Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

The Wolf is used as a representative of deep faith, and profound understanding.  Wolves have been around for thousands of years demonstrating their ability to survive in harsh locations, often represented as a solitary animal. The wolf is a very social animal living and hunting in packs and their family groups and choosing a mate for life, all of which has probably played a role their continued survival.

The Wolf has been linked with a range of different cultures, but probably most commonly with the Native American Indians, with the wolf being a Totem animal.  Totem animals are spiritual animals sent to guide through life.  Totem wolf symbols belong to tribes who truly understand the depth of passion that belong to this noble creature.  The wolf totem represents allegiance and determination with shape-shifting abilities enabling them to change into a man if someone was in trouble.

Christians used them as a symbol of evil; the wolf represented Satan in opposition to the lamb, which is the symbol of Jesus.  This probably explains the wolf’s dark role within children’s fairy tales.  Whereas a she-wolf was crucial to the survival of Romulus and Remus in Roman mythology. The wolf is a lucky omen in Mongolia, especially for men believing that they were once descended from a mating wolf and a doe. Norse mythology Fenrir or the ‘fame-wolf’ was the father of wolves Skoll and Hati who is said to have brought down the house of  he Viking Gods Asgard causing an apocalypse by swallowing the sun.  So it is no wonder that the wolf is seen as a powerful creature with great powers.

Throughout history Wolves have been portrayed as both good and evil; and as it has been portrayed in life the wolf tattoo seems to have just as many positive and negative connotations.  However the fact that they are pack animals, that they mate with the same partner and are good parents the most common representations for the wolf are around loyalty, family and love. 

A wolf howling in front of a full moon is a popular imagery for a wolf tattoo, with legends having associated the wolf changing into something evil when the moon is full.  Most commonly shape-shifting into the terrifying werewolf with its melancholy howls echoing through the gloom being said to represent death and the mysteries that wait within the darkness.

A tattoo of a wolf is more likely to be chosen by men.  Native American men having the wolf to represent not only their masculinity, spirituality, discipline but also their loyalty.  And was often the preferred choice of a shaman.  The “ lone wolf” is a younger male who left the pack to find its own territory and mate, so a wolf tattoo can represent a young man trying to find his own way in life.

A she-wolf brought up the founders of ancient Rome, Remus and Romulus, which is said to signify the wolf’s compassion and warmth, but also giving a connection between wolf and woman. So a wolf tattoo for a woman is said to represent a wild inner nature, a desire to shed the obligatory restraints of culture and at the same time showing a struggle to get in touch with her natural nature.

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