In many beliefs (whether mainstream or alternative, whether religious or not) the earth is seen as a symbol of wholeness and unity; after all, the one thing that each of us have in common is our connection with this particular planet. To some, the earth is an emblem of motherhood — it being an all encompassing bearer of life; to others it is simply something that is awe inspiring. Whatever your reasons may be, earth tattoos are a stunning way to express a fascination or fondness for this broad planet.
Many people prefer earth tattoos that are simple. These designs may include a basic globe, or a globe mingled with signs such as the peace sign or religious crosses. A lot of people use pagan emblems such as the quartered circle (a small black circle cut into four equal pieces) which represents the four elements, seasons, and directions. Astrological glyphs and alchemical symbols are also fantastic and simple designs. The astrological piece shows a small circle topped with an evenly spaced cross; the alchemy symbol is a downward facing triangle with a lined tip.
Although simplicity may be good for some, others prefer their earth tattoos to be heavily detailed. This may simply mean a globe with rushing waters, lush forests, and dry deserts all in plain view; it may even go so far as to show countries, towns, and cities with minuscule people and animals living and working just below the surface. Some earth tattoos may show specific geographical areas; others may show a string of views, each with a different location, side by side.
Many earth tattoos associate people with the planet; this is especially true with mythology. A good example of this would be to depict Ge (or Gaea, Greek goddess of the earth) lounging lazily atop the planet, absently playing with Mount Olympus. Another frequently used example is that of the Mother Earth (or Mother Nature); this image is a favorite around the world, and is meant to represent the nourishing and nurturing aspect of the planet. It is also thought to be a symbol of fertility, bounty, and even feminine beauty. Some of the most popular depictions show a sunny faced woman cradling the earth to her bosom; another shows the earth as a round, delicate female face with a tender expression. Many of these images show the Earth Mother bearing all of the beauty of nature: rose petals for lips, round, curvaceous branches for legs and arms, pearls for teeth, etc.
Earth tattoos can mean many things to many people, but it is agreed practically everywhere that this symbol represents ourselves, not just as individuals, but as part of a much larger picture.