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Seahorse Tattoos

When it comes to getting a tattoo, the thought of incorporating a seahorse doesn't immediately spring to the minds of many people, but you'll be surprised to learn that this tiny creature has quite a bit of history behind it.

The seahorse actually belongs to a genus called 'Hippocampus', which translates to 'sea monster horse'. In some circles, the seahorse's association with creativity may stem from its own name. The Hippocampus region in the human brain is linked with long term memory and is so named because it resembles a seahorse. These cute little creatures are usually found in shallow tropical and temperate waters. The natural element, Water, is considered to be the element of the Mind and many spiritual gurus and yogis often practice their mediation rituals with a source of flowing water nearby. This close link with the Subconscious accounts for why seahorses are totems of Creativity and Meditation.

Given their tiny frames, seahorses are likely to be prey than predators in the vast, untamed world of Earth's oceans, as such, they are the masters of camouflage. They often change their colors quickly in an effort to stay alive, so many persons see them as adept survivalists. They never move around the sea floor with purpose; instead, their motions tend to resemble that of a piece of coral that is drifting with the underwater currents. For some, this represents the animal's 'go with the flow' attitude towards life.

Various cultures have associated different spiritual symbols with these tiny totems. If you take a second look at the Disney classic, The Little Mermaid, you'll notice that several of King Triton's servants and messengers are seahorses. This is not a coincidence; the movie's animators opted to stay true to the ancient Greek and Roman view that seahorses were servants of Poseidon, the god of the seas. They are believed to be bearers of lost souls and spiritual guides for those who died in the sea's dark depths. In various parts of Asia, seahorses are seen as signs of good luck and are always used in folklore medicine. In fact, they are such a popular component of the tradition that the species is in danger of disappearing from the world's oceans. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has placed seahorses under protection, as such, hunting them without proper licenses and contrary to the established rules is a criminal offense.

One thing to note about seahorses is their curious customs surrounding reproduction. Although they aren't the world's most doting parents, they are one of the few species on the planet in which the males bear the responsibility of birth and pregnancy. This accounts for why these little animals are seen as great fathers. The males of the species carry the young to term and provide a safe harbor in their pouches for the fertilized eggs to grow and hatch. The female only stops by once a day to briefly coddle over the 'pregnant' male and exchange pleasantries, seahorse style. The fry (young seahorses) are expelled from the safety of their fathers' pouches once they have hatched and are ready for their debut into the open seas. Papa Seahorse usually releases his brood at night and is ready and willing to create the next batch of little ones within a few hours. Talk about being energetic!

The Meaning of Seahorse Tattoos

The seahorse has come to embody a variety of traits, including:

  • Patience and Tranquility
  • Protection
  • Friendship and Cooperation
  • Persistence
  • Creativity and Meditation
  • Fatherhood

Seahorse Tattoo Variations

Tattoo designs of these curious creatures come in all sizes and colors, like purple, blue, or even pink hues. Some artists prefer to stick to traditional tribal patterns to evoke an air of mystery and intrigue while others play up the playful reputation of the seahorse. Tattoo artists have also been known to add other marine elements like symmetrical starfish, sexy mermaids, and odd looking coral to Seahorse Tattoo designs. Due to their delicate frames, these designs are, in general, thought to be strictly for women, which is ironic considering the fact that the animal's reputation for being doting fathers makes it a great spiritual symbol of Fatherhood. Popular Seahorse Tattoo variations include:

Tribal Seahorse Tattoos

To draw the spiritual energy of an animal into your being, tribe elders and the tribe's shaman often tattoo themselves and the members of their tribe with its image. As with all tribal patterns, each mark has a specific meaning that is usually used to represent daily life, evoke the help of long deceased ancestors, or to thank the gods for their gifts of mercy. Tribal Seahorse Tattoos are great for showing the world that you identify closely with a region's native culture and that, like the seahorse, you can weather life's difficult currents and protect those closest to you in order to evolve into something magnificent.

Cartoon Seahorse Tattoos

When most people see the word 'seahorse', they think of playful little creatures swimming around on the bottom of the ocean. For some persons, images of the Disney classic, The Little Mermaid, spring to mind. Cartoon Seahorse Tattoos bring out your jovial spirit and fun-loving side, and shows to the world that you hold the principles of Mutual Respect, Friendship, and Cooperation close to your heart. Most persons get Cartoon Seahorse Tattoos in honor of a child.

Regardless of which variation you chose, a Seahorse Tattoo is a great way to express to the world that, despite your tiny size, you are much more than you appear to be. You are a protector, a provider, and even in the face of obstacles and challenges, you are a fighter. You can add any number element of design elements to your artwork, from delicate mermaids to a bundle of bubbles. What's most important is that your body art remains true to your personality and the message that you're trying to send to the world. If you need help to create the perfect tattoo design, then visit our website at www.itattoodesigns.com and take advantage of our Custom Design Service. Our team can create a truly unique piece for you.