The Real Meaning Of An Iris Tattoo

Many flowers carry significant meaning, but none more so than the iris. According to Greek Mythology, these were the flowers that would grow in the wake of the Greek goddess Iris. The female counterpart of Hermes, she would travel on a rainbow to deliver messages from the heavens to the earth. Iris also guided female souls to heaven (via FTD by Design), and people still plant purple irises on the graves of their loved ones for Iris to find and guide them.

While purple may be the most common shade of iris, the flowers come in a rainbow of different hues. According to Petal Republic, there are over 200 species of irises across the world that bloom in a variety of different shades, including red, yellow, purple, orange, and blue.

Irises are known for their intricate petals and patterns and are regarded as one of the most beautiful flowers in the world. Combined with their significant meaning in Greek mythology, it's no wonder this subject has become a popular flower tattoo in recent years.

Iris tattoos can be an excellent choice for lovers of Greek Mythology

A common meaning behind an iris tattoo is its connection to Greek mythology. Like many other mystical beliefs and folklore, the wonder surrounding the gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece can make for some pretty intricate and creative tattoo designs. As Fleur Noire Tattoo artist Frida Sedwick told Bustle, "Greek mythology opens a gateway to a land of magical possibilities that can be accessed by anyone of any age."

And thanks to the array of design possibilities within the art of tattooing, there are various options to choose from when figuring out how you want an iris to be depicted. This is especially true for color tattoos, as you can either go for a more traditional piece of artwork or opt for a delicate watercolor look. Delicate or fine line flower tattoo designs are also a popular choice these days (via Glamour). Still, it all depends on what you want the iris to represent.

Iris tattoos can signify a variety of meanings depending on their color

According to TattMag, iris tattoos can be viewed as a "symbol of wisdom, innocence, determination, greatness, passion, hope, faith, and royalty," depending on your chosen color. White irises are linked with innocence and faith, as are many other flowers, whereas blue irises can denote "the pursuit of wisdom." In contrast, orange irises are perfect for "people who are strong-willed" and "eager to learn." Purple irises are often linked with royalty, like the color itself. They can represent "courage, nobility, and prestige." It's also the color of irises planted at women's graves for the Greek Goddess Iris to find and guide their souls to heaven (via FTD by Design).

Outside of colors, irises are one of the birth flowers for those born in February — alongside primrose and violet (via Petal Republic). So if you want to honor your birth month in a less obvious way than a date or star sign, irises make the perfect birthday tattoo.