Lion Tattoo Meaning

The king of the animals and the symbol of strength and power – it is the almighty lion. No wonder why so many people choose it for their tattoo design. But, did you ever stop to think what meaning lion tattoos carry? Think no more – I have the answers you’ve been looking for.

.The king of the animals and the symbol of strength and power – it is the almighty lion. Let’s analyze a lion tattoo meaning.

Think very long and hard before getting a tattoo. It is something that will stay with you forever and you need to like it for many years to come. Lion tattoo certainly carries a lot of symbolism you might find interesting – so, if you’re indecisive about your tattoo design, maybe lion is for you.

1. Leo

The most common reason people get lion tattoos is because their horoscope sign is Leo. The possibilities of designs here are endless – from full color full body lion, over lion head done only with thin lines to simply Leo zodiac sign.

There is no special additional meaning to this tattoo design. If your horoscope sign is Leo, you already know what it represents for you. Your tattoo will stand for same things.

Tattoo ideas:

  • Leo sign
  • Lion that turns into fire, or fire elements combined with lion – fire is the element of Leo
  • Combination of a lion and the Sun – Leo sign is ruled by the Sun

2. Tribal Lion


Although tribal lion tattoos are quite popular, I am begging you not to give yourself one. Tribal tattoos were popular back in the ’90 and now, they are simply lame. Still, if you’re looking for a lame tattoo or tribal tattoos have a significant meaning to you, here’s what you need to know.

Generally, lion symbolizes potency, pride and virility. When it comes to tribal designs, they are very easily made, because the lines of a lion’s body are easily transformed into tribal art. The most common design is the lion’s head, with mane done in tribal design.

3. Lion’s Head


Lion’s head is more common than full body lion for tattoos. It can be done in a number of different designs, and in addition to the aforementioned meanings, it could also stand for protection and survival. Don’t be surprised to see a lion’s head done over a scar from a car accident or a surgery. Most common places for a lion head tattoo are shoulders and scapulas.

4. Chinese Lion

Fu Lions or Lions of Buddha are a tattoo design coming from Chinese culture. They are very deeply incorporated in Chinese tradition and they mostly stand for protection.

Stone lions were traditionally placed in front of Chinese temples because it was believed that they will protect the temple. Today, this tattoo design is a choice of people who believe that a little bit of additional protection can do no harm.

5. Rampant Lion

This tattoo design actually comes from flags. You may have seen it on the flag of Scotland, Flanders (Belgium) or on a coat of arms of Jerusalem. Needless to say that people whose ancestors are from these countries will gladly tattoo a rampant lion.

It is most commonly seen on Scottish people, because the rampant lion has an important meaning in Celtic mythology. It is a powerful and dangerous entity that symbolizes both the strength of young people and the wisdom and nobility of old.

6. Lion of Judah


This design has its roots in the Bible. The lion was the symbol of the ancient Israelite tribe of Judah – the largest tribe in the ancient world. After the death of Christ, the lion was taken as a symbol of Jesus. A lot of modern Christian organizations take their name from Hebrew or Yiddish words for lion and they use lion on their emblems.

The Lion of Judah is also a very important symbol for Rastafaris, who see it as the reincarnation of Haile Selassie I. This lion is usually called the “Zion Lion” (Zion means Africa) and it is found on the Ethiopian flag. Most designs of the Lion of Judah incorporate yellow, green and red – colors found on the Ethiopian flag. It is also common to see tattoos where people write the word lion in Hebrew or Yiddish.

7. Lioness

Usually seen on ladies, the lioness tattoo has a deep and profound meaning. First and foremost it is a symbol of protection. Lioness will guard her cubs with her life, so this tattoo is very often a choice of mothers.

The lioness is also a symbol of bravery, might, awareness and in some mythologies immortality. This is a tattoo design chosen by strong and independent women, as well as of caring and gentle ones.

So, now you know all about lion tattoo meaning. Which lion tattoo design are you choosing for yourself? Again, I have to advise you to think your decision through and to use this article only as a guide. If a lion tattoo has a different meaning for you, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.


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About the author


I’m a free spirit who likes to travel, cook and fly. Licensed paraglider pilot, I spend all my spare time flying. In the meantime, I like to share my recipes and travel experiences.


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  • My meaning for a Lion tattoo is that the nature of living is wild. We, as a human race have evolved superior to other species on this planet, but our primal instincts as a species remains. Now the way we see life in our eyes is, success and prosperity for survival. That’s why we always work our asses off for money, because it keeps us safe. This primal instinct roots back to every single living creature ever to exist on the face of this Earth, wanting to survive, but we all want to be king of survival. King of life. King of the jungle.