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Tiger Symbolism & Meaning

Tiger Table of Contents

Tiger Symbolism & Meaning

William Blake summarized much about the tiger by saying, “Tiger, tiger, burning bright in the forests of the night, what immortal hand or eye dare frame thy fearful symmetry?” Tiger symbolism is fiery and fearsome, so much so that Blake ponders how powerful a Divine being would need to be to fashion such a creature. Metaphysical imagery frames the tiger as being tied to the will, strength , aggressiveness and bravery.

Tiger definitely has duality in terms of global meanings. The phrase, “don’t wake a sleeping tiger” sums up the darker side of this creature. Life is unpredictable, and when the Tiger wakes and strikes the results are swift, sure and generally not pleasant. This is not the time for making rash decisions

On a more positive note, when you keep seeing tiger images in your life it acts as a powerful reminder of overcoming obstacles and fears by reclaiming your place of power. Tiger imagery represents the ability to manage strong emotions more effectively. If you find these images unnerving, it may be a signal that you feel hunted or threatened by a person or situation and need to face it head on.

Tiger Spirit Animal

When Tiger comes to you as a Spirit Animal treat this with the utmost respect. Tiger will teach you patience – when to move, when to remain still and in the end experience a successful “hunt”. Tiger will not let you plan things willy-nilly, nor will he let you procrastinate when the Path is already clear for that next great leap.

Additionally in terms of spiritual growth Tiger offers you incredible strength. Sometimes the Universe uses tests as learning tools. These can weary the spirit of the traveler but Tiger stands ready to lend a powerful paw that keeps you going. Tigers are known for their amazing bursts of energy in the wild, and you can tap that for any challenge you face.

People with a Tiger Spirit Animal often yearn for adventure, and they can stare down a statue! There is little that can stand in Tiger’s way when it wants something. The caution here is avoiding a selfish agenda. This typically happens early in the spiritual relationship. As you mature with Tiger, that temptation comes under greater control. In the meanwhile use a chrysoprase crystal to help.

If your spirit animal is a Tiger your relationships and sexual expressions are very intense. You love fully and have a strong desire to parent. Female tigers revel in their motherhood roles and keep their young close for lessons.

Tiger Totem Animal

If you know someone who has Tiger as their Totem Animal, they can assist you in times when you feel a bit lost, particularly morally or ethically. Tiger people have an independent streak – and need periodic alone time even if their partner understands them completely.

Wild Tigers have excellent night vision. This means that a Tiger Totem’s spiritual effects improve at night by the light of the moon, particularly if you’re working on various forms of psychic abilities. Tigers, like other cats, also respond deeply to touch, meaning those with the Tiger Totem are likely very adept at psychometry.

Carry a Tiger Totem carving when you hit the road looking for adventure! This is particularly useful for the globetrotter wanting to immerse themselves in other cultures with all the ideas and flavors they offer. The fact that Tigers have excellent hearing makes this experience all the more fulfilling as the small things that others might overlook, you’ll catch on the edge of your awareness with Tiger totem as an ally.

Tiger Power Animal

Call on Tiger as your Power Animal when you need renewed confidence. There is nothing uncertain with Tiger energy and medicine – this cat is the perfect embodiment of elegant power. As Tiger energy guides she teaches self-actualization – you begin to feel comfortable in your own skin and even revel in it. That is why Tigers often come to those who have poor body images or love self-esteem.

In terms of spiritual growth and awareness, Tiger is all about keeping your eye on the prize. Whatever your goals are energetically, Tiger as a Power Animal provides tireless discipline and energy. From a Shamanic standpoint Tiger symbolizes healing, the immune system and clearing environmental toxins from your system.

Native American Tiger Symbolic Meanings

As Tigers are not indigenous to the Americas, no accounting of them is found (that I know of) in Native American lore and legend.

Tiger as a Celtic Animal Symbol

Though the Celts did not speak directly of Tigers (that I could find), there is mention in some texts of “great cats”.

Tiger Dreams

Dreaming about Tigers often represents your personal will. Tigers confront challenges, so Tiger dreams could be a sign that you are literally being advised to find that “tiger’s fighting spirit”. Running from a Tiger symbolizes hiding from an emotional situation or personal longing.

