Anchor tattoos have always been related to people whose hearts, lives and souls belong to the sea. Years ago these were only sailors who used to make such body drawings to identify themselves. Nowadays, these tattoo designs are getting wider usage and popularity. However, the meaning of the symbol remains unchanged – loyalty and appears to be an embodiment of stability of life. The derivative of the anchor’s main function – to hold the ship at one spot and to maintain the balance.
- – The Origins
- – Anchor tattoo in different cultures
- – Anchor in Modern World
- – Peculiarities of Designs
- – Anchor tattoos meanings
To find the essence of anchor tattoos, it is necessary to go thousands of years back into the past. It was already very popular during the age of fearless pirates, spreading terror among peaceful sailors and travelers. Nowadays the symbol had not lost its popularity among navy soldiers, marines and American coastguard. It is treated as the symbol of the infinite love of the sea.
This is interesting! Earlier this tattoo had to be earned. One had the right to have it if only he had crossed the Atlantic ocean.
For sea dogs, tattoo of an anchor was a strong charm in their risky craft. This symbol was believed to be capable of helping the sailor to reach the land safe and sound.
Anchor Tattoo in Different Cultures
During the Renaissance, an anchor was often drawn along with a dolphin. These two symbols reflected completely opposite traits.
Important!A dolphin symbolized speed, dexterity, while anchor stood for slowing down, the permanence, it also served a sort of a contribution to the inhabitants of the sea and its Gods.
As the top of the anchor image resembles a lot of the crucifix, it is possible to claim that this particular symbol is one of the first embodiments of the Christian religion in the tattoo art. The anchor was often drawn on gravestones it was a symbol of belief in the salvation. As it is the basis and a support for a ship the same as the faith and hope saves the religious man from all the sufferings. The image of the symbol was mentioned in the message of the Saint Paul and the anchor is the symbol of Saint Nicolas.
Egyptians identified the anchor with the world creation and the crossing of the masculine and feminine.
In different pantheons, there were a lot of gods connected with an anchor symbol. For instance, Triton (half man, half fish), Neptune (Roman God of the sea), Amphitrite (Greek goddess-protector of sailors), Varuna (Hindu God protecting all who died in waters). There is an image of an anchor in Hindu cards. The card with this symbol predicts an obstacle in plans, in the path which would have a sudden nature.
by Adri O
Anchor in Modern World
Anchor tattoo is getting more popular during last two centuries. During this period it had almost completely lost its naval shades of meaning. However, for sailors it still remains the ward helping them to come back home safe, protecting from storms, huge waves, and strong sea currents. The image is often used in heraldic of coastal countries.
During the time, the meaning of the tattoo changed and it became the perfect design solution for those who are passionate about the sea, naval crafts or just can’t find the salvation and peace in daily routine. And the anchor tattoo with all the compositional variety of styles and shapes placed, for example, on the leg would symbolize the correctly chosen life path, the guarantee to come back home in spite all the difficulties occurring.
by Manel Güell
Peculiarities of Designs
Choosing among the variety of designs in the tattoo shop portfolio of artworks, the employees will definitely help you to choose the proper one which will not contradict with your personality. You’d probably need such an assistance as the meaning of the tattoo changes depending on the peculiarities of its designs, accompanying images and elements.
Along with chain, anchor suggests that there is some obligation holding the tattoo owner’s freedom of will which are not easy to get rid off. Moreover, the lengths of the chain going around, for example, the wrist or leg give a hint about the importance and complexity of those commitments.
Original tattoo of an anchor and dead fish under the sea tide is met very rarely, but such tattoo shows that its owner is keeping some secret.
According to some nautical tattoo experts, the location of an anchor in the tattoo design is also a matter of a great importance.
If it stands vertically and straight compositional relatively, the owner of such tattoo is the one others can depend on.
If it is tilted sidewards, this implies that the tattoo owner had gone through some hard life experience. And in spite this hard period had passed, he doesn’t want to forget it and keeps the recalls of it deep in his heart.
Anchor Tattoos Meanings
- Loyalty, stability. Its image is often identified with the strength of spirit and morale, strong will, necessary to fight all the lifetime storms and powerful currents.
- Power, consistency, confidence. An anchor can hold in place a gigantic ship even during the strongest hurricanes. That’s why a body drawing with its image shows the capability of its owner to overcome all the struggles to accomplish life aims.
- Faith, fidelity. According to specialists, this meaning is connected not so much with the object itself, but with some kind of its spiritual and emotional nature. The weight of a metal hold keeps any ship from floating away. So, the symbol can symbolize the devotedness to beloved – the loyalty in relationships. It is possible to add the name of the person who your heart belongs to into the design.
- The crossing of two essences. According to Egyptian symbols and beliefs, an anchor is a symbol and the embodiment of feminine and masculine natures colliding.