They say that, in ancient times, Neptune, god of the sea, preferred aquatic travel to land. To visit new locales, he would merely strike the butt of his trident to the earth, and fissures would form, the land would quake, and water would rush through the opening, paving a way for he and his marine host.
Others believe that Shiva wielded his trident to fight off negativity and evil spirits.
Each prong represents a different gunas—sattvika, rajasika, and tamasika — in Indian vedic philosophy.
Roman gladiators would commonly fight with a trident and a net. First, they would snare their opponent and then move in for the kill.
But the thing the trident is best known for is fishing. Before humans had fancy reels and lures, they relied on their swiftness of hand and accuracy of eye to spear fish. Fishermen skilled with the thrice-pronged weapon could get multiple fish with one thrust.
Those who bear the trident tattoo identify with the harsh and rugged swells of the sea. When they find themselves miles inland, they long for the smell of salt spray and the wide open expanse of the endless blue. Their brothers are the whales and porpoises; their cousins are the hammerheads and tuna. The crashing of the waves is so natural for them, they hear it in their mind’s ear wherever they go.
If you are a child of the sea, a trident tattoo is the perfect symbol for you.