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Tattoo designs - U >> Unicorns

Unicorn tattoo designsUnicorn Tattoo Designs - The Unicorn was a popular tattoo in the late sixties and through the seventies, no doubt in part to its symbolic representation of a utopian world of peace, magic and spiritual mysticism, where all things are possible. Other popular 'magical' tattoos of that period were dragons, winged horses such as Pegasus and a wide assortment of Wizards, Sorcerers and other Magicians, conjuring up the wide popularity of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The unicorn is a popular creature of our fantasy that symbolizes beauty, mystery, nobility, strength, and a fierce temperament tameable only by pure and chaste maidens.

Beasts of myths and legends usually arise out of human fear, but not the Unicorn. This horsy, one-horned creature (sometimes seen sporting the Billy goat beard) has always been a benign being, if a little fierce, sometimes. The Unicorn came to be associated with sweet maidens, chaste behaviour, and the Virgin Mary. The story goes that upon seeing the Virgin Mary, the Unicorn laid its head in her lap. But the Unicorn had previously appeared in the Bible as a wild and untameable beast.

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In Medieval lore, only a virgin maiden could tame the Unicorn. As a noble and somewhat mysterious figure, the Unicorn became an emblem of marital fidelity. Not surprisingly, the horn of this beautiful creature was believed to be an aphrodisiac, but capturing one proved difficult, since the Virgin Mary was usually sitting beside him. Not surprising, then, that the Unicorn had a nose for telling who was a real virgin, and who not. Only a true maiden could mount the Unicorn.

unicorn pictures

Tales of hunting the Unicorn appear in tapestries, even today. One of the most famous -- from the Gothic era -- hangs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Once again, it tells the story of a virgin maiden who entraps him with her charms and brings him to dwell happily with her in the castle grounds.

In heraldry from the 15th century, the Unicorn is depicted with the lion's tail and the goat's cloven hooves. This symbolizes the ability to break free from bondage. The additional image of a broken chain implies that, once free, the creature cannot be captured again. In Scotland, you'll see two Unicorns on the royal coat of arms. And the British coat of arms features the Unicorn appearing with the Lion.

Unicorn Inspiration Gallery - Click here to get inspired!Other than the rhinoceros, there is no reliable record of any one-horned creature, living or extinct. Legends probably grew from encounters between early man and the rhino. Early sailors to the icy far reaches of the North Atlantic occasionally tried to pass off the tusk of the narwhale as a unicorn horn. 

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Tattoo designs - U >> Unicorns

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