Mythical Tattoos

/Mythical Tattoos

Japanese and Chinese Tribal Dragon Tattoos

By |December 20th, 2010|

As the favourite creature of legends for centuries, dragons are, understandably, one of the most popular subjects for tattoos the world over and tribal dragon tattoos are becoming increasingly popular, particularly amongst young males.  There are two distinct styles of dragons, those belonging to the east which have long, snaking bodies and are wingless and those relating to western mythology with their elongated neck and mighty wings.  The meanings of the two are as different as their appearance: the Chinese and Japanese dragons symbolise benevolence, wisdom and good fortune whilst the western dragon is a terrifying, fire-breathing, destructive monster.

In mythology and folklore stories of dragons abound and these have resulted in a great variety of symbolism being attributed to them.  Many believe they have been around since the creation of the world and, in fact, had a hand in its manifestation, but they are equally associated with its destruction so have the dual symbolism of creator and destructor.  Because the western dragons were sentinels of the dead as well as fire-breathing monsters who guarded treasure, they symbolised guardianship.


Drawing a Meaningful Chinese Dragon Tattoo

By |November 17th, 2010|

Dragons are possibly the most popular creatures of legends and, for centuries the Chinese dragons have symbolised power and mystery, making the Chinese dragon tattoo one of the most popular designs ever requested.  In legends, myths and folklore from all corners of the globe, dragons have struck fear in the heart of the bravest warrior, but they are also creatures of respect and worship.

Although in medieval Europe, the dragon was a ferocious blood-thirsty giant, breathing fire and malice on the terrified mortals, in Asia, this mythical beast has been long-celebrated for its benevolence, intelligence and kindness.  The Chinese dragon is a symbol of identity for Far Eastern cultures.

The different perceptions of dragons can be seen in their depictions in artwork and tattoos.  The Chinese dragon tattoo is quite different to western and Japanese dragon designs not least because of its colour.  Whilst Japanese favour red dragons, the Chinese prefer green and the design usually contains more detail reflecting its oriental origins.  Western tattoos might depict their ideas about dragons being terrifying, destructive creatures and the enemy of all men, but the Chinese dragon will depict the opposite, reflecting their belief in the dragon as the bringer of luck and wealth.


Immortal Unicorn Tattoos

By |November 5th, 2010|

Anyone who has ever loved fantasy will have been enthralled with stories about unicorns and people wearing unicorn tattoos must always have a ready following of interested questioners.  What does a unicorn conjure up in your mind?  For me it’s childhood tales of fantasy or magical realism and I am always happy to recapture some of this magic every year at Christmas by unwrapping a tiny, crystal and silver unicorn, cherished since early childhood, and placing it on the Christmas tree.  But I suddenly wonder why I restrict myself to these fond associations for only a few weeks every year, when a unicorn tattoo would afford that pleasure every day!  Before I rush off to the tattoo parlour, I would like to share with you some ideas about unicorns.

Since ancient times, unicorns have been described as being hybrids of several different animals, but they are more famously depicted with graceful, horse-like features (usually white) and, of course, the single horn which is reputed to be the source of the unicorn’s magic.


Meaning of Raging Bull Tattoos

By |October 30th, 2010|

There are so many reasons for the popularity of raging bull tattoos that I hardly know where to begin writing about them.  Because bulls are found all over the world, they are instantly recognisable – and feared – and everyone knows some story or legend about them.   They symbolise strength, masculinity, power and virility, to name just a few of their meanings.

Bulls have long been admired for their strength and powerful build and the Celts also associated them with virility and procreation, whilst the Druids linked them to the energy of the sun and also used them in sacrifice in their quest for spiritual enlightenment and wisdom.  Their solar association also make them a symbol of the heavens and resurrection, whilst their relationship to cows (females), and their crescent-shaped horns, resembling moons, imbues them with feminine lunar powers links with earth, water, night and also death – in other words, the best of all worlds!


Flying High with Tribal Wings Tattoos

By |October 24th, 2010|

With the sudden rise of interest in angels in the 1990s helped by celebrity endorsement in the media, many people are choosing tribal wings tattoos for their first foray into tattoo art.  In that decade a national poll discovered that nearly 70% of Americans believed in angels.  By last year this percentage had increased and was reflected in many other countries of the western world.  Nowadays many people adorn their houses with angels, cherubs, fairies – in fact just about any of these ethereal winged beings, and this has spread to tattoo art.  Tribal wings tattoos are the frequent choice of design for newcomers to the world of tattoo art.  If this is the type of body art you are drawn to, then rest your wings for a moment and read on before you embark upon your journey towards your first tattoo.