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TATTOO DESIGNS & SYMBOLS - FLOWER TATTOOS
Tattoo Symbol Index -
Tattoo designs - F >>
Flower Tattoo Meanings -
Flowers as tattoo designs and symbols can be far more than just
pretty pictures on pretty girls. Flowers are the embodiment of
nature and concise symbols of the cycle of birth, life, procreation,
death and rebirth. Specific flowers have come to represent a myriad
of different beliefs in different cultures. In the East, the
lotus flower has tremendous spiritual significance, as does the
rose in the West.
Similarly, the tremendous spectrum of colours present in flowers can
have symbolic importance; white for purity, red for passion, or to
represent the blood of Christ are but a few examples.
The symbolism of flowers remains largely hidden from us today. We
encounter it daily, however, in art, literature, folklore, and
mythology, the mystery and magnificence waiting to be found. It is
also found in the old remedies of apothecaries and herbalists, for
flowers not only brought joy, happiness and messages of love, but
were used to heal the sick and encourage the dying during their last
journey through this life.
The shape of the flower, it's receptive cup-like form and it's
passive role in fertilization, has been long been seen as a symbol
of the feminine.
Flowers have inspired us for as long as we could see, smell and
touch them. As girl's names, they became synonymous with sweetness,
beauty and healing, and with even more abstract qualities such as
nobility, serenity, and innocence. Not only were flowers a source of
delight and cheer in themselves, but they lent themselves to the
imagination and fancy of the human mind. Their colour, shape, scent
and unique characteristics have given rise to myriad myths and
characters whose names were synonymous with the flowers themselves.
Next to the ubiquitous
iris is the most highly symbolized
flower. As the Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris transported
women's souls to the underworld, becoming the flower associated with
death. Armed with a valid passport to the dark side, Iris became a
messenger of the gods and stood for "good news" or a "message".
Its three petals came to symbolize faith, valor, and wisdom.
With Christianity, the triple petals of the Iris came to symbolize
the Holy Trinity. The colours of the Iris -blue and white-
became associated with the Virgin Mary. The Archangel Gabriel is
depicted holding the flower in his hand when he appeared to her,
establishing it as a symbol of purity. In Medieval England,
noblewomen often took the Iris as a symbol of virtue and had its
image incorporated into a personal seal. In the fifth century, the
French monarchy adopted the Iris into the heraldic coat of arms --
the fleur de lis -- which remains synonymous with all things French.
The Violet, Hyacinth, and
Narcissus are all flowers with names
derived from Greek mythology. The Violet, for instance, took its
name from the little nymph Io, much loved by Zeus. To avoid his wife's jealousy, Zeus changed Io into a heifer and put her in a
field of sweet violets -- all she could eat! The modest Violet
became a great favourite through the ages with its sweet perfume and
heart-shaped leaves. During Medieval times it was seen as a
symbol of faithful love, humility and chastity. In Victorian London,
flower girls in the streets did a brisk business selling bunches of
violets to the young ladies of the day. In ancient Rome, however,
the violet was a funeral flower and symbol of peace. Even today, the
colour purple is a symbol for mourning.
The Anemone and
Poppy are two more flowers associated with death and
sleep. The latter, of course, has come to symbolize fallen
soldiers of the two World Wars. The Anemone is featured in the
myth of Aphrodite mourning the death of Adonis -- the flower sprung
from her tears.
Fairies sleep in the closed petals of the Anemone, waking as the
petals open in the morning, while the Opium Poppy became the symbol
of sleep and oblivion. But the Anemone has a whole different meaning
in the folklore of the middle ages, when it was a symbol of
protection against evil.
The natural simplicity of the Daisy, Snowdrop
and Bluebell has inspired lovers, artists, and poets to sing their
praises, but all carry a warning. The Daisy may be a symbol of
innocence, but it warns that a suitor may be untrue. The Bluebell,
while connoting constancy and everlasting love, is known to be an
unlucky flower to pick. Likewise the Snowdrop, which
symbolizes hope and the return to life after the long winter, is
highly poisonous and unlucky to bring into the house.
Flowers were once the lover's sweetest weapon at a time when
propriety forbade passionate declarations of love. A bouquet
contained coded intentions, and the Victorians became especially
skilled in the secret language of flowers. The
Primrose each had something unique to say whenever
they appeared in a bouquet. The white Carnation, believed to be an
aphrodisiac, symbolized betrothal, love, and fertility, and became a
popular wedding flower. The yellow Carnation was reserved for
rejection, and red for an aching heart. Honeysuckle meant
undying love, and its perfume provoked dreams of passion. An
offering of the tiny primrose was a symbol of first love, and was
the sacred flower of Freya, the Norse goddess of love.
The popular Pansy was also called "Heartsease" for its ability to
cure love sickness. Carry this flower to ensure your
Get inspired by some really great images and photos in our
flower inspirational gallery.
Flower & Plant Tattoo Index,
Tattoos for Girls
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