Who doesn’t look at the image of a lion and think of roaring power, a la the King of the Jungle? With a rich history of symbolism dating back to Biblical times, it is no wonder that the lion is so popular in many forms of art, and particularly body art.
Lion tattoos are favored by a number of different types of people. It can represent religion, as the icon of St. Mark, or in reference to the Biblical passage of the lion laying with the lamb.
Photo by “dubstyle” on Flickr
For those born in July and early August, the Leo zodiac sign is represented by a lion with a flowing mane. In the Middle East, many examples of ancient architecture use the lion in structural details that denote power; in Africa the ability to slay a lion shows a hunter’s prowess.
Those who choose to ink a lion on their body often do so as a way to show their victory over some hardship, or to denote courage. Some feel that the image of the lion offers protection.
Photo by “sopues” on Flickr
Because lions are such a powerful symbol, they are rarely done as small images. Most lion tattoos are rather large, taking up the entire space on a bicep, shoulder, or back. The animal may be depicted in a variety of poses, but most often the head is the main feature of a tattoo. Many people opt to have them portrayed in the fine, flowing oriental style, quite detailed and colorful. Fantastical, Celtic, and tribal versions look great in black ink; they are appropriate for either males or females.
The roar of the magnificent lion cannot be ignored, and neither can a finely drawn lion tattoo.