Wolves are animals of symbolism in many religions and cultures. Their presence and persona can be perceived as both good and evil. If you are thinking about getting a wolf tattoo, you may want to approach the project from a specific angle, using specific imagery to complete the picture.
The Wolf Tattoo as Protector
Wolves have been the symbol of protection in many cultures, particularly in Roman and Greek mythologies. It was a wolf called Lupa that suckled and protected Romulus and Remus, the mythical twin founders of Rome, throughout their childhood, and it was Cerberus who was said to guard the souls of the dead in the underworld in Greek tradition. Wolves are also very protective of each-other and will stand up for each-other in the face of danger.
If your wolf tattoo is going to carry the theme of protection, you may want to entertain pictures that show the wolf standing guard, with its paws firm on the ground. Closeups of the head can convey more of threat than a protective posture. In this instance, a full-body portrait might make your statement clearer.
The Wolf as a Symbol of Loyalty
Wolves travel in packs. They protect their own and share their kills with the entire pack. They never knowingly leave one of their own behind. They symbolize companionship and fidelity and in their capacity as protectors, maintain constant vigilance over their wards. They will fight and die to protect whoever or whatever has been left in their charge and rush to aid any of their own who are in trouble.
A wolf tattoo that communicates loyalty will normally have more than one wolf as its central theme. A pack of wolves, even just faces, convey the message of loyalty and camaraderie that are the wolf’s dominant traits.
The Wolf as Hunter
Wolves are calculating hunters, not mindless killers. Native American cultures revered the wolf as a fellow hunter and also a teacher. This makes the predatory side of the wolf not so much negative as influential.
If you are a person of influence or have an alpha-type personality, the hunter may be a fitting theme for your wolf tattoo. These themes can be very graphic, but also very striking. Blood and carnage are not necessary elements to this image, but dominance and aggression would be reasonable images to portray. Bared teeth, a focused expression, these things convey the theme of the hunter well.