Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Celtic Dragon Tattoo featured image
Published on May 3, 2023

Are you on a quest to find the ultimate Celtic Dragon Tattoo? Perhaps you’re looking to pay homage to your Celtic heritage or just appreciate the mythical power of Dragons? Well, look no further.

We've delved into the depths of Celtic lore to bring you a collection of the most awe-inspiring Celtic Dragon Tattoos we could find. So let’s soar into the heights that is the Celtic Dragon Tattoo. 


Table of Contents

What Does A Celtic Dragon Tattoo Mean?

Celtic Dragons come from the mythology of the Celts, who were a collection of Indo-European peoples.

The Celtic culture and influence began to emerge around 1200 BC, with a peak of expansion and power occurring around the 4th to 3rd centuries BC. This era is often referred to as La Tène, a period marked by distinctive art styles and metalwork.

In Celtic mythology, Dragons were believed to exist in a parallel world to our own.

The Druids even believed that the dragon’s power affected the land as they believed that wherever the Dragons flew was important to the flow of energy through the physical world.

Wherever a Dragon passed, Dragons crossed paths, or anywhere a Dragon stopped to rest became notable powerful areas. 

Celtic Dragons are symbols of power and wisdom and were even worn as decoratives by Native Britons during the Roman invasion, with the earliest known use of the Dragon by the Celts appearing in swords and sheaths in the 4th century BC. 

For the Celts, Dragons represented the continuation of life and health and were omens of a good harvest and a year of plenty.

However, after the introduction of Christianity, Dragons began to be used as a symbol of evil in one of many attempts to move away from Pagan rituals to Christian values. 

Celtic Dragons have even been credited with the creation of island nations. Master Stoorworm was a Dragon/Sea Serpent who ate too much, and every morning, when he yawned, his tongue would dart out and snatch up seven things from a nearby village.

Angered by the Dragon, the village set out to destroy him. Alas, only one young boy was brave enough, and after he managed to slew the beast by setting his liver on fire, the Dragon’s body curled up and became what Iceland is today. 

Celtic Dragon Tattoo Designs 

Now that we know a little history about the Celtic Dragon let’s find out how a Celtic Dragon Tattoo differs from its kin, the Japanese Dragon Tattoo
and the Chinese Dragon Tattoo.

1. Irish Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Irish Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: Outsons

Being Irish myself, I just had to start with an Irish-inspired Celtic Dragon Tattoo. While there hasn’t been much mention of Dragons in Ireland since Christianity began to filter in from 431 AD, many people might be familiar with the story of how St. Patrick, or Naomh Pádraig in Gaelic, drove out all the snakes from Ireland.

The story is a parable of how Christianity drove out Paganism from the country, and the snakes are symbolic of many pagan rituals and beliefs, Dragons included. 

2. Scottish Celtic Dragon Tattoo

If you have Scottish heritage, then check out this great Celtic Dragon with A Scottish Shield and coat of arms.

The Scottish coat of arms is the "Lion Rampant," which is a gold background with a red lion surrounded by a red double border of fleurs-de-lis. The Celtic legacy continues in Scotland even today in the form of their language, culture, and traditions and even in their football clubs in the form of Celtic F.C 

3. Welsh Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Welsh Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: Tattoodo

The Welsh still pay tribute to Dragons to this day by keeping it in their national flag since it was officially adopted in 1959 and is known as the Y Ddraig Goch or the Red Dragon.

The Celtic age in Wales lasted from 600 BCE to 50 AD, with the earliest known family lineage being the Bodvoc Stone. The Stone dates from the late 6th century-early 7th century. The inscription reads, “The stone of Bodvoc. Here he lies, son of Cattegern, great-grandson of Eternalis Vedomavus”. 

4. Alternative Take On A Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Alternative Take On A Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: @body_mods_by_dave

You don't always have to stick to traditional patterns when it comes to your Celtic Dragon Tattoo. Just like this alternative Celtic Dragon Tattoo shows, you can choose to give your own interpretation on the age-old designs.

