Wolves seem to have a dual nature; aggressive and soothing, devoted and independent. They also have many mythological stories and beliefs attached to them. For these reasons, wolf tattoos have become a very desirable piece of art.
Although the type of wolf tends to vary for each clan, many Native American tribes use the wolf as a symbol of intellect and guidance. Wolf tattoos featuring a man being led through a harsh desert to his destiny by a large and splendorous wolf may be a great way to depict this variety of meaning. For several tribes, the wolf is said to be seen in the star of Sirius. A great representation of this would be to use a vague outline of a wolf in profile with a bright, bursting blue or orange star for an eye.
Two interesting mythological ties that can be used in wolf tattoos are that of the Celtic myth of the wolf greedily ingesting the sun, and the Roman myth of Romulus and Remus being nurtured by a mother wolf. For the Celtic version, one can show either a full body, or bust of a wolf not only staring defiantly into, but drinking down a soft, and almost fluidic sun. For the Roman myth, you can depict the warm and inviting figure of a drowsy, yet protective female wolf wrapped gently around two small infants. This design may also be used by loving parents to symbolize their bond with their children.
Although most wolf tattoos show the more peaceful side of this animal, others like to express their aggressive side. These tattoos may show the angry appearance of a wolf, bearing its teeth and either rigid in a warning stance, or seeming to almost burst through the skin. Another example of this would be the werewolf. Known for their vicious tendencies, this depiction of ‘man turned beast’ may be shown stalking the streets of a city on a moonlit night. They may also show the transformation between man and wolf.
Though wolf tattoos are sometimes used as an expression of a bold, and forceful spirit, most of them represent cultural or familial ties. These designs are often meant to show the love and respect of both people and nature alike.