Rose Tattoos A Meaning In Every Petal

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Roses have always been associated with love and death. The ancient Greeks believed that the first rose was created when Chloris, the goddess of flowers, came upon a dying wood nymph and transformed her into a flower.

Then the goddess of love, Aphrodite, gave the flower its beauty, and the god of wine, Dionysus, contributed an intoxicating fragrance. Beauty, love, intoxication, and death, all in one package; add thorns for a hint of sorrow and danger, and you have the perfect symbol of the human condition

So is it any wonder that the rose tattoo has, for both men and women, become one of the most widely requested of all tattoo designs?

Not only is the rose loaded with symbolic meaning; its can be represented as anything from a single small bud or open bloom, or as a garland or bouquet of blossoms, and with or without thorns. It can have flowing ribbons with names of loved ones, tattooed in remembrance or as a pledge of eternal devotion.

One ancient Roman legend is that the god of silence, Harpocrates, happened to witness Venus, the goddess of love, engaging in an illicit sexual encounter. Venus’ son Cupid, the god of love, bribed Harpocrates with a rose to guarantee his silence.

The Romans took their myths seriously, and the ceilings of Roman banquet rooms were festooned with roses as a reminder to those reclining at the tables. What was revealed from wine-loosened lips of wine was heard “sub rosa,” and would remain confidential.

A rose tattoo positioned in a very private place and known only to a lover can honor the tradition of the rose as a symbol of secrecy. But rose tattoos can also be worn visibly and proudly, as most men wear them, on the arm.

Even the color of a rose tattoo can add layers to its meaning; the Victorians actually had a “language” of flowers and by sending different varieties of blooms in different colors to those they admired could communicate symbolically all the romantic feelings their conventions would no let them say in person.

Rose tattoos, alone or combined with other flowers, can communicate a very private message in a very public way.

While the most requested color for rose tattoos is red, signifying love, romance, courage, and beauty, the blue rose tattoo is gaining in popularity, and has an intriguing history.

There are no naturally blue roses, and although research is ongoing to create one, the blue rose tattoo represents mystery and the quest to achieve the impossible. Some legends suggest that the blue rose can magically grant wishes or restore youth.

Rose tattoos, like the actual flowers, can beckon and entice, or hint of danger. Rose tattoos can suggest purity and innocence, or unbridled passion. Rose tattoos can be worn in remembrance of loved ones who have moved on or as pledges of undying love through all the years ahead.

A rose tattoo, in other words, can speak volumes about you, and all you need to do is tell your tattoo artist what you want yours to say!

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