The Maya had a large number of symbols that meant many things, and some of these designs can help you represent a transition or new path in life.
Of all the civilizations that were living in Latin America when Columbus arrived, the Maya were one of the most advanced. They had their own calendar and writing system (the only one in this part of the world), and an extremely complex set of religious beliefs. However, most people know about them through their art, which is visible in the pyramids that still stand in parts of Central America, and of course, their hieroglyphs. These hieroglyphs (which are still being decoded) are visual symbols of the way they saw life, death, and the universe. Therefore, by inking these symbols on your skin, you are not only honoring the Maya’s ancient wisdom, but also celebrating your own journey through life and the many changes you’ve been through.
The sun: clarity of the mind
The Maya worshipped the sun like no other culture. They saw it as a god who gave them food and kept them alive. However, they also saw the divine sun as a source of enlightenment and energy. If you recently took a new path in life - a wiser and more clear one where you left old mistakes behind - this tattoo would be perfect for that, and there are many designs to choose from. The most popular one is the Maya calendar with the sun in the middle.
The jaguar: strength and leadership
If you have recently discovered a new strength within you and have taken on the path of a leader, consider getting a jaguar design as your next tattoo. The Maya thought of the jaguar as the ruler of the night, probably because of the animal's ability to see well in the dark, and because they are fearless fighters. It has often been used to symbolize power and self-confidence. The most popular design is the jaguar warrior.
The eagle: wisdom
The eagle is one of the most iconic symbols represented in Maya hieroglyphics. It is thought to channel wisdom through its precision and careful meditation when hunting its prey. In addition, the eagle is believed to have a clear head and to protect its community by overseeing and planning from long distances. This symbol would be a perfect tattoo for those who are seeing life with new eyes and want to use their knowledge to defend and protect others.
Earth: a spiritual connection to nature
If you are thinking about getting a tattoo to symbolize your connection with the earth, or even your love for nature, the many Maya earth symbols are the right ones for you. These hieroglyphs serve the Maya as a reminder of the importance of nature in their lives, and the spiritual forces that play a key role in their agricultural transitions. They also represent the voices of their gods through elements like water, fire, earth, and the wind. There are many tattoos to choose from, but the most popular one is the earth symbol shown below.
The Bat: rebirth
The Maya believe in the differences and contrasts between good and evil. Just like they saw the jaguar as the guardian of the night, they thought of the bat as the distinction between bad and good. So, it became known as the guardian of everything that was dark and evil (the underworld). By keeping the underworld sealed and away from the living, it became a respected icon. Choosing the bat as a tattoo doesn’t make you a follower of the mystical, dark arts; on the contrary, it is often used to symbolize one’s journey through life and the rebirth of the soul.
The Maya civilization was, in many ways, more advanced than our own. Their writing system was bigger and more complex than in other civilizations, including ours. It shouldn't come as a surprise that different people have different interpretations of a single symbol. Learning more about the representations and the interpretations the Maya drew from these icons is important and also helpful when choosing your next tattoo. We take different and new paths every day, and the big changes we make in our lives are worth being illustrated with an ancient Maya symbol.
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