Rise and Shine: Best Sun Tattoo Ideas With Meanings

Rise and shine – it’s time for some amazing sun tattoo designs!

This life-giving symbol that’s been a staple in all civilizations since the dawn of time, has entered the world of tattooing from the get go.

From traditional sun tattoos, through realistic and illustrative sun appearances, all the way to abstract geometric sun tattoos, the star takes the important role in many tattoo designs.

Sun tattoos are commonly thought to be small and circular, but below you will find how other types of tattoos included sun to make it a part of a big, especially Biblical scene.

Now, to learn more about what sun meant in cultures around the world, let’s dive deep into art history and mythology together.

Every Tattoo Has A Story – Sun Tattoo Meaning

Even though the sun is an old and common symbol, the question still arises often. So, what does the sun symbolize?

The sun symbol one of the most ancient symbols in human evolution. The ancient cultures worldwide depicted the sun, both as it appeared to the naked human eye and according to its importance in their respective cultures.

Almost every important abstract concept that people didn’t know how to understand was assigned to the closest star seen: the sun.

So, time, life, birth, death, divinity, royalty, and power – all drew back to the sun.

That said, the sun was frequently viewed not as simply a physical phenomenon but as a god.

Because of that it was shown together with other important symbols to portray royalty and divinity of an earthly ruler, such as a king or pharaoh.

Ancient Egypt is one of the best known examples of a sun-centric religious culture, which also featured other spiritual symbols such as the evil eye.

Thousands of years have gone by, but our need to depict the sun has not faded with time.

Today, the sun symbols is still used as a metaphor for power, knowledge, and emotion.

The sun resonates with male energy in most cultures.

However, Celtic perspective places feminine power within the sun’s rays. Likewise, ancient African, Japanese, Germanic, and some Native American tribes all hold the sun as a feminine energy.

When it comes to astrology, the sun is one of the luminaries and a star. It symbolizes the self, people’s personalities and egos and their spirit.

The sun brings out originality and creativity in people, giving them power to meet the challenges in your every day life.

Along those lines the sun is symbolic of the Self that is expressed outwardly – the self that shines openly to our friends, family, co-workers, etc. It’s as if the sun shines upon our symbolic selves and makes us most visible to the world.

In theogony, though, the Sun represents the moment when the heroic principle shines at its brightest.

The idea of the invincible character of the sun is reinforced by the belief that whereas the Moon must suffer fragmentation (since it wanes) before it can reach its monthly stage of three-day disappearance, the Sun does not need to die in order to descend into hell.

The can reach the ocean or the lake and cross it without being dissolved.

So, the death of the Sun necessarily implies the idea of resurrection and actually comes to be regarded as a death which is not a true death.

In Christianity, sun rays are a common symbol of the light shining on the believers and followers of Jesus Christ, combined with clouds, doves, and cross for a full faith tattoo.

The Sun and Moon Tattoo Symbolism

The sun moon tattoo is the perfect tattoo design for somebody who is looking for a tattoo that symbolizes polarity, darkness vs light, yin and yang, and generally two sides of oneself.

With the combination of the sun and the moon in tattoos, there is a clear composition of eternal counterparts that both bring light in their own respective time of the day.

Sun moon stars tattoo is also an amazing celestial tattoo that can be a beautiful artwork with meaning.

Sun and moon tattoo meaning has been debated by many, and Lafuente.com went through a great categorization:


The sun and moon represent different things in different cultures but the one thing that is common in all of them is their polarity.

The sun symbolizes firmness, strength and power while the moon represents calmness, beauty, nurturing.

In Chinese zodiac they are akin to male and female energies.

These two forces are different yet interlinked with another and make the day and night look complete.

Light VS Darkness

The sun is nature’s answer to a powerful light bulb that we get freely every day while the moon is the night lamp that soothes and calms us with its soft luminosity sourced by the sun itself.

These two represent positivity because they eliminate darkness in their own ways.

The sun doesn’t just light up the day. It’s the reason for growth. It also provides warmth while the moon is a sign of hope during a dark night.

A Sense of Direction

People used to navigate the sun, moon and stars for finding directions and creating maps, especially when they would embark on a long journey on a ship.

The earliest clock was actually a sundial and became the basis of modern day clocks.

A solar symbol is a symbol representing the Sun.

Common solar symbols include circles (with or without rays), crosses, and spirals.

In religious iconography, personifications of the Sun or solar attributes are indicated by means of a halo or a radiate crown.

The WisdomPortal.com goes deeper and gives further Biblical, theological, and spiritual connotations below:

  1. SUN – The great and universal symbol of the Higher Self, God manifest, the central source of Light and Life within the soul.
  2. SUN AS THE DOOR: A symbol of the Higher Self as the means by which the lower consciousness shall rise to union with the higher.
  3. SUN-RISING, OR DAWN: A symbol of the commencement of a new cycle of life. The Higher Self (sun) beginning to appear in manifestation on the higher planes.
  4. SUN-SETTING: A symbol either of the termination, or the commencement, of the great cycle of life. The Higher Self withdraws into the Absolute, or the Higher Self becomes obscured and unapparent to the lower consciousness.
  5. SUN-DISK, WINGED: A symbol of the higher Individuality, which is the atma-buddhis, and hich ensouls the causal-body.
  6. SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: A symbol of the Higher Self, the centre of perfection and fount of truth.
  7. SURYA, THE SUN: A symbol of the Higher Self.
  8. SUN-SHADE: A solar symbol, an emblem of authority and dignity, and one of the eight allegories of good fortune in Chinese Buddhism. It incorporates the symbolic concepts of irradiation and protection.

Best Sun Tattoo Placements

When talking about only the sun in the tattoo, a small sun tattoo on wrist is a very popular option. The circular form goes well with the placement, and it’s easy to have it flow well with new tattoos.

For the same reason, the sun foot tattoo has been a common option, too, since it was a small enough symbol to have a rich tattoo design on a smaller surface such as the foot.

As such, sun is commonly added element to different tattoos for women.

While we’re still about sun tattoos and having the sun as the only element, then a medium size tattoo on the inner forearm, shoulder, or anywhere on the leg would be a great option.

Additionally, sun is a great addition in big scenes, especially Biblical ones, which makes them common part of tattoo sleeves and big back or chest pieces.

Sun Tattoo Ideas

To help you with your research for your next tattoo design, we went on a hunt through Instagram to find the best sun tattoo ideas.

Take a look below to check them out all:

Are you looking for a custom sun tattoo design? We got you.

Our expert tattoo artists will provide a quick initial draft to get you going.
Happy inking ❤

Milena Petrovic

Milena Petrovic

Co-founder of Tattoo Stylist

About the author

Milena has decided to start an organization that will create a safe environment for everybody to get their first, second or third tattoo and to encourage young people to transform their ideas into tattoos safely, with talent and vision.

You can find her writing about tattoos on Quora or updating our Pinterest profile with awesome tattoo ideas!

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