Tiger Symbolism And Meaning: Here’s What This Majestic Animal Mean

Tiger Symbolism And Meaning

Imagine encountering a tiger suddenly. Just imagine. A sudden encounter with a tiger can bring a lot of fear into one’s mind.

But when we say just think about the tiger, the first thing that comes to our mind is strength and power.

This is what symbolism is all about. Symbolism is the belief that is associated with a thing, animal, or bird. 

It stands true for the tiger as well. However, the beliefs can be different as per the tribe or culture. With this article, we have explained the tiger’s symbolism and meaning in detail. 

Understanding Tiger Symbolism And Meaning

In a general context, a tiger is a symbol of courage, strength, royalty, and fearlessness. In western culture, a tiger represents ambition, power, healing, integrity, and valor. While in eastern culture a tiger is considered as a divine being with great powers.

The symbolism of the tiger is often related to the Bengal Tiger symbolism. Wherever the tiger’s symbolism prevails, it is considered a majestic beast from India. 

However, in many tribal areas, these animals are still hunted for their skin and bones. Even the ashes of the tigers remain are used for treating dental aches.

In Hinduism, the skin of this animal is considered sacred. It is so because it is the seat of Lord Shiva. The common perceptions related to the tiger symbolism includes:

  • It is believed that this animal symbolizes military power, royalty, and strength. 
  • Another symbolism of the tiger is the state of being grounded. 
  • In some Eastern parts of the world, this tiger symbolizes place, position, rank, and status. 

This animal teaches a person that one should be grounded in the present moment and should remain aware of everything happening around them.

However, these are some common beliefs related to tigers. But, some beliefs are specific to various cultures and hold due importance. 

Tiger Symbolism And Meaning In Different Civilizations

What Does Tiger Symbolizes In Native American Culture?

As per the beliefs of the Native Americans, every bird or animal is significant. The symbolism of animals in this culture is an integral part that is often used for healing rituals and ceremonies.

In Native American lore, a tiger symbolizes a great teacher. The symbolism of the tiger include:

  • It is believed that the symbolism of the tiger is courage, strength, power, and ambition. 
  • Some people of Native American culture believe that the tiger represents physical grace, strength, and leadership. 

What Does Tiger Symbolizes In Eastern Culture?

The symbolism of the tiger has a great hold in the Eastern parts of the world, be it India, China, Japan, or South Korea.

The carvings of tigers were discovered during the Indus Valley Civilization that existed 5000 years ago. Some of the instances of symbolism in the Eastern parts of the world include:

  • In Hinduism, the tiger holds great significance as it is the symbol of a vehicle for a great female deity.
  • In China, the markings on the tiger’s head resemble the Chinese character Wang, which means King. 
  • In Korea, the symbolism of the white tiger is linked with the Mountain Spirit. 
  • In Chinese and Japanese art, a tiger is pictured in a bamboo forest. It is done based on the thought that the mortal enemy of the tiger will not follow him into the bamboo. 

What Does Tiger Symbolizes In Christianity?

As per the beliefs of Christianity, the tiger represents the symbol of the New Moon and darkness. In the early times, this animal is considered a kind of serpent.

However, there is no mention of a tiger in the Bible. But it is believed that this animal symbolizes luxury, royalty, and authority.

The symbolism of the tiger as per the beliefs in Christianity also includes strength, valor, and service of righteousness. It also represents fearlessness, wrath, and royalty. 

What Does Tiger Symbolizes In African Culture?

Tiger is not a native animal to Africa, but the symbolic representation of this animal is very similar to large animals, like puma, lions, jaguars, panthers, and cougars.

In west African stories, this animal represents any large predatory cat. It is believed that powerful shamans had tiger bodies.

It is believed that the soul of the tiger enters into the body of the shaman during the nighttime. But, in the morning it returns to the forest. The symbolism of the tiger as per these tribes include:

  • It is believed that the tiger symbolizes feminine power, beauty, speed, aggression, protectiveness, and ferocity. 
  • This animal also represents death, life, evil, and the destruction of evil. 

Are You Seeing Tiger In Your Dream? Here’s Meaning

Dreaming of a tiger is possible and many people often dream of this animal. But they fail to understand the actual meaning or sign behind such dreams.

Some symbolism is associated with the tiger’s dreams. Dreaming of a tiger may symbolize various things which include:

  • Dreaming tiger means that the dreamer is terrified of something or someone. If you are in a situation where you are avoiding some things, then there are chances that you visualize tiger dreams. 
  • It is also believed that tiger dreams symbolize someone severe or harsh. The dreamer can be too severe and harsh with himself. 
  • Such dreams can also represent the aspects of the dreamer which include potency, and strength. 
  • Tiger dreams can also get triggered if you suppress anger, resentment, or experienced ferocious arguments. 

Many people have tigers as their totem animal. There are many beliefs related to the tiger totem animal and it tells various things about the person having a tiger totem.

People with tiger totems are reminded by this animal to notice the aromas & scents present in the environment. This helps them to interpret the situations and have safer surroundings. 

Tiger totem tells a person to live confidently and to move single-handed. The energy of this animal is savage and reminds a person about the fierce spirit that they possess within their nature.

However, when it comes to the encounters and omens related to tigers, there are many beliefs for the same. 

The omens related to encounter with a tiger is considered a negative omen. It is especially true in the case of India.

It is because, in India, villagers have a great fear of encountering this animal and hunt them till the time they become endangered. Due to these reasons, conservation reserves are made to protect this animal. 

In Eastern cultures, the omens with the tiger indicate a recently dead spirit that has transformed into a man-eating tiger.

In India, it is also believed that when a tiger eats a man, the spirit of that man sits in the tiger’s forehand and guides him for new prey. Therefore, encountering a tiger is considered a bad omen. 

Is Tiger Your Spirit Animal?

Every person believes to have a spirit animal that guides them to better areas. People with tiger spirit animal acts with precision, awakens passion, power, and deepens presence.

This spirit animal tells a person to pay attention to small details of the surroundings. The symbolism of tiger spirit animal include:

  • Tiger meditation can help the person to learn to own and balance their power. 
  • People with tiger spirit animals can call this spirit animal for help. They can even mimic the movements of tigers so to realize their strength. 
  • This spirit animal can help the person to present himself as the strongest. 


Tiger is an animal that has both positive and negative things associated with its nature. Encountering with this animal creates fear in the person but its symbolism includes power, strength, and courage.

With this article, we have mentioned tiger symbolism which is prevalent in various tribes and cultures. The knowledge of symbolism is important for a person as it helps them to make a better decision.

Therefore, if in case you encounter a tiger in real life or dreams, do analyze the situations and signs that this animal has for you. 

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