When it comes to tattoo art, floral designs have been on the pinnacle of popularity among tattoo designs since the beginning of this art form. The variety in flowers used for creating floral tattoo designs is extensive, with choices like rose, cherry blossom, sunflower, lotus and daffodils, to name just a few. Lily tattoos are another one among floral tattoo designs, which have a considerable fan following because of its aesthetic beauty as well as symbolic value. This flower is of great significance in history and religion because it some special symbolic meanings in various cultures. Moreover, there are numerous varieties in lily flowers, each one having a unique color and a different meaning, making the flower symbolically richer than other flowers in nature.
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Symbolic Significance of Lily Flower
Symbolically, the lily flower represents a variety of meanings such as motherhood, purity, fertility, innocence, faith, passion, partnerships, union, renewal and transition. The association of lily with motherhood dates back to the ancient period of Greek gods and goddesses as it is believes to have been derived from the breast milk of the Greek goddess Hera. The legend narrates that Zeus wanted his illegitimate son Hercules to be fed by his wife Hera so that he could become God. He tricked Hera into sleep and had Hercules suckle her breast, which he did so vigorously that the milk overflowed from it and flowed towards the heaven, making the Milky Way. When the milk flowed back towards the earth, it became a white lily. Besides being revered as a symbol of fertility and motherhood, lily has a masculine aspect too and is known to signify sexuality and eroticism.
The flower was even used by old wives to determine the sex of an unborn child. The mother was asked to choose between a rose and a lily, if she chose a rose, she would give birth to a girl and if she chose a lily, she would deliver a boy. The reason behind this is that the long pistil of the lily flower is associated with a male phallus because of the close resemblance. Lily also occupies a place of reverence in Christianity religion because it is the symbolic of Virgin Mary. Its three petals are considered as the symbol of trinity, representing faith, hope and charity. Lily is also a vital part of Tarot symbolism, where it is related with purity, fertility and innocence. It can indicate birth and new relationship when read in relation with other cards, while they also stand for health, growth and development. Lily is the birth flower of the month of May and is also a customary gift for a couple celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary.
Different Lily Tattoo Flower Designs
As said before, lilies are available in different colors and varieties and the tattoos can be so depicted, depending upon what the bearer wants to convey through it. Here are some popular lily tattoo designs:
- White Lily Tattoos – White Lily tattoos are a popular choice among female bearers because they represent Virgin Mary, which is the reason why they are often referred to as Madonna lily. These tattoos also stand for love, life, transition and death or passing to a new stage of the next life.
- Lily of the Valley Tattoo – Lily of the Valley is one of the sweetest smelling flowers and has a legend behind it that it was formed by the tears of Eve as she and Adam were exiled from the heaven. This tattoo not only possesses ethereal beauty but also has rich symbolism behind it as it stands for humanity and devotion.
- Calla Lily Tattoo – Calla Lily tattoos make a popular variety among lily tattoos because of their elegance and charm. Symbolically, these flowers indicate love and purity.
- Peruvian Lily Tattoos – If you want to opt for a colorful tattoo design, then Peruvian lily tattoos would make a good choice for you as they come in a host of vibrant colors such as pink, red, yellow, orange, purple and white. The tattoo is popular among students as it is a symbol of graduation, which is why a number of students get it inked when they graduate from high school and college. Additionally, this tattoo is associated with friendship, devotion and commitment.
In addition to choosing one of these lily tattoos to be inked in solitude, one can also have some elegant design elements added to the basic lily tattoo design to make it more appealing and meaningful. The lily tattoo is equally popular among men and women as its meaning can be interpreted in both ways. Keeping in view the basic purpose of tattoo inking, which is to seek attention, the best placements for lily tattoos are the lower back, shoulder, arm, hip, calf, back of the neck and back of the ear. The ultimate choice of the placement however, depends upon the size of the design as well as the personal choice of the bearer.