Courage, Strength & Tiger Spirit Animal
The most common associations with tiger spirit animal are courage and strength, which are very easy to understand. Tiger has a fierce reputation known for preying on humans and taking down prey twice his own weight. The tiger is rivaled in size only by lions. There is no definitive evidence that tigers are, on average, bigger than lions, but, no matter, they are very, very big cats. Tigers can weigh upwards of 600 pounds and be over 9 feet long.
When we see someone overcome with ambition, drive or obsession, we often say “Whoa! Tiger!” to indicate they are getting out of control. This may trivialize the ferocity associated with symbolism of tiger, but it also serves as a reminder of tiger spirit animal’s intensity.
Spirit Animal Tiger Cutting to the Chase
The orange/gold and black stripes of tiger spirit animal are a key into lesser-known aspects of the tiger spiritual meaning. Morphologically, the stripes provide excellent camouflage in the dense forests and grasslands that tiger calls home. The broken pattern, different on every tiger, blends in with twigs, leaves, shadows and light.
The difference between the symbolic meanings of a tiger’s stripes versus a leopard’s spots is great. The leopard’s spots imply a softness and indirect nature with things coming around full circle.
The tiger’s stripes demonstrate a sharp directness, slicing through the darkness, and cutting to the chase. In the shamanic journeywork I do, I often find that the spirit animal tiger is great at slicing through chaos and confusion allowing for new levels of healing and transformation to breakthrough.
Tiger is not a long distance runner, so he must silently prowl for miles over his territory to stalk prey and pounce on them unsuspecting. There is commitment and passion in the focus of tiger spirit animal meaning. When it comes down to getting a job done, tiger spirit animal cuts straight to the chase.
Where in your life can you act swiftly and cut through the underbrush in your way? Ask tiger spirit animal for assistance.
Doubt and Conviction of the
Symbolism of Tiger
The light and dark stripes of tiger relate to pronounced opposites. In tiger’s case, the contrast has to do with the struggle between doubt and conviction.
The Buddha taught that “having killed a tiger the Brahmin, undisturbed, moves on.”
This comes from verse 295 in The Dhammapada and a Brahmin is translated as an “awakened one” or a spiritual guru or teacher.
In his translation of this important Buddhist text, Gil Fronsdal shares that this teaching about killing a tiger is not meant to be taken literally. Fronsdal says that to the Buddha, the tiger is symbolic of one of the five hindrances – doubt.
Overcoming doubt is attaining conviction. Therefore, in looking at the shadow and light attributes of tiger spirit animal meaning, we see that tiger can represent both sides. He can slice through doubt with conviction or degrade conviction with doubt.
Our struggles with doubt are intense, challenging and shattering. There is nothing soft and cuddly about what doubt can do to our own wellbeing and what we must do to doubt. We must be fierce in taking down indecision and hesitation. Tiger spirit animal is here to help.
Like the tattered fabric that tiger’s coat imitates, tiger spirit animal will tear our illusions to shreds allowing us to see the fault in our ways and find the conviction to move ahead.
When considering the tiger spirit animal meaning in your life, where are you struggling with doubt? The breakthrough from doubt to conviction is not meant to be pleasurable. Where can you let go of the need for things to be comfortable and embrace the call to be ruthless?
What Does a Tiger Represent –
The Chinese God Tsai Shen Yeh is often depicted sitting on a tiger relaxed and smiling. Tsai Shen Yeh is a supreme god of wealth ruling over abundance and good fortune. His position atop the tiger is meant to show his mastery over the fierce tiger.
When considering what does a tiger represent, it could be the unruly or unpredictable nature of fortune. Tiger is known for his wild nature and unpredictability. It is said that in good times Tsai Shen Yeh offers great prosperity and in bad times he protects against poverty, riding out whatever unexpected events life brings.
This takes on a different meaning all together when we think of the tiger as a dual symbol of doubt and conviction.
Doubt undermines our stability, especially when it comes to good fortune. So often, I have people come to me thinking they’ve seen a bad omen and fearing that bad luck will follow. Their fear steals from their good fortune.
The doubt that we won’t be able to ride out whatever twists and turns life sends degrades our peace. Fear of bad luck begets tension and unhappiness, the opposite image of Tsai Shen Yeh content on his tiger.
What omens are you trying to interpret to find confidence? Align with the medicine of tiger, stop watching omens, and turn your attention to dismantling the uncertainty that plagues your tranquility.
By mastering the battle with doubt, bad omens no longer carry significance. When we are riding the back of the tiger, we are prepared for whatever life brings. We know, in our heart of hearts, that we have the strength to do what it takes to absorb the abundance of life.
Want to learn more about spirit animals?
Visit the Spirit Animal Guide