What Does A Lion Tattoo Mean?

What Does A Lion Tattoo Mean
Courage – From the shields of medieval warriors to the flag of Gryffindor, lions are synonymous with courage throughout history and culture. Even in the Wizard of Oz, the Cowardly Lion was a juxtaposition of two opposite concepts. As such, one of the most common meanings of a lion tattoo is to convey the bravery and courage of the bearer.

Is a lion a good tattoo?

Lions are one of the most popular tattoo designs for men because they represent dominance, strength, confidence, and courage. They aren’t called the King of the Jungle for nothing.

What does a lion symbolize?

The lion is a very diverse symbol. Its most common traits are: majesty, strength, courage, justice, and military might. It can be both solar and lunar. Commonly reffered to as “the KING of the beasts,” it is a symbol of Kingly power and might, but as the lioness it is commonly related to the Great Mother and protection.

  1. In a Christian context, the lion can be the power and might of Christ, or the open maw of Satan;
  2. Greek myth links this beast to Heracles and his epic wrestling match with a supernatural lion, which no earthly weapon could harm;

In this context the lion is death, beaten by the solar hero. After killing the lion with his bare HANDS , Heracles wore its skin as a sort of ARMOR. As the opposite of the EAGLE , the lion can represent earth, as the presider over many floods he can represent fertility, and as a hellish beast he can represent the underworld.

What does a lion with a rose tattoo mean?

Lion Tattoos with Roses – Many lion tattoo designs also feature rose tattoos. The rose tattoo has a way of softening the fierceness of a lion, and that is by design. Rose tattoos usually symbolize passion and beauty , especially in the feminine sense. Lion tattoos with roses symbolize a balance between soft and strong , masculine and feminine. It’s a beautiful tattoo design because there are times in life to be both soft and strong. There’s great value in knowing when to listen quietly and when to bare your teeth. This tattoo design would be well suited to someone from either end of the spectrum who wants to achieve that balance.

What does a lion and tiger tattoo mean?

The tiger is one of the world’s most popular animals and has been for centuries. These large, endangered members of the feline species are characterized by their bold black stripes and killer instinct. There are nine subspecies of tiger, with Bengal and Siberian being the most recognized.

The other subspecies are Bali, South China, Malayan, Indochinese, Javan, Golden, White and Hybrid. The tiger is an extremely popular cat for its looks alone, but there are also so many great tiger tattoo meanings that people can use to make these designs even more special.

On this page we will take a look at some of the most popular tiger tattoo meanings and why they might work for you. The tiger can be seen as a strong, fierce creature that lives without inhibitions and is wild and untamed, characteristics many humans wish they could embody, thus making it a popular choice for tattoo art.

If you want to get a tattoo that represents the “wild” meaning, you really couldn’t pick a better animal tattoo than the tiger. Though not completely necessary, with these designs you probably want to have your tiger’s teeth showing to keep people from thinking that you are using another tiger tattoo meaning.

Tigers can also be used as a symbol of power, strength and dominance. You don’t even need to see a tiger roar to know these things about it. If you want to use these tiger tattoo meanings, you really can just get a tiger’s head or a full-bodied tiger without having to add in any extra imagery.

This tiger tattoo meaning is great for people who take pride in being physically strong or having a strong character. Much like the lion, the tiger is also a solar animal and is considered to be fiery and passionate like the sun.

Obviously this is a perfect tiger tattoo meaning for people who show passion in everything they do. To make this meaning come through clearer, you could even add in a sun behind the tiger, perhaps with the sun beams coming down around it. Another excellent tiger tattoo meaning is protection.

  • If you were looking for a tattoo design that represents your pride in protecting yourself and those around you, and you like the tiger, then this might just be the tattoo for you;
  • Some people get these tiger tattoos with an adult and its cubs to make the meaning clearer, but the adult tiger by itself works too;

One tiger tattoo meaning that seems to be growing in popularity these days is sensuality. The reason for this is because the tiger is known for being an untamable sexual creature, so people who want to show that they have this type of wild side might find this tiger tattoo meaning to be perfect for them.

With these designs, it’s key to get a lustful expression on the tiger’s face to make the meaning come through a bit better. The lion is the most popular cat tattoo to represent royalty, but some people use the tiger to symbolize this same meaning.

If you want to use this tiger tattoo meaning, you can add in some extra imagery such as a crown or shield. This is a good meaning for those who come from royal ancestry or who just want to use the tattoo to motivate them to try to make the most of their lives.

In many cultures tiger symbolism is prevalent, such as in India, where tigers are seen as emblems of destruction. It’s not too rare to still hear of tigers roaming into Indian villages and causing some issues.

Destruction can be a positive or negative tiger tattoo meaning depending who gets the tattoo, though it isn’t one of the more popular meanings used these days. In China, tigers are seen as the protectors of the dead and are used to decorate graves to ensure that the deceased makes a safe passage to the afterlife.

In this way the tiger tattoo can be used with other designs to make a memorial tattoo. This is especially perfect if the person you’re memorializing happened to love tigers. This is one of those tattoo designs that should be done by a top artist since all of the design elements need to be detailed and blend well together.

As with most tattoo subject matter there are many tiger variations to consider when choosing a design. Some choose to use a more tribal design to depict power, fearlessness and spiritual energy much like the elite soldiers of a tribe. These designs are often done in dark black and use lines to create the shape of a tiger.

  • Since these designs have less detail and require many lines to make the whole tiger, most people opt to get larger pieces on their backs or on their chests;
  • Another popular choice is that of the tiger cub, or baby tiger;

These designs can show the innocence as well as kinship with young animals. Some use these tiger tattoo meanings to show their love for their kids or to represent their youthful sides. One great option with the tiger cub tattoo is to get a silhouette version that you can place on your forearm, wrist, or ankle.

Of course, you could also get a fully-detailed tiger cub tattoo if you’d prefer one of those designs. The eye of the tiger – a statement made famous by the hit song – is also a great choice for artwork. It can evoke the principle of survival and moving on instinct with ferocity and purpose.

A person who prides themselves on having excellent survival instincts would be a perfect fit for the tiger tattoo. There’s no specific way to show this type of tiger tattoo meaning, though most people who use this meaning like that it is more private than the most of the other tiger symbolism.

  1. Other variations of the tiger tattoo include the butterfly tiger, blue tiger, tiger lily and dragon tiger;
  2. All of these have their own cool designs and meanings, though only the blue tiger and the dragon tiger have actual tigers in them;

When you come up with a tiger tattoo meaning that you like, then it’s time to decide how you want the tiger itself to be designed. Do you want the tiger to be by itself or do you want to include other design elements to enhance the meaning? Do you want the focus to be on the tiger’s face or do you want to get the entire body? How important are the little details such as the fur and the whiskers? Do you want a stoic tiger or one that is chasing its prey? These are the types of questions that you need to ask yourself before you commit to a design.

