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Throughout the ages, lions have been symbols of strength, courage and pride, so it's no surprise that lion tattoos are popular the world over. The lion is considered the king of animals.
In the modern mind set, the lion is a symbol of pride, potency and virility.
Leo is the 5th sign of the Zodiac. Horoscope tattoos are a popular choice of tattoos and Leo tattoos are one of the zodiac signs that are frequently seen as a tattoo design.
Leo is a masculine sign and is ruled by the sun. The Leo constellation has been worshipped for thousands of years, by the Egyptians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, Hindus and many more civilizations.
The most popular body parts to have Leo tattoos are the shoulders, wrist and back.
Here are some Leo tattoo ideas:
- The zodiac symbol: every zodiac sign has a symbol, the symbol for Leo is a snake-like wave:
- Fire: fire is Leo's element. An often seen combination is where the mane of the lion become flames
- The sun: the Leo sign is ruled by the sun. There are plenty of combinations of sun and Leo tattoo designs possible
- Lettering: if you'd like a Leo tattoo, but are not too fond of lion images, you could opt for a lettering tattoo in another language, like Sanskrit or Tibetan.
The Tribal Lion Tattoo
Tribal tattoo art can be incorporated in all possible kinds of tattoo designs. Lion tattoos combine well with tribal art because of the manes that are easy to stylize with tribal patterns.
Most tribal lion tattoos picture the head of the lion and are usually black.
Lion Head Tattoo
Lion head tattoos are the most common lion tattoos, you don't see full body lion tattoos very often. Here are some examples of lion head designs:
Lion of Judah
Perhaps one of the oldest surviving religious symbols, the Lion of Judah, hails from Biblical origins. The lion was the symbol of the ancient Israelite tribe of Judah in the Book of Genesis (Old Testament). "Judah" was one of the twelve tribes of Israel - in fact, the largest in the ancient world, and it used a lion as its emblem.
Variations of the ancient Hebrew word for "Lion" were wildly popular in ages past as names or substitute names for Judah. As a result, the image is seen even in modern times as sacrosanct. The Lion of Judah is pictured on the coat of arms of Jerusalem.
After the death of Christ, many Christians took the Lion of Judah to be symbolic of Jesus. Many Christian organizations today take their name from derivations of the Hebrew or Yiddish word for "Lion" or make use of the lion itself as their emblem.
The Lion of Judah tattoo is popular among Rastafaris. For Rastafaris, the Lion of Judah is the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I. Rastafari is a young religious movement that sees Haile Selassie I as an incarnation of God (Jah). The Lion of Judah is also known as "Zion Lion" (Zion=Africa) and is pictured on the Ethiopian flag.
Lion of Judah tattoo designs often have the colours green, yellow and red incorporated, like the colours of the Ethiopian flag.
Chinese Lion Tattoos
Chinese lion tattoos are a popular tattoo design in the Western world. In Chinese culture, lions have strong protective powers and stone lions are placed before temples, palaces and other important buildings.
These protective lions are called Fu Lions or Lions of Buddha and are used often in Chinese art.
Rampant Lion Tattoo
The rampant lion appears as a symbol on many flags. It's on the flag of Scotland, of Flanders (Belgium) and on the coat of arms of Jerusalem.
The lion in Celtic lore has always been revered as a powerful and dangerous entity, symbolic both of youthful virulence and aged wisdom - nobility in strength. It can be found in many aspects of Celtic art, none more permanent in modern times than the application as a tattoo.
The Celtic lion and the tattoos resulting from its potent image are found throughout England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales - and beyond, with the popularity of Celtic lion tattoos (and Celtic tattoos in general) rising steadily.
Rampant lion tattoos are the favourite of Scottish people, symbolizing their bond with Scotland.
Celebrities and Lion Tattoos
Here's an overview of celebrities that have a lion tattoo:
- Robbie Williams: has a lion on his left shoulder. Under it is a banner with "Born to be mild" written on it. On top of the lion tattoo is a text that says "Elvis, grant me serenity"
- Christian Slater: has 2 lions on his right shoulder
- Rod Stewart: has a Scottish lion tattoo on his left arm
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