Ships drop anchor to keep their crew and passengers safe in a storm, but they may also anchor in port or in a safe haven. The key practical function of an anchor is to provide stability and safety, and to prevent the ship from moving away, and symbolically this is the most common meaning of this card.
The traditional anchor looks like a mix of a cross and a trident, the formidable weapon associated with the sea god Neptune. We know that early Christians adopted the anchor as a covert symbol of their faith, and it has been found carved into ancient catacombs.
In modern symbology, the cross represents a blend of earthly matter and the spiritual realm and is also symbolic of masculinity. The curved crescent moon shape of the anchor bottom, on the other hand, represents fertility and femininity. The two flukes which dig into the seabed are perfectly balanced, representing the balanced forces within our own psyches. The entire symbol speaks to steadfastness, constancy, permanency and strength.
For many, however, the Anchor can also represent adventure and new beginnings, bringing to mind the great age of exploration. After all, an anchor can be raised just as easily as it can be dropped. Depending on your current situation, the Anchor card may call you to seek safety, or it may urge to you to follow your dreams.
If you are stuck in a rut or wanting to manifest change, the Anchor reminds you that too much stability can be a bad thing, stifling your dreams and placing obstacles in your way. On the other hand, it’s true that having a stable life is exactly what gives most of us the confidence to set sail for new shores. If your roots are insecure, you may not feel able to leave your safe harbor in order to discover new freedoms. We need a certain amount of stability before we can weigh anchor and move on.
On the face of the Anchor card, we see a traditional anchor partially buried on the seabed, surrounded by a forest of sea grass. The chain is taught – the anchor has either just been dropped or is ready to raise. Which is it? That is up to you.
When you consider the Anchor card, ask yourself the following questions: Have you sought the stability this card brings, or are you desperate to escape its locked-in grip? Is something, or someone, holding you back and dragging you down? Should you seek refuge from your current storm, or is your life already too safe? Do you need to start taking chances?