After you’ve come up with your tiger tattoo design, now it’s time to think of the perfect place on your body to put it. If you have a large design in mind, then you only have a few places to put it, like your back, side, or chest.

If you have a horizontally-long design in mind, then you might want it to wrap around a body part, like your leg or your side. These are all things that you can talk to your tattoo artist about before you commit to anything. Also be sure to tell your artist about the tiger tattoo meaning you want to use, too, so they can give you the best design possible. There are dozens of fantastic tiger tattoo meanings that you can use and you can be sure that your tiger will look cool because, well, tigers are cool! .

Why do guys get lion tattoos?

The lion tattoo continues to be one of the most popular tattoo ideas for men. The lion symbolizes strength, power, pride, masculinity, and leadership.

Why are lion tattoos so popular?

Courage – From the shields of medieval warriors to the flag of Gryffindor, lions are synonymous with courage throughout history and culture. Even in the Wizard of Oz, the Cowardly Lion was a juxtaposition of two opposite concepts. As such, one of the most common meanings of a lion tattoo is to convey the bravery and courage of the bearer.

What lions mean spiritually?

Lion Symbolism & Spiritual Meanings Of Lions Lions symbolize strength, courage, power, royalty, protection, pride, authority, majesty and wisdom. And because lionesses are a pride’s primary hunters, lions are also symbols of female power, ferocity and family.

Is a lion a symbol of God?

From Persia to Rome, the lion was a symbol of the sun god Mithra, whilst the Etruscan lion with wings stands at the entrance of the Temple Mountain at Troy. In Islam, Muhammad’s son-in-law and cousin was known as the Lion of God, whilst a lion-headed angel is one of four beings that supports Allah’s throne.

What animal is a symbol of love?

Horse – What Does A Lion Tattoo Mean (Photo : Raphael Wicker on Unsplash) The horse symbol is present in most parts of the world , from a simple omen to an emblem of war. But, they also symbolize love. This is a symbol of practicality and love, as seen in the Chinese zodiac sign of the horse. Celts associated it with Horses also represents Epona (horse goddess), who is also attributed to love, fertility, and abundance. Mesopotamia legend told that a horse had drawn the sun and that the horse embodies love for the earth for its light and warmth give life to all creatures.

What does female lion symbolize?

Lioness Meaning: Female Power – What Does A Lion Tattoo Mean In a lion pride, it is the lionesses who do most of the hunting, as well as caring for the young. Thus, the lioness is the quintessential symbol of female powe r. Furthermore, the lionesses support each other on the hunt, which enables them to take down prey that is faster or stronger than they are. So, they are also symbols of the divine sisterhood – women supporting women.

What does Tiger tattoo mean?

What Does A Lion Tattoo Mean What Does A Lion Tattoo Mean Tigers. Lords of the jungle, these majestic creatures are known as much for their strength and ferociousness as they are for their beauty and grace. Thought to have originated in China and currently the national animal of India, tigers also hold a prominent place in the mythology and folklore of many Asian regions.

Seals depicting tigers have been found in South Asia dating all the way back several thousands of years ago — all the way to the Indus Valley Civilization! Steeped in culture, history, and even art, it is no wonder that tigers are such a popular symbol across all art forms, including as tattoo designs — but what do these stunning animals really symbolize? In Chinese symbolism, the tiger ‘ is an emblem of dignity, ferocity, sternness, courage, and by itself is Yin energy ‘, as well as ‘ energy, royalty, generosity, and illumination ‘.

Tigers are also thought of as protectors of the dead, helping them find peace as they pass on. Tigers are also often seen as a symbol of protection and is linked to the Chinese god of wealth Tsai Shen Yeh. In South Asia, the tiger is linked to Durga, the goddess of war.

All these associations link the tiger to power and divinity while also highlighting the ability of humans to harness raw power and the divinity within. Traditional and tribal tattoos from these regions often feature the dragon as an important symbol.

Chinese mythology also considers the white tiger to be one of the five classical planets, Venus. The tiger is associated with the autumn season, the colour white, the cardinal direction of the west, and the element of metal. The white tiger is said to only appear when a king rules with absolute virtue and there is peace in all the lands. What Does A Lion Tattoo Mean Similar beliefs are held in various other parts of East Asian, including in Japan where the tiger is a popular choice for tattoos done in Irezumi, a traditional style of tattooing in Japan. In Korea, the tiger is a guardian that drives away evil spirits and brings good luck. It is thought of as a symbol of courage. The traditional sak yant muay thai tattoos often feature the tiger as a symbol of protection, strength, power, and fearlessness for the muay thai fighters.

  • It is considered unlucky to get these tattoos from anyone other than a Buddhist monk using a bamboo needle and is believed that the wearer will not be blessed with the sacred powers these tattoos are thought to bring;

These tattoos are usually done on the back, a placement that symbolizes protection, as in ‘someone is watching your back’, as well as leaving the past in the past. What Does A Lion Tattoo Mean Tiger eyes are also an extremely popular choice as a tattoo design. The ‘eye of the tiger’ became a popular phrase thanks to Survivor in the 80s, but this phrase actually has a deeper meaning — it represents impending death as the ‘eye of the tiger’ is the last thing a prey will see before its death. What Does A Lion Tattoo Mean But what is interesting is that the phrase doesn’t refer to the tiger’s actual eyes! It refers to the spots on the back of the tiger’s ears which become visible when the tiger pulls its ears backwards right before it ‘goes in for the kill’. What Does A Lion Tattoo Mean For many, tiger tattoos symbolize raw power and strength. For others, the apex predator is seen as representing freedom and independence. Tiger cubs are thought to be a perfect balance of power and innocence. What Does A Lion Tattoo Mean It makes sense then that tiger tattoos on the chest, biceps, and forearms are so popular! Chest placement for tattoos symbolizes love, since it is close to the heart, and power, since ancient cultures often painted the tales of their valour and victory on their chest. Forearm tattoos denote strength and toughness. Many choose these placements purely for aesthetic appeal as well, but they sure do make tiger tattoos look fierce! What Does A Lion Tattoo Mean In modern spirituality, the tiger is seen as a symbol of willpower, courage, and personal strength, symbolizing primal instincts, unpredictability, and the ability to trust yourself. On a deeper level, the tiger is seen as a sign of facing yourself, especially the parts of your identity and emotions that you would rather not acknowledge or express. What Does A Lion Tattoo Mean The stone Tiger’s Eye, which is golden brown and orange with black stripes, is thought to help its wearer overcome their anxiety and fear and find harmony and balance. It encourages you to be calm and clear, unclouded in your judgements and decisions. Tigers teach us to own our inner power and approach life calmly. What Does A Lion Tattoo Mean Ready to own your power? Head on over to jhaiho. com and book your tattoo appointment today! Be sure to follow us on Instagram for more tattoo inspiration!.

