Even though they are less common on people that live inland, crab tattoos are not so unusual for people that live in and around coastal areas to get. The associations of the crab with the ocean and the livelihood which provides for a lot of people that live along the shore actually make it a potent symbol of wealth, the adventure of the sea and renewal too.
Additionally to this, the place of the crab as the fourth sign of the Zodiac, representing the sign of Cancer, imparts additional meaning for a lot of people, making this tattoo an excellent idea for numerous people contemplating their following ink.
- The symbolism and meaning of the crab in certain mythologies and cultures around the world.
As we already mentioned, this is actually a symbol for the Zodiac sign of Cancer, but it was also utilized as a metaphor for negative behavior – owing no doubt to its intimidating appearance – as well as a metaphor for the sea and also the abundant life there.
In a lot of different cultures, as well as time periods, this symbol plays various roles in mythology, both significant and not so significant, and is also utilized in rain ceremonies, since it is a water creature.
For example, for the Cambodians, it represents good luck, while for the Chinese people the crab was once thought crafty as of its sideways walk. The different species, as well as their brilliant yellow to red tones, and also their use in cool blue seascapes actually made them well situated to tattoo art, alone or also in combination with some other creatures from the sea.
Within animal symbolism, the crab actually has strong lunar connections, and it represents renewal and rebirth. The crab, and sometimes some other shellfish, is actually featured on the Moon card in Tarot, and the shedding of the shell of the crab is akin to the own lunar phases of the moon. It is this act of shedding which actually makes the crab symbolic of renewal and rebirth, and also the cyclical nature of life. Additionally to this, the connection that the crab has with the moon also connects it to the feminine: the moon, in fact, serves as a motherly guide to this animal while it resides in the depths of the mysterious ocean.
All over the world, the crab holds some specific meaning in different mythologies and cultures. For example, Chinese people see the crab as a symbol of good luck, virility and also masculine potency: when they eat it, it is believed that it nourishes the semen of a man.
Crabs were also seen in some other ancient cultures. For instance, ancient Peruvian pottery features some paintings of a half-human and half-crab rainforest deity and the representations of the crab on other Peruvian clay vessels actually indicate the general prominence of ocean creatures as deities in this ancient culture.
In addition to this, crabs are also present in the creation mythos of some African cultures, as well as the Nootka culture of the Pacific Northwest.
As we already mentioned, this is symbolic for the Cancer sign of the Zodiac, and their characteristics are loyalty, contradiction, and lovers of domestic life. People who are born under the Cancer sign are good friends, but they also need their own space, as well as solitude time, so they tend to be interested in history, the beginning of all things, as well as hobbies like heraldry and genealogy.
- The meaning and symbolism of crab tattoos.
As we already mentioned, crab tattoos are common for people that live near the coast, and not so common for those that live inland. The crab has a lot of meanings, and the symbolism can also be different for everyone. We already mentioned some of the meanings and symbolism above.
However, the potential meanings for crab tattoos are seemingly endless: with a place in a lot of ancient cultures, and also powerful modern meanings, crabs are deeply symbolic animals. Here are some of the primary meanings of this tattoo:
- Rebirth and renewal;
- Cyclical nature of life;
- Prosperity and wealth;
- Strengths and aggression;
- Good luck and virility;
- Sailor or fishermen way of life;
- Zodiac sign, and so on.
Being symbolic of protection, because of its hard exterior shell, and a fighter with its dangerous pincers is the reason why the crab is often the token tattoo chosen by sailors and fishermen. Life on the water can sometimes be really hard, so a person has to be hard in order to survive, just like this animal.
As a result of its different meanings and symbolism, getting a unique and beautiful crab tattoo is not going to be difficult: there are a lot of symbolic designs to choose from, or a person can devise his or her own.
However, regardless of the reason, this tattoo may hold so much meaning to the person that displays it. Whether it would be to represent their life on water or masculinity, or even rebirth that they experienced, it is an excellent option to make a permanent part of their body.