Tattoo art has been used as a form of body embellishment for centuries, which has also played a key role in describing the personality and attitude of the tattoo bearer. This exquisite has used flowers, celestial bodies, animals and other objects to create new designs over the period of time. One of the most famous among the animal tattoo designs are the wolf tattoos, which have been used by human beings not only as a form of adornment, but also as a way of expressing their personal belief and attitude. Wolves have been occupying an important place in the history of human race. Basically an animal which prefers to live in a pack, the wolf is a freedom seeker too, who is equally content when it gets to live by itself. The character traits of loyalty and intelligence make the wolf a much appreciated animal and likeable enough to be considered fit for a place in tattoo art.
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Symbolic Meanings of Wolf Tattoos
Wolves are liked with tribal cultures like those of the Native Indian and Native American clans, where they were used as totem symbols to signify the inner personality of people. The totem symbol was given to only those who were worthy and deserving enough on account of their physical and intellectual strength. The tribe gave the wolf symbol to such young men at the time they made a transition into puberty. Symbolically, the wolf is associated with a number of positive traits such as power, freedom, protection, strength, generosity and intelligence. It is also related with survival instinct, compassion and family bonding, as the wolf lives in its closely knit pack, which it loves and protects so that they can survive as a cohesive whole in the difficult conditions of the wild. They are fiercely protective of each other, with the parents looking after the young ones and the young ones taking care of the parents as they get old. Similarly, wolves stay with the same mate for a lifetime, which represents the loyalty of this animal. Also, the wolf is considered as one of the fiercest in animals and legends take it as a warrior symbol, professing that the wolf is the ancestor of the famous warrior Genghis Khan. The wolf is considered negative in some cultures, while it bears positive meaning in others, which is the reason why the tattoo gets portrayed in both the ways, depending upon the attitude of the bearer. Various other cultures around the world relate the wolves with diverse symbolic meanings.
- Some cultures take the wolf as a representation of life and light, with its ability to see in extreme darkness.
- According to Japanese culture, wolf is considered as a protector of human beings, while the Eurasian culture relates it with protection of secrets and Siberian myth links the wolf with safety of children and a safe childbirth.
- In Celtic mythology, the wolf is associated with the power of the moon, while the Asian mythology reveres it as the door keeper to the heaven.
- In Roman Culture – The wolf also occupies an important place in the ancient culture of Rome, where it is believed to be the totem of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome.
- In Christianity – While all the above mentioned cultures revere wolves as a positive creature, Christianity takes it as a negative one, relating it with Satan.
Overall, wolf tattoos have reached a height of popularity today as they are related to the inner power and strength of the bearer, because the animals are considered as true survivors, with the ability to survive in the toughest of conditions they encounter in the wild. Loyalty and leadership are some other personality attributes of the wolves which make the wolf tattoos so desirable and popular around the world.
Placement of Wolf Tattoos
Most of the animal tattoos are done in realistic designs, while some other are framed in water colors, and wolf tattoos are no exception to this rule. Since the size of the wolf tattoos is large or medium as it needs to show intricate detailing, the best suited locations for such a tattoo are the back, shoulder, chest, arm, thighs or leg, which offer a larger surface area to create these detailed designs. On the other hand, some expert tattoo artist can create smaller designs too, in case the bearer is interested in getting them at smaller areas like wrist, finger or ankle.
Popular Wolf tattoo Designs
Wolf tattoos are one of the most unusual yet much liked form of tattoo designs in modern tattoo art. These designs come in a wide variety and usually require intricate detailing, which makes them a time consuming and expensive option. At the same time, the design of the wolf tattoo can cause a great pain to the bearer because it is usually large and complicated. However, the aesthetic value of the wolf tattoo design, along with its deep symbolic meaning, has made it a preferred choice among discerning tattoo lovers today. Here are some popular wolf tattoo designs:
- The wolf head alone, without its body, makes a popular design option for those who want to depict sheer strength and raw power with the help of a tattoo on their body. The tattoo design is more suitable for men as it looks quite masculine.
- Another wolf tattoo design features a lone wolf, which stands for freedom and independence. On the other hand, a pack of wolves stands for family bonding and protection of the members of the family.
- A howling wolf is also a common wolf tattoo design and so is the one which features a wolf with flames or with the moon. The howling wolf tattoo is related with the myth of the werewolf, which is a man who turns to wolf on the full moon night. Many designs feature wolves as evil or angry creatures. Tribal wolf designs are used in abundance by creative tattoo artists. In case of tribal tattoos, elements like dreamcatcher which hold a key place in Native American art, can be attached with the wolf tattoo to create something really amazing and innovative.
- Another cool option in wolf tattoo designs is the realistic wolf tattoo, with 3D imaging for larger than life image, which looks close to reality.
- Some other design elements which are incorporated with wolf tattoo designs are flowers, paws, lion, koi fish, eagle, hearts, stars, feathers and yin and yang symbols. There can be designs in which wolves can be pictured as cute and loving creatures, as in cartoon characters. A negative evil looking wolf can be featured with angry looks and icy blue eyes.
The wolf tattoo is basically loved more for its symbolism rather than its great looks, as it gives a great satisfaction to the wearer by instilling in him the sense of inner strength and personal growth. There is something mysterious about this amazing animal, which makes the wolf tattoos even more attractive and fascinating. In fact, besides being attractive, these tattoos can be a lasting source of inspiration to the bearer, continuously pushing him ahead towards new beginnings in his life. The tattoo can act like a spiritual guide for the bearer, taking him on the right path on the new journey in his life.