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What animal tattoo symbolizes strength?

Guest post in collaboration with Gladys Geetha We’re pleased to host this blog written in collaboration with Gladys, a Reiki Grandmaster and Tarot reader, and an expert on animal meanings and symbolism! Gladys began her journey into spirituality nearly two decades ago in Dubai and has since gone on to educate herself in various modalities, including animism, an ancient religious and spiritual belief that all things — including animals, plants, rocks and mountains, words, and even objects — are ‘animated’ and thus alive, each possessing its own spiritual essence. In modern spirituality, animism is frequently used to interpret meanings and messages that come to us in the form of animals. In this post, Gladys introduces the basics of animal symbolism to us — and gives us a glimpse into what these animal mean as tattoos ! Be sure to check out Gladys’ other work on her site Reiki With Friends.

  • Animism has its roots in the most ancient tribal and indigenous populations, who prior to modern day religion found meaning and purpose in the world around them;
  • Most of these cultures also practised ancient forms of body art, including tribal tattooing;

Of all these cultures, Native American animism tends to be one of the most popular. Totems, as per Native American beliefs, are spiritual beings or sacred objects and symbols of an individual or their tribe, and each person is said to have nine different animal spirits that act as guides throughout their life.

Similar forms of animism can be observed in ancient cultures across the globe, such as the Mun religion of the Lepcha people of Sikkim, India. Each animal has a meaning, which means it can be difficult finding the one that’s right for you or that truly represents you.

To make things a little easier, we asked animal meanings expert Gladys to tell us what over 40 animals represent. Let us help you find your perfect tattoo ! Animals from the jungles and forests instantly bring out the fear in us. They are known to be extremely strong, ferocious, and often quite fast. They emphasize our ability to master our emotions and know when to get serious — and when to have a little fun! Realism more your style? Book your tattoo appointment with Aliens Tattoos now! With a roar that can shake the earth, the tiger is an impressive creature that makes its presence known — and heard! Tigers can mean anything from danger and vengeance to power and strength to being a free spirit. Much like the lion, a tiger represents the ability to manage strong emotions more effectively. But the symbolism behind tigers has a long and diverse history ! Read: Tiger Tattoos and their Meanings The fastest animal on the planet, cheetahs are a reminder to remain focused — know your goals, keep your eye on the prize, and charge — full speed ahead! The most common image of apes is that they’re aggressive — no doubt the image of a silverback charging at you is bound to scare anyone! But there’s another side to them — they are extremely caring and compassionate and display amazing selflessness, both towards their fellow apes as well as to outsiders they don’t view as a threat. Chimps are especially known for being playful — and they are quite mischievous too! In South Asian cultures, the immortal being Hanuman is depicted as being half-man, half-ape, and symbolizes resistance to persecution. Hanuman features prominently in many other Asian styles of tattooing as well. Beyond their aggressiveness, the majestic apes also stand for leadership, dignity, and loyalty. Book an appointment with Skin Pricks now and get a gorgeous ape tattoo of your own! The deer is a symbol of power to Native American tribes, signifying intuition combined with sensitivity and gentleness. Want a geometric deer tattoo? Check out Starline ! Have sketch-style deers taken your fancy? Get one at Ancient Tattoo Studio today! Get yourself a magical landscape deer tattoo from Verve ! The deer teaches us to be calm but determined, and reminds us that there is great power in peace, and great healing in compassion — especially when we show some to ourselves! Bears are a symbol of strength and confidence, as well as of solitude, quiet, and rest. Known to be fiercely protective, they are not unlike elephants in their ability to be just as ferocious as they are loving. Not all animals are terrifying, ferocious, and deadly! There are some animals that were bred to be our friends, who accompany us through life — including all its ups and downs! Dogs are the best companions and friends — loyal, trustworthy, brave, protective, devoted. They teach us to be non-judgemental. Visit Sculp and get yourself a pet tattoo with a customized design! With dogs, each breed has its own meaning and symbolism. For instance, Labradors symbolize unconditional acceptance, Corgis symbolize being protective and loyal to one’s ‘herd’, and Great Danes symbolize being easy-going and strong-willed — and to never let anyone walk all over you! Dogs are a great reminder to love unconditionally and faithfully, and to never lose your childish wonder no matter what happens! Want a colourful portrait tattoo of your puppy? Check out Verve ! Cats — as their nine lives tell us — are a symbol of rebirth. They are associated with night, darkness, and magic. In ancient Egypt, cats were revered as deities and would receive a royal burial. Many ancient gods were also depicted as cats. Get yourself an adorable cat tattoo from Funky Fuze Tattoo Studio ! Cats are curious and playful, but they can be quite terrifying if they’re crossed! Overall, cats have a very clear message — live proud and free! In China, the panda is an auspicious symbol said to bring luck and prosperity. Even though they are actually quite strong, it is difficult to imagine being attacked by a panda! They symbolize gentle strength — the ability to be wise in how one uses their power. These adorable fluffy bears live in peace and harmony, enjoying a quiet life among friends and family. The phrase ‘beasts of burden’ is often used to refer to animals that carry rather heavy loads, usually in service to farmers and builders. While many see them as helping hands, we must always acknowledge how important their presence is to us — after all, without them, we would have never been able to build our towns and cities! As the symbol of Aries, rams denote strength, pride, drive, and determination.

Yet each one of these frightening beasts has a kind and compassionate side. It is this side that gives us a glimpse into what these animals symbolize! Lions represent raw power and aggression, but there’s another side to them — they’re also playful, and sometimes quite lazy! Want a watercolour lion of your own? Visit Tattoo Trends and book your appointment today! Lions are all about self-control.

