Signs and Symbols: Tattoos Meaning Strength and Courage

Tattooing has gained a level acceptance that we have not seen before. In the past only sailors, soldiers, and convicts would have tattoos to distinguish themselves from the rest of society. Today however the art of painting the body with great artwork has come to be appreciated by more and more people. This is due in part to the acceptance of foreign cultures and ways into our daily lives. Different cultures all over the world see tattooing as a part of their way of life. To them, the marks and the designs that they decorate their bodies with are more than just symbols, tattoos are marks of their personality, and of who they are. It is truly amazing to know that different cultures have different ways of representing the same thing. It is not surprising therefore that they would have different symbols for the same traits that they admire.

For those who are into tattooing, I have listed here some symbols for tattoos meaning strength and courage from different cultures and nations across the globe. Different cultures have different symbols for the same thing but we usually value the same virtues. All cultures give importance to strength and courage. Those two virtues that are universally seen as desirable to be possessed by a man mostly, but women too.

Africa- In Ghana, in the continent of Africa they normally use animals as representations of these two virtues. The people of this region are naturally close to nature, and so they use the ram and the eagle as representations of strength and courage, but they also have non-animal representation for these two qualities. This would come in the form of swords that are crossed.

Native Americans- The native people of North America have a strong affinity to the animals that live with them on their lands. That can be seen by the way that they use the names of animals for their own names. Animals like the buffalo, bear, cougar, and eagle are all seen as bearers of strength.

Symbols in Buddhism- Although Buddhism is a culture that does not exalt physical strength, this virtue is still seen in their symbolism. The lion, especially the roaring lion is seen as the ultimate Buddhist symbol of spiritual strength.

Celtic- The bear, bull, unicorn, and the griffin are all seen as symbols of strength in Celtic symbology. The badger, the bear, and the water dragon are symbols for courage.

Chinese- Since the Chinese culture is a very ancient culture, it has a vast collection of symbols that represent strength and courage. Most of those symbols are in the form of their characters, which are in turn taken from actual representations of the things that they symbolize. Chinese symbols have been used quite a lot lately as designs for tattoos as well.

Ancient Egyptians- The Ankh and the lotus flower both represent strength to the ancient Egyptians.

Those are just a few of the symbols that are used in different cultures to represent strength and courage. You can use them in your tattooing to help inspire those two virtues in yourself.