Wisdom, Fleur-de-lis, faith, hope, valor, passion.
Next to the ubiquitous rose, the Iris is the most highly symbolized flower. It is the emblem of France, represents valued friendships and is associated with the 25th wedding anniversary. In Greek mythology, the goddess of the rainbow, Iris transported women's souls to the underworld, becoming the flower associated with death. Armed with a valid passport to the dark side, Iris became a messenger of the gods and stood for "good news" or a "message". Its three petals came to symbolize faith, valor, and wisdom.
Flowers as tattoo designs and symbols can be far more than just pretty pictures on pretty girls. Flowers are the embodiment of nature and concise symbols of the cycle of birth, life, procreation, death and rebirth. Specific flowers have come to represent a myriad of different beliefs in different cultures. In the East, the lotus flower has tremendous spiritual significance, as does the rose in the West. Similarly, the tremendous spectrum of colors present in flowers can have symbolic importance; white for purity, red for passion, or to represent the blood of Christ are but a few examples.
The shape of the flower, it's receptive cup-like form and it's passive role in fertilization, has been long been seen as a symbol of the feminine.
The symbolism of flowers remains largely hidden from us today. We encounter it daily, however, in art, literature, folklore, and mythology, the mystery and magnificence waiting to be found. It is also found in the old remedies of apothecaries and herbalists, for flowers not only brought joy, happiness and messages of love, but were used to heal the sick and encourage the dying during their last journey through this life.
Below you will find a gallery of inspirational images that will help you in your quest of creating the perfect Iris tattoo.