Wolf Tattoo Meaning

By on December 3, 2016

One of the most influential and famous animal tattoos is the wolf. The wolf has played an important role in countless cultures throughout time. The wide range of cultural understandings of the wolf allow for a number of meanings behind the wolf tattoo. From foundation myths to spirituality, the wolf tattoo can find a place on anyone’s body.


Wolf Tattoo Meaning

1. Culture and Spirituality

Various Native American cultures have used the wolf as a totem symbol. Dream catchers are often associated with wolves for Native American representations. Genghis Khan is taken to be a descendant of wolves. Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were said to have been raised by wolves. Japanese and Siberian cultures have associated the wolf with the protection of humans. To many cultures, including the Celts, the wolf is the companion of the moon.

2. Loyalty and Fidelity

The wolf is often associated with the pack. The person who finds themselves drawn to the wolf may view loyalty and fidelity as supreme virtues. Family and protection may be inspirations for such a tattoo. These tattoos may be adorned with paw prints or accompanied by other wolves. The bearer of such a tattoo likely believes in cohesion and bonding.


3. The Lone Wolf

On the other hand, the wolf is often associated with the lone wolf. The bearer of a lone wolf may hold independence, freedom, self reliance and other such traits close to their heart. Strength, intelligence and power may be attributes that they associate with themselves. A full moon is a common symbol for the lone wolf as it is well known that the lone wolf howls when the full moon is its companion.

4. Fear and Death

Christianity has long since associated the wolf with the powers of evil. Unlike other cultures and religious throughout history, the Christian idea of the wolf is often associated with death. People who live in the frontiers and wilderness also often apply fear as an attribute of the wolf. Because of these factors, many people adorn themselves with skulls and wolves. This may be to inspire fear or to bring about a sense of mortality.

5. Compassionate and Nurturing

Known throughout many cultures as a creature of compassion and care, the wolf may be represented in such a manner. Turkish and Roman mythology has foundations in a female wolf caring for ancient founders and important people. Though rare, children have been raised by wolves in the forest, only to come back to a hostile society. It is uncertain how many people throughout history have been raised by wolves, but the fact of the matter is the wolves are occasionally more compassionate and nurturing than human parents.


Wolf Tattoo Meaning Variations

1. Cultural Representations

Ravens, dream catchers, paw prints and other aspects may be associated with Native American variations. These may be applied with a tribal touch, many times in solid colors or in totem-based artistic styles. Roman art may also be used to denote cultural heritage. Heritage of all cultures may be exposed by the artistic forms of the nations and peoples. Celtic knots and the moon are clear indications of ancestry and culture.

2. Countenance

The face is one of the most impressive attributes of the wolf. Menacing teeth and a drooling mouth are signs of terror, death, strength and protection. The eyes of the wolf can be soft and nurturing, or icy and fearsome. A howling wolf can show loneliness or independence. A wolf with a grimace may be a symbol family and friendship. A reflection which gleams in the eyes of the wolf can show an important aspect of the bearer’s mind and personality.

3. Good and Evil

The balance of good and evil is a timeless classic. A Native American story explains how the mind is the home of a continual battle between a good wolf and an evil wolf. Whichever you feed will eventually dominate your mind. This reminder can influence your choice of actions. The yin yang symbol is also commonly associated with wolves. Finding the balance between strength and compassion is an important aspect of Taoist teachings.

Remain mindful that a tattoo, especially a wolf tattoo, has the capacity to influence people’s perceptions of you and of your personality. Share your thoughts with your tattoo artist, and be sure to acknowledge their experiences and insights. They will certainly be able to make your tattoo unique to you.

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