Centuries ago, a compass used to be a precious device for sailors. During their journeys, they would consult the compass repeatedly to stay on the right course. It was only through the compass that they could reach their destinations.
Compass tattoo history can be traced back to the times when Spanish sailors travelled around the world. They got the tattoo chiefly on their arms and thanks to these sailors, the compass tattoo designs became known to different cultures. The sailors believed that the tattoo would guide them during storms even when they lost hold of actual compasses.
Now, with the invention of devices, conventional compasses are no longer required. However, the quality of a compass to show the right path has now received a different interpretation. A majority of people with compass tattoos feel that the tattoo can guide them spiritually. There are still others, for whom the compass tattoo meaning is associated with a person in their lives, who has acted as a guide. That is why many people get the face or name of that person inked along with the compass tattoo.
The variations in the compass tattoo designs are incredible. The dial does not have to be round; it could be square, rectangle, or oval. Inside, you need not have the traditional needle. You could have a star, which is actually the North Star. This placement of the star is permanent in the sky. That is why along with the compass, sailors also used the North Star for staying on the right path. Many people choose to have a ship, waves, or any other sea element inside the dial. You could even recreate a scene with the compass as the theme. A compass placed on a map with a watch and log diary is a popular scene. You could add more elements to it to make it seem more realistic.
Tribal tattoo is for those, who like complex designs. The tribal compass tattoo designs consist of numerous strokes giving the tattoo an air of intrigue. The designs are varied and depending on the expertise of the tattooist, a tribal compass tattoo can be made to look powerful and charismatic. Ask your tattooist to show his compass tattoo ideas; it will give you an idea about his level of expertise. You could make the tattoo design even more splendid by adding a quote to it. Over the web, there are plenty of quotes about time, from which you can choose. In case, you are creative, you could make your own quote and get it inked.
A compass tattoo too small may not look impressive. Actually, even the simplest compass tattoo designs are complex. The dial, the directions, the hands – all these elements are essential to a compass and thus, they are to be depicted with precision. Therefore, the best areas to have compass tattoos are thighs, upper back, stomach, and upper arm. In case, you are not comfortable getting a tattoo in these areas, you could choose a medium-sized compass tattoo. Of course, you would need to simplify the design; let go of the dial and just get the four pointers with directions – N,S,E,W tattooed. It may not be a compass per se but the tattoo would retain its symbolic meaning of being a direction provider.