Rams also symbolize initiative and leadership. In some cultures, they are a symbol of protection. Rams are also considered a symbol of divinity. Mythological horned gods are always depicted as warriors, as ram horns are a sign of strength and aggressiveness — or put another way, passion! Is it divinity or strength that inspires you? Get inked with a customized tattoo of a ram with InkOverMatter ! Known for their great strength and power, bulls are protectors and associated with the wealth of the land. They’re a sign to be assertive and stand your ground — especially when in doubt! Bulls teach us to never let others question what we believe in. Bulls are the symbol of Taurus, the zodiac that thrives on being practical and grounded. Bulls, thus, also represent being realistic and committed — which can sometimes mean being quite stubborn! Put another way, however, bulls are also a symbol of being reliable and consistent. Horses symbolize true freedom as they live unrestrained, free to move as they please. In Native American symbolism, horses represent power, likely owing to the sheer strength of a mustang from the wild. But horses also symbolize a different kind of power — personal power. After all, a true free spirit has no one to hold them back. Learning to master oneself is the greatest struggle — and the greatest triumph! Gentle, wise, nurturing — elephants are emotional and loving animals who care deeply for their herd. Never get in between a mother and her baby elephant though — elephants also symbolize power and strength, and this gentle and majestic creature will charge at you with a vengeance if she views you as a threat! Get yourself a tattoo you’ll love forever! Visit Aatman today! In Eastern and Native American tribes, elephants also represent luck. Elephant tattoos can thus have a variety of meanings! Some animals bring with them a sense of magic and mystery — it’s just in their nature! Since ancient times, these animals have been thought to represent everything from death and the afterlife to parallel universes and sight beyond sight! Wolves are intelligent creatures with amazing intuition. Get a magical wolf inked at Aatman ! Book now! A wolf’s howl is one of the most haunting sounds of the night. The howl of a wolf is how it calls to its pack. The howl of a lone wolf, however, is as a warning to all — wolf or human — that dares to trespass on its territory! Wolves are a reminder to stay true to who you are — whether you’re in a pack or riding solo. Get in touch with The Pumpkin Patch at [email protected] com to make booking enquiries. While the Chinese thought of foxes as a sign from departed loved ones, Celtic lore views foxes as a symbol of guidance and wisdom. Modern symbolism views the fox as cunning. In reality, foxes are actually extremely clever and resourceful. They are also curious and playful! Known for their quick thinking, foxes teach us to always be alert! They may be small, but when they show up these animals come with some very important messages! Read on to find out what these tiny animals — and the small animal tattoos they feature in! — represent. Dragonflies are known for being resplendent and absolutely stunning. And why wouldn’t they — they are all about being a free spirit! They symbolize change — from mental and emotional to physical — and are a sign that things are about to shift. A dragonfly tattoo is a great way to remind yourself that life is a wild ride! These beautiful creatures teach us to always be open to change. Butterflies come in so many colours, it’s hard not to smile when we see one gently flit past! Butterflies represent change and joy. Many associate the butterfly with transformation — nothing says a new you quite like a caterpillar that can go into a cocoon and emerge as an entirely new creature! Mark your transformation with a customized butterfly tattoo from Sculp ! In addition to change, butterflies also represent luck, which makes them perfect for a tattoo that is meant to represent a new phase of your life. This might be why they’re so popular around New Year! Moths are known to be nocturnal, yet for some unexplained reason, they are drawn to light! These ancient little creatures are thought to be in tune with nature and use the moonlight to navigate their flight. Moths symbolize determination and faith, but more than anything, they are a reminder to never stop searching for the light in the dark. They also, however, remind us to know our path. Follow the light, but make sure you don’t get burned! Crabs are the symbol of the Cancer zodiac sign. They represent emotion and intuitiveness, as well as loyalty and deep attachments. Chinese symbolism links crabs to success and high status because of the Chinese word for crab shell ‘jia’ which means ‘first’ and is associated with getting first place in the Chinese Imperial Examinations. Get a crab tattoo of your own at Sculpture Tattoos ! If you need a reminder to be ambitious and aim high, then a crab tattoo might just be for you! They also, however, serve as a reminder that sometimes you need to loosen your grip and change your path — so listen to your heart when making a choice. Scorpions are often thought to symbolize danger due to the painful sting they inflict on anyone they view as a threat. As the symbol of Scorpios, these little crustaceans represent passion and assertiveness. They also represent resourcefulness and a quest for truth. Ancient Egyptians, however, revered the scorpion as a protector of souls that are crossing over into the afterlife. Scorpions are also associated with spiritual change and growth, as many ancient societies believed the scorpion’s sting had the power to heal and cause a person to transcend reality and receive prophetic visions. Lizards symbolize regeneration and are a message that you can overcome anything. A fun fact about lizards is that they shed their tails when distressed and are capable of regrowing it later on! Lizards, thus, are a symbol of growth — of shedding extra baggage when it does not serve you and becoming a better version of yourself! Spiders are often scary to most people — there’s even a whole section of phobias dedicated to it! This is probably why they feature prominently in horror and blackwork tattoos. But spiders are more than just scary! They are master weavers. The webs they weave are very difficult to break or remove, indicating this is a creature that has mastered its craft. Spiders, thus, represent finding your purpose and mastering the skills you need to accomplish it. Animals have a prominent place in mythology. Of all creatures, some have been exceptionally valuable to telling the tales of our ancestors. Their symbolism and presence in ancient texts tell us a lot about where we come from and why we hold the beliefs we do. Snakes are thought of as earthy creatures due to their nature of slithering along the ground. Historically thought of as a creative force, snakes also symbolize transformation and immortality because they routinely shed their skin and emerge, almost as good as new! Snakes are also important to many religions and ancient cultures, who viewed them as both terrifying, destructive forces and deities that bestowed blessings. Ancient snakes were, after all, what modern tales of dragons are based on! Cobras are seen as deadly, but they have historically been associated with deep spirituality and royalty. Ancient Egyptians saw them as magical creatures full of wisdom, often using cobra imagery in the Pharoah’s crown. They even had a Cobra Goddess named Wadjet! She was a protective force whose presence indicated the king’s reign over all of Egypt. In South Asia, the cobra is often associated with Lord Shiva. While many tales are told about this association, some point out that the serpent is highly sensitive to human emotion — particularly fear — and if a serpent is calm around you, it indicates you are totally at ease and are thus able to perceive everything with a clear mind. Prior to more modern depictions, dragons were depicted as serpents and revered and feared in equal measure as deities and ferocious beasts. They were thought to be forces of protection as well as monsters that caused destruction. In current folklore and fantasy, dragons are often associated with East Asian mythology. The dragon is an important symbol in Feng Shui, representing fortune and growth as well as authority and the ability to rise above one’s circumstances. Read: Dragon Tattoos and their Meanings The dinosaurs may be extinct, but they live on in our minds — and in ink! They symbolize strength and nobility, as well as change and the ability to let go and move on from the past. The mighty dinosaurs teach us to focus on here and now — because it’s all we have! Water is the element of healing, of flowing with life and finding growth in moving forward. With fish and all other creatures of the deep sea, we find meaning that speaks to our souls on a much deeper level. Hailing from Japanese culture, the koi fish symbolizes overcoming adversity — which might be why it’s such a popular choice for cover up tattoos! Want an Irezumi-style koi fish tattoo? Birthmark Tattoos n Customs is what you’re looking for! The koi fish is a reminder to have courage as you strive to reach your goals. It is symbolic of patience, determination, ambition, and success. If this blackwork back tattoo is your style, check out Tattoo Sutra ! Native Americans believed the lunar eclipse was caused by a codfish trying to swallow the moon. Due to its importance to trade the codfish is seen as a symbol of wealth and prosperity. While it is sometimes associated with sainthood, the cod is at other times seen as a symbol of lust and evil! At its core, however, the codfish represents something very important — mindful independence. Turtles tell us that patience, dedication, and perseverance can help you achieve anything. Turtles stand for longevity and endurance, with some species of turtles being known to live for hundreds of years! Tribal animal tattoos often feature turtles because of the depth of meaning these animals represent! Visit Avatar Tattoo and get inked with a minimalist tribal turtle tattoo of your own! Celtic symbolism views the shark as a symbol of prosperity due to the association of its dorsal fin with the sacred sickle of the Druids, and it was thought to bring a good harvest and a successful hunt. The shark is often viewed with fear due to the false notion that they are dangerous predators, but sharks are actually a sign to let go of fear and go after what you really want. Seahorses symbolize patience and contentment. They are considered to be symbols of strength and power — even though they are so tiny! Sailors viewed them as good luck charms, which might be why seahorses have a prominent place on most charm bracelets! The tortoise is an ancient animal. Ancient societies believed the world was flat and sat on the back of a tortoise, which is why they are often linked with creation and bearing the weight of the whole world. Tortoises symbolize wisdom and ancient knowledge as well as immortality, time, water, and the moon. While each bird has a unique meaning, birds, in general, symbolize freedom and movement. Many ancient societies and tribes viewed them as messengers of god — after all, these creatures can get closer to heaven than any other animal! Birds are a reminder that we are not meant to be chained to the ground — we were always destined to soar! The finch symbolizes colourful and happy times ahead and is often associated with high energy and bright days on the horizon. It reminds you that life is a celebration — so let your colours shine! Looking to get a red finch inked? Visit Verve ! Greek mythology associates the raven with Apollo, the god of prophecy, and many think of them as a symbol of bad luck. In Native American symbolism, the raven is a symbol of metamorphosis, as well as of mischief due to its association with changing attributes. Ravens are also associated with melancholy, possibly owing to Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Raven’ which made it a symbol of pain and darkness. In actuality, ravens teach us to overcome the fear we have been holding on to for a long time. The mythical phoenix is often associated with rebirth and renewal, as well as fire and the sun. This is because this a phoenix usually dies by bursting into flames and a new phoenix is born from these ashes. Because the phoenix never truly dies, it represents immortality, life and death, and transformation. Soaring higher than any other bird, the eagle is thought to be a connection to the divine. It sees everything from above, symbolizing freedom, honesty, and living true to your principles. Check out Verve for some amazing ornamental and geometric animal tattoos! Eagles also teach us to stay focused — it’s pretty difficult to miss anything when you have a bird’s-eye view! Associated with war and death, crows have been dealt a bad hand in modern symbolism. In reality, crows are a sign of health and wealth and are bringers of good luck and fortune. They also symbolize magic and mystery. A very intelligent creature of the night, owls tell us to trust our inner knowledge and have the foresight to make wise decisions. Get yourself an awesome owl tattoo from Ancient ! Owls are a reminder that the secrets of ancient wisdom are meant for those who have earned the right to know! Want an artist to draw your story in ink? Check out Atinga ! Most commonly associated with Bob Marley’s ‘every little thing will be alright’, the three little birds also represent being free of worry, trusting yourself and not being afraid to fall, and knowing when it’s time to soar. With little black birds, it’s all about hopes and dreams ! A symbol of peace, doves remind us to live calmly and with purpose. Thought to be a messenger that brings messages from the afterlife, doves are often believed to be holy and a connection to the divine. Peacocks are a symbol of beauty and elegance, nobility and grace, prestige and success. Peacock feathers are thought to have magical and hypnotizing powers. In South Asian mythology, the peacock feather was used by Lord Krishna to cleanse the feet of the goddess Radha, and is thus also associated with beauty and knowledge. Book an appointment with Machu Tattoo Studio and get a beautiful peacock feather tattoo inked today! On a deeper level, peacocks teach us that we are most beautiful when we reveal our true colours.

