Meanings of seahorse tattoos according to different cultures

The meanings of seahorse tattoos can also be associated with how these animals have been appreciated by different cultures. The seahorse has been mentioned frequently in several myths and legends for centuries and although among the sea tattoos are not considered as a mainstream if they can be observed in a great variety of these.

In our review of the history of tattooing we also notice that culturally the seahorse tattoos have been considered mostly as a female symbol although it was taken by several rough sailors and now tends to be swept away with this sexual border to which some traditions tried to tie it up.

Seahorse tattoos symbol

Seahorse tattoos contain a symbolic value for those cultures associated with the magical attributes of nature and its most fascinating creatures; where without a doubt our protagonist of today conquered more than one civilization.

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The ancient Greeks and Romans for example believed that the seahorse was an attribute of the sea god Neptune / Poseidon and as such, the seahorse was considered a symbol of strength and power.

Poseidon, God of the Oceans, drove a chariot pulled by giant seahorses. The popular belief held that if waves could be seen in the sea with a fringe of foam on top, this meant that Poseidon and his sea horses galloped in the ocean and that therefore the navigation conditions would change giving the sailors the signal that they had to “hold the rudder firmly” of their ships. In this sense the seahorse tattoos are also a symbol of strength, guidance and transformation.

Ancient European peoples believed that the seahorse carries the souls of the deceased sailors to the underworld giving them safe passage and protection to the final destination of their soul. Because of this, seahorse tattoos can be a symbol of the soul and protection.

In the Celtic tradition, the seahorse symbolized courage and patience in the sea. The Irish heroine of the sixteenth century, Grace O’Mally, waved a flag with a seahorse on her sailing expeditions. His descendants still use this flag today.

The Asian cultures and among them the Chinese of yesteryear believed that the seahorse was a type of sea dragon and as such they were revered for their power. It was also believed that they were a symbol of good luck.

The sailors have long seen them as a good luck charm too, so they became a very common tattoo among the hardened sea lions.

On the other hand, they have been used in natural medicine and healing rituals in many regions of the planet, which together with the new methods of fishing used in our seas has endangered this beautiful creature. These facts make the seahorse tattoos also take an important symbolic significance for those who are interested in the noble environmental and conservationist struggles.


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