The real meaning of a black rose tattoo

Move over red roses, a black rose is the new hot ink to get. What makes this type of tattoo so popular is the obvious beauty but also the complex meaning behind the design (via tattooseo). Whether you're interested in the more traditional route or going for a 3D design of the black rose, it's guaranteed to be gorgeous. 

In Greek Mythology, Aphrodite, the goddess of love, is said to have bled onto white roses when a thorn pricked her, turning roses red. This means that most red rose tattoos are a symbol of love (via Thoughtful Tattoos). So, what about black rose tattoos? Before you get inked, you should know that a black rose actually has several meanings.

What does a black rose tattoo symbolize?

The most common meaning for a black rose tattoo is grief and death (via 500Tattoos). Since black is a color associated with death, people often get this tattoo in memory of someone who has passed away (via Underground Ink). In the West, black is the color associated with grief, however, in the East, the color associated with grief is white (via Funeral Guide). 

Another thing the black rose tattoo can indicate is rebellion and strength. Irish warriors used black roses as a symbol of rebellion against the British. In the 16th century there was even a song called "The Little Black Rose," which was a devotion song to the strength that the Irish had during their battles (via Irish American Mom). 

Lastly, black tattoos can mean hope and courage. Sailors would often get black rose tattoos before leaving home if they weren't certain that they would return, as a way to symbolize doing something courageous and as a sign of hope that they would.

A black rose means what you want it to mean

In other words, the black rose tattoo does not have to be a sinister symbol. The rising popularity probably has a lot to do with the many differing meanings that are attached to the image. Tattoos, at the end of the day, are unique to the person (and hey, it's totally okay if a black rose just looks cool to you). The most important part of the process of getting inked is for you to research tattoo artists and find a portfolio that fits your style. But if it's a black rose you're going for, you've now got a few insider tips to consider before taking the permanent plunge