Tattoo symbols / The rose

Updated: Oct 13, 2018



One of the most common tattoo designs are roses. You might thing that they are chosen just because they look so beautiful but the truth is that the rose carries an additional deep and wonderful meaning that is worth exploring.

Interpretations about the rose symbol can take place in a spiritual, religious or energy level.

What is your first feeling when you picture a rose? For some it is it's aroma, for others it's colour or it's thorns. The truth is that every part of the rose has a different symbolism and every colour as well.

Rose is considered to be the queen of flowers. People offer it to each other as a symbol of love, passion, commitment, tenderness, friendship, beauty... you name it!

It's essential oil is used against depression and anxiety, it heals wounds, sedates inflammation, boosts libido, treats acne... Not bad ah?

Dr Edward Bach in his remedies uses wild and rock rose to heal extreme stress and panic, as well as apathy and luck of interest for life!

The sacred rose in Alchemy represents an advanced state of consciousness and is used in initiations and ceremonies to enhance and symbolise the raise of energy vibration. It is one of the reasons roses stand for the feminine energy of receptiveness and acceptance. In Christianity Virgin Mary is referred as the mystic rose.

Many consider the rose the equivalent western symbol of the lotus on eastern cultures and religions which stands for the openness and receptiveness of the human heart and soul.

Roses are mentioned in mythology of every civilisation with many stories about how it became red as a result of a wounded heart that was bleeding or it's creation during a love between a God and a human. It is related with Isis, Greek goddess Aphrodite, Roman Goddess Flora and Venus, the love of Psyche and Eros the blood of Christ and the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi. In medieval times, roses became a symbol of power.

Did you know?

Rose water is mentioned as one of the oldest beauty secrets of women. Cleopatra was said to love roses so much that she covered her palace floors and luxurious bed chamber with its petals.

Roses and Colours






One of the most important aspects in tattoo symbolism is their colour. We combined some of the most important meanings by colour on the table below.



Tattoos and Roses


In tattoo art the roses were widely used since the '30's. Sailors used to ink them in order to honour their wife or sweetheart and have them with them along their journeys. Nowadays they are combined with mandalas, faces, gems, butterflies and very commonly skulls. The combination of skulls which represent death, immortality, rebirth and the dark side of life, with roses symbolises the duality of life. The death of the old in order to have a new beginning, the necessary transformation we have to go through in order to fulfil our purpose.