Anchor Tattoo Symbolism

Symbolic Anchor Tattoo Ideas

Some Anchor Tattoo Meanings: Hope, Safety, Fidelity, Stability, Security, Salvation, Good Luck, Steadfastness, Ocean/Sea/Waters

The anchor tattoo has long been a symbol of their love for the open waters.

An anchor tattoo is a common sight among US military branches specializing in sea duty (Navy, Coast Guard, Marines). It identifies a man (or woman) with the sea, as well as a branch of military - and therefore labels him/her with a code of protection, honor, duty and devotion to a greater cause.

Anchor tattoos were common among pirates to show a permanent connection with the sea. There are tales that anchor pirate tattoos were a way to convey they spent lots of time in the brig too. This makes sense as the anchor is symbolic of "being stopped" 

An anchor tattoo can also be symbolic of a sailor who has crossed the Atlantic Ocean.

A love for boating, the call of the sea or even in memorial of someone who held a deep affection for the seas.

There are many designs of anchors, an the design of your anchor tattoo will tell a lot about your personal intentions in getting an anchor tattoo.
      Some anchor tattoos honor the harmony between male and female. In this case, the crescent (along the bottom of the anchor) is symbolic of female "yin", the vertical rod is symbolic of male "yang" energy.
       Ancient Egyptian art shows gender in the anchor too. An anchor designed with a skiff or a boat as the lower half of the anchor representing the "female" the curve of woman, the crescent of moon. And, a snake composed the upper half of the anchor-art, as the erect vertical mast - this is the "male" factor phallus. Together, these two design compositions symbolize creation.
       In Renaissance art, anchors are often depicted with the dolphin. This is symbolic of balancing speed with resistance. In this image, the dolphin is symbolic of speed and carefree direction, while the anchor is a symbol of remaining grounded and stable. Combined, these two symbols encourage a balance between quick action and sound judgment.
        In Freemason art and symbolism the anchor is sometimes replaced with Jacob's ladder. In this case, the anchor tattoo meaning represents attainment and ascension.
        Anchors with a pitchfork look to them can be an artistic tribute to various sea deities. 
Such as the following sea gods and goddesses:

  Neptune - Roman sea god, storm-maker and earth-shaker
  Amphitrite - Greek sea goddess and nymph, protects sailors and gives birth to dolphins
  Poseidon - Temperamental Greek sea god, rebel with a pitchfork and a cause to protect all inhabitants of the sea
  Triton - Greek sea god who is half-man, half-fish. A blow of his conch, waters can be calm or tempestuous
  Rán - Old Norse sea goddess, her appearance is marked by her tugging on anchors - an omen of bad weather and/or tumultuous seas
  Varuna - Hindu god of the oceans with the power to make noble humans immortals. Those who died at sea were assigned into his care

Symbolic anchor tattoos also share ties with Christian symbolism. Most anchors have a top-bar that looks like a cross, and therefore goes back to the traditional Christian theme of salvation and sacrifice. This was particularly useful during unsure times when abiding by Christian faith was risky. In these times, an anchor was used as a symbol instead of the cross to identify oneself as a Christian in a secretive way.

An anchor is dropped in order to gain stability on troubled waters - this symbolizes an anchored faith. Hebrews 6:19 says: "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." in reference to the consistency of Gods unwavering presence in the hearts of men.