While some tattoos are easy to figure out right on sight, others sometimes take a little research. You can tell what a tattoo of a cat is right away, but if you see a tattoo of two triangles, it might not be as simple.
Double triangle tattoos have risen in popularity as a minimalist tattoo that can hold a lot of meaning. With clean lines and simple designs, this tattoo is a favorite among people who usually aren’t big on tattoos in general.
The double triangle tattoo may seem like an insider secret that has a special meaning, but the truth is that it has a lot of different meanings.
There are some common meanings that are differentiated by certain factors, such as the direction the triangles are facing, but each tattoo will hold a different meaning based on the person who got it.
If you’re curious as to what the common meanings are for double triangle tattoos, keep reading below. We’ll give a comprehensive overview of double triangle tattoos: what they mean, what variations there are, and what designs you can use.
What is the meaning of overlapping triangles?
When you see a tattoo of overlapping triangles, there are several things it could mean.
One common meaning behind the overlapping triangles tattoo is a Christian one. Christianity is rooted in the belief of the Holy Trinity, which is God in three parts. God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Since a triangle has three sides and three corners, this symbolism of three is often used to represent the Holy Trinity.
However, it can also be used to represent any three-sided idea. Some people use the triangle tattoo to symbolize past, present and future. Others who have a deep connection to nature use it to represent the three phases of the moon: waxing, waning, and full.
Speaking of nature, the triangle tattoos often symbolize different elements of nature.
A single upside-down triangle symbolizes water, but if you put a small line through the bottom corner, it also represents earth.
A single triangle pointed upwards symbolizes fire, but if you put a small line through the top corner, it also represents air.
The ability for these triangles to represent different elements also ties in nature. Many people get the overlapping triangles tattoo to symbolize nature, life, and creation.
What does the direction of the triangles mean?
It may seem like these tattoos already pack a lot of meaning, but there’s plenty more where that came from.
Not only can the direction of the triangles symbolize nature, but they also symbolize other themes such as masculinity and femininity.
The list below will go more in-depth and provide specific meanings for each direction the triangle tattoo may be facing.
Two triangles pointed upwards typically represent masculinity. A single triangle in this direction represents masculinity, fire, and air, so if you put two triangles in this direction, it gives a very powerful tattoo meaning.
The double triangles pointed upwards is seen as a strong tattoo, also tied with symbolism of the sun.
Two triangles pointed downwards, as you may guess, typically represent femininity. The elements tied to downward-facing triangles are water and earth, which are seen as two very nurturing parts of nature.
As the triangle pointed upwards also represents the sun, a triangle pointed downwards can also represent the moon.
When you put two triangles pointed downwards together, you get symbolism of femininity, life, maternity, Mother Nature, earth, and the moon.
Two triangles in opposite directions can mean many different things. Given the balance of each direction representing opposite concepts, such as masculinity and femininity or fire and water, two triangles in opposite directions can symbolize the balance of our world.
The two triangles can be laid out in any way – on different parts of the body, next to each other, stacked on top of each other – but both going in the opposite direction usually symbolizes that balance in some way.
Two triangles side by side can also mean many different things. Like the opposite direction triangles, when laid out side by side two triangles can symbolize balance. They can also be used to simply represent a person’s love for geometry and the way the shapes of our world fit together.
What are other common meanings behind double triangle tattoos?
Aside from the symbolism we’ve already explored here, there are other meanings behind triangle tattoos.
One common theme for the triangle tattoos is to represent siblings. This often includes more than two triangles, but if you only have one sibling, it would still be just the two.
Many siblings will choose to get matching tattoos of the same number of triangles. Each design can have small variations. While some groups of siblings may choose to all get the same design of overlapping triangles, others may go for something different.
A great design for these sibling triangle tattoos is to have all the triangles in a row, with your birth order triangle fully colored in. That means if you’re the third child out of five, the third triangle in a row of five triangles will be colored in, while the others will remain just an outline.
If there are only three siblings, some families may opt to get a single triangle with symbols at each corner to represent each sibling.
Aside from the idea of representing siblings, the double triangle tattoo can also symbolize mixed faith.
Since this tattoo design has two triangles together, people raised in mixed faith households or engaged in mixed faith relationships may choose to get a double triangle tattoo to represent that balance of both their faiths put together.
What designs can you do with double triangle tattoos?
There are plenty of opportunities to play with fun and interesting design with triangle tattoos. Although they may seem boring because it’s just two geometric outlines, you can elevate it by adding more elements.
One easy way to make your triangle tattoo stand out is to add color. You can have each triangle be a different color, or have them all be the same.
If you want to get a triangle that represents the four elements, try incorporating the four colors that represent those elements: blue for water, red for fire, green for earth, and grey for air.
Though white is generally tied to air, white ink on its own will be hard to see and may make your tattoo design confusing. We recommend sticking with another color like grey to represent air.
If you’re doing a double triangle tattoo in opposite directions to represent masculinity and femininity, try doing each triangle in blue and pink or red and purple. Any color combination that would add to the concept of masculinity and femininity.
Your triangles don’t have to be simple outlines, either. Play around with different designs that go inside each triangle to see what else you can show.
Those wanting a nature theme, for example, can add landscape designs inside the triangles.
The all-seeing eye has been popular for centuries, so you can even put the all-seeing eye inside the double triangles overlapping.
What are some other triangle tattoo ideas?
Although we mainly covered the idea of double triangles, there are plenty of triangle tattoos that involve more than two and carry a lot of symbolism.
One design is called the Viking valknut. This tattoo involves what looks like three triangles intertwined with open spaces to give the illusion that they’re all connected.
This symbol is tied to old Viking traditions, representing the idea of a fallen Viking warrior passing on to Valhalla, or their idea of the afterlife.
Two triangles facing in opposite directions and laid on top of each other create the Jewish star. This tattoo may seem like a double triangle design, but it is actually symbolic of the Jewish faith.
Another culture with its own triangle symbolism is Celtic tradition. The Celtics have many different symbols that involve triangles, but among the most common are the Triskelion and the Triquetra.
These two symbols hold a lot of meaning to Celtic goddesses, celestial forms, and a soul’s journey through life in the mortal world and to the afterlife.
As you can see, triangles hold special meanings across many cultures. If there’s a specific culture that means a lot to you, research what the triangle means in their tradition and see if there are any common triangle symbols or designs you may be able to incorporate into a tattoo.