All men today are aware of the fact that the cross is in its youngest interpretation the symbol of Christianity, as long before this religion even existed, crosses were used in rituals all over the world, from Scandinavian countries to the African continent, and from Extreme Orient countries to the ancient civilizations inhabiting the American continents.
The cross is first of all a symbol, holding more levels of meaning then the obvious one, that of a religious item. Being practically undefined, the symbol is opposed to the sign, which has a defined nature, making it even harder to establish meanings to the cross symbol, apart from the ones that have already been noted from ancient times.
Even so, there is however a new more modern meaning to the cross, not having anything to do with religion, and that meaning holds the new generations belief in the beauty of this symbol. This symbol of beauty is often used for cross tattoos on the wrist of tattoo lovers that are not necessarily religious persons. When thinking of the religious relatively younger symbols of the cross, it is almost impossible to separate it from the meaning of suffering, even its name coming from the Latin equivalent of torture: cruciare.
Some religions, and Christianity is just one of the younger ones, believed that pain and suffering could bring man closer to the gods. Other meanings of cross tattoos on the wrists of people one might know could have different meanings for the wearer, and as there are many types of crosses there are many meaning to each one of them.
The cross is, in its simplest explanation, the intersection of two lines in one point, the one point that can have the meaning of present time, the here and the now of every person. The horizontal line is considered to be the matter that intersects with the spirit of the vertical axis; the union point can be that of the sky with the earth, on a cosmic axis that has a very important meaning to astrology.
The cross is also the symbol of the four seasons, of the four elements of water, earth, air and fire, the four winds, the symbol of the perfection of the man represented as the Vitruvian man. Cross tattoos are made simply, of black lines, or stylized with gothic influences, inspired from the hermetic Rosicrucian cross, or using Egyptian, Coptic or Celtic influences; the cross can be found everywhere nowadays, from the anchors of ships to the patriotic flags of some countries.