Since ancient times, fish tattoo designs have held our fascination. Unsurprisingly, fish feature heavily in many different cultures and religions. Different cultures give fish different meanings; so it is a good idea to get a better understanding why people are so drawn to these creatures of the water.
It helps to familiarize yourself with some of the meanings that are associated with them. An overview of the different takes that different cultures have on fish is outlined below.
Most people are familiar with the fish as a symbol of Christianity. Many believers place decals and other adornments of fish designs on their vehicles, in order to proclaim their faith in an understated way. There are several reasons that fish are linked with Christianity.
In the Bible, Christ and his disciples are often referred to as the "fishers of man." Many Christians believe that men are the fish in a sea, or abyss, of sin. Finally, the story of the fish and the loaves in the Bible prompts the association between fish and abundance.
There are several stories and legends about fish tattoo designs that are linked to various ancient African religions. The most popular and pervasive one involves Mangala, the creator. In the legend, Mangala planted some seeds at the beginning of time. From those seeds, two fish came into existence. From those fish, all other forms of life eventually came into being. Therefore, fish body art is linked with fertility and initial life in such cultures.
Paganism Fish designs are very important symbols in paganism. As with many African cultures and religions, pagans closely link fish tattoos with femininity and fertility. This is primarily because pagans associate lakes, rivers, oceans and other bodies of water with those ideals. Since fish live exclusively in the water, it makes sense that they are linked to such ideals.
Buddhism The fish image is one of the eight sacred symbols of the Buddha, putting it front and center in this fascinating religion. Buddhists associate fish tattoo ink with freedom and happiness. It's easy to find depictions of fish in Buddhist art and literature. It's also quite common for adherents to place fish tattoos on their bodies. If you consider yourself to be a free spirit - and practice Buddhism - the fish is sure to be a perfect symbol for you.
Eastern Indian Cultures One of the most important figures in Eastern Indian mythology is Vishnu. In one of the most famous tales about him, he transforms himself into a fish. After doing that, he saves the world from a flood. As a result, any tattoo of fish is closely linked with creation and transformation in Eastern Indian cultures.
Since they live in the depths of the sea - but are capable of zooming to the surface to target unsuspecting prey - sharks are linked with mystery and cunning. They've been around for eons too, which gives them a reputation that is primal and ancient.