Triangle Tattoo Meaning
The threefold nature of the universe; heaven, earth, man; father, mother, child; man as body, suol and spirit; the mystic number three; the ternary; the first plane figure, hence the fundamental representation of surface.
Surface is composed of triangles. (Plato)
The equilateral triangle depicts completion. The upward-pointing triangle is solar and symbolizes life, fire, flame, heat (here the horizontal line represents air), the masculine principle, the linga, the shakta, the spiritual world. It is also the trinity of love, truth and wisdom; it denotes royal splendour and is depicted as the colour red.
The downward-pointing triangle is lunar, the feminine principle, the matrix; the waters, cold, the natural world, the body, the yoni, the shakti; it symbolizes the Great Mother as genetrix. The horizontal line is the earth and its colour white. In mountain and cave symbolism the mountain is the masculine, upward-pointing triangle and the cave the feminine, downward-pointing. The triangle in a circle depicts the plane of forms held within the circle of eternity.
The area within this triangle is the common hearth of them all and is named “the Plain of Truth’; in which the Reason, the forms and patterns of all things that have been, and that shall be, are stored up not to be disturbed; and Eternity dwells round them, from whence time, like a stream from a fountain, flows down upon the worlds. (Plutarch)
Three interlaced triangles denote the indissoluble unity of the three persons of the Trinity. The double triangle, the six-pointed star, the Seal of Solomon. The Mogun David, indicates that ‘every true analogy must be applied inversely‘, ‘as above so below‘. It is the union of opposites, male and female, positive and negative, the upper triangle being white and the lower black; fire and water; evolution and involution; interpenetration, each being the image of the other; the hermaphrodite; the perfect balance of complementary forces; the androgynous aspect of the deity; man looking into his own nature; the twin forces of creativity; the synthesis of all elements with the upright triangle as the celestial nature and the inverted as the terrestrial, the whole representing universal man uniting the two as mediator. As the Seal of Solomon it is also the figure of the Preserver and gives spirit power over matter and is a ruler of genii. Two triangles lying horizontally and touching apex to apex are lunar, the waxing and waning moon; eternal return; death and life; dying and resurrecting. The point of touching is the dark of the moon and death.
- Alchemy: The two triangles are essence and substance, forma and materia, spirit and soul, sulphur and quicksilver, the stable and the volatile, spiritual power and bodily existence. Triangles depict the elements as: fire; water; air; earth.The two interlocking triangles are the union of the opposites, which become ‘fluid fire’ or ‘fiery water’.
- Buddhist: The pure flame and the Three Jewels of the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
- Chinese: The triangle with suspended swords signifies regeneration.
- Christian: The equilateral triangle, or the triangle formed by three interlacing circles, depicts the Trinity in unity and the equality of the three persons. The triangular halo is an attribute of God the Father.
- Egyptian: Represents the Triad. ‘They compare the perpendicular side [of a right-angle triangle] to the male, the base to the female and the hypotenuse to the offspring of the two: Osiris as the beginning, Isis as the medium or receptacle, and Horus as the accomplishing‘ (Plutarch). The Hand of the Egyptians is the union of fire and water, male and female. A figure of three double triangles surrounded by concentric circles depicts the Khui, the Land of Spirits.
- Greek: The delta symbolizes the door of life, the feminine principle, fertility.
- Hindu: The upward and downward triangles are the shakta and shakti, the linga and yoni, or Siva and his shakti.
- Pythagorean: The equilateral triangle represents Athene as goddess of wisdom.