Dragon Tattoo Meaning
Dragons throughout the world are known for a variety of different qualities. Asian dragons are known to represent luck, magic, spirituality, immorality, knowledge, benevolence and other such qualities. European dragons, on the other hand, are known for their capacity for destruction, fire, death, maliciousness, disease, suffering and other similar aspects. However, through time and cultural appropriation, dragons have changed their form to match the cultural needs of various peoples.
Dragon Tattoo Meanings
1. Goodness and Celestial Qualities
Eastern depictions of dragons have applied positive qualities to dragons. Some control the weather and generally act in a way that benefits humanity, such as bringing rain for crops and wind for sailing vessels. Some bring luck to those that offer adoration and appreciation. Many protect the gods and heavens from malevolent beings. Wisdom, compassion, love, protection and forgiveness are just a few of the many positive qualities associated with dragons.
2. Evilness and Infernal Qualities
On the other hand, the dragons of Europe were viewed as bringers of evil and destruction. Viewed more as beasts of fury, rather than spiritual and intelligent beings, these dragons were something shared by oral tradition centuries before the spread of Christianity. Nordic mythology created dragons of fire and destruction. Germanic oral tradition taught of heroes fighting dragons in the name of glory. Christianity associated dragons with the devil.
3. Games, Books, Hobbies and Movies
Blizzard, one of the most influential and innovative video game companies in the world, has used dragons extensively in their works. The Warcraft Series, notably World of Warcraft, has made the dragon a staple in the mind of the modern gamer. Tolkien, the creator of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, has made dragons and dragon-like creatures rise in popularity. Games Workshop, the creator of the tabletop games, Warhammer: The Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40k, has made ample use of dragons as well. Wizards of the Coast, the owners of Dungeons & Dragons, has influenced the role of dragons in creative and innovative styles as well. Numerous other video games, books, hobbies, role playing games and movies have made dragons an important aspect of the modern mind.
The yin yang of Taoist tradition teaching balance and harmony. Depicted as the opposing energy to the phoenix of Eastern thought, the dragon is one half of the balancing force of the yin yang. The dragon is also a quarter of Taoist cardinal points, symbolized by the dragon, phoenix, tortoise and tiger. It is fitting that the opposites of good and evil are represented by the Eastern and Western traditions of dragons. Additionally, the European concept of the dragon has been molded and shaped by many people to give dragons a positive quality.
5. Myth and Legend
Dragons have been associated with other fantastic creatures. The phoenix and griffon are common counterparts to the dragon. A group of hill giants hurling boulders toward a lava spewing dragon could capture an powerful image. Explore your mind by creating portraits of dragon cavalry flying into battle against a horde of harpies, an ancient wyrm assaulting an array of paladins and clerics or maybe even a young dragon crawling through the skull of an illithid sorcerer. Make your body a canvas of vision and creativity.
Dragon Tattoo Meaning Variations
A massive engine of destruction sitting upon the spire broken and burning castle while breathing fire into the air may be exactly what you are seeking. Perhaps you could do a pair of ethereal, wingless dragons flying throughout the clouds may be more to your liking. An alternative idea could perhaps be a rendition of Smaug sitting atop a pile of gold, diamonds and other treasures may reveal your nerdy side. Chinese- or Japanese-style can turn a whiskered dragon into a work of art that you can wear with pride.
Perhaps make a dragon something of your own. There is no reason to limit yourself to historic and cultural renditions of dragons. Take time to draw out your own perfect dragon. Give it the qualities that you believe a dragon would have. Horns are commonly seen in dragon art, however tusks and antlers are less common. Instead of wings, you can give your dragon fins or tentacles. Take surrealist approach and create a dragon that is one with the mountains and clouds. Let your imagination take you to a new world.
3. Aspects of the Dragon
Dragon scales are well-known for their strength and durability, so perhaps use one as a shield for an adventure seeking knight. The skull of a dragon could be home to a mob of goblins and trolls. The heart of the dragon could act as the great hearth for a wizard academy. Dragon claws ripping outward through your skin could reveal your hidden power. Massive dragon wings tattooed over your back may give you the chance to share your wild side. A tail from your lower back down to your ankle could unveil celestial beauty or infernal seduction.
The dragon is a creature known throughout the world for its raw power, arcane abilities and immortality. By making the dragon appear on your body, you can reveal your supernatural aspects to the world. Allow your imagination to flourish on the canvas of your body. Be sure to speak with your tattoo artist about their ideas and experiences, as it is certain that they have years of experiences and insights that they will be more than willing to share with you.