One of the most requested designs of all times, and one that continues to be popular both among men and women is the rose tattoo. And while most people favor the rose tattoo for it’s grace and beauty there is a significant symbolic meaning behind those pretty petals. It’s a symbol of passion, chastity, and purity. The gift of a single red rose expresses romantic love while a thornless rose declares "love at first sight". Yellow roses are for joy, white for reverence, and light pink for sympathy and admiration. In medieval times, the white rose was the symbol of virginity. Countless tales and legends name the rose as a source of love and delight. According to the ancient Persians, the nightingale loved the white rose so much that the bird embraced it, piercing its heart and turning the rose red. And the rose’s beauty, variety, and exquisite scent have inspired lovers, saints and artists since humans first encountered it. Poems have been written of it and it has appeared in numerous forms of art. So, it’s only natural that mankind would immortalize this most sacred of flowers by tattooing it. Whether it’s your first tattoo or one of many, the rose tattoo can compliment any array of tattoo work.
The rose tattoo has enjoyed a varied and interesting history, much as the rose itself has. Early Christians associated the rose with their Roman enemies, hence it became a mark of scorn, but eventually it came to symbolize the survival of persecution. Later yet, won over by its fabulous beauty, Christians adopted the rose as a symbol of the miraculous. At least a dozen saints have their names linked with roses, like Saint Therese of Lisieux, also known as Saint Therese of the Roses. The Virgin Mary herself is called "The Mystical Rose". The first rosary is said to have consisted of roses, then later rose carved beads. Other religions have also embraced this flower and the rose tattoo in general. Ancient Hindu writings speak of the goddess Lakshmi being born of 108 large rose petals, and 1,108 smaller ones. In 15th century England, during the bloody War of the Roses, the red rose stood for the House of Lancaster, while the white rose represented the House of York. For the Romans and the Greeks, roses represented beauty and love. The story goes that Cleopatra had her palace strewn with rose petals to receive her lover, Mark Anthony. So, if your thinking about getting a rose tattoo then you would be in great company among the historical figures who have also loved the rose both as a flower and as a symbol.