The meaning of the English word tattoo first originated from the Greek word Tau which signifies the symbol of life, and the word to (tu), meaning to identify the person or thing affected.
In ancient times, to be tattooed was often considered as a sign of tribal origins, and a symbol of noble birth. Sometimes it was known as a mark of life or death. For example, in ancient Greece when they placed the mark of the Tau tattooed on a prisoners forehead, this meant the person was found innocent of his or her crimes, and no longer a marked man for death. According to Herodian, in Europe the various tribes tattooed their tribal marks on their foreheads, and covered their bodies.
Manly P. Hall had said this about the Tau Cross and Tattoos; “The TAU cross was inscribed on the forehead of every person admitted into the Mysteries of Mithras. When a king was initiated into the Egyptian Mysteries, the TAU was placed against his lips. It was tattooed upon the bodies of the candidates in some of the American Indian Mysteries. To the Qabbalist, the TAU stood for heaven and the Pythagorean tetractys. The Caduceus of Hermes was an outgrowth of the TAU cross. (See Albert Pike.)”
The Father of English History and Doctor of the Church, Saint Bede had said the Tau was the sign of salvation and of the cross. This Tau is considered a symbol of salvation, due to the identification of the tau with the sign which in Ezekiel 9:4 was marked on the forehead of the saved ones; “set a mark (tav; after the Phoenician cross-shape on the forehead of the men”), or due to the tau-shaped outstretched hands of Moses in Exodus 17:11.
The Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, which is modeled after the Phoenicians who had represented the Tau as the 22nd Hebrew letter; “The Twenty-second Path is the Faithful Intelligence and is so-called because by it spiritual virtues are increased, and all dwellers on earth are nearly under its shadow.”(30) It also states, “He produced Tau, and referred to it Beauty; He crowned it, combined and formed with it Jupiter in the Universe, the Seventh Day of the week, and the mouth of man.”(22)
The Greek alphabet is derived from the Phoenicians who had represented it with the Phoenician letter taw, meaning of the Cross. The Tau Cross is the sign which the Lord told the people of Jerusalem to mark on their foreheads, and also placed as a symbol of liberation upon those charged with crimes but acquitted.
This mark of the Tau on their foreheads was actually a real tattoo that was permanent. This is because the TauTToo of salvation is a mark of the saved ones through redempTion with JUpiTer.
Albert Pike had written about the Tau in Morals and Dogma:
“This Tau was in the form of the cross of this degree, and it was the emblem of life and salvation. The Samaritan Tau and the Ethiopic Tavvi are the evident prototype of the Greek r; and we learn from Tertullian, Origen, and St. Jerome, that the Hebrew Tau was anciently written in the form of a Cross.
In ancient times the mark Tau was set on those who had been acquitted by their judges, as a symbol of innocence. The military commanders placed it on soldiers who escaped unhurt from the field of battle, as a sign of their safety under the Divine Protection.”