12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength

Getting a tattoo can be both an easy and a challenging experience. What do you think of when you think about getting a tattoo? Is it the pain? Maybe it’s the worry of choosing a permanent design which you fear you will forever regret.

12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength

Tattoos are so much more than that, for many of them have special meanings to them. And, no, I am not talking about your partner’s name with a cupid’s pierced heart around it.

12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength
Credit: ogitattooer

What we are talking about here is the symbolism behind many of your well-known tattoos, in particularly studying the symbolism of strength.

Strength can be interpreted differently depending on the individual. It can mean a physical type of strong, or it can be linked mentality.

It is easy and notable to give your tattoos a personal meaning, but there are some tattoos which hold their own symbolic meanings.

12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength

The Psychology Behind A Tattoo

Why Are Tattoos So Important To People?

If you’ve never had a tattoo before then you may not recognize the importance of having one. It may seem crazy to others – who would want to be permanently inked, never to be erased? Well, tattoos are more than a permanent stain.

Tattoos are art, created and drawn by professional artists. When you are looking at a tattooed person you are really looking at a blank canvas that has been modified into art.

For many, a tattoo holds a precious story and an important meaning behind the drawings.

Up to 38% of Americans have some form of tattoo inked over their body and the notion of possessing a tattoo has become somewhat of a normal thing. In other countries however, such as South Korea, tattoos are still a taboo.

12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength
Credit: c1__tattoo

It is perfectly legal to have a tattoo showing however getting the tattoo done in South Korea itself is illegal.

The western world is forward thinking and we as a society crave self-expression and individuality. Tattoos are one of the best ways to display that.

Tattoos can be an act of rebellion, a homage to spirituality and culture, or a way to show bonds between friends. They allow us to have a chance to self-express and possess that independence.

Does Having A Tattoo Have Any Links To Mental Health?

It is known that tattoos do indeed have links to a person’s mental state. Studies show that after having a tattoo, both men and woman alike have a heightened appreciation for their body and helps with their anxiety.

Although believed to be painful (and this can be very true for some) the actual process of getting the tattoo can be a therapeutic experience.

A person develops a better pain tolerance and finds comfort in having the tattoo.

12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength
Credit: caldera.tattoo

Symbolism is important to people. It is a way of appreciating the hurdles they have had to leap through, the journeys they have went on and conquered, a way for a person to heal.

Tattoos give that person the opportunity to heal and can be one of the best medicines for mental health.

The Main Inspirations

Before listing the 12 tattoos symbolic of strength, it is beneficial to look at the main inspirations behind strength. What is strength? And what is it that makes strength what it is?

Symbols of strength can vary tremendously. They can be personal to that specific tattooed individual or can be taken from popular given traits.


Animals are a popular focus when it comes to symbolism. There are many that are given traits to define their character, for example the loyal dog or the cunning snake.

As we already know the associations between animal and trait, having that animal inked on your body is a great way of symbolizing your own feelings.

Animals are also great to work with because they call for beautifully crafted artwork. You would usually find tattoos of detailed animals such as the Tiger enlarged and colored in great detail.

There is also a lot to work with when working on an animal portrait. You can make it unique, incorporating unique properties to the drawing and create wonderful color on the skin canvas.

12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength
Credit: 60jams


Faith is another big inspiration for using as a tattoo to show symbolism. There are many symbolic markings and symbols which carry important meanings behind them and those meanings are created within religious cultures such as Judaism, Christianity and Hinduism.

These symbols are particularly important to the tattooed individual as they are showing their strength and willpower towards the faith and using that faith as a positive crutch.

Examples of faith symbols can range from a The Star of David to the symbol Yin and Yang.

Tattoos like these are typically smaller and discrete and are personal to the person wearing the tattoo. It is a gentle reminder of their faith and ideal for symbolism.

Mythology And Mythical Creatures

Mythology And Mythical Creatures

Mythology is great for showing symbolism and it is very common to find people with beautiful works of art of mythology.

Mythology art pieces are one of the top ways of showing symbolism due to their known backgrounds and meanings.

