Lily Tattoos

Lily tattoos are always a popular choice. The toughest part of the choice might be deciding just what kind of lily you are talking about. There are many species of lily though, with the exception of the Water Lily (discussed below), they all tend to resemble one another. Also, many types of flowers are often generically referred to as lilies.

The more traditional lily is a long stemmed garden flower with petals curling back from a horn-shaped face. This type of lily is strongly associated with the Christian tradition. Legend has it that it originally grew from the tears of Eve as she left the Garden of Eden. In artwork, the angel Gabriel is often depicted as holding a lily (or there are lilies nearby) during the visit in which he tells Mary she will give birth to Jesus. It is also used in artwork depicting any of the virgin saints. As such, the lily is generally associated with purity and chastity. Because of this connection, the lily is often paired with a sword. Together they represent the Last Judgment, and the division between the innocent and the guilty.

Wouldn't that make a nice symbolic lily tattoo?

The most common lily associated with Christianity is, of course, the Easter lily. Because of its white petals, and tendency to bloom into life after a spring rain, the symbolic connection to the story of the resurrection is quite strong.

The lily is also used in a message by Jesus to demonstrate God's love for His people. In speaking to the thousands, Jesus said, "Consider the lilies, how they grow. They don't toil, neither do they spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." (Luke 12:27; also Matthew 6:28)

Other lily symbolism exists worldwide. In Greek mythology, the flower came from the milk of the goddess Hera as it dropped to earth (an outpouring which also created the Milky Way). In Aboriginal Australia, the (Gymea) lily symbolizes courage and perseverance. In both China and Japan, the day lily is said to dispel grief. Women wear lilies to help them forget the sorrow of a loved one's departure.

Tiger Lily Tattoo

A tiger lily tattoo would look much like any lily tattoo, but the petals would be a reddish-orange. Interestingly, "Tiger Lily Tattoo" is the number of many tattoo shops, though the flower itself has little unique symbolism other than its cool sounding name. The name became most popular in 1966, when Woody Allen released his debut film "What's Up, Tiger Lily?" (in which he took an actual Japanese mystery movie, and simply re-dubbed over all the lines with his own comic plot).

Fluer-De-Lis Tattoo

Check out this fluer de lis tattoo!

An easily recognizable lily-based icon is the FLEUR-DE-LIS (French for "lily flower"). The symbol depicts a three petaled flower either a lily or an Iris) banded at the base. The origins of the symbol are somewhat unclear, but it was adopted as a symbol of the French monarchy in 1147. It became the symbol of French kings, most notably Louis VI. To a lesser extent, it has symbolic connections to Joan of Arc, and to the Holy Trinity. It is the emblem of the Italian city of Florence, of both New Orleans, Louisiana and St. Louis, Missouri in the U.S., and of course, the Boy Scouts of America.

Water Lily Tattoo

A Water lily tattoo is going to look quite different from other lily tattoos. From a different family, the water lily is more akin to a Lotus flower, as it grows on pads on top of the water's surface.

In addition to being the national flower of Bangladesh, there are a number of stories and myths for this somewhat spiky plant. In ancient Egypt, legend has it that Osiris was murdered by Seth, and brought back to life by the goddess Isis. In one version, she brings him back as a water lily. As such, it symbolizes death and rebirth. In fact, the Egyptian Book of the Dead actually has a spell for "Transformation into the Water Lily." The color of the water lily can change its symbolic meaning. Stemming from a myth about a nymph who died of jealousy, a white lily is the "flower of chastity" and symbolizes purity and the suppression of desires. Ironically, the myth adds that, if plucked during a full moon, the white lily can also be used to cast "love magic." Blue lilies are worn as talismans to ward off demons and incite love. Similarly, the Iroquois (Native Americans) used the yellow pond lily to repel evil spirits.

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Lily tattoo 
The two lily's represent me and my mom. My parents divorced when I was a young girl and my mom raised me by herself. She's a very strong woman and I wanted …

Damsel Dee Lily Tattoo Not rated yet
I got my lily tattoo on April Fool's Day. I made it red instead of pink that represents my personality as a passionate person.

Justine Tiger Lily Tattoo Not rated yet
There was really no meaning behind this tiger lily tattoo other then the fact that it is my favorite flower.

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