Flower tattoo meanings
Because flowers come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and because they are typically viewed as beautiful and pure, flowers are a popular design for tattoos, especially for women. Don’t go thinking that flower tattoos are only for women though; many men also incorporate flower tattoos into their designs, often as a small image in a much larger piece. Although flowers used in flower tattoo designs are often beautiful, flower tattoos aren’t just pretty pieces of body art; they often represent age-old symbolism, the nature of which depends on their design. For this reason, it’s important that those of you considering getting a flower tattoo take the time to read ahead and learn about all the different flower tattoo meanings before going under the needle. Flower tattoos are a great tattoo design for both men and women, and the variety of flower tattoo meanings offers an opportunity to make your flower tattoo truly your own.
Lotus flower tattoo meaning
One of the most popular flower tattoo designs features the lotus flower, which is known not only for its beauty but also for its important symbolism. Lotus flowers begin their lives in the muck and mud in the bottom of a pond and grow towards the surface and the light. It isn’t until they emerge at the surface of the water that they flower into the beautiful, colorful flowers we often see covering ponds. Because of this natural voyage from darkness to light, lotus flower tattoos have come to be regarded as a metaphor for life, and are most popular among people who have suffered through a difficult time and are now coming out of it.
In ancient Egypt, the meaning of a lotus flower tattoo was rejuvenation, immortality and rebirth, and it was also linked to the sun god, Ra. In China, a lotus flower tattoo meaning stands for connectedness, love, unity and marriage. For Buddhists and Hindus, lotus flowers symbolize enlightenment and purity, the essence of human nature. In the Indian language Sanskrit, the lotus flower represents fertility and the divine womb. Overall, lotus flower tattoo meanings represent the perfection of beauty and are a symbol of spiritual growth.
Hibiscus flower tattoo meaning
The hibiscus flower is the state flower of Hawaii and is proudly worn in hibiscus flower tattoos by both men and women. Ancient Hawaiians and Polynesian cultures traditionally used tattoos as a mark of status, and they were typically inked in black and white tribal designs with geometric shapes. The reason Hawaiian tattoos were inked in black was because the ancient method of tattooing, called “kakau” in Hawaii, involved cutting the skin open and pouring “ink” (often made up of kukui nuts and sugarcane juice) inside the wound where it would dry up and leave a permanent black “tattoo.” With the influence of Western culture however, more organic and contemporary Hawaiian images like the hibiscus flower have been incorporated into tattoo designs and have also used color to add an exotic touch.
The hibiscus flower tattoo is an image commonly used on its own or as a part of a larger tattoo design. Because hibiscus flowers are beautiful but only bloom for a short period of time each day, the meaning of hibiscus flower tattoos sometimes stands for making the most out of life, or seizing opportunities. Hibiscus flower tattoo meanings can also symbolize fragility, purity, a native Hawaiian background, or simply beauty.
Hawaiian flower tattoo meaning
Because the hibiscus is the state flower of Hawaii, this particular flower tattoo design is probably the one you see most commonly in Hawaiian flower tattoos. However, there are a number of other Hawaiian flowers that make great tattoo designs as well, including plumerias, orchids, anthuriums and birds of paradise. The anthurium is a popular choice for Hawaiian flower tattoos because it looks just like a heart and it is bright red in color. Anthuriums are one of the most popular flowers transported from Hawaii, and they symbolize hospitality. The meaning of an orchid flower tattoo, on the other hand, could stand for any number of things, including strength, luxury, love, beauty and magnificence. Dendrobium orchids in particular are popular Hawaiian flower tattoo designs because they are shaped like butterflies. Finally, the birds of paradise flower resembles a bird in flight and is a dramatic choice for a Hawaiian flower tattoo because it is so vibrant and colorful. Just like its name suggests, the birds of paradise flower tattoo represents paradise and joy. Because Hawaii is viewed as a natural and beautiful island, Hawaiian flower tattoo meanings have come to symbolize a person’s respect for beauty, purity and femininity.
Lily flower tattoo meaning
Lily flowers have a number of meanings, including faith, purity, renewal, and innocence, and lilies are also the totem flowers of mothers, representing fertility and nurturing. The meaning of a lily flower tattoo could also be unity, partnerships or long-lasting relationships, which is why these flowers are commonly associated with weddings. Greek myth associates the lily with birth and is a symbol for motherhood because the flower was said to have been created from the breast milk of Hera. The lily also held masculine qualities for the Greeks however, and the flower came to symbolize high eroticism and sexuality. According to Christian beliefs, the lily is a symbol of chastity, piety and innocence, and is often associated with the Virgin Mary. More specifically, the stem of the lily is said to represent Mary’s religiously faithful mind, the lily petals her purity and virginity, the scent her divinity, and the leaves her humility. Other meanings of a lily flower tattoo could be elegance, clarity and encouragement, or the tattoo may also be seen as a symbol of peace, rest and tranquility.
Tribal flower tattoo meaning
The great thing about tribal tattoos is that you can take virtually any design and make it a tribal tat just by adding an element of traditional tribal design. You may expect to see flower tattoos, for example, as colorful and vibrant tats, but they are also often incorporated into larger tattoos, many of which follow the traditional Hawaiian, Polynesian or Maori design of tribal tattoos. Because tribal tattoos date back to ancient civilizations, a tribal flower tattoo meaning could represent the wearer’s cultural background (native Hawaiian, for example), or could just be an interesting way to spice up a popular flower tattoo. Adding a tribal element doesn’t necessarily change the meaning of a flower tattoo, although it does make the tattoo appear more symmetrical or geometric in design.
Cherry blossom flower tattoo meaning
Cherry blossom tattoos are popular in both Chinese and Japanese cultures, although the tattoo design has a very different meaning in each context. For the Chinese, cherry blossoms symbolize power, usually associated with feminine beauty and sexuality or dominance. Women who view themselves as strong-willed and who appreciate their freedom and self-confidence might opt for a cherry blossom flower tattoo meaning power. In Japanese cultures however, cherry blossom tattoo meanings represent the Buddhist belief of the transitory nature of life. The cherry blossom is a delicate flower that blooms for a very short period of time, and, because of this, cherry blossom tattoos in Japan have come to symbolize the fragility of human existence and our short time on this Earth. This flower tattoo meaning might lead men or women to get a cherry blossom tattoo, either on its own or incorporated in a larger piece, as a symbol of admiring life.
Flower tattoo designs
Now that you know the meanings behind some of the most popular flower tattoos out there, it’s time to choose which flower tattoo meaning suits you best! Some people opt for flower tattoos just because they are pretty or look good on them, but it’s just not the same as choosing a flower tattoo because it tells a story that you find inspirational, beautiful or true to your life. For instance, if you like how cherry blossom tattoos look, but you don’t necessarily see yourself as a domineering woman or as lamenting our fleeting human existence, a cherry blossom flower tattoo may not be a good option for you. Choose instead the hibiscus flower tattoo, which is associated with beauty and purity, or the lotus flower tattoo, which has come to symbolize spiritual growth or successfully overcoming obstacles. Remember, regardless of which flower tattoo you choose, make sure you know exactly what the tat means before you get it permanently inked on your body! There’s nothing worse than getting a flower tattoo meant to symbolize beauty and life, only to discover that it actually stands for death or sleep, like the poppy flower.