Lion Tattoos: Meanings, Designs, and Ideas

Updated on February 19, 2017
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Richard Hale is a tattoo enthusiast who studies and researches tattoo symbolism, meanings, and history.

Lion Tattoos: Meanings, Designs, and Ideas
Lion Tattoos: Meanings, Designs, and Ideas | Source

Lion tattoo designs can vary in a variety of different ways and are mainly worn by men, even though women get them occasionally. Like all animal tattoos, it represents attributes and traits of the lions, often symbolizing:

  • strength
  • courage
  • love
  • balance
  • family
  • transformation
  • guardianship
  • wisdom
  • hope
  • power

Although this tattoo is not considered to be mainstream, it is a popular tattoo design. Due to the detailed work and necessary shading, most of them are designed as a larger tattoo. The designs often portray the entire lion or just the head of the lion. In some cases, they may even be portrayed with a crown, as shown above.

In this article, we will discuss the lion, its classic symbolism, tattoo meanings and we will look at over 30 designs. In the end, we hope that you are able to find ideas and inspiration for your next tattoo.

Lion Symbolism Through History

Lion Tattoo Ideas

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Lion Tattoo Ideas

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Just as it is in the animal kingdom, the lion tattoo stands at the top when it comes to animal tattoos. As you will learn in this article, it has been this way for centuries. The lion is portrayed as "the king of the jungle" or "the king of the animal kingdom." When we view the lion in his natural habitat, we can learn about his strong characteristics and learn his symbolic meanings. The lion is one of the most feared animals that walk the planet. The lion is very powerful and some can weigh over 400 pounds. The Lion is very intelligent and highly skilled in the animal kingdom. The lion has well-built attributes that make him one of the top predators in the world.

Ancient Civilizations

The lion has been portrayed for many years in ancient cultures, legends, mythology, astrology, literature, movies, and much more. In a few ancient civilizations, lions were owned by kings and royalty. The lion was a symbol of power to the people of the king's power and strength. In interesting contrast, in Roman mythology, the lion is associated with love.

The lion was also symbolic to the Egyptians—they often portrayed two lions with their backs to one another. These statues represented balance, which was very important to the Egyptians. They would usually place these statues outside of sacred structures. The Egyptians believed in balance, such as sunrise/sunset and east/west—their lion statues represented this all important balance.

Religion

The lion is also a symbol of Christianity. Some Christians use the lion tattoo to symbolize Christian beliefs. The lion is also a symbolic figure to Islam, in which the lion and the sword represent power. The lion is also a solar animal. This means that the lion has sun-like qualities and characteristics. In many culture and beliefs, the lion is associated with the sun. It is said that the the lion's mane looks like the rays of the sun—a trait that many tattoos often highlight. In other ancient myths, the lion represents the transformation and journey from childhood to adulthood.

Culture

The lion is also very symbolic to the Chinese. It represents a symbol of good luck, guardianship, and power. The Chinese also believe that the lion is a symbol of the earth and sun. Many people know that the lion "Leo" is part of the Zodiac. Leo is the 5th sign of the Zodiac, and anyone born between July 23-August 22 is considered to be a Leo. People born during this time are very highly energetic and are good hearted people. The Leo is somewhat timid and enjoys control, but they are very generous. The Leo also represents balance.

As you now know, the lion has been portrayed throughout human history and they have been symbolic figures for many years. It is one of the most symbolic animal tattoos that are available. Due to all the different meanings it holds, it is highly sought after in the tattoo world. There are also a variety of different designs and styles for it as well. There are tribal designs and Celtic designs, and many more. Before choosing a final design, make sure you check out every style and design that is available. Make sure you choose a design that you are satisfied with.

Lion Tattoo Designs and Meanings

Lion Tattoo Ideas

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There are many different meanings and beliefs that are associated with the lion tattoo, and thus many factors to consider when choosing it. Two of the most common meanings it holds are power and authority. The lion is seen as a powerful animal, and it is portrayed as the king of the animal world. It can also represent strength and leadership. Many different people may choose the lion tattoo for these reasons. It can represent being fearless, as lions are seen as animals that have no fear. This type of tattoo would be well suited for someone that is fearless, or perhaps wants to be.

