Here's What A Lotus Tattoo Really Means

Flower tattoos are extremely common — one hardly bats an eye to see a rose or lily gracing someone's arm. While people often have their own reasons for choosing a flower tattoo design, certain types of flowers have meaning beyond personal preference. Red roses, for instance, are associated with romantic love and passion (via Flower Glossary), while lilies are associated with purity (via Flower Glossary). But another flower symbol you may often see in tattoo form is a lotus blossom. Lotus blossoms have fascinating life cycles — they generally live in wetlands and grow from the murk and mud at the bottom of still water (arguably a gross, dark place) and reach out into the air and open to the light of the sun. 

Each night, the flowers return underneath the water, but in the morning they are reborn again, blooming without an ounce of the murk they came from hindering their blossoming. It is this repeated imagery that has given the lotus spiritual significance in many religions, including Buddhism, and practices such as meditation (via Flower Glossary and Yoga Journal).   

Here's what a lotus tattoo can actually mean

The lotus is native to a surprising number of places from the Middle East to China to Australia, and has survived countless ecological and environmental changes, gracing the planet with its beauty for an astounding 145 million years (via Flower Glossary). It was revered by the ancient Egyptian leaders, valued amongst Buddhist monks, and seen as a symbol of the gods and goddesses in Vietnamese and Indian culture. It is also a symbol that appears often in yoga (via Yoga Journal). 

So when people choose to get a lotus blossom tattooed onto their bodies, they may be celebrating their ability to rise from the muddy waters of life and bloom into the light. A difficult situation may have motivated them to find peace in imperfect circumstances and environments, to reach toward the higher light of god or spirituality, making the lotus flower an attractive symbol. Maybe someone who chooses a lotus tattoo has aligned themselves with a particular religion or spiritual practice that uses the flower in its imagery, and they want to commemorate their practice. Perhaps the only reason someone chooses a lotus flower tattoo is because it looks great, which if that's the case, more power to them. 

No matter the motivation behind the tattoo, the lotus is a beautiful symbol, with even more meaning behind it.