The word Compass has been derived from the Latin word “corn,” meaning “together,” and “passes,” meaning “way” or “route.” A compass is an instrument with a mechanized pointer that is used to navigate and find directions around the world, based on the earth’s magnetic field and was initially used by sailors for their voyages, with the needle of the compass pointing towards the earth’s the North Pole. There are several kinds of Tattoo designs available on the market such as Butterfly tattoos, Anchor tattoos & many more. Compass Tattoo is one out of them. Compass Tattoos are a trendy tattoo design, as you might have seen tons of people and celebrities flaunting it.
So, why is the design so popular? Is there any real meaning or significance to this compass tattoo or is it just a fad. Let’s find out.
Compass Tattoo Trend
Compass Tattoos have been in vogue for centuries. What was initially flaunted by pirates and sailors, now finds itself inked by people of different generations? The young and the old alike, this design is everybody’s favorite. The design mostly involves a compass with the nautical star, with five-pointed light and dark shades, reminiscent of a compass rose or Rose of the Winds. These mark the cardinal directions which help in navigation and finding the correct path.
Compass Tattoo Designs
The principal design of the tattoo has remained the same, the nautical star forming the core of the design. But you will often see something simple like a large “+” sign with the direction co-ordinates on the four sides. But as time has changed, so has the design. Nowadays, 3D designs are the most popular, and instead of just 5 pointed Nautical Star, the tattoo design could have as much as a dozen arms. Tattoo artists have improvised and added more caricatures and elements to the original design. People have dragons, skulls, and even their loved ones’ names imprinted on their skin along with the tattoo. However, the significance has remained more or less the same over the years.
Meaning and Significance of Compass Tattoos
Compass Tattoos might look like an ordinary nautical compass, but it has profound meaning and cultural significance. Back in the early ages of sea voyages and initial discoveries, sailors would imprint these tattoos on their bodies, as an anchor mark, something they believed would protect from the dangers of the sea and guide them safely back home.
Over the years, tattoo culture has gone through dramatic changes, and new designs have come up, but the significance of the compass tattoo remains very much the same. It is a symbol of hope and bliss for many, connecting them to their native roots.
Symbol of Motivation
People ink compass tattoos as a motivation source and reminding them not to get off track their goals. Just like never-ending sea voyages, these tattoos tell us to stay focused on the arduous journey of life. As such, people often ink some motivational phrase or quote alongside the symbol to remind them of their goals and not to get distracted.
Symbol of Protection and Good Fortune
Like the sailors of the earlier ages, people get these tattoos inked on their body as a symbol of good fortune – to help them in their pursuit of success. It keeps people grounded and down to earth, solidifying their goals and not getting distracted by external influences.
People believe that this symbol will protect them from worldly evils as it did for the sailors. It also represents strength, calmness, and bravery.
Symbol of Home
Before going on long and hazardous voyages, sailors would ink compass tattoos on their bodies. They had the belief that the symbol would remind them of their home and safely guide them back to their loved ones. This view is still echoed among the individuals who get this tattoo inked on to their skin. You could also see young couples get matching tattoos to remind them of their eternal love and to reinforce the belief that home is where the heart is.
Symbol of Wanderlust
You would often see people who travel the world getting themselves inked with this tattoo, in the hope that they would eventually be safely back. It reignites the spirit of travel and discovery in them. Early travelers were the first who brought different civilizations together with their bravery and undying love for adventure. It signifies that the entire world is their home. People would often ink a map or geographic location with the tattoo to make their resolve even clearer.
This tattoo design is the most preferred by travelers and photographers or someone visiting new foreign places.
Compass Tattoos being an anchor tattoo has more relevance than other tattoo designs. The general belief is that placement of the tattoo is more important than selecting the tattoo design itself. It is mostly adorned on the wrists, back of the shoulders or behind the neck and sometimes on the top of the arms.
Compass Tattoos In Popular Culture
There are a lot of celebrities who have got themselves inked with this design. Pop sensation Justin Bieber got one couple of years back and so have One Direction member, Louis Tomlinson, Maroon 5 lead singer, Adam Levine; TV star Dominic Purcell and Brooklyn Beckham, son of Football legend David Beckham.
So, if you too are a travel or adventure seeker or trying to get ahead in your life, go ahead and get yourself a compass tattoo today. It’s a fitting tattoo for someone like you. Good Luck!
You may also like – Best Anchor Tattoo Designs for Travellers, Backpackers & Wanderlusts