While the neck has more traditional Celtic knotwork, the face is done in a more amalgamated style, placing a lot of knotwork seemingly haphazardly as if it’s robotic in nature.  

5. Tree Of Life Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Tree Of Life Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: @tattoomania.ink

The Tree of Life has many origins and meanings. It dates back as far back as 7,000 B.C. in Turkey, with the first known depiction coming from the Egyptians in 3100 BC.

The Celtic Tree of Life, known as Crann Bethadh in Gaelic, is an ancient symbol that represents the forces of nature working together to create balance and harmony.

This design also includes a Dragon Tattoo around the Tree Of Life Tattoo eating its own tail, symbolizing the circle of life and the interconnectedness of all things. 

6. Cracked Celtic Tablet Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Cracked Cletic Tablet Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: @jamescrx

You can choose to depict your Celtic Dragon Tattoo in stone tablet form. This Design is superb with its high detailing and great shading.

The cracks on the tablets extend beyond the Celtic Dragon itself and spread onto the arm of the wearer, giving it a three-dimensional feel and making it seem like the Tattoo itself is part of the wearer's body. 

7. Celtic Dragon And Celtic Snake Tattoo

You don’t have to settle with just a Celtic Dragon by Itself. You can add other animals, such as a Celtic Snake Tattoo to your design to add more depth.

Snakes and Dragons are synonymous with each other, with the Dragon being inspired by snakes in China. The design of both the Dragon and the Snake is excellent in this piece, and I really love the red jewel-like eyes on both. 

8. Celtic Dragon Tattoo with Runes

Celtic Dragon Tattoo with Runes

Photo credit: @kaija_bodyart

You can also choose to add runes to your Celtic Dragon Tattoo. Celtic Runes share a lot of similarities to Norse Runes.

The Celts used their runes to write scriptures on stone and wood and engraved them on personal items and weapons. Runes have a lot of meanings ranging from God, Warrior, Protection, etc. 

9. Celtic Knot Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Celtic Knot Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: @tattoos_by_markula

The Celtic Knot represents the endless cycle of life, death, and rebirth, as well as the interconnectedness of all things in the natural world.

There is a connection between Viking and Celtic culture, so it is possible that the Celtic Knot Dragon design is inspired by the tale of Jormungadr or vice versa as they share similar symbolism. 

10. Celtic Sword Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Celtic Sword Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: @little_red_tattoos

You don’t have to settle with a Celtic Dragon done in a Celtic art style. You can choose to have a normal-looking Dragon draped across a Celtic Sword. Sword Dragon Tattoos symbolize how the sword is imbued with the Dragon’s power, or it symbolizes how the wielder has the fighting spirit of a Dragon.

So, if you are the warrior type and have Celtic blood running through your veins, perhaps this design is perfect for you.

11. Trio Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Trio Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: @pautzink.tattoo

The Celtic Band carries with it mostly the same symbolism and meaning as the Celtic knot but in a simple band design.

While it normally wraps around the arm, this design is done as a circle with three nicely colored Dragons forming a loop of their own between the band with their tails.

The Celts spread as far as Spain, known as the Celtiberians. As this piece was done by a Spanish artist, perhaps the wearer wanted to honor his/her Celtibetarian heritage. 

12. Celtic Trinity Knot Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Celtic Trinity Knot Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: @djzinktattoo

The Celtic Trinity Knot, also known as the Irish knot, trefoil knot, or triquetra, is a symbol of Celtic culture that represents eternal life and love.

The knot's three corners might have represented the three domains of earth, sea, and sky or the solar and lunar phases.

The Celts also believed it represented the three phases of life: youth, adulthood, and old age. The Celtic Knot may also have been used as a device to convert Pagans to Christianity as its three sides could have been used to symbolize the holy trinity. 

