does not fade, get distorted, or infected, you should follow aftercare recommendations thoroughly.

  1. The first thing you should do after getting the tattoo is to leave the dressing intact. You can remove it in several hours once you are home. But take care to do it with clean hands, as you do not want to introduce the wound to bacteria.
  2. Next, rinse the inked area using a mild fragrance-free soap or a special cleanser. Make sure it does not contain alcohol as well, as it may irritate the wound. Pat dry the tattoo using a paper towel. Avoid rubbing it at all costs.
  3. In case your tat is getting itchy or dry, use a bit of mild lotion or the ointment prescribed by your tattoo artist.
  4. Should you notice peeling or flaking, no worries. That is how the process of healing usually goes. Besides, you are most likely to face it in 5-7 days after you have been inked. You should steer clear of picking it though. Otherwise, the ink will fall out.


Creative Sun Tattoo Designs

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Now that you know everything about sun tattoos, it is time for a dose of inspiration. Below, we have put together the most awe inspiring sun tattoo ideas that will allow you to stand out in the crowd. So that everyone would be able to find a design to match their taste and preference, we have picked out different styles, from a simple sun tattoo minimalist would love to a large and elaborate image for real maximalists.

With all the above information in mind, you are guaranteed to get the most out of your sun tattoo. It is important that you know not only what it means but also how to take care of it. So, if you have been postponing your visit to the tattoo salon, this is the sign that you should book an appointment with the best tattoo artist in your area.

FAQ: Sun Tattoo

What does the sun tattoo symbolize?

The symbolic meaning of sun tattoos varies depending on the culture. Yet, in general, it signifies revival and light. Also, thanks to the sun, our life is balanced, as our existence is impossible without it.

What does a tribal sun tattoo mean?

Tribal sun tattoos represent a partnership relationship between the sun and life. Other meanings include light, leadership, creativity and strength. Celts believed that the sun tattoo was related to fertility, life source and healing.

What do sun and moon tattoos mean?

The sun and the moon, which are often depicted in a single tattoo, symbolize two opposites, for instance, good and bad, feminine and masculine, life and death, etc.