Tattoo industry can never get enough of dragons. Generally, this mythical creature symbolizes wisdom, wealth, power, longevity and protection. However, dragons might differ in their size, color and significance. This article will explain to you the hidden symbolism of the most common types of dragons.
Dragon tattoo meaning for men
This legendary animal can be considered as the epitome of masculinity. It is strong, brave, confident, authoritative and decisive. At the same time, it is wise, reasonable and can control its emotions. A dragon knows how to achieve his goals and take care of his beloved ones. In the ’90s, dragons on back were an extremely popular pattern for male tribal tattoos. Today, they aren’t confined to just one popular graphic style.
Dragon tattoo meaning for women
The traditional dragon tattoo meaning for women is focused on the female ability to give birth. A lady who has an image of a dragon on her body is ready not only to create a new life but to protect her kids. She is strong, confident and is becoming wiser every year.
Phoenix and dragon
Phoenix symbolizes a fresh start after a defeat. The combination of phoenix and dragon suggests that the person has faced troubles in life but has overcome them.
Koi and dragon
According to Eastern mythology, the koi carp might turn into a koi dragon if it swims upstream and reaches the Dragon Gate on the Yellow River. An image of koi and dragon is synonymous with purposefulness and hard work.
Dragon and tiger
This tattoo is nearly identical to Yin and Yang. Both dragon and tiger are strong and decisive — but the former knows how to balance its impulses with reason while the latter recognizes only brute force.
Dragon and rose
Dragon and rose epitomize everlasting love and femininity, backed up by the outstanding vital power and the ability to stand up for oneself.
Dragon and snake
Dragon and snake personify the confrontation of intuition and intellect, heritage and progress, wild forces of nature and society. In many cultures, snakes foreshadow misfortune, so these two are deadly enemies.
Eagle and dragon
Eagle and dragon are both freedom-loving, independent, strong and proud. If you have two of them on the same image, these qualities are doubly enhanced.
Dragon and wolf
Dragon and wolf showcase the two facets of protection: masculine and feminine. In Asian myths, wolves guard the doors to the celestial realm. So their position in the universal hierarchy is close to dragons.
Lion and dragon
Lion and dragon together double their characteristic traits: courage, power, energy. If it’s a lioness, the tattoo depicts the contrast between authoritative femininity and masculinity.
Geisha and dragon
A tattoo of a geisha and dragon typifies the lifetime pursuit of balance, harmony and love backed up by wisdom.
Two headed dragon
The two headed dragon has to constantly overcome his internal conflict. In Oriental mythology, it represents the eternal fight between rain and clearing, good and bad luck.
Three headed dragon
A three headed dragon stands for the unity of the past, the present and the future. It is an outstandingly powerful and dangerous enemy.
A baby dragon is funny and innocent yet it has impressive potential. Such a tattoo confirms that the person has ambitious plans for the future.
A dragon heart accentuates the ability of a person to feel love, joy and compassion. It emphasizes the strength of emotional bonds and the readiness to take care of one’s home and family.
A dragon head on a sleeve that isn’t covered by clothes means that this person possesses an immense power that can’t be hidden. This can refer to love, honesty, justice or other worthy properties.
A dragon claw denotes fearlessness and power. The owner of the tattoo is ready to destroy — but only to defeat evil. Such people are dominant and unmoved by challenges.
A big and bright dragon eye on the neck, arm or chest poses a challenge to everyone who sees it. The owner of the tattoo is as if asking people: “Are you strong and sincere enough to deal with me?”.
A dragon skull signifies some dark legacy. It reminds of the transient nature of happiness but suggests that the drama is already left behind.
The dragon scale means that this man expresses the qualities of a dragon. He is physically and intellectually strong, noble, generous and ready to defend the ones he loves.
Unlike its European counterpart, a typical Asian dragon doesn’t breathe fire and is not violent. It resembles a large serpent with toes. Japanese dragons most often dwell in the water. They symbolize protection, longevity and taking care of the family.
The Japanese dragon has three toes, the Korean has four and the Chinese has five.
Chinese dragon tattoo meaning
A Chinese dragon flies high in the sky. It brings good luck and benevolence of heaven — but only in case it is ascending to the clouds. To depict this creature descending from the sky would mean to invite misfortune.
A Korean dragon is interpreted as an indicator of status, prestige and respect. They fly in the clouds and thus are connected to celestial wisdom and sublime spirit.
The main mission of a Thai dragon is to protect the owner of the tattoo from misfortune. It is especially popular among Muay Thai fighters.
A Celtic dragon has nothing to do with violence or destruction. Their spiritual essence is balance and wisdom. The multiple complicated knots of their bodies serve as a metaphor for the ups and downs of life.
A Viking dragon is probably the most menacing of all. It hints at destruction — but only to rise from chaos later and experience renewal.
The feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl was believed to be the protector of the world. An Aztec dragon endows the owner of the tattoo with knowledge, creativity and resourcefulness.
Funny as it may seem, a European dragon epitomizes the qualities of knights — that is, people who combat these mythical creatures. It stands for nobility, loyalty, audacity and faith.
Haku dragon is a protagonist of the famous “Spirited Away” anime. It’s a serpent that doesn’t have wings but flies thanks to magic powers.
Dragon Sak Yant
Dragon Sak Yant is a sacred sign that only male monks can tattoo on male monks. It validates that the person has renounced earthly pleasures and sins to obtain protective mystical powers.
In China, this animal would be considered a bad omen and a meaningful symbol of death. But Westerners perceive it as an ambassador of purity and sacred knowledge.
A black dragon stands for age, experience and wisdom. Its additional connotations are pride, suppressed anger and hidden danger.
A golden dragon is kind, generous and ready to help. Gold is connected to the sun, harvest and wealth.
A green dragon epitomizes the vital energy of life and Earth. These creatures are normally small in size.
A purple dragon stands for awareness and spiritual healing. This color is a combination of red and blue. These two correspond to passion and reason respectively — so the purple shade denotes the ability to find a balance between the extremes.
For a Western eye, a red dragon might look primarily as a symbol of bravery. For Asians, it also epitomizes good luck and prosperity.
A water dragon is synonymous with mental tranquility and the ability to control one’s temper. This creature can be either a warrior or a healer.
Fire dragon tattoo meaning
A fire dragon stands for flaming sexual energy and passion. Attention: this might imply destructive intentions.