13. Dragon Trinity Knot Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Dragon Trinity Knot Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: @badgerkingtattoo

Unlike the last design, which had a Dragon circling the Celtic Trinity, you can choose to go for a more traditional Celtic design by having the Dragon itself form the Trinity Knot.

This design is really nice and very well done, and if you don't want to spend too long in the chair, the artist even stated how this design was done in one day, so it will be a quick and easy way to honor your heritage. 

14. Colored Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Colored Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: @gracelandtattoo

Most Celtic Dragon Tattoos opt not to use color in their designs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t.

The gold and greens really give this Celtic Dragon Tattoo a lot of vibrancy, and I particularly love how the artist added a little bit of white along some of the edges to give the Dragon a sheen-like quality. It helps that it’s green, as I’m Irish so I can just pretend it’s an Irish Dragon even if it’s not. 

15. Double Dragon With Celtic Cross Tattoo

Double Dragon With Celtic Cross Tattoo

Photo credit: @15legiontattoo

You don’t have to settle with just the one Dragon. You can have as many as you like. Tattooing is a form of self-expression, after all, so you can choose to do whatever you like.

This huge design has two Dragons flanking the Celtic Cross Tattoo on each side, so the wearer of this piece most really love his Celtic heritage, so fair play to him for getting this massive piece done. 

16. Celtic Patterned Dragon Tattoo

Celtic Patterned Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: @tattoogarden

Rather than choosing to ink yourself with Celtic artwork made into the shape of a Celtic Dragon, why not tattoo yourself in a Dragon made out of some Celtic artwork?

This design is really clever, with the Dragon looking like a normal European-style Dragon but adding Celtic elements into its anatomy. 

17. Celtic Dragon Tattoo With Florals

Celtic Dragon Tattoo With Florals

Photo credit: @annabellegauvreau

Adding flowers to your Dragon Tattoo can deepen its symbolic meaning. There are a lot of different symbolism connected with flowers, so there is no shortage of meanings for you to choose from.

While cherry blossoms are more often associated with Japan, there is no reason why you can’t add them to your Dragon Flower Tattoo, especially if you have duel heritage. 

18. Minimalist Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Minimalist Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: @turcatotattoo

If you’re looking for something that is a little more discrete for your Celtic Dragon, try out a Minimalist Dragon Tattoo.

Minimalist Tattoos are great for those who want to have all the symbolism associated with their chosen tattoo but don’t want to go all out with their designs. This Minimalist Celtic Dragon Tattoo is super cute with minimal knots to keep it as modest as possible. 

19. Celtic Harp Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Celtic Harp Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: @denilson_paranhos

The Celtic Harp is a wire-strung instrument that requires great skill and long practice to play.

It was associated with the Gaelic ruling class and is the national emblem of Ireland, often used on its coat of arms and currency. This design is incredible, adding the Celtic Dragon’s head to the frame of the Harp. 

20. Forked Tongue Celtic Dragon Tattoo

To give your Celtic Dragon Tattoo a more fierce look, try adding in a forked tongue. This design is really great, with nice dot work and shading done beneath the body of the Dragon.

The detailing on the face is really well done with the snake-like fork tongue, giving the Dragon a snake or lizard quality. 

21. Realistic Dragon With Celtic Artwork Tattoo

Realistic Dragon With Celtic Artwork Tattoo

Photo credit: @jamescrx

If you want to keep a standard European-style Dragon but still want to implement Celtic artwork, then try a design such as this.

The detailing on the Dragon is fantastic with a lot of great detailing on the scales and the Celtic artwork on the bottom has great shading and intricate artwork that wouldn’t have been easy to pull off. 

22. Viking Ship Helm Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Viking Ship Helm Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: @varatattoostudio

While Celtic and Norse art aren’t one and the same, there is a lot of overlap between the two, leading to many people thinking that Viking and Celtic art are synonymous with one another.