Alternatively, it can represent healing and hope. This meaning comes from the lion's connection to Christianity. Buddhism beliefs also state that the lion is a symbol of wisdom. For example, someone may decide to get a lion tattoo because they are in a tough situation. To them, it can represent hope and faith; it's there to remind them of that when they look at their tattoo. An older, mature male lion can be portrayed in a tattoo to represent wisdom and knowledge.

It can also represent courage. This meaning is often thought to have come from the movie, "Wizard of Oz." The classic movie portrays how the cowardly lion wanted to have courage. For tattoo purposes, it can represent a sign of courage for the wearer. It can be a reminder to the wearer of the lion tattoo to be courageous in life and everything that they go through.

Even at this day and age, it remains to be a very symbolic design that has many different significances. Yet it has always been well represented throughout history in the tattoo world and through many different cultures. It can also represent protection, bravery, security, and nobility. Someone may decide to get one to symbolize a brave act that they did, or hope to do. For example, a firefighter puts their life on the line every time that they answer a call—they may have saved someone's life. In both cases, the lion tattoo would be appropriate. It would represent both bravery and courage. Anyone else that works a dangerous job may choose it as a tribute to their commitment to being brave.

You may have noticed a few tattoos in this article that have the male lion with their family or pride. Although this can represent different things, it mainly represents protection of the family. A father may consider this tattoo to show his protective nature for his family. He could also choose this design to represent his love and honor for his family. Since the lion is also associated with royalty, you will also see designs that bear the royal crest. You may have also noticed the tattoo designs that show the lion with a crown. These often represent Christian beliefs, or portray how the lion is considered the king or king of the animal kingdom.

Before You Get a Tattoo

It is very important that you research all the different tattooing styles, designs, and meanings before you choose a final design to get tattooed. There are literally thousands of different designs, style, and meanings to choose from. It is very important to take your time and put in the research. Many people tend to rush into the tattooing process and usually, they will end up with a tattoo that they later regret. Think about this, this tattoo will be with you for the rest of your life.

Also, be sure to go to a tattoo artist that you completely trust. Don't be afraid to ask them questions and ask to see their past work. If you wish, you may be able to go online and look at tattoo artist reviews. I hope you have enjoyed this article.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • profile image

        Has 

        3 years ago

        covered eyes what's the meaning

      • profile image

        M WHUTE 

        5 years ago

        MARY WHUTE

      • profile image

        Huntall 

        6 years ago

        Apple to Announce iPad 3 First Week in March

      • thelyricwriter profile imageAUTHOR

        Richard Ricky Hale 

        6 years ago from West Virginia

        Rosemay, thanks for stopping by and for the comment and vote. LOL, he really does. Glad you found it interesting Rosemay. Have a good one:)

      • Rosemay50 profile image

        Rosemary Sadler 

        6 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

        These are fabulous Ricky. Some of them like the image 'Inkarttattoos' look quite sad.

        I love the Leo image with his crown askew he looks just a little tipsy. Lol

        The information you give is very interesting once again. Voting up

      • thelyricwriter profile imageAUTHOR

        Richard Ricky Hale 

        6 years ago from West Virginia

        Gypsy, thanks for coming by and for the comment and vote. I appreciate your continued support. Have a good one.

      • thelyricwriter profile imageAUTHOR

        Richard Ricky Hale 

        6 years ago from West Virginia

        AE, thanks for dropping by and for the comment. Lion tattoos can symbolize many things, makes them popular.

      • thelyricwriter profile imageAUTHOR

        Richard Ricky Hale 

        6 years ago from West Virginia

        Writer20, thanks for dropping by. I believe it is the new generation. I can't believe how popular they are myself, but they are highly favored now a days.

      • thelyricwriter profile imageAUTHOR

        Richard Ricky Hale 

        6 years ago from West Virginia

        Frank, thanks for coming by and for reading this article. I appreciate your praise. Best wishes.

      • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

        Gypsy Rose Lee 

        6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

        Wonderful and interesting hub. Voted up. The lion will always be the king of the jungle.

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 

        6 years ago from Southern Illinois

        Wow, They are amazing..My favorite...Fashiontipsforall..I've never seen a Lion Tattoo..Thank you..Beautiful hub...

      • profile image

        writer20 

        6 years ago

        I really don't know why tattoo's are back in fashion now for everyone.

      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        6 years ago from Shelton

        wow lyricwriter these are so nice again wow

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