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What tattoo represents strength?

Lotus/Floral Tattoo Design – As mentioned earlier, the lotus flower is an ultimate symbol of personal emotional, and physical strength. The lotus design is suitable for both men and women and represents power, strength, endurance, and one’s ability to overcome life’s struggles.

The design is incredibly beautiful, and the tattoo can be either small or big, simple or intricate. Some people tend to chose wonderful color schemes for their lotus tattoo, while others go with a more minimalistic approach.

Either way, you cannot go wrong with a lotus design.

  • Tattoo highlights – just like with any design, the lotus tattoo can be either less or more expensive depending on the size, intricacy of the design, and the choice of color. Smaller designs can cost you up to  $800 , while larger lotus tattoos with intricate design can cost up to  $2,500.
  • Best body placement – forearm, wrist, ankle, foot, middle of the chest, side of the neck, the bottom of the neck, lower back, shoulder area, etc.

Other Design Recommendations .

How much would a lion tattoo cost?

Lion Tattoo Prices – A realistic lion tattoo portrait is likely to take 1 to 2 hours to complete, which can cost about $150 to $400 on average. A lion tattoo full sleeve design can cost around $200 an hour and might be 8 hours of work or more depending on the size of your arm and the image.

How much would a lion tattoo cost?

Lion Tattoo Prices – A realistic lion tattoo portrait is likely to take 1 to 2 hours to complete, which can cost about $150 to $400 on average. A lion tattoo full sleeve design can cost around $200 an hour and might be 8 hours of work or more depending on the size of your arm and the image.

What animal tattoo symbolizes strength?

Guest post in collaboration with Gladys Geetha We’re pleased to host this blog written in collaboration with Gladys, a Reiki Grandmaster and Tarot reader, and an expert on animal meanings and symbolism! Gladys began her journey into spirituality nearly two decades ago in Dubai and has since gone on to educate herself in various modalities, including animism, an ancient religious and spiritual belief that all things — including animals, plants, rocks and mountains, words, and even objects — are ‘animated’ and thus alive, each possessing its own spiritual essence. In modern spirituality, animism is frequently used to interpret meanings and messages that come to us in the form of animals. In this post, Gladys introduces the basics of animal symbolism to us — and gives us a glimpse into what these animal mean as tattoos ! Be sure to check out Gladys’ other work on her site Reiki With Friends.

