Our symbolism of the rose is one that is rooted in love, passion. It is a thorny flower that offers us a look at what we deem to be love and affection, whether as scattered petals or wrapped up in a bouquet. This flower has ancient connotations with love, excess, and passion, not to mention significant cultural respect all over the world. The rose is recognized everywhere as an important, ubiquitous flower that holds deep meaning and respect.
The Romans used rose incense and petals to showcase their wealth, as the flower requires attention and cultivating throughout the seasons. Romans were also the inventor of the term “sub rosa” which literally means “under the rose” as a phrase of confidentiality. When placed in banquet halls, conversation was meant to be confidential and kept under wraps while the roses were “present”. Since its petals were edible, many emperors took the liberty of adding the flower to dishes of all kinds for a flourish of red color and bountiful beauty.
As well as this, modern takes on the symbolism of the rose include the persistence of love and compassion throughout someone’s life. Hope is another strong emotion that is associated with this flower, whether it’s the hope of love or for any other sort of zealous feeling that someone might have in their life. This nature of the rose gives it an air of mystery that can make it seem very enigmatic at first glance.
The Mysterious Rose of the Tarot
In the Tarot, the rose is shown on four different cards:
- The Magician, as a creator and keeper of wisdom.
- The Fool, with a white rose meaning purity and a peaceful mind.
- Death, as something knowable, intentional and irreverent.
- Strength, the mind and body balance.
These different cards have given the rose many faces, making each petal seem as though it tells a story. The complexity of design lends itself to a complexity of emotions, which make it ideal for individuals who want to tell a story through their art. Since everyone’s story is unique, each rose requires its own color and story too. Your story may align with one of these ideals, or perhaps many of them in combination with one another. It’s up to you how to best express what you’re trying to convey with your art, and how it will look to those who may see it.
The complex nature of the rose makes it one of the most beautiful flower tattoos to design and draw for tattoo artists. A rose tattoo meaning love won or lost has been popular throughout the ages as a symbol of the highest level of passion. Beauty is in balance with emotion with this flower, and no other can replicate its beauty and historical significance.
Rose tattoo design has evolved over the ages, and traditionally offered a look at the unique passions of the person who wears it. A rose shoulder tattoo can be a large and “in charge” way of showing off your art and passion, without having it be literally on your sleeve. Wherever you decide to put it, roses were meant to be seen and spoken of as any flower, marveling at their beauty and telling the story of how they came to be in full blossom.
Small rose hand tattoos are a popular design for modern customers, as they are a tiny representation of something that can be largely powerful. Oftentimes, the color of the rose is considered to be just as important to its meaning. Throughout the ages, various colors have come to be seen as demonstrating the most impactful aspects of the rose, and careful cultivation has lent itself to many different variations.
- pink roses symbolize innocence, a new love, or remembrance of a loved one.
- a black rose tattoo can mean the loss of a loved one, in a way that represents the compassion of the flower along with the dark bleakness or reminder of death, though not always so somber as much as a memorial.
- white roses are more mysterious, with sacred connotations and a spiritual meaning.
- yellow roses are for joyous celebration, are more lackadaisical, and comforting, representing a solid relationship with oneself or another person.
Since a roses’ color indicates its meaning, you can research into the many different ways that it has been symbolized over the years. Black and red roses tend to be the most popular and powerful of all the emotive flowers, and they constitute a large majority of what artists tend to design for their customers.
Something else to keep in mind when designing a rose tattoo are the number of flowers that end up in your final design. Whether you are representing yourself and your spouse or loved one, two roses are traditionally the most loving number, as they go hand in hand or next to one another. Two flowers together symbolizes the beauty of togetherness and the closeness of the heart, especially if the roses are red. More than two roses often takes the role of an outburst of love, whether it be for family or friends, and the compassion of caring for people.
Understanding the Rose’s Beauty
When you’re designing your rose tattoo, keep in mind all of these symbols, colors, and historical traditions. The timeless nature of this flower’s beauty makes it one of the most endearing classic-style tattoos. Many artists will have stylized representations of traditional artwork that will pique your interest, and you might even have some new ideas for them as well. Since the rose is so universally known around the world, take a look at what other cultures use it for, or how their designs influence your decision as to what kind of art you want in your piece.
While you might see many rose tattoos out there in the world, know that each one is as unique as the flower itself, with a blooming possibility of hope, love, balance and passion.
Ready to find your Rose tattoo?
Our talented tattoo artists at Chronic Ink Tattoo would love to work with you. Wether you are looking for a Black & Grey Realism Rose or an American Traditional tattoo style rose, we’ve got artists that are comfortable and confident tattoo in any style.
378 Yonge Street,
252 Eglinton Ave East,
7381 Kennedy Road,
100 City Centre Dr.,
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