The Symbolism And Meaning Of Anchor Tattoos

There is a ton of debate raging on the internet and in tattoo shops everywhere about the symbolism and meaning of these popular tattoos. There are tons of articles on this site explaining it and on many other sites on the internet you can find people debating and arguing about the exact symbolism behind things like the nautical star tattoo or the anchor tattoo. You see these are three of the most popular and famous of the old school tattoo designs. They are also pieces that can easily be combined to make a much larger design such as a chest tattoo that features two swallows flying between an anchor.

Anchor tattoos were all the rage for sailors. It was often the symbol of a very experienced sailor. Anchor tattoo designs are one of the oldest types of tattoos. However with an interest in all things retro and chic these have come back into fashion. In fact in the tattoo field as a whole retro tattoo designs have been experiencing a resurgence. These retro tattoo designs have come back to life with new more vibrant tattoo colors, designs and placements on the body.

This trend originated on the west coast mostly and has even become known as west coast tattoo style. Retro themes in tattoo designs are especially popular with the rockabilly group. So what is the meaning behind the anchor tattoo design? While the earliest forms of an anchor being used as a symbol harkens all the way back to the early Christians. They would often use the anchor as a hidden symbol for the cross. This was often used to show that they were Christian while escaping persecution from the Romans.

Anchor Tattoo Symbol

The anchor is one of a handful of symbols in the tattoo world which has remained both popular and true to its origins. The bearer of the anchor is likely a seafarer of some type traditionally military (Navy, Marines, or Coast Guard) but sometimes also recreational. In maritime lore, the tattooed anchor showed that a seaman had sailed the Atlantic Ocean. In ancient times among Mediterranean seafarers, the anchor symbolized the sea gods.

In early Christianity, the anchor (with horizontal tie bar under the ring) was used as a covert symbol by virtue of its resemblance to a cross. Indeed, the crux dissimulate is just an anchor. Many times the anchor is combined with other symbols that elaborate something more specific various creatures of the sea, ships, lifesavers, names of ports. In general, though, it guarantees stability and security in the physical world and by extension also steadfastness, hope, and trust in the spiritual world.

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