Tattoo Meanings


Have you ever wondered what the meaning is behind a person’s tattoo? Well, you’re in luck. Here is a handy guide to help you learn the traditional meaning, or meanings, behind a huge assortment of different tattoos. Of course, everyone has their own personal meanings attached to their tattoos so don’t assume that any of these answers are definite, think of them as a sort of guideline.

Wolves: Known as “okami” or “great god” to the Japanese; shrines are dedicated to the wolf asking for it to protect crops from boars and deer. Navajo myths view the wolf as mystical beings, essentially humans in disguise. In Roman mythology a wolf was responsible for saving the lives of Romulus and Remus – the founders of Rome – when they were abandoned as babies. Wolves are used to symbolize greed and destruction throughout the Bible. Dog, loyalty, greed, destruction
Whale: One of the largest animals in the world, the whale is part of the folklore of many different cultures. When a beached whale was found on a beach by an Inuit deity it threw the world’s order into disarray, according to the legend. Order was not restored until the whale was returned to the sea. The east African legend of King Sulemani uses the whale to teach humility to the greedy king. Ancestors, humility
Spiderwebs: Spiders spin webs to trap and imprison prey, Spiderwebs are now commonly used to symbolize the amount of time spent in jail by ex-convicts. Prison, time
Jester: First employed by European monarchs as a form of entertainment for the court. Seen as professionals with skills such as joke telling, juggling, and playing music. Comedy, fools
Eagles: These regal birds are used as national symbols in many Eastern European countries, Mexico, India, Egypt, Armenia and the United States. The eagle and its feathers are also important to the native people of the Americas and seen as a source of power. Eagles vary in size and color and are found all over the world. Nationalism, power
Celtic Cross: The Irish take on the iconic symbol of Christianity.
Shiva: The supreme god of Hinduism who is followed by a group call Saivites. He is the third member of the trinity possessing the power to destroy the universe. His attributes include a third eye, crescent moon, ashes, matted hair, blue throat, sacred Ganges, tiger skin, serpents, deer, a trident, a small drum, and a small bull.
Lions: Seen as a source of strength, courage and protection. Known for their hunting skills and ferocity. These commanding creatures are a part of legends and myths all over the globe. For the ancient Egyptians they were used as war deities because the lioness is known for her aggressive attributes and protection. In the Hindu religion Vishnu is one of the five primary forms of God and he takes the form of a half lion/half man. Lions are often also seen in front of imperial palaces in China as symbols of protection. Courage, strength, protection

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