This design is of the helm of a Viking ship but has a lot of Celtic artwork with the body of the helm. This design is extremely intricate and has a lot of great fine line work.  

23. Celtic Dragon And Ornamental Band Tattoo

Celtic Dragon And Ornamental Band Tattoo

Photo credit: @charlodarko

This Celtic Dragon Tattoo with an ornamental Celtic loop band is absolutely amazing. The fine line work and black dot work make it look like it is something out of a painting.

This Dragon design looks super slick as it passes through each of the loops as the Dragon too loops around to bite into itself in the traditional symbolism. 

24. Alternate Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Alternate Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: @zachdoestattoos

This ink isn’t your usual Celtic Dragon Tattoo design. This design comes with a more serpentine and elongated Dragon head with a forked tongue.

While the face itself has no Celtic artwork with it, parts of the body have a mesh of Celtic knotwork along with scales.

The legs of the Dragon look more avian-like but it is a more appropriate design for an Ancient Celt style as they would have used inspiration in the world around them for their designs. 

25. Dragon Resting On A Celtic Cross

Dragon Resting On A Celtic Cross Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: @janinetriskele

If you want to pay homage to both your Celtic heritage along with your Christian faith, try getting a Celtic Cross with a Dragon resting on it.

While not a traditional style Celtic Cross, this design still does hold Celtic artwork within it and the entire piece from the Cross to the Dragon has excellent detail and a lot of great shading, too. 

26. Helm Of Awe Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Helm Of Awe Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: @prismbaby920

The Helm of Awe is a Viking symbol that represents protection and serenity. In Norse mythology, the Helm of Awe is an object associated with the hoard protected by the Dragon Fáfnir, who wears the Helm of Awe symbol between his eyes.

While more of a Norse design than Celtic, this really is a wonderful piece with the Helm of Awe Tattoo situated between two Viking Dragon helms.

27. Celtic Dragon And Celtic Bear Tattoo

Celtic Dragon And Celtic Bear Tattoo

Photo credit: @badgerkingtattoo

You can add any type of animal you like to your Celtic Dragon Tattoo. This excellent design is a depiction of a Welsh Dragon with two Celtic Bear cubs.

The loop work by badgerkingtattoo is absolutely phenomenal, with the loops consisting of stems and leaves. This piece also has fantastic dot work shading beneath the design to really help it stand out. 

28. Trio Dragon Trinity Knot Celtic Dragon Tattoo

This Celtic Dragon Tattoo is done in a crest design with three Dragons done in a Tribal Dragon Tattoo style and the Celtic Trinity Knot in the center.

The Tribal Dragons have great thick black work with great use of negative space, and the detailing and shading done within and around the Celtic Trinity Knot are absolutely fantastic. 

29. Simple Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Simple Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: @hybride.tattoo

If you want to keep things more low-key and elegant, try going for a simple Celtic Dragon Tattoo.

While this design is a little bigger than a Minimalist Dragon Tattoo style, it still doesn’t take up a lot of space on the back and looks extremely elegant with beautiful fine line work and intricate detailing on the face and body. 

30. Celtic Warrior Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Celtic Warrior Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: @badgerkingtattoo

While most Celtic Dragons are malevolent, some tales tell of Dragons of a more benevolent nature.

This Tattoo depicts a lone Celtic Warrior in his struggle against a mighty beast. It has great knotwork on the Dragon and excellent dotwork to make the design stand out. It is a great depiction of old-age tales brought to life in the tattooing art form. 

31. Smaug Lord Of The Rings Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Smaug Lord Of The Rings Celtic Dragon Tattoo

Photo credit: @badgerkingtattoo

If you’re a lover of the Lord Of The Rings franchise, then check out this Smaug Dragon Tattoo design. It is done by the same artist from the last design, which will span the entire leg to have more Lord Of The Rings-inspired imagery.

It’s really well done, with some modest loop work done to keep it being a minimalistic Celtic style. 

Where To Get Your Celtic Dragon Tattoo?

