It’s been said that the wolf made its first major cultural appearance in ancient Rome, when it was used to represent founders Romulus and Remus.
Norse mythology tells us that the wolf is a herald of victory, ridden into battle by Odin himself, while the Celts saw the wolf as a lunar component that devoured the sun each evening so the moon could emerge.
Asian culture carries the belief that the wolf stands watch at the door to the heavens, while a variety of Native American tribes believed themselves to be direct descendants of the wolf.
Regardless of where you hail from and what cultural ties you feel most compelled by, there’s no denying the wolf’s overwhelming influence. The wolf has long been an eternal symbol of strength, loyalty, and leadership, as well as a figure to be feared. The earliest roots of civilizations saw the wolf hunted and demonized, all but driven to extinction until recent conservation acts moved to protect it.
Moving both alone and in packs, the wolf represents the journey we must all take to meet our true selves. For this reason, the wolf is a popular subject in traditional tattoo art.
The wolf’s natural beauty and striking features are ideal for adapting into tattoo designs, with popular depictions including natural elemental aspects such as mountains, trees, the moon, and native symbolism. Inked in broad, colorful strokes or detailed black and white, the wolf tattoo is a mark of one who is at once fiercely loyal to their pack yet unafraid to venture out alone into the treacherous unknown.