Wolf Tattoo Meaning
Since very ancient tim people, appearing to be the most ferocious creatures of our darkest nightmares and skilled natural predators, or noble warriors, protectors of the weakest and forceful leaders. Wolf is surely one of the most contradictory symbols in ancient cultures. In Europe, a lot of kings and warriors often used word “wolf” in their names to be associated with its character. Even now names like “Wolfgang”, “Wulfsbane”, and “Wulfmeer” are still popular.
The stories of Big Bad Wolf have been a source of inspiration in different cultures and times. In Babylon, the goddess Ishtar turned her lover (who was a Sheppard) into a wolf, forcing him to fight with animals he intended to protect. In medieval Europe, wolf supposed to be an instrument of the Devil; in Christian traditions it was send by God to punish the wicked and test the believers. The hart of the Roman Empire wouldn’t have been founded if young she-wolf hadn’t found and suckled the fathers of the city, Romulus and Remus. In Scotland and the British Isles, the Wolf has been a guard and defender. The same sacred role he played in ancient Egypt. Anubis, the god of Death, was portrayed as a wolf or a man with the head of a wolf or a jackal. He was god of the afterlife and protector of the souls, graves and cemeteries.
A lot of the elite soldiers respect and honor the Wolf’s incredible hunting skills, identifying themselves with its power and fearlessness, together with the ability to find and destroy enemies. Every military deeply admires the killer wolf, thus this image is very common in Heraldry.
For the Native Americans, from North America and Mexico, the Wolf is not only the symbol of invincibility and might, but also of wisdom and sharp intelligence. It is one of the spiritual guides. For the Pawnee people of the Great Plains, it is the totem of afterlife, the first creature to experience and learn death.
Wolves are also great parents, the pack always stick together, no matter what happens. That’s why they are also symbols of fertility, family and love. Wolves are also known to be great communicators. They use body language to express different emotions: fear, aggression, sympathy, and even affection for its pack members. The wolf howling at the Moon, calling its pack members or expressing control over a region is the most popular symbol of Wild West. In some Native American traditions, the Wolf-moon is celebrated in January and is a symbol of Transformation. Wolf is an emblem of Family and Community, whereas the Moon is an ancient sign of the Feminine Divine — both these symbols together represent Birth and Femininity.
In the Mongolian tradition people considered themselves as descendants of the Wolf and it was a sacred animal. In Japan, talisman and charms with the wolf image protected their owners against fire and sicknesses, as well as were created to bring the blessed child to the couples who didn’t have children.
In Chechen tradition, people believe in the Wolf Mother, her fertile and protective powers against strife and worry. One of the great wishes is to be as “free and equal as a wolf”. In Norse mythology, the Wolf is a symbol for victory when ridden by Odin and the Valkyries upon the battlefield.
As a Celtic symbol, the Wolf is a guardian and protector of forest spirits, symbol of the Moon and by extension — of the Femininity. Without the Wolf to hunt and eat Sun at the twilight, Moon would never appear. A Celtic wolf tattoo shows not only your connection with ancient traditions, but is also your great respect of the Wolf for its guidance and protection. These designs also awaken power and strength — surely, only powerful being could devour the Sun.
One of the great wolf tattoo images is a wolf skull. It is a symbol of Death, Mortality, and Destruction. Due to strong connection between the Wolf and the Afterlife, this tattoo represents your understanding of Death and your appreciation for the Wolf to be your guide: you are not afraid of the Death, like the powerful wolf.
The eyes are the windows to your soul, and the Wolf is very expressive and communicative animal. The Wolf eye tattoo symbolizes the ability to see things through, to use every sense (eyes, ears, skin, tongue...) to interact with the world around you, understanding it deeply than most of the people.
The Wolf and the Raven are both among the most sacred animals for Native Americans: both are respected for their intelligence and possession of spiritual knowledge; both are notorious for being sly tricksters, clever survivalists, and adept shape-shifters. The Raven is a Keeper of Secrets; the Wolf is the Purveyor of Ancient Wisdom. In some of the stories, they fight again each other; in the other ones, they cooperate to fight the Evil. The Wolf and the Raven tattoo design is not only connected with Native American traditions. In ancient German, the Wolf, the Raven, and the Eagle are together fight against Evil forces.
Tribal Wolf tattoos are common images for Native American warriors who identify themselves with the strength and fierce fighting spirit of the noble Wolf. These patterns identify people as members of a close group and inspire them with the high intelligence and power of the Wolf: they are clever, strong, and brave in the face of danger.
Paw Wolf tattoo represents movement and progress. This design emphasizes that you don’t stagnate in your life; conversely, you desire to move forward and evolve in every area of your life: professional, personal, cultural and spiritual. This image is a way to show your progressing through journey of life under the supervision of powerful Wolf totem. Wolf Claw tattoo symbolizes your courage in every battle, no matter if it is emotional, spiritual, mental, or physical; it also shows your ability to completely dominate your foes and being a wise leader.
The image of a wolf has been used in folklore for many years throughout different cultures around the world. There are a lot of legends and mysteries surrounding these creatures, and the perception of wolves varies from one country to another. In some cultures they are feared, in others — worshiped and admired.
It is an especially prominent figure in the culture of Native Americans, where it is seen as a symbol of spirituality, strength and wisdom. In the Roman Empire and Ancient Egypt, they were considered protectors and incredibly smart and loyal creatures.
Wolves also play a significant role in Scandinavian mythology, where we have two opposing representations. On one level they accompany Odin as his guardians and protectors, on another level, there is a giant wolf Fenrir who can cause the end of the world.
The image of a wolf as a ruthless predator has come to us mostly from Christian tradition, where wolf is feared and associated with the devil. The stories about werewolves, people who turn into terrible wolves on a full moon, have also contributed to their image of horrible beasts.
Despite a lot of controversy surrounding these predators, they are often used in tattoo art, because of good qualities associated with them — wise leadership, incredible loyalty and bravery. Moreover, wolves live in packs and mate for life, so they are often seen as an example of strong family traditions, fellowship and fidelity.
Different wolf tattoos can have different meaning depending on how the wolf is represented. For example, a howling wolf is a symbol of pride, independence and self-sufficiency. It is a great tattoo idea for someone who is fearless and has his own opinions. Tattoo of a white wolf has a similar meaning, as it depicts someone who is not afraid to stand out from the crowd.
Running or jumping wolf represents power, ability to overcome difficulties and achieve goals. An image of a she-wolf can convey a meaning of loyalty to friends and family, fierce protection against anyone who tries to harm the loved ones.
One of the most aggressive images is of werewolves and wolves baring their teeth, which expresses strength or even rage. Also, people who don’t want to commit a big tattoo of a wolf can choose to have a tattoo of wolf’s eyes or claws, which also look impressive and convey the same meaning.
Nowadays, people have different opinions on wolves, but they are still a very popular tattoo theme.