Anchor Tattoo Meaning

Anchor Nautical TattooAn anchor is one of the most ubiquitous symbols in the world and has been for a long time. From the days of the exploration of the world by pioneering sailors and pirates with eye patches and muskets an anchor was a symbol of someone’s allegiance to the sea.

Anchor tattoos, though in existence for a fairly long time, became fairly common in the mid nineteenth century to the early twentieth century among the people working in the sea faring business. Whether it was merchant sailors, Navy recruits or just helping hands in docks, it was considered a sign of toughness and was completely a male domain. When seamen were considered the jocks of the day, everybody wanted to be identified as one or become one.

As the world moved on to planes and spacecraft seamen fell to the wayside in terms of the glamour of being the world travellers. Despite all this, the anchor tattoo or an anchor symbol still holds a large appeal although it has stopped being a symbol of a male only domain and it has come to signify much more than belonging to a sea related trade, though men and women serving in the Navy, coastguard or any other marine services still sport them proudly.

An Anchor, which keeps a ship steady and still while being docked or when it needs to remain stationary has come to signify stability and steadiness as a symbol and as a tattoo as well. Most people who have had a turbulent time in the past would get a tattoo symbolizing they overcame the odds.

Others may get it as a symbol and reminder for steadiness and being grounded when facing adversity or overt adulation. Many in the music and entertainment business get anchor tattoos for the same reason. Sometimes anchor tattoos with elaborate ornamental tattoo designs or with names and initials symbolize a purpose or a person for which the person is steady or has stability.

The very design of an anchor also has the symbol of the holy cross within it. Many people would get anchor tattoos as a reminder of their faith or as a clever means to camouflage a religious symbol, which may incite unwarranted attention otherwise.

Among other meanings an anchor tattoo may signify balance with more art or patterns made along with it. The Egyptian symbol Ankh which means eternal life has also been some times woven into an anchor design along with the yin and yang symbol and more contemporary pop culture symbol as well.

It has also been theorized that the bottom part of the anchor, i.e. the crescent symbolizes the chalice or the femininity and the top part or the phallus, masculinity. Couples would especially get these to denote harmony and balance in their relationship.

Whatever may be the reasons for getting an anchor tattoo or its meaning, the bottom line is that it still remains one of the most common symbols with or without improvised forms of art requested to body ink artists all over the world. Just as a symbol in itself it has an undeniable coolness.