Once socially unacceptable, tattoos have long since come out of the subculture and gone mainstream. Many celebrities and sports figures boast strength tattoos today, including Virat Kohli, the Indian cricket player. He has numerous tattoos, two of them, a samurai warrior and a golden dragon, representing his strength and self-discipline. Actually, celebrities such as singer Rihanna have led the way in popularizing tattoos as a legitimate and attractive form of body art.
Both men and women enjoy attesting to their strength, be it physical, emotional, social, spiritual, or some other type of personal strength. Consequently, many people today use the greek symbol of strength as the basis for their tattoos. This symbol originally came from phi, the 21st letter in the Greek alphabet. Always associated with strength, power, and resistance, phi in its upper case form looks something like a horizontal oval intersected by a vertical capital I. In its lower case form, phi is a circle intersected by a straight vertical line. But you need not use the actual greek symbol of strength for your tattoo. Many calligraphic forms of phi exist, many of which are decidedly beautiful and artistic.
Additional Greek Strength Symbols
In terms of symbols themselves, the arrow was one of the favorites for the ancient Greeks. In addition to strength, the arrow also represented power, swiftness, knowledge, and the Greek god and goddess of hunters, Apollo and Artemis. In addition, Greek mythology also celebrated Cratus, a/k/a Kratos, as the personified spirit of strength, might, and power, while his three siblings Nike, Bia, and Zelos represented victory, force, and rivalry respectively. All four-winged spirits attended the heavenly throne of Zeus, the Greek war god.
Pictorial Strength Symbols
If your tattoo tastes run more toward animals, you have a variety of them from which to choose to symbolize your strength. For instance, the bear symbolizes strength for Northwest Native Americans. The wolf, in addition to strength, symbolizes leadership, intelligence, loyalty, and family values due to its pack culture. The panther likewise symbolizes strength, as well as loyalty, triumph, and adventure. The lion, as the historical “king of the jungle,” is another popular animal for symbolizing strength, courage, energy, and ferocity, plus the added features of royalty and power. And when all else fails, you can’t beat the mythical dragon as a “statement” strength tattoo.
One animal, actually an insect, that probably never would occur to you as a symbol of strength is the ant. But believe it or not, the ant really does symbolize strength, especially in a team effort context. Ants also represent bravery and perseverance.
As for birds, your tattoo of an eagle or its feather can proudly proclaim not only your strength but also your courage and accomplishments. Or you may prefer an owl, the bird most associated with courage and wisdom in early Native American cultures.
For a more feminine representation of strength, a tattoo featuring a gladiolus speaks also to your character, honor, and faithfulness, all without being too “girly.”
Multi-cultural Strength Symbols
As you might expect, every culture has its own symbols of strength, all of which make for fine tattoos. Consider the following strength symbols from around the world:
- Aztec eagle
- B‘alam (Mayan)
- Celtic bull
- Dara (Celtic knot)
- Djed pillar
- Hamsa (hand of Fatima)
- Li (Chinese)
- Lotus flower
- Oak tree
- Okodee mmowere
All in all, your choices for strength tattoo symbols are almost never-ending. But if you simply cannot bring yourself to join the body art revolution and tattoo your skin with permanent ink, you can still proclaim your strength in other ways. For instance, any of the above strength symbols translate well into a piece of jewelry or even silkscreen t-shirts.