A lesson in symbolic animal tattoos

4 Apr 2013

Symbolic Animal Tattoos

People can express their beliefs and personality using animal tattoos. Each animal has a very significant meaning and there are certainly plenty to choose from. Some animals are symbolic to specific cultures and communities where they are worshipped, and these animals have been the inspiration for many tattoos.

In most cases the meaning that people give to an animal comes from its natural characteristics and behaviours. However, some people get animal tattoos because a specific animal means something special to them. So if you are thinking of getting an animal tattoo, here are a few of the more popular animal tattoos and their meanings.

The tiger is a very regal and magnificent creature that many people feel passionate about. Some people get a tiger tattoo to represent power, strength or pride. Others want to help promote awareness about endangered tigers and get a tattoo to show their dedication to this cause. Tigers are very striking as a tattoo design as they are quite intimidating and impressive animals.

Wolf tattoos are often linked to native American Indians where the wolf was a sacred creature. Wolves are fierce hunters who can survive in very harsh environments around the world. They are a symbol of power and intelligence. Wolves are also present in myths, legends and stories such as red riding hood and they appear in lots of films and television shows. They are often drawn doing their classic howl, by a moon or with their teeth exposed.

Snakes are seen as healing and protective creatures in lots of different cultures around the world. There are lots of examples throughout history of snakes being portrayed as evil, for example the snake mentioned in the bible which tempts Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. Snakes are often very misunderstood. Some people get snake tattoos because they represent knowledge, patience and healing.

Doves are recognised internationally as symbols of love, hope and peace and that is why they are so popular as tattoos. Doves stay with one partner and mate with them for their entire life, showing true dedication and devotion. They have a very pure meaning and they are very beautiful creatures, perfect for an elegant tattoo. Doves are also referenced in the bible and to Christians they are messengers from God.

Koi Fish
Koi fish are very popular as a tattoo design. They can be used to create stunning colourful tattoo designs with excellent detail. They symbolize luck and good fortune in Japan. They have also been associated with strength, perseverance and courage. Koi fish can represent different things depending on the exact design, for example if the fish is shown swimming downstream it means that person has overcome their problems. If it is swimming upstream then they are currently fighting and confronting difficulties in life.

Butterflies are probably one of the most common tattoos, because many people appreciate the beauty of these graceful creatures. Butterflies can represent a change or transformation in people's lives. They can also represent femininity and beauty and this is often reflected in their design.

Scorpion tattoos are very striking and deadly in appearance. There are lots of different species of Scorpion so you will have plenty of different designs to choose from. Most of the characteristics associated with a Scorpion tattoo come from its behaviour in the wild. It is a ruthless killer with a sometimes deadly sting.

*Guest post provided by Neil Maycock. Neil Maycock writes articles for Tattoo Kit Providers of tattoo equipment and supplies.