The Symbolism of Anchor Tattoos Explained
The symbolism of anchor tattoos varies from one person to the next. Read this article to find out more about what this powerful symbol truly represents.
Anchor tattoos are among the most popular worldwide. They are also among the first designs to be tattooed on people. While best known for anchoring boats to the bottom of the sea, these powerful objects are now worn by many and are packed with a wealth of symbolism.
Worn by both men and women for its versatility, the anchor can mean a variety of different things depending on the beholder. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the symbolism surrounding anchor tattoos.
The History of the Anchor Tattoo
A long time favorite among sailors and fishermen, the anchor was chosen as a symbol of safety and strength. These seamen would get this tattoo inked into their skin as a rite of passage after crossing the Atlantic for the first time.
Others would get an anchor tattoo to commemorate the end of their career. It would be a way for them to put their anchor down for the last time. Because the seas are so treacherous, seamen would also get this tattoo to keep them strong during storms and other times of crisis.
The Symbolism of the Anchor Tattoo
While strength and safety were two of the most common reasons for people to get anchor tattoos, the symbolism behind these powerful objects has now gone far beyond these meanings. Let’s take a closer look:
Stability, Fidelity, and Consistency
Originally worn to represent stability as the anchor would keep the ship stable during a storm, this level of symbolism has gone further than matters of the sea and is now relevant to various situations in life. Many opt for an anchor tattoo to remind them to stay firm, solid, and tranquil during times of trouble. It is what keeps them clear-minded during tough emotional times.
Hope and Perseverance
For many, an anchor tattoo stands for hope. It is part of their support system when they face hardship. St Paul once said, “one must anchor one’s soul in Christ as the only way of avoiding spiritual shipwreck”. While this message was relevant to sailors, it rings true with many who go through difficult stages in their lives and need a reminder to revert back to their faith.
Additionally, when the Romans controlled the Christians, Christians would use the anchor as a symbol to replace the cross to avoid persecution. This would allow them to keep their religion a secret while still signaling fellow Christians of their faith.
A Relationship With a Loved One
An anchor tattoo can also be a sign of family stability and strength. Many get anchor tattoos with the words family, mom, dad, or the name of a loved one across the design to commemorate a relationship with a family member, lover, or friend.
It symbolizes strong family relationships. It’s also a way for those who have lost someone close to them to mourn their death and celebrate the joy they bought to their lives.
Land and water are closely interlinked. If one did not have the other, the world would look very different than it does today. An anchor tattoo symbolizes the war between land and water. It highlights the fact that there must be no conflict between the two in order for the world to continue to develop.
Some with anchor tattoos choose this symbol to remind them to put a brake on things when life gets too stormy. Rushing into the storm and feeding conflict causes negative repercussions. An anchor tattoo can help to remind you to pause and breathe when you need it most.
Grounding Oneself to the Earth
It has become far too easy for people to get caught up in life. The 21st century is a world where being busy is the norm and oftentimes, people lose that feeling of groundedness. An anchor tattoo can help people feel more grounded to the earth they live on. It can act as a reminder to stay rooted, and present in the moment.
What the Location of Your Anchor Tattoo May Mean
While there are thousands of variations of anchor tattoos now available to choose from, your design will depend on what you want your anchor symbol to represent for you. Furthermore, the location of your tattoo will say a lot about its meaning. Some common locations and their meaning include:
- On the arms: These are common among sailors and are often seen with a loved one’s name in them.
- On the neck: Neck anchor tattoos have become increasingly popular among those that travel a lot. They use their tattoo as a reminder of their home and their loved ones.
- On the foot: The foot is a popular location for those wanting to use the anchor a representation of stability and groundedness.
If you’re thinking of getting an anchor tattoo but don’t want to commit to a permanent design, why not check out a Tatteco temporary tattoo? They offer a variety of unique designs all of which are plastic-free and made using non-toxic materials.