Animism has its roots in the most ancient tribal and indigenous populations, who prior to modern day religion found meaning and purpose in the world around them. Most of these cultures also practised ancient forms of body art, including tribal tattooing.

Of all these cultures, Native American animism tends to be one of the most popular. Totems, as per Native American beliefs, are spiritual beings or sacred objects and symbols of an individual or their tribe, and each person is said to have nine different animal spirits that act as guides throughout their life.

  1. Similar forms of animism can be observed in ancient cultures across the globe, such as the Mun religion of the Lepcha people of Sikkim, India;
  2. Each animal has a meaning, which means it can be difficult finding the one that’s right for you or that truly represents you;

To make things a little easier, we asked animal meanings expert Gladys to tell us what over 40 animals represent. Let us help you find your perfect tattoo ! Animals from the jungles and forests instantly bring out the fear in us. They are known to be extremely strong, ferocious, and often quite fast. They emphasize our ability to master our emotions and know when to get serious — and when to have a little fun! Realism more your style? Book your tattoo appointment with Aliens Tattoos now! With a roar that can shake the earth, the tiger is an impressive creature that makes its presence known — and heard! Tigers can mean anything from danger and vengeance to power and strength to being a free spirit. Much like the lion, a tiger represents the ability to manage strong emotions more effectively. But the symbolism behind tigers has a long and diverse history ! Read: Tiger Tattoos and their Meanings The fastest animal on the planet, cheetahs are a reminder to remain focused — know your goals, keep your eye on the prize, and charge — full speed ahead! The most common image of apes is that they’re aggressive — no doubt the image of a silverback charging at you is bound to scare anyone! But there’s another side to them — they are extremely caring and compassionate and display amazing selflessness, both towards their fellow apes as well as to outsiders they don’t view as a threat. Chimps are especially known for being playful — and they are quite mischievous too! In South Asian cultures, the immortal being Hanuman is depicted as being half-man, half-ape, and symbolizes resistance to persecution. Hanuman features prominently in many other Asian styles of tattooing as well. Beyond their aggressiveness, the majestic apes also stand for leadership, dignity, and loyalty. Book an appointment with Skin Pricks now and get a gorgeous ape tattoo of your own! The deer is a symbol of power to Native American tribes, signifying intuition combined with sensitivity and gentleness. Want a geometric deer tattoo? Check out Starline ! Have sketch-style deers taken your fancy? Get one at Ancient Tattoo Studio today! Get yourself a magical landscape deer tattoo from Verve ! The deer teaches us to be calm but determined, and reminds us that there is great power in peace, and great healing in compassion — especially when we show some to ourselves! Bears are a symbol of strength and confidence, as well as of solitude, quiet, and rest. Known to be fiercely protective, they are not unlike elephants in their ability to be just as ferocious as they are loving. Not all animals are terrifying, ferocious, and deadly! There are some animals that were bred to be our friends, who accompany us through life — including all its ups and downs! Dogs are the best companions and friends — loyal, trustworthy, brave, protective, devoted. They teach us to be non-judgemental. Visit Sculp and get yourself a pet tattoo with a customized design! With dogs, each breed has its own meaning and symbolism. For instance, Labradors symbolize unconditional acceptance, Corgis symbolize being protective and loyal to one’s ‘herd’, and Great Danes symbolize being easy-going and strong-willed — and to never let anyone walk all over you! Dogs are a great reminder to love unconditionally and faithfully, and to never lose your childish wonder no matter what happens! Want a colourful portrait tattoo of your puppy? Check out Verve ! Cats — as their nine lives tell us — are a symbol of rebirth. They are associated with night, darkness, and magic. In ancient Egypt, cats were revered as deities and would receive a royal burial. Many ancient gods were also depicted as cats. Get yourself an adorable cat tattoo from Funky Fuze Tattoo Studio ! Cats are curious and playful, but they can be quite terrifying if they’re crossed! Overall, cats have a very clear message — live proud and free! In China, the panda is an auspicious symbol said to bring luck and prosperity. Even though they are actually quite strong, it is difficult to imagine being attacked by a panda! They symbolize gentle strength — the ability to be wise in how one uses their power. These adorable fluffy bears live in peace and harmony, enjoying a quiet life among friends and family. The phrase ‘beasts of burden’ is often used to refer to animals that carry rather heavy loads, usually in service to farmers and builders. While many see them as helping hands, we must always acknowledge how important their presence is to us — after all, without them, we would have never been able to build our towns and cities! As the symbol of Aries, rams denote strength, pride, drive, and determination.

Yet each one of these frightening beasts has a kind and compassionate side. It is this side that gives us a glimpse into what these animals symbolize! Lions represent raw power and aggression, but there’s another side to them — they’re also playful, and sometimes quite lazy! Want a watercolour lion of your own? Visit Tattoo Trends and book your appointment today! Lions are all about self-control.

