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Tattoo Motif and Symbolism: Animals

Animals are chosen as tattoos for many reasons. It may be just because you happen to like the four-legged fuzzy creature. It may be because you need to commemorate the memory of a special pet that has passed away.

More often though, the animal is chosen either because the person identifies with the strengths and attributes of the creature and wishes to accentuate these traits in his her or her own character or because the animal functions for them as a shamanic spirit guide. Here is a description of some of the attributes of animals commonly figured in tattoo art.

♦ Apes and Monkeys - symbolizes joy, freedom from persecution (Chinese) and sex (South Pacific), Chinese Astrological Sign
♦ Bats -a symbol of longevity and joy, psychic ability, vampires (Pagan)
♦ Bears - emblem of power, protection, strength and rebirth (Native American)
♦ Bees - messengers of God (Greek), carriers of souls to heaven, (Native American), prosperity (Ukrainian and Viking)
♦ Bison and Buffalo - inspires meditation (Native American)
♦ Boars - personification of victorious battle, wealth (Roman)
♦ Bulls -- strength, motivation, domination (Native American), Astrological symbol for Taurus
♦ Cats - divine, connection with Egyptian and alien spirits, psychic protection (Wiccan, Pagan)
♦ Cows - mother goddess symbol that is sacred in India. A red cow is a symbol of hope (India, China)
♦ Crickets - reincarnation, creativity, good luck charm (Pagan)
♦ Deer - cure for epilepsy, visions , dreams, related to the Goddess of the Hunt Diana (Greek), beauty (Native American)
♦ Dogs - loyalty, service, trust, affection, an easy life. Chinese astrological sing
♦ Donkey - fertility, health, well-being and luck (Asian)
♦ Fox -shapeshifter, intelligence, magic (Pagan, Wiccan)
♦ Frog -mediumship (Native American), wealth bringing (Chinese)
♦ Gazelle - health (Africa)
♦ Goats - symbol of the God Pan (Greek, Celtic, Wiccan), Western Astrological sign of Capricorn, Chinese Astrological sign.
♦ Hares - symbol of the God Brigid (Celtic), symbol of the moon (Wiccan)
♦ Horses - freedom, strength (American), Chinese astrological sign
♦ Jaguars - shamanism (African, Nordic)
♦ Lamb -symbol of Christianity, a Ram represents the Western astrological sign of Aries
♦ Lions - symbol of the Sun (Roman, Greek), protection (Africa), lion cubs symbolize mercy and gentleness (Native American)
♦ Ox - wealth, employment, Chinese astrological sign
♦ Pigs - Wealth and happiness (Chinese), Rebirth (Celtic), owner of motorcycle or chopper (Biker)
♦ Rabbit - Luck (Celtic), powers of manifestation (Pagan)
♦ Rat - Creativity, intelligence, Chinese astrological sign
♦ Rooster - Sexual fertility (Celtic), Chinese astrological sign
♦ Scorpion - the fire of the soul, sexuality (Egyptian), Western astrological symbol for the sign of Scorpio, Chinese astrological sign
♦ Tiger - virility, strength (Celtic), Chinese astrological sign
♦ Tortoises and Turtles -wisdom (Celtic), prosperity (Chinese)


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