Origins And Symbolism Of The Anchor Tattoo
The anchor tattoo is perhaps one of the earliest designs to be embossed on the bodies of sailors who considered it as lucky charm for protection during their adventurous sea voyages. The anchor is a symbol of stability as it holds the ship firmly in place against winds and tidal currents. It also represents the security that is provided by its holding power. Earlier the sea faring men used to get such tattoos imprinted before venturing out to far flung shores as a protective charm as well as on safe return as a mark of celebration. In certain nations there are various traditions associated with such tattoos. In the US navy a sailor is permitted this tattoo only after he has crossed the Pacific once.
The symbolism associated with an anchor tattoo is generally associated with traits of stability, hope, fidelity, safety, security, good luck, salvation, steadfastness, courage and strength that the original marine equipment provides to its mother ship. People with tumultuous past and emotional upheavals often adorn this design as a symbolic respect for their present stability in relationships. Anchor on men is also an indication of their monogamous nature and intentions. However there are opinions that this tattoo can also be used to represent a negative attitude of stubbornness and resistance to change. Some people may use this symbol o their body to showcase their situations as being stuck and their inability to free themselves of their current bindings and restrictions.
Recently the trend of having a retro style anchor tattoo has also gained rapid popularity. The modern tattoo artists use a variety of techniques to recreate the magic of the medieval art form in representing the tattoos. Many people strongly believe that a retro tattoo should only be permitted for those who have completed a sufficiently adventurous voyage or journey. This design concept has gained acceptance as a symbol of gay pride. Though there are other symbols associated with the gay movement, the anchor has always been used by this community in a subtle manner for showcasing their cause.
The religious connotation of anchor designs imply that the person is of sound faith and loyal to his religion. In the pre medieval period these tattoos was a secret symbol indicating that the wearer is willing to help and protect underground Christians and offer them refuge. The steadfast belief in God during turbulent times is also represented by the anchor tattoo.