Rams also symbolize initiative and leadership. In some cultures, they are a symbol of protection. Rams are also considered a symbol of divinity. Mythological horned gods are always depicted as warriors, as ram horns are a sign of strength and aggressiveness — or put another way, passion! Is it divinity or strength that inspires you? Get inked with a customized tattoo of a ram with InkOverMatter ! Known for their great strength and power, bulls are protectors and associated with the wealth of the land. They’re a sign to be assertive and stand your ground — especially when in doubt! Bulls teach us to never let others question what we believe in. Bulls are the symbol of Taurus, the zodiac that thrives on being practical and grounded. Bulls, thus, also represent being realistic and committed — which can sometimes mean being quite stubborn! Put another way, however, bulls are also a symbol of being reliable and consistent. Horses symbolize true freedom as they live unrestrained, free to move as they please. In Native American symbolism, horses represent power, likely owing to the sheer strength of a mustang from the wild. But horses also symbolize a different kind of power — personal power. After all, a true free spirit has no one to hold them back. Learning to master oneself is the greatest struggle — and the greatest triumph! Gentle, wise, nurturing — elephants are emotional and loving animals who care deeply for their herd. Never get in between a mother and her baby elephant though — elephants also symbolize power and strength, and this gentle and majestic creature will charge at you with a vengeance if she views you as a threat! Get yourself a tattoo you’ll love forever! Visit Aatman today! In Eastern and Native American tribes, elephants also represent luck. Elephant tattoos can thus have a variety of meanings! Some animals bring with them a sense of magic and mystery — it’s just in their nature! Since ancient times, these animals have been thought to represent everything from death and the afterlife to parallel universes and sight beyond sight! Wolves are intelligent creatures with amazing intuition. Get a magical wolf inked at Aatman ! Book now! A wolf’s howl is one of the most haunting sounds of the night. The howl of a wolf is how it calls to its pack. The howl of a lone wolf, however, is as a warning to all — wolf or human — that dares to trespass on its territory! Wolves are a reminder to stay true to who you are — whether you’re in a pack or riding solo. Get in touch with The Pumpkin Patch at [email protected] com to make booking enquiries. While the Chinese thought of foxes as a sign from departed loved ones, Celtic lore views foxes as a symbol of guidance and wisdom. Modern symbolism views the fox as cunning. In reality, foxes are actually extremely clever and resourceful. They are also curious and playful! Known for their quick thinking, foxes teach us to always be alert! They may be small, but when they show up these animals come with some very important messages! Read on to find out what these tiny animals — and the small animal tattoos they feature in! — represent. Dragonflies are known for being resplendent and absolutely stunning. And why wouldn’t they — they are all about being a free spirit! They symbolize change — from mental and emotional to physical — and are a sign that things are about to shift. A dragonfly tattoo is a great way to remind yourself that life is a wild ride! These beautiful creatures teach us to always be open to change. Butterflies come in so many colours, it’s hard not to smile when we see one gently flit past! Butterflies represent change and joy. Many associate the butterfly with transformation — nothing says a new you quite like a caterpillar that can go into a cocoon and emerge as an entirely new creature! Mark your transformation with a customized butterfly tattoo from Sculp ! In addition to change, butterflies also represent luck, which makes them perfect for a tattoo that is meant to represent a new phase of your life. This might be why they’re so popular around New Year! Moths are known to be nocturnal, yet for some unexplained reason, they are drawn to light! These ancient little creatures are thought to be in tune with nature and use the moonlight to navigate their flight. Moths symbolize determination and faith, but more than anything, they are a reminder to never stop searching for the light in the dark. They also, however, remind us to know our path. Follow the light, but make sure you don’t get burned! Crabs are the symbol of the Cancer zodiac sign. They represent emotion and intuitiveness, as well as loyalty and deep attachments. Chinese symbolism links crabs to success and high status because of the Chinese word for crab shell ‘jia’ which means ‘first’ and is associated with getting first place in the Chinese Imperial Examinations. Get a crab tattoo of your own at Sculpture Tattoos ! If you need a reminder to be ambitious and aim high, then a crab tattoo might just be for you! They also, however, serve as a reminder that sometimes you need to loosen your grip and change your path — so listen to your heart when making a choice. Scorpions are often thought to symbolize danger due to the painful sting they inflict on anyone they view as a threat. As the symbol of Scorpios, these little crustaceans represent passion and assertiveness. They also represent resourcefulness and a quest for truth. Ancient Egyptians, however, revered the scorpion as a protector of souls that are crossing over into the afterlife. Scorpions are also associated with spiritual change and growth, as many ancient societies believed the scorpion’s sting had the power to heal and cause a person to transcend reality and receive prophetic visions. Lizards symbolize regeneration and are a message that you can overcome anything. A fun fact about lizards is that they shed their tails when distressed and are capable of regrowing it later on! Lizards, thus, are a symbol of growth — of shedding extra baggage when it does not serve you and becoming a better version of yourself! Spiders are often scary to most people — there’s even a whole section of phobias dedicated to it! This is probably why they feature prominently in horror and blackwork tattoos. But spiders are more than just scary! They are master weavers. The webs they weave are very difficult to break or remove, indicating this is a creature that has mastered its craft. Spiders, thus, represent finding your purpose and mastering the skills you need to accomplish it. Animals have a prominent place in mythology. Of all creatures, some have been exceptionally valuable to telling the tales of our ancestors. Their symbolism and presence in ancient texts tell us a lot about where we come from and why we hold the beliefs we do. Snakes are thought of as earthy creatures due to their nature of slithering along the ground. Historically thought of as a creative force, snakes also symbolize transformation and immortality because they routinely shed their skin and emerge, almost as good as new! Snakes are also important to many religions and ancient cultures, who viewed them as both terrifying, destructive forces and deities that bestowed blessings. Ancient snakes were, after all, what modern tales of dragons are based on! Cobras are seen as deadly, but they have historically been associated with deep spirituality and royalty. Ancient Egyptians saw them as magical creatures full of wisdom, often using cobra imagery in the Pharoah’s crown. They even had a Cobra Goddess named Wadjet! She was a protective force whose presence indicated the king’s reign over all of Egypt. In South Asia, the cobra is often associated with Lord Shiva. While many tales are told about this association, some point out that the serpent is highly sensitive to human emotion — particularly fear — and if a serpent is calm around you, it indicates you are totally at ease and are thus able to perceive everything with a clear mind. Prior to more modern depictions, dragons were depicted as serpents and revered and feared in equal measure as deities and ferocious beasts. They were thought to be forces of protection as well as monsters that caused destruction. In current folklore and fantasy, dragons are often associated with East Asian mythology. The dragon is an important symbol in Feng Shui, representing fortune and growth as well as authority and the ability to rise above one’s circumstances. Read: Dragon Tattoos and their Meanings The dinosaurs may be extinct, but they live on in our minds — and in ink! They symbolize strength and nobility, as well as change and the ability to let go and move on from the past. The mighty dinosaurs teach us to focus on here and now — because it’s all we have! Water is the element of healing, of flowing with life and finding growth in moving forward. With fish and all other creatures of the deep sea, we find meaning that speaks to our souls on a much deeper level. Hailing from Japanese culture, the koi fish symbolizes overcoming adversity — which might be why it’s such a popular choice for cover up tattoos! Want an Irezumi-style koi fish tattoo? Birthmark Tattoos n Customs is what you’re looking for! The koi fish is a reminder to have courage as you strive to reach your goals. It is symbolic of patience, determination, ambition, and success. If this blackwork back tattoo is your style, check out Tattoo Sutra ! Native Americans believed the lunar eclipse was caused by a codfish trying to swallow the moon. Due to its importance to trade the codfish is seen as a symbol of wealth and prosperity. While it is sometimes associated with sainthood, the cod is at other times seen as a symbol of lust and evil! At its core, however, the codfish represents something very important — mindful independence. Turtles tell us that patience, dedication, and perseverance can help you achieve anything. Turtles stand for longevity and endurance, with some species of turtles being known to live for hundreds of years! Tribal animal tattoos often feature turtles because of the depth of meaning these animals represent! Visit Avatar Tattoo and get inked with a minimalist tribal turtle tattoo of your own! Celtic symbolism views the shark as a symbol of prosperity due to the association of its dorsal fin with the sacred sickle of the Druids, and it was thought to bring a good harvest and a successful hunt. The shark is often viewed with fear due to the false notion that they are dangerous predators, but sharks are actually a sign to let go of fear and go after what you really want. Seahorses symbolize patience and contentment. They are considered to be symbols of strength and power — even though they are so tiny! Sailors viewed them as good luck charms, which might be why seahorses have a prominent place on most charm bracelets! The tortoise is an ancient animal. Ancient societies believed the world was flat and sat on the back of a tortoise, which is why they are often linked with creation and bearing the weight of the whole world. Tortoises symbolize wisdom and ancient knowledge as well as immortality, time, water, and the moon. While each bird has a unique meaning, birds, in general, symbolize freedom and movement. Many ancient societies and tribes viewed them as messengers of god — after all, these creatures can get closer to heaven than any other animal! Birds are a reminder that we are not meant to be chained to the ground — we were always destined to soar! The finch symbolizes colourful and happy times ahead and is often associated with high energy and bright days on the horizon. It reminds you that life is a celebration — so let your colours shine! Looking to get a red finch inked? Visit Verve ! Greek mythology associates the raven with Apollo, the god of prophecy, and many think of them as a symbol of bad luck. In Native American symbolism, the raven is a symbol of metamorphosis, as well as of mischief due to its association with changing attributes. Ravens are also associated with melancholy, possibly owing to Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Raven’ which made it a symbol of pain and darkness. In actuality, ravens teach us to overcome the fear we have been holding on to for a long time. The mythical phoenix is often associated with rebirth and renewal, as well as fire and the sun. This is because this a phoenix usually dies by bursting into flames and a new phoenix is born from these ashes. Because the phoenix never truly dies, it represents immortality, life and death, and transformation. Soaring higher than any other bird, the eagle is thought to be a connection to the divine. It sees everything from above, symbolizing freedom, honesty, and living true to your principles. Check out Verve for some amazing ornamental and geometric animal tattoos! Eagles also teach us to stay focused — it’s pretty difficult to miss anything when you have a bird’s-eye view! Associated with war and death, crows have been dealt a bad hand in modern symbolism. In reality, crows are a sign of health and wealth and are bringers of good luck and fortune. They also symbolize magic and mystery. A very intelligent creature of the night, owls tell us to trust our inner knowledge and have the foresight to make wise decisions. Get yourself an awesome owl tattoo from Ancient ! Owls are a reminder that the secrets of ancient wisdom are meant for those who have earned the right to know! Want an artist to draw your story in ink? Check out Atinga ! Most commonly associated with Bob Marley’s ‘every little thing will be alright’, the three little birds also represent being free of worry, trusting yourself and not being afraid to fall, and knowing when it’s time to soar. With little black birds, it’s all about hopes and dreams ! A symbol of peace, doves remind us to live calmly and with purpose. Thought to be a messenger that brings messages from the afterlife, doves are often believed to be holy and a connection to the divine. Peacocks are a symbol of beauty and elegance, nobility and grace, prestige and success. Peacock feathers are thought to have magical and hypnotizing powers. In South Asian mythology, the peacock feather was used by Lord Krishna to cleanse the feet of the goddess Radha, and is thus also associated with beauty and knowledge. Book an appointment with Machu Tattoo Studio and get a beautiful peacock feather tattoo inked today! On a deeper level, peacocks teach us that we are most beautiful when we reveal our true colours.

