Hibiscus, Lilies, and Poppies, Oh my!
On to part two of our flower saga. Yes, I could go on about flowers all day! That’s why this blog topic will take a few parts. I want to give you guys small doses and keep you interested. So, stick around on this daisy chain with me.
The Lily is one of the most elegant and versatile of flowers because of its popularity and varied meanings throughout many cultures. The origin of the white lily comes from Greece and the Madonna lily that is native to the area. In classical mythology, this flower is a symbol that represents the Divine Feminine, as is rumored to have sprung from the milk of the Queen of Gods, Hera. Perfection, purity, compassion, virtue, and mourning are all associated with the lily tattoo. Throughout historical European art, its connotation in Christianity is represented and associated with the Virgin Mary. This representation portrays faith, purity, divinity, and humility. The French icon of heraldry, the fleur-de-lis, is a stylized form of the lily and is said to represent the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). The water lily is a symbol of the Egyptian God Nefertem, who is the representation of creation and linked to the first sunrise. It is thought in this culture to be a symbol birth and death, as the flower opens and closes with the rising and setting sun. As you see, this flower is heavy connected to spirituality, and upholds many symbols that mimic the vastness of its beauty.
The Hibiscus flower is another one with great popularity, but its meanings are more simplistic in nature. These interpretations can vary from tattoo to tattoo in context of the color, size, and the work that surrounds it. It is widely used in Japanese art with the singular meaning of, gentle. Similarly, in the Chinese culture, this flower stands for gentleness, virginity, and wealth. In Malaysia, it represents honor and courage, whereas in Korea it signifies immortality. The hibiscus is most well known throughout the islands of Hawaii. In the Hawaiian Islands, the hibiscus portrays power, royalty, respect, and their Hawaiian heritage. It is known that Hawaiian people will often tattoo this flower instead of inking their beloved’s name, as a symbol of devotion and loyalty. When choosing your hibiscus, you can signify meaning also with the color.
Red hibiscus – Love, passion, desire
Yellow hibiscus – Friendship
Purple hibiscus – Wealth, royalty
Blue hibiscus – Fertility, serenity
Pink hibiscus – Rare beauty
White hibiscus – Enlightenment
The Poppy is a commonly seen tattoo that holds strong to one singular meaning. Death and eternal sleep are the ground that the poppy grows from. Since the beginning of time, the poppy has been associated with sleep and death because of the opiate that it yields and the shade of blood red that it wears. These beautiful flower tattoos point subtle reference to feelings of death and peace. Poppies have become a form of memorial art, that gives remembrance to loved ones who have passed on. They can portray loneliness, but also death as a new beginning. In ancient Greece, the poppy is associated with the god of dreams, while in the Aztec culture, the god of death is seen with poppies and is meant to be a symbol of demise and oblivion. Currently in Britain, these flowers are used as a symbol of the victims during the Second World War, indicating the memory of a deceased relative. In some cultures, the poppy takes on a less depressive note symbolizing love and prosperity. It is used as a symbol of everlasting beauty for the Romans, and represents loyalty between lovers in Chinese mythology. This androgynous flower can exist singularly or surrounded by others, bringing life and meaning to a dynamic tattoo.
Come see me again next week so we can add more flowers to your bouquet!
“Summer set lips to the earth’s bosom bare,
And left the flushed print in a poppy there.” -Francis Thompson, “The Poppy,” 1891-