Tattoo Symbols / Wave

When we articulate the word "wave" I think we're automatically connected to the water element. Generally speaking, the wave as a concept is related to energy transfer of all forms.


The word’s origin in greek language (“cyma”=wave) comes from the ancient verb "cyo" which means inflating... not at all by chance the word "pregnancy" in Greek comes from the same root!

In Arts the symbol has an immediate correlation with Japanese art and specifically with the famous “Great Wave” or «The Great Wave off Kanagawa» of my favourite Katsushika Hokusai.

The ukiyo-e woodblock print, symbolizes among other things, disaster, change, power and our fragility against Mother Nature! The power of this wave is so strong that we almost fail to see the Mount Fuji in the back, confusing it to a small wave passing by...

When the wave comes, it cleans the landscape, it carries away whatever blocks it’s way… in a sense it is a symbol of catharsis from anything we no longer need. It is about transition, trust to the flow, and let go.

Water is always related to change and emotion. Often the reference to the sea or the ocean (in poetry, literature, art, mythology) symbolizes life itself, the unpredictable but inevitable part of change and continuity in the journey. For this reason, it is also directly related to the feeling of fear. Something as big, natural and uncontrollable as the sea hides the unknown but also dangers, hides the greatness of magic and death

In the energy field the element of water is associated to the 2nd (sacral) chakra (Svadhisthana). The energy of water affects our relationships, our connection to the earth, our roots. Water is nourishment to our roots and is a mandatory element to our support and evolution.


Wave also symbolizes pleasure, adventure and rejuvenation. Water is an essential element for life, and no human or other being can survive on earth without its existence.




Wave tattoo / Placement


As a tattoo we often find the wave in a simple linear form, old school, Japanese style or realistic. Its size varies from small as a coin, one-line minimalistic design, as well as a part of a composition capable of filling a whole back.


Many decide to make the wave a symbol of love for the sea and the adventure it offers, especially surfers or lovers of other water sports.

For others, love and joy related to the sea is the motivation, even as mere observers.

Apart from these wonderful reasons, the wave symbol, depending on its location, has a lot to offer to the man who chooses it.

Water brings movement and abundance, let go and trust. Foot and leg placement offers pace in our steps, nourishment and confidence. Let us not forget that water feeds our roots and enhances grounding and connection.


Wonderful placement is also in arms and hands, as the flow of our creative energy is enhanced. Any placement around the waist and abdomen, enhances our fertility and relationships with others and with ourselves.


On the back the wave will help us manage and express our emotions in our relationships, as well as in our ability to receive what we are offered even if difficult to recognize.


Never forget that every tattoo and symbol takes its meaning from the one who wears it on his body!

Check out my tattoo page and message me for a custom design that we co-create with love and enthusiasm! Like my facebook page to stay in touch! About Mandira Antar

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