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What tattoo represents strength?

Lotus/Floral Tattoo Design – As mentioned earlier, the lotus flower is an ultimate symbol of personal emotional, and physical strength. The lotus design is suitable for both men and women and represents power, strength, endurance, and one’s ability to overcome life’s struggles.

The design is incredibly beautiful, and the tattoo can be either small or big, simple or intricate. Some people tend to chose wonderful color schemes for their lotus tattoo, while others go with a more minimalistic approach.

Either way, you cannot go wrong with a lotus design.

  • Tattoo highlights – just like with any design, the lotus tattoo can be either less or more expensive depending on the size, intricacy of the design, and the choice of color. Smaller designs can cost you up to  $800 , while larger lotus tattoos with intricate design can cost up to  $2,500.
  • Best body placement – forearm, wrist, ankle, foot, middle of the chest, side of the neck, the bottom of the neck, lower back, shoulder area, etc.

Other Design Recommendations .

What does the Bible say about tattoos?

Tattoos have been around for millennia. People got them at least five thousand years ago. Today they’re common everywhere from Maori communities in New Zealand to office parks in Ohio. But in the ancient Middle East, the writers of the Hebrew Bible forbade tattooing.

Per Leviticus 19:28, “You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves. ” Historically, scholars have often understood this as a warning against pagan practices of mourning.

But language scholar John Huehnergard and ancient-Israel expert Harold Liebowitz  argue that tattooing was understood differently in ancient times. Huehnergard and Liebowitz note that the appearance of the ban on incisions—or tattoos—comes right after words clearly related to mourning, perhaps confirming the original theory.

  1. And yet, looking at what’s known about death rituals in ancient Mesopotamia, Syria, Israel, and Egypt, they find no references to marking the skin as a sign of mourning;
  2. They also note that there are other examples in Leviticus and Exodus where two halves of a verse address different issues;

So that could be the case here, too. What tattoos were apparently often used for in ancient Mesopotamia was marking enslaved people (and, in Egypt, as decorations for women of all social classes). Egyptian captives were branded with the name of a god, marking them as belongings of the priests or pharaoh.

But devotees might also be branded with the name of the god they worshiped. Huehnergard and Liebowitz suggest that, given the key role of the escape from Egyptian bondage in ancient Jewish law, the Torah originally banned tattooing because it was “the symbol of servitude.

” Interestingly, though, they write that there’s one other apparent reference to tattooing in the Hebrew Bible. Isaiah 44:5 describes the children of Jacob committing themselves to God: “One shall say, ‘I am the LORD’s’… Another shall mark his arm ‘of the LORD.

  • ‘” Here a tattoo appears to be allowable as a sign of submission, not to a human master but to God;
  • Ancient rabbinic debates produced a variety of different theories about the meaning of the prohibition on tattooing;

Some authorities believed that tattoos were only disallowed if they had certain messages, such as the name of God, the phrase “I am the Lord,” or the name of a pagan deity. Talmudic law developed around 200 CE says that a tattoo is only disallowed if it is done “for the purpose of idolatry”—but not if it’s intended to mark a person’s enslaved status.