During the times of Ancient Greece, people were believers of many wonders. They based their lives around the assumption of Greek Gods and Goddesses and believed in many other supernatural beings.

Out of all the Gods, however, Zeus was known to be the mightiest of them all. Each God and Goddess were partnered with an ability which people believed controlled their livelihood.

Poseidon, God of the Sea, was believed to control the ocean and create earthquakes.

Symbols to represent him is his trident. Zeus, God of the Sky, is the most powerful and a typical symbol to represent this great God is a lightning bolt.

As well as mythology, mythical creatures too have much value in symbolism. Many people only see the mythical creature as this weird but wonderful beast coming in all shapes and sizes.

Whether that is of a majestic unicorn, of a mysterious mermaid, or of a dark ghoul, there are many to choose from and they each hold great symbolism. The symbolism of mythical creatures also vary depending on a person’s culture and beliefs.

For example, how we view a creature in America could have a different reaction in European cultures. It is great to recognize how these creatures each tell a story and hold great symbolism behind them.

Listed Below Are 12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength, Each Showing The Common Themes Of Animal, Mythical Creatures, And Their Meanings Behind Them As Well As Many More

  1. Lion
12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength
Credit: tattoo.design.lion.555

The lion. This tattoo is probably the most obvious and typical choice for symbolizing strength in a person. It is also a symbolism of courage.

What makes a lion tattoo an ideal candidate is what this fierce predator shows.

For many, it is power and masculinity. Lions are fearless, they defend and fight for what is theirs. This is a tattoo a person would get after making it through a tough situation and being strong.

Lions are also representative of the zodiac sign, Leo, the Kings and Queens of the jungle. They are leaders, and this in itself further displays strength.

  1. Eagle
12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength
Credit: tattuga

Like the lion, the eagle also shows great symbolism of strength, courage and leadership. As a proud American, this symbol is of course very popular.

It shows our strength as a nation and displays that sense of power and unity. The eagle is the leader of the modern western world, and that leadership presents an overpowering strength.

An interesting thing about the eagle is that its symbols have changed throughout time. It is sometimes seen as a symbol of purity and beauty, and it was also believed in ancient Greek mythology that was an eagle Zeus transformed into when he came down to Earth.

The eagle is powerful, strong, and carries much influence over many.

  1. Wolf
12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength
Credit: diegoferrink

The wolf is a symbolism of both strength and protectiveness. They are very popular in the Siberian culture as they are considered heroes. The wolf is strong in protecting their young and protecting the pack and are powerful animals.

The wolf is also popular to Native Americans and represents a spiritual guidance. People would choose to get a tattoo of a wolf for various reasons however one reason can be to symbolize the strength of their family unit, like the strength between a pack of loyal wolves.

  1. Dragon
12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength
Credit: zmierzlokitattoo

The dragon is an interesting one, for it holds different meanings worldwide, but for many it is a symbol of powerful strength and perseverance.

In Chinese culture, the dragon, as well as strength, is representative of good luck and health – it is believed that anyone born in the year of the dragon are generally lucky, intelligent and powerful.

However, in Western culture the symbol of the dragon can be looked at differently. Many view the dragon as fierce, a symbolism of evil and darkness and this is particularly current within the Christian culture.

  1. Centaur
12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength
Credit: rudrafaya_tattoo

The centaur is a powerful creature stemming from Greek mythology. It is half man, half horse with the upper body of a human and the lower of a horse.

It is believed that the centaur is a symbolism of strength and power, as the centaur possesses both the physical strength of a horse as well as the power of a man.

  1. Griffin
12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength
Credit: forshadowedhope

Another strong mythical creature is the griffin. A griffin is a hybrid creature with the body and tale of a lion and the head and large wings of an eagle.

Whilst obtaining the leadership of an eagle, its body presents its immense strength as it embodies the lion. It is strong as the griffin is a combination two very powerful and loyal animals, the lion and the eagle.

The griffin is a symbol for the ones who have overcome obstacles and reached goals which to them has shown mental strength.

