The lion is one of the most popular tattoo designs. And not without reason: the big cat combines many characteristics that many people also want. We will tell you what is behind the lion as a symbol and tattoo and we also have some great templates for you.
Lions in the wild are respected and feared. They regularly make forays and can hunt their prey at speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour. On the other hand, its very calm nature and its elevated and feline form exert a great fascination on people. Due to its dominating demeanor and distinctive mane, the lion is often referred to as the king of the animal kingdom, not just in the Disney movie “The Lion King.” Their habitat is now quite limited: while lions still lived in the Middle East or even Greece and other southern European countries in ancient times, today they are only found in Africa and a small region of India.
To understand the meaning of lions as a tattoo motif, you have to delve a little deeper into cultural history. The appearance of the predator has impressed people for thousands of years, which is why we meet lions in all religions. In Christianity, lions were the epitome of power and justice, which is why they can still be found on many coats of arms today. In Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, or Hinduism, lions also represented strong values. In Asia, statues of lions are often found in front of temples and in Egypt they guarded palaces and pyramids, which is why they were considered guardians and protectors.
In Egyptian mythology, one often meets the Sphinx, a mystical being with the body of a lion and a human head. This symbolizes the union of the human spirit and animal power. Many pharaohs were depicted as this mystical being in the form of statues or buildings after their death. In Egypt, two lions can often be seen sitting back to back: they symbolize opposites such as the sun and the moon or day and night.
The lion tattoo is not just a trendy motif, it is already one of the timeless tattoo classics. There are many positive meanings behind the motif, which are related, on the one hand, to the characteristics of powerful animals, but also to their cultural symbolism. Of course, everyone who uses their Leo tattoo gives them a very personal background: Leo can simply be the favorite animal, the zodiac sign, or the power animal. Apart from that, the lion tattoo can represent the following things and values:
- Glory, honor, victory
- Power, justice
- Wisdom, intelligence
- Noble (King of the animal kingdom)
- Courage, courage to live
- family (Lioness)
- Strength, loyalty (like a power animal)
Lion tattoos are mostly worn by men on the arm or chest as a very large motif. But women also like to embellish their skin with a lion’s head, but they tend to go for smaller tattoos. For example, you can wear a lion tattoo on your forearm or just as a small silhouette on your finger or ankle. The most popular at the moment are realistic, often black and white renderings of the animal that include detailed shading, but geometric shapes in origami style or colorful motifs are also possible.
Often you can also see a lion wearing a gold crown and a scepter with the flag of Ethiopia – this represents the connection to the Rastafarian movement, which advocates general tolerance and love.
Don’t want a permanent tattoo or are you looking for the perfect body motif for a festival? You can then use the Zodiac Tattoo Stencils (at Amazon, approx. 9 euros) and XPassion Temporary Glitter Tattoo Colors (approx. 16 euros, at Amazon) to conjure up your own tattoo.
As you can see, a lion tattoo can have many meanings and be represented in so many different tattoo styles. We’ve put together some great templates and examples for you in our gallery.
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