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***Special Note About Comments***

WhatIsMySpiritAnimal.com is SO blessed to receive TONS of readers and commenters from all over the globe. We have thousands of participants and I would love to personally respond to each comment and question. Though I'm trying to figure out how to be more like the Octopus and have eight arms to work with, for now I only have two. This means I can only respond as time allows. If your Spirit, Totem, or Power Animal question is deeply important to you, perhaps you'll consider booking a Shamanic Spirit Animal Reading with me.


  1. Tina April 9, 2017 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    I read the toad totem of the tiger and yes it fits me to a tee and I’m glad that it was on here so I can learn some more thank you

  2. Sandra July 4, 2017 at 11:46 pm - Reply

    Thank you for these thorough explanations, helping me to better unterstand my totem animal, the tiger.

  3. Sandra July 5, 2017 at 12:17 am - Reply

    Is there a special way to create the totem carving? And someone once told me that you are not to reveal your spirit or totem animal to outsiders. Is that right, or does it not matter? Thank you.

  4. Lisa September 8, 2017 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    So had some heartbreak this week with my eldest of 8 children. I dreamt of a small white and black striped tiger with splashes of bright orange. It was in a small container cooped up, and I instantly fell in love with it. I had to take this home. I asked the woman of the house if I could have it, she explained as soon as her son gets home, she’ll see if she could give it to me. He argued with her son and I ended up with it and woke up. Any idea?

  5. Trish November 10, 2017 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    I had an amazing vision dream…I emerged up from water…looking out into this beautiful universe…I saw a white tiger walking towards a beautiful Indian lady…she was dressed in colorful traditional clothing…sitting by the water…she was singing or humming a beautiful sweet tune…the universe was ever so present…as it glistened when she swirled her hand in the water…it sent ripples throughout meeting up at the paws of the white tiger…I was trying to warn thos lady…before I could even say anything…The tiger pounced up on her…as she turned to great this powerful spirit…she smiled with love so strong.. .I heard the tiger speak…in a beautiful voice I have heard many times… (mine)…say “I miss you mama”…the beautiful lady just smiled and hugged the tiger back…then I woke up…

    • Rachel July 27, 2018 at 6:37 am - Reply

      wow <3 that's beautiful. thank you for sharing it!

  6. Jason January 19, 2018 at 2:39 am - Reply

    Last night I saw a tiger in my dream. That’s why I want to learn more about how to use its power, confidence, and a lot more. I mean, who doesn’t want to know how to tame the tiger spirit animal?? Anyway, thank you.

  7. Natosha Dominguez-Carreon July 7, 2018 at 11:36 am - Reply

    The Tiger Totem fit me to a T so bad when i read bout the self-esteme i got emotional and was actually crying n i could notstop it from happening. Thankfully i stopped in like a min. Why would that happen for? My main question is, what if you dont dream about a tiger or any animal infact? I strongly believe in the native culture for my dads parents were both cherokee indian and my mothers side is blackfoot indian. Can you please help me understand why i dont dream bout tigers nor any other animal? Thank you

  8. Rachel July 27, 2018 at 6:35 am - Reply

    Thanks a lot for this! Re. tigers not being native to North America, in Ontario and thereabouts, there are rock paintings of what they call a waterpanther, which could be a tiger that used to live here, since tigers like water, or maybe a spiritual being. Anyway, they may have lived here before, or may not have…. but the stories tell of them, and it sounded like you had not heard of these so I thought I’d let you know 🙂 just look up water panther, or underwater panther. and rock paintings. I just found some but your website won’t allow it to be posted here. All the best. peace and light.

    • Simran Gulati July 31, 2018 at 5:45 am - Reply

      Hi Rachel,

      I have heard about them for me what Tigers represents is the ‘stand alone Quality’ which apply’s to humans as well,

  9. Simran Gulati July 31, 2018 at 5:41 am - Reply

    My Chinese zodiac is a tiger, and even before I knew tigers are my guiding and spiritual animal in real life since childhood was fascinated with these big cats, now working with various organizations to save this majestic cats in the wild

    Thanks & Regards
    Simran Gulati
    Helping Paws Rescues

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