The Tiger Symbol’s Mysterious Meaning

tiger symbol
Tigers are big cats and royal animals native to Asia, Siberia, and Russia. They prey on other animals and are widely recognized in native folklore across various cultures. The tiger symbol represents strength, courage, royalty, and bravery. Tigers play a significant role in Chinese zodiac, symbolize the goddess Durga in Hinduism, are considered protectors of the forest in Russia, and a destroyer of evil in Africa. 

Tiger Symbol Meaning

The tiger is a symbol of strength, valor, cunning, independence, royalty, courage, and protection. Tigers are the largest animals in the cat kingdom and have the strongest bites. The tiger jaw exerts over 1,000 pounds per square inch (PSI). Tigers are the epitome of raw strength combined with natural grace. 

White Tiger Meaning

The white tiger is a rare and majestic animal that symbolizes power and royalty. Fearlessness and instinct are other aspects associated with white tigers. They represent calm strength that doesn’t cower under pressure. They can also be aggressive when provoked, thus indicating rage and anger. 

tiger symbol
The white tiger represents power and royalty.

Yellow Tiger Meaning

The yellow tiger is associated with the sun. Yellow tigers rule all of the other tigers.

According to Chinese Feng Shui, the tiger is the yin while the dragon is the yang that maintains the power balance in our universe. 

Water Tiger Symbolism

The water tiger is one of the twelve animals that represent the Chinese and Japanese zodiacs. The water tiger is kind, lovable, and adventurous. It symbolizes a logical mind and the ability to accept new perspectives with an open mind. 

People born in the water tiger sign are action-oriented and energetic. They tend to enjoy conflicts and arguments. These people are also proud, arrogant, and don’t easily acknowledge pain or defeat.


tiger symbol
Tigers are powerful animals that represent different things across various cultures.

Tiger Stripes Symbolism 

Each tiger’s stripes are unique, just like human fingerprints, which is why they symbolize uniqueness. Since tigers use their stripes to blend into the forest, especially when hunting, the stripes also represent stealth and secrecy. 

Tiger Eye Symbolism 

The eye of the tiger stands for unwavering focus and concentration. Tigers stalk their prey for hours without taking their eyes off the target.

Also, the tiger’s eyes are the last thing the prey will see when the animal pounces for the kill. The tiger’s eyes are associated with death, vigilance, and life beyond death. 

tiger symbol
Tiger eyes symbolize unwavering concentration and focus.

Tiger Spirit Animal Meaning

Tigers have different spiritual meanings. The tiger, as a spirit guide, is a protector. People with tiger spirit animal display confidence, raw strength, shrewd perception, intelligence, and beauty. It indicates that the person could dominate their field of study and can become a master. 

The tiger power animal is summoned when a person is facing tough situations. This fierce predator provides the necessary strength to overcome the hurdles and achieve your goals. The tiger power animal tells a person to take control of the situation and handle it their way. 

The tiger totem animal is used to manifest independence, courage, strength, and determination. It helps in gaining respect and presenting oneself as someone worthy and successful. 

What Does a Tiger Symbolize in Christianity?

There aren’t strong tiger symbols in Christianity. However, some say that the lion of the tribe of Judah from the Bible could also refer to a tiger. The lion and tiger usually have similar qualities like courage, bravery, strength, and independence.

Tiger Symbolism in Chinese Culture

The tiger is considered the king of all beasts in China, and the animals are said to originate from China. The Chinese symbol for a king (王) is found on the tiger’s forehead.

The Chinese have a sentimental connection to this big cat and have given it a prominent place in their culture. In fact, according to the Yi ethnic minority, the tiger created the sun, moon, wind, thunder, and rain. 

The tiger symbolizes bravery, power, happiness, and the force that drives away evil in China. It also connects nature, man, and god. It is called the God of the Mountain by the Hezhe Ethnic minority people. The tiger is the god of wealth in Chinese culture and one of the popular motifs in their art. 

Tiger is also found in Chinese astrology. According to the Chinese zodiac, 2022 is the year of the tiger (water tiger). It started on Chinese New Year (1st Feb) and will end on 21st January 2023.

Brave warriors, kings, and emperors were often compared to tigers. People born in the year of the tiger are natural leaders. They are ambitious and adventurous, but arrogant.

Tiger Symbolism in Japanese Culture

Tigers are revered in Japanese culture, though they aren’t native to the land. The Japanese know of tigers through pictures, tiger skin, and stories shared by monks and traders. The earliest reference to a tiger is found in the Manyoshu, a collection of Japanese poems from the 8th century. It’s a beast to be feared in old Japanese literature for children. 

Over the years, the tiger became a creature of fear, good luck, speed, protection, and health. The Kurama Temple in Kyoto has tigers as guardian animals instead of lions as they prevent bad energies from entering the place. 

What does it Mean to Dream about a Tiger?

Dreaming about a tiger could indicate several things, both good and bad.

  • Hunting a tiger implies you are chasing success and might achieve it. If you’re being hunted by a tiger, it means that there’s someone out there with harmful intentions toward you. 
  • A tiger head shows that you have it in you to achieve something beyond your means. 
  • A tiger eye indicates the need to be vigilant. 
  • A tiger and leopard together represent illness. 
  • A fighting tiger denotes conflict with others. 

The color of the tiger in your dreams is also important. While a white tiger symbolizes someone powerful, a red tiger represents threatening circumstances, and a green tiger is associated with love, nurturing, and growth. 


Vanessa's liberal arts background has prepared her well for Symbol Scholar. A self-proclaimed theology nerd, Vanessa has interests in world religions, Reformation theology, history, and more. When she's not working, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, exercising, and watching professional basketball.

Recent Posts