  1. The Hamsa Hand
12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength
Credit: chrissiewaltontattoos

The hamsa hand is a symbol which is universal and well known to the eye. It is that signature open palm with extended fingers, usually centered with an eye.

This hand is a symbol of protection and strength and is said to protect against the evil eye and all negative energy in the world. This symbol is also very popular amongst religions including Judaism and within the Islamic faith.

  1. Lotus
12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength
Credit: rbenderstudio

The lotus has many religious roots and is one which many may not necessarily see as a representation of strength on paper. The lotus is a beautiful and pure flower, harmless, but this lotus is just as strong as any other.

It symbolizes the rise from darkness and the blooming of a new life. Lotus flowers are known to grow from the most muddy and polluted of waters but still grow into the beautiful flower it becomes.

When a person rises from darkness and becomes a wonderful new version of themselves, that shows inner strength that cannot be looked past. Just like the gentle lotus.

  1. Bear
12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength
Credit: ideiasparatatuagens1

The bear holds much significance within the Native American culture. Native America have totems, the bear being one of them, and the bear is a representation of courage, protection, and strength.

The bear is a noble warrior, and to possess a tattoo of one of these grizzly creatures shows your honor and your strength, just like the strength of a bear.

  1. The Cross
12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength
Credit: tmouratattoo

The Cross has to be one of the most popular tattoos for strength. The religious symbol not only reminds Christians of the crucifixion and their God, however shows the inner strength they have in staying loyal to their faith and to the Church.

As well as this, the cross also acts as a reminder. It reminds Christians of Jesus’ strength on the day of his crucifixion and his power to get through the pain and the torment. It inspires Christians to act the same and tackle that same inner strength.

  1. Tiger
12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength
Credit: franveneronitattoo

The Tiger is another which symbolizes strength. This beautiful animal is significant in Japan as they believe that the Tiger wards off any bad luck which may be sent their way.

Tigers, like the lion, are powerful creatures who protect their young and ward off any threats. They are strong and powerful creatures of the animal kingdom.

  1. Motivational Quotes
12 Tattoos As Symbols Of Strength
Credit: emabo_art

This last tattoo simple allows a person complete freedom of their body. Any motivational quote to remind you of how strong you are and what you’ve overcome Is as great a symbolic piece as any.

Whether you want a large paragraph, a short line, or a simple word, what you choose will be a personal symbol of strength.

Final Thoughts

There is lots to be learnt from this list of symbolic strength tattoos. For one, it is clear that you can find much symbolism in things you would have never guessed.

It is also clear that symbolism also stems down from a long line history from different cultures alike.

Dependent on where you are from or where/how you were raised, the meanings of a tattoo can be different.

This can, of course, lead to worries of offending others (such as with the controversy of the dragon), however a person possesses that freedom to interpret something how they wish.

Tattoos are not only a work of art, they are also a piece of history. Each symbol is unique to the individual and brings pieces of history to life – especially with tattoos, pieces can be as simple or as vibrant as you want.

Many people use tattoos as a way of presenting their beliefs such as their religion, and others use tattoos to mark their journeys. By using pictures, this gives symbolism a creative twist and makes people ask, ‘what does that tattoo mean?’.

But, of course, a person is not only limited to these large and gorgeous drawings. They are free to keep things simple and stick to writing.

Motivational quotes are a lot of people’s go-to tattoos, particularly when they are wanting to have a tattoo full of meaning and symbolism.

However, compared to drawings, with this no questions need to be asked. It is clear by reading what that tattoo means to them. Motivational quotes can come in a range.

They can be short one-liners, a couple words long, or some people are even known to have long scriptures inked on their skin.

The bottom line is every tattoo is unique. A tattoo can be linked to a personal story, or it can even be as irrelevant as getting yourself inked whilst drunk on vacation (even so, that’s still a historical story to tell, embarrassing or not).

Every person has the right to bodily freedom. Tattoos are great for self-esteem, empowerment, and mental health. It allows us to be unique and have the freedom to be independent. And why would you want to look like everyone else?

With a tattoo you are turning that blank canvas into a portrait, a portrait full of tales, a portrait full of meaning and symbols of great significance.


Max Peters