Lion Tattoo Ideas

Written by linda donahue
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Lion Tattoo Ideas
Lions are popular motifs for tattoo designs. (lion image by david purday from

The lion, the "king of beasts," is a popular choice for tattoo designs. The lion has been used in body art for centuries by many cultures, including European, African, Chinese and Japanese. The lion commonly symbolises royalty, courage, pride, nobility, strength, justice and protection. As well, the lion represents Leo, one of the twelve western zodiac signs. Often lion tattoos are chosen because the wearer wishes to embody one or more of the powers of the lion.

Lion Design Ideas

A good tattoo artist can render an ink masterpiece with realism. For some ideas for your lion tattoo, consider whether you want the whole lion or just his head. Although a male lion with a glorious mane is more popular, perhaps you'd rather have a lioness, the real hunter of the pride. Consider possible poses for a full-bodied lion. Your lion can be lying in the grass, hunched, ready to launch into action, or lying down in repose. Perhaps your lion is standing with his head raised. Or he could be flying through the air in mid-pounce. He might be sitting upright, raking a paw outward. Watch a special on lions and study how they sit, stand and move to see which posture speaks to you before deciding.

Lion Character Tattoos

Cartoon characters are also frequently used in tattoos. Snagglepuss was a lovable mountain lion character done by Hanna-Barbera. Disney's "Lion King" movie includes many characters for inspiration, from cubs to adults. Or perhaps you would simply like a cartoon-styled lion that is original art. If you prefer a big cats, consider one of the characters from the Thundercats television show.

Symbolic Lions

Lions have long been used symbolically. In heraldry, kings and nobles often used stylised lions, often rampant (rearing up on their hind legs) as part of their coat of arms. Your lion tattoo could hearken back to those days of chivalry, symbolising your own knightly values. Or, if born under the sign of Leo, your tattoo might be more the stylised lion used for the zodiac sign. If you wish to symbolise peace, you might have your lion laying with a lamb.

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