A frog tattoo is a rite of passage. This is self-evident from their colour: green, the same as the Heart Chakra.

Saaremaa, Zabitiemsk, Moscow, Russia
Saaremaa, Zabitiemsk, Moscow, Russia

Let’s begin with evolution. The frog, which is an amphibian, hatches in water as a tadpole and little by little adapts from its native environment to dry land and the open air. In adult frogs, gills are replaced by lungs which allow them to breathe on land. The tail, indispensable for moving in the water, also disappears gradually.

Alex Duquette, Lyle St. Tattoo, Dartmouth, Canada
Alex Duquette, Lyle St. Tattoo, Dartmouth, Canada

This is why, over the millennia, frogs have always stood for concepts like “mutation” and “evolution”. A predisposition to change, basically. Their passage from tadpole to adult frog and capacity to generate thousands of other tadpoles (which, in turn, will one day become frogs) makes them the ultimate symbol of metamorphosis, fertility and perpetual transformation of the self.

Amanda, Two Hands Tattoo, Auckland, New Zealand
Amanda, Two Hands Tattoo, Auckland, New Zealand

This transformation then extends to true liberation. A clean break with what we were before. Usually, someone who gets a frog tattoo is broadcasting this very message. They want to highlight how and how much their lives have changed in the wake of a “passage” (the chance to live outside of their birthplace) which has the capacity to liberate them once and for all.

Amarë, Private Studio, Belle Croix-North, France
Amarë, Private Studio, Belle Croix-North, France

An important aspect of these tattoos is the colour, seeing as how green is the symbol of the Heart Chakra (the fourth Chakra) and irradiates feelings such as health, love, rebirth and success. In fact, to have “green fingers” means an ability to grow crops, and consequently, in agriculture, accumulate wealth.

El Chanok, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Mexico City, Mexico
El Chanok, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Mexico City, Mexico

Throughout history, frogs have had a multitude of different interpretations. In Medieval Europe, a hotbed of witchcraft and paganism, they were seen as a sign of the devil, but for the ancient Celts, they were positive creatures, healers, thanks to their close association with the purification of water and rain.

Iris Lys, The Foundry Tattoo, Leeds, UK
Iris Lys, The Foundry Tattoo, Leeds, UK

The Chinese saw them as bringers of good luck and even nowadays in jewellers in Beijing you can find frog-shaped ornaments such as pendants and earrings which supposedly bring good luck to the wearer.

Adrian Hing, On The Road, Sydney, Australia
Adrian Hing, On The Road, Sydney, Australia

Native Americans, sculpted frogs on their mammoth totems because they saw in them the inevitable passage which connected man with nature. The frog, therefore, as a sort of spiritual guide which – if followed – regenerates both body and spirit. Which makes it a particularly special subject for a tattoo.





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