A compass tattoo is a common sight among fishermen and sailors. They believe that having one brings them good fortune during their sea travels and helps them find their way back home. This belief was most prominent in the past when seafarers largely depended on compasses to point them in the right direction.
You don’t need to be a fisherman or a sailor to sport a compass tattoo, of course. A compass tattoo holds several other meanings that make it perfectly suitable even for non-seafarers. We’ll discuss some of those meanings in this article to help you decide whether a compass tattoo would suit you well.
Compass tattoos are popular among adventurers and nomads who travel a lot. They consider the tattoo design as a good luck charm that keeps them safe while traveling from place to place. This is basically similar to how seafarers regard compass tattoos as a symbol for guidance and protection. The four directions on the compass also represent their constant search for adventure in every direction.
Compass tattoos also symbolize loyalty. More specifically, loyalty or faithfulness to a partner. It means that no matter what happens, your heart will never go astray and will always point to that person you love the most. If you’re going for this meaning, you can complement the compass tattoo with a symbol for romantic love such as rose tattoos. And it wouldn’t hurt to have the name of your partner included as well.
Former and current navy officers are also drawn to a compass tattoo. It serves as a reminder of both the good times and the bad times they experienced with comrades out at sea. It is also another way to honor a lost comrade, which is more fitting for the occasion than a skull tattoo or a cross tattoo.
The great thing about compass tattoos is that they’re highly customizable. You can have them either in a simple “flat” style or in a 3D style. The former depicts a circle and a set of needles or arrows that represent the four key directions (North, South, East, and West). The latter actually shows an actual compass – as in the device itself.
Most men get their compass tattoo inked on the forearms or biceps, which displays the design in its full glory without being compromised by curves. But the chest area and the upper back area also work as great canvases for the tattoo. Adventurers and wanderers may want to have it on the leg or ankle to further emphasize their travel-heavy lifestyle.
You can complement a compass tattoo with other designs if you want. If you’re a seafarer, you can combine it with an anchor tattoo, another popular tattoo design among fishermen and sailors. If you travel around the world a lot, you can go for an elaborate design that shows a 3D compass on top of a world map. And if you simply want it to symbolize guidance, you can complement it with a quote like “Never lose your way.”
Check out these top compass tattoos for men if you need inspiration for a kick-ass design.