Design is one thing, but what placement? Placement is equally important, as depending on your tattoo anatomy, certain places might not have the best symmetry with the design. So, let’s check out the place places to get your new Celtic Dragon Tattoo. 

1. Arm To Chest Celtic Dragon Tattoo

The arm-to-chest is usually a classic Yakuza Dragon Tattoo style. It usually spans from just above the hand and stretches all the way up the shoulder with the Dragon’s head resting upon the chest.

This Celtic Dragon arm-to-chest Tattoo is expertly done with great detailing and deep black coloring in. The arm-to-chest style gives the tattoo a real warrior-style vibe.

2. Celtic Dragon Tattoo On The Forearm

Celtic Dragon Tattoo On The Forearm

Photo credit: @tattoosbycurtismckie

The forearm is a great place to put your new Celtic Dragon Tattoo if you’re looking to show it off as often as possible.

The forearm is usually visible unless you live in a colder climate, so you can show off or admire your own tattoo art as often as possible by placing it here. This Celtic Dragon Tattoo has great deep black artwork, giving it a sort of gothic aesthetic. 

3. Shoulder With Celtic Dragon Tattoo Idea

Shoulder With Celtic Dragon Tattoo Idea

Photo credit: @evil_rob

The Shoulder is an excellent place for a slightly larger-sized Celtic Dragon Tattoo that has a lot of rounded edges. By taking advantage of your shoulder's round anatomy, you can really draw out the features of your design.

Take a look at this Celtic Dragon Tattoo for example, With its rounded features toward the top, it perfectly sits on the shoulder and curves naturally with the body anatomy to give amazing symmetry between it and the body. 

4. Celtic Dragon Tattoo Design On The Head

Celtic Dragon Tattoo Design On The Head

Photo credit: @truefittattoo

If you really want to show off your Celtic heritage with a real Celtic Warrior vibe, then consider getting your Celtic Dragon Tattoo placed on the side of your head.

Having your Dragon on the side of your head makes it look like you’re always ready for battle.

However, the only drawback with this position, aside from the pain to get it, is how often you’ll need to shave your head to show it off, so this one comes with a lot of commitment. 

5. Celtic Dragon Tattoo On Arm/Leg

Celtic Dragon Tattoo On Arm

Photo credit: YourTango

If you’re looking to show off your new Celtic Dragon Tattoo as much as possible, then there really is no better place than either the arm or the leg.

The arm and leg are two of the easiest places to show off your new Tattoos particularly if you live in a warmer climate. This design is incredible, with so much detailing that it begs to be shown off as much as possible. 

6. The Back With Celtic Dragon Tattoo Design

Back With Celtic Dragon Tattoo Design

Photo credit: deviantart.com

Last but certainly not least, the back. The back is the quintessential place for the biggest and best Tattoo designs. You don't have to go large, but if you seriously love the design, where better to choose from?

The back offers so much space for you to go wild with your designs, but be warned, the larger and more detailed the piece, the longer you’ll have to spend in the chair. 

Conclusion 

So ends our journey through the magical realm of the Ancient Celtic Dragon Tattoo. We hope that our help you’ve found the perfect Celtic Dragon Tattoo to take with you as you travel between the realms.

But if the Celtic Tattoo doesn’t inspire, check out these philosophical Yin Yang Dragon Tattoos, or this transformative Koi Dragon Tattoos or if you’re looking for a different type of mythical creature, check out these burning hot Phoenix Tattoo designs.

If you’re someone who’s thinking about getting a Dragon Tattoo, then there is no magic spell that will make your after-ink soreness disappear.

Just like a burn from a Dragon’s breath you will need to take the appropriate care to get you back on your feet as soon as possible.

So check out these great tattoo aftercare products to reduce pain and discomfort and keep the fire alive and your Dragon ink looking as fresh and alive for as long as possible.

Paul Mulligan
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