Leo has long been a symbol of courage, leadership and strength. Because of this, some people wear the image of lions and lion heads as a way to express their ability to rule and protect. However, Leo tattoos are most commonly worn by those who were born under this sign, or those who want to express their devotion to another Leo person.
Many of the most common styles of Leo tattoos depict an either cartoonish or realistic lion. Cartoon Leos are often shown in unusual styles or settings. For instance, the lion may be shown standing on a stage, dressed as a magician. In this case, he may be shown pulling another zodiac sign out of a top hat, and may be wearing a stylish jacket that is emblazoned with the Leo glyph. Realistic depictions may present a lion sitting in a field or chasing after another animal. A variation of this would be to show the lion bursting out of the skin, large paws leaving claw marks, teeth ripping away flesh.
Another popular choice for Leo tattoos is the traditional glyph symbol. This glyph is said to represent both the mane and tail of this beast and starts with a sharp point that curves up and ends in a small curl. Although many people prefer to keep this style simple and black, others like to make their designs more detailed or colorful. For instance, a small, fierce face could be drawn into one end, and a small tassel could be placed at the other. The glyph may also be done in this sign’s dominant colors of yellow and gold, but purple is also sometimes used as a way to express the royalty that is often associated with this sign.
The bold, beautiful mane that is so characteristic of this sign’s creature often appears as the main focus of Leo tattoos. A portrait style of a lion’s head and shoulders is a popular design for this style of body art. Others like to take a more unique slant and create a simple black design that is similar in appearance to tribal tattoos. Since Leos are fire signs, many also like to use brightly-hued flames in place of fur.
Mythological and folkloric lions may also be used to create stunning Leo designs. For example, the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet, who had the body of a woman and the head of a lion, could be shown bandaging a wounded man at the center of a large battle, while the face and mane of the Babylonian deity Nergal could be shown fading into the noontime sun.