Tattoo Designs & Symbols

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Tattoo designs - C >> Crabs

Crab Tattoo Design Meanings - The crab is a lunar symbol. This may be due to the fact that it sheds its shell, just as the moon sheds its phases. In any event, it is associated with the feminine, the ocean, and motherhood.

The Crab is the fourth sign of the Zodiac. Its place in the heavens came about when it nipped the Greek hero, Heracles, who was battling with the monster, Hydra. The crab got crushed for its efforts, but Hera, the mother deity who was then at odds with Heracles, honoured the crab's courageous efforts by placing the crustacean as the constellation, Cancer, in the heavens. (For more info on those born under this sign, check out the Zodiac symbols.)

Anyone drawn to the crab likely displays the obvious crab-like feature of a tough exterior protecting a vulnerable interior, suggesting perhaps that there are hidden weaknesses. A closer look at the crab, however, might suggest that the highly developed emotional skills often found beneath the crab's shell can lead to strong leadership. If you have tendencies to snuggle down inside a cozy home with a mate who loves your sense of security and beauty, then a crab tattoo might be the best announcement of your deepest yearnings.

In China, the crab is an emblem of good luck, even though this crustacean can at times be poisonous. Its diet as a bottom-feeder often includes contaminated substances, but when properly and thoroughly cooked before eating, the crab is believed to nourish the marrow and the semen, becoming a symbol - for men - of potency and virility. In many cultures, crabs are considered a culinary delicacy and are widely sought after for the delicious flavour of their meat.

Depicted with its arms and legs radiating out from its body, the Chinese crab is also a sun symbol, making it a popular talisman, even today.

Chinese legend tells of the crab's usefulness and protective nature. The emperor put it to use ridding his abode of the scorpions, fleas, mosquitoes, and mice that disturbed his peace. Again, the crab lent a helping claw by hiding in a water pitcher to catch the thief who dipped his hand in it. Another crab association refers to its forward and backwards motion, 'crab walking', suggesting perhaps dishonesty or hypocrisy, or the inability to decide something one way or the other. Because they move sideways across the land, the term 'crab landing' describes landing an aircraft in a cross-wind.

Most crabs come with a hard carapace the - or outer shell - that protects their delicate underparts. Other members of the species, such as the Hermit Crab, find a suitable shell and occupy it as a virtual suit of armor, although, as they grow, they must abandon their cramped quarters to find a spacious new home. The crab has two frontal claws or pincers, which often grow to enormous size, plus six legs. All crabs use their claws for feeding and defending themselves and males use their claws to intimidate other males who may be potential rivals for the affections of a lady crab. When crabs molt their shells they often go into hiding as they are then at their most vulnerable to predators. Of the hundreds of species, the smallest is just millimeters wide, while the largest - found in Japan - reaches 4 metres in width. The Alaskan King Crab is a giant of the species and its flesh is so highly prized that it has created an industry just to meet the world-wide demand. Ships venture out from Alaska into the icy North Pacific at great risk to the boats and crew in order to catch the King Crab and crab-fishing is considered one of the most dangerous occupations on earth.

In one African Creation myth, the crab is said to live in the stone anvil at the forge, earning it an association with iron. Ancient pottery (Moche) excavated in Peru shows paintings of a half-human, half-crab as one of the rainforest deities. Clay vessels with depictions of the crab indicate the prominence of ocean creatures as deities in ancient Moche culture. Crabs in creation myths are also found in the Nootka culture of the Pacific Northwest.

Crab Inspiration Gallery - Click here to get inspired!As a spirit guide, the crab recommends balance. Watch out for a gloomy disposition that comes from remaining too long inside that protective shell. It could become a prison.

Because the crab is an excellent source of copper, it is recommended for pregnant women.

Get inspired by some really great images and photos in our Crab Inspiration Gallery

See also: Marine Life Index, Cancer Sign Tattoo

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Tattoo designs - C >> Crabs

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