The anchor: a symbol for steadfastness, security, survival and . . hope, especially after a fresh start, and a fearless enjoyment of life
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Anchors are particularly popular in tattoos but you also see anchors in jewellery (especially anchor bracelets, anchor necklaces and anchor earrings) and anchor jewellery is given as a gift. But why?
Naturally, the anchor has a practical meaning for seafarers – stabilising a ship in one place while it waits to enter port, for example, or in the case of emergency, when a ship is at the mercy of the weather. For this reason the anchor has come to symbolise safety and security – a port in a storm. So, the anchor can be a symbol of refuge and strength – symbolising steadfastness, calmness, and composure. But early Christians adopted the anchor as a symbol of hope because, when they were persecuted and found safety, they also found hope. They were sometimes said to be “anchored in Jesus”. The Anchored Cross, or Mariner’s Cross, is a stylised cross in the shape of an anchor. It is a symbol which is shaped like a plus sign with anchor-like protrusions at the end of each arm, hence the name Anchored Cross – a symbol meaning fresh start or hope.
But the anchor appears in many other religions and cultures too. For example, the ancient Egyptians adopted the anchor as a symbol to honour the process of creation.
In the modern marine fraternity, the anchor signifies steadfastness in duty, and thus honour, as well as the intrepidness associated with the sea, and sea life: “I was born on the crest of a wave with the sailor spirit” goes the dictum, with the anchor being symbolic to people who love the sea (and perhaps work on it) – along with all its dangers. And there is an element of intrepidness associated with sea life and so the anchor symbolises a fearless and bold spirit, and a cheerful enjoyment of life.
For those who are having difficulties in life, the anchor can imply a self promise: To take stock, settle down and plan for a stable future – a symbol of hope with a fresh start. And for those who are about to embark on something new and challenging, they can move forward to a new place in their life, make a new start, a new beginning – planting new roots and finding a better life – coupled with the hope for new stability and security . . with the confidence, self-assuredness, and trust in their ability to survive and succeed.
But overall, the anchor is a symbol of strength and stability – whether in faith, or in lifestyle, and a fearless enjoyment of life. Anchor jewellery: For boldness, strength, hope . . and life!
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