Whether you’ve dabbled in ink a hundred times, or have never been to a parlor, knowing the meaning of a tattoo can be a really important part of your tattooing experience.
Orchids are one of the oldest flowers in the floral kingdom, there are over twenty-five-thousand types of orchids, and they can grow on every continent of the world!
It’s probably no surprise, then, that the flower has a variety of symbolic meanings. Considered to be a thing of beauty across the planet, this enigmatic flower is full of powerful symbolism, and makes a great choice for a tattoo!
This article will explore a few of this famous plant’s tattoo meanings, focusing on categories of orchid tattoos.
What Different Colored Orchid Tattoos Mean
One aspect that differentiates the symbols of an orchid tattoo is the choice of color. These interpretations are not specific to tattoos of orchids, but are true for real orchids, too.
Choosing a color for your orchid tattoo can therefore be an interesting part of the process.
White Orchid Tattoo
As is common with the symbolism that the color white carries, white orchids are thought to symbolize innocence and purity.
White orchids grow predominantly in tropical parts of the world, which means that they have a history of expensive importation to Europe. This has led the flower to symbolize luxury for the western world; it connotes wealth and exotic beauty.
White orchids also represent simplicity and hope. They are understated, but simultaneously eye-catching and admired.
Alongside these overwhelmingly positive meanings of a white orchid tattoo, it is also common practice to have white orchids at a funeral; a white orchid tattoo can also be an ode to a loved one that has passed.
Yellow Orchid Tattoo
Yellow often carries connotations of happiness and energy, and that is no different for a yellow orchid tattoo.
They are thought by many to be symbolic of friendship and positive bonds between people, as well as representative of new beginnings and opportunity.
Yellow also symbolizes warmth and openness, and when in the form of a tattoo, it can represent self-love and acceptance.
A yellow orchid tattoo could be perfect if you and your best friend are getting matching tattoos, or if you want to commemorate your personal growth and positivity.
Red Orchid Tattoo
The color red is commonly associated with romance, love, passion, and courage. However, it can also be a sign of danger or anger. All of these connotations are possible, too, in a red orchid tattoo.
Similarly to a tattoo of a red rose, a red orchid tattoo can act as a symbol of a deep passion and desire.
This could be to represent an intense romantic relationship in your life, or to commemorate your powerful capacity for love and vivaciousness in general.
Red orchid tattoos commonly evoke a sense of celebration and success – much like a red carpet event does – and can symbolize personal achievement and exclusivity.
Blue Orchid Tattoo
Blue orchids are extremely rare; a blue orchid tattoo can represent uniqueness, and rare beauty. Blue orchids have also been partnered with a sense of serenity and calmness, making a blue orchid tattoo a symbol of inner peace and tranquility.
Because of their association with peacefulness, blue orchid tattoos can also symbolize a spiritual awareness and meditative approach to life.
Blue is also often associated with honesty, loyalty and trust, so a blue orchid tattoo can also represent a strong and healthy relationship.
Purple Orchid Tattoo
Purple has long been partnered with royalty and the elite. This exclusiveness attached to the color is partly because of how difficult it once was to create purple ink, which meant that only those with extreme wealth or hierarchical dominance could afford to purchase purple items.
As orchid tattoos in themselves represent uniqueness and luxury, a purple orchid tattoo is particularly symbolic of regality and wealth.
From these connotations stemmed symbolism of respect and ambition; a purple orchid tattoo could also represent self-respect and motivation.
Pink Orchid Tattoo
Pink orchids are often exchanged between lovers; they’re a great gift if you want someone to know you’re romantically interested in them.
Because of this, one of the meanings of a pink orchid tattoo is love and romance. Perhaps in a slightly archaic light, pink orchids also represent femininity, because of the color’s historical association with girls and female innocence.
Therefore, a pink orchid tattoo can also represent your innate femininity and appreciation of your girlhood.
In a more modern sense, pink is often associated with the LGBTQ+ community. When combined with the tattoo’s representation of love, a pink orchid tattoo could also be symbolic of alliance with the LGBTQ+ community, and an affinity with queer love.
What Orchid Tattoos Mean to Different Cultures
As well as by color, orchid tattoos can also be separated into symbolic meanings by country or culture.
In the days of Aztec culture, orchids were considered to have altering powers. Many people believed that orchids were able to improve a person’s physical strength. Because of this, an orchid tattoo can represent great physical power.
In the Philippines, orchids are treasured as a mystical phenomenon. They are widely considered to be part of the fairy kingdom, and are precious enough to be protected by fairies in the forests.
An orchid tattoo can thus symbolize an affinity with nature, or a belief in mystical beings.
Similarly to the Aztec symbolism of an orchid, the Japanese symbolism of the flower is related to physical capacity. To many, an orchid represented the strength of a warrior.
Other times, Japanese culture relates the orchid flower to nobility and respect. An orchid tattoo can often symbolize strength and importance.
Orchids are often patterned with little red spots, and these spots led Christians to associate the flower with the blood of Christ; the red pattern symbolizing drops of His blood. This means that for Christians, an orchid tattoo symbolizes Jesus’ sacrifice, and a loyalty to their beliefs.
Because of their rarity, orchids symbolize refinement in Chinese culture. Alongside this, their unique and eye-catching bloom led them to join the meaning with orchids with that of fertility.
Therefore, an orchid tattoo for some symbolizes new life, rebirth, and the beauty of childbirth.
As you can see, orchid tattoos carry multiple meanings. These meanings vary depending on the choice of color, or the choice of cultural association, and there are a few important decisions to make when choosing your orchid tattoo.
From natural beauty to financial wealth; from physical strength to burning desire – an orchid tattoo has the potential to represent something important to nearly everyone.
What is at first glance just a beautiful flower, is ultimately a powerful vessel for symbolism and purpose.
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