The tiger carries a strong message, one depicted most often in Asian cultures. Whether in regards to the Chinese zodiacal sign or to the animal itself, tiger tattoos come with their own interpretation, one that is complex in its blend of positive and negative aspects.
Tiger Symbolism In Chinese Culture
Given the fact that lions exclusively prowl the African continent while also considering the fact that they had no way inside Asian folklore in ancient times, the role of ruler of the animal kingdom fell on the tiger. The ferocious, striped feline could be encountered in the south and northeast of China. Although as real as any other specie, the tiger is also placed among mythical creatures like the dragon and the phoenix, being considered a very intelligent animal.
The tiger’s likeness can be seen often in Chinese artwork. Although not lacking flaws, people attributed many more qualities to their jungle monarch, the most important being the role of protector. This stands true for both China and Korea, countries in which the tiger makes good use of its power and might to defend the weak, among them, newborn babies. While being such an imposing figure, the strongest of Asian felines is also vindictive, thought to do the bidding of higher beings and banish evil people such as murderers and thieves.
Tiger Symbolism In Chinese Astrology
The most obvious zodiacal correspondent for the Tiger in Chinese astrology would be the Leo. In this medium, tigers are considered both brave and noble, standing at the head of the pack, always taking the initiative, prone to act more often than to react. As befitting for a powerful creature, they can also be generous. Their often dynamic ways are thought to lead to results quickly, though, as predators usually are, tigers can also be very possessive. Also in accordance with the striped feline, tigers tend to have no fear of loneliness, as big hunters require no aid in their pursuits as they treasure their freedom.
How Tigers Can Be Depicted On Skin
As deadly as it might be, the tiger is also a beautiful animal to look at, and while doing so in the wild is not recommended, admiring a depiction is much safer. Choosing from the myriad of ways in which one can be depicted can be a time consuming effort. They can shine in both large or small dimensions, either on the back or on the arms. A larger surface favors the illustration of the animal in its entirety, either laying down, sleeping or alert, or in a menacing pose with its claws out, ready to strike. These variations come with their own interpretations. A roaring tiger may inspire aggression while a sleeping one may hint at harmony.
A smaller surface may be appropriate for a tiger’s head, often depicted on shoulders. They can be colorful or not, depending on whether they are part of a bigger design. Tiger tattoos go well with representations of nature and with other animals, such as dragons or snakes, both part of the Asian motif. They can also shine as standalone tattoos, either simple or in great detail.