The clover is universally recognized as a symbol of good luck, energy and protection. They are also very commonly associated with Ireland and can often be seen in St. Patrick’s day decorations.
What is the History of Clover Tattoos?
Clovers have held special significance all throughout history but almost all meanings have had one thing in common: the clover is a lucky charm. Most people will recognize the clover as a small plant with three leaves, however, there is one plant said to be luckier than the three-leaved clover, the four-leaved clover.
In fact, the odds of you being able to find a four-leaf clover are 1 in 10,000. So, although it is not impossible, it may take you a while! In fact, in Ireland, the four leaves each represent something special: faith, love, hope and success.
The history of the clover in Celtic symbolism is rich but it has always involved warding off bad luck and evil. In fact, clovers were believed to be magical in their abilities. This connection to the magical other world was also rife in stories as children who possessed a four-leaf clover were supposed to be able to see fairies.
The connection to St. Patrick is also seen in Christian history as it is believed that St. Patrick used the three leaves of the plant to explain the holy trinity, with the leaves representing the father, the son and the holy spirit.
There is even a belief that Eve took a clover with her from the garden of paradise to remind her of what she had lost.
Over the years the clover has gained popularity in popular culture and has become a universally-recognized symbol of Ireland, with many people choosing to use the plant as a symbol of St. Patrick’s day and associating it with the popular phrase “the luck of the Irish”.
Because of its association both with Ireland and good luck, many people opt for this plant as a tattoo, although it is more popular with men than with women. In fact, it is one of the most popular tattoos depicting plants, alongside popular flowers such as roses.
What Do Clover Symbolize?
Clovers are a widely-recognized symbol of good luck, good fortune and protection. Although these symbols are very well known, it is not as well known that clovers also symbolize inner strength.
Despite there being only 1 four-leaf clover for every 10,000 three-leaf clovers, they are significantly more revered for their symbolism than their common counterparts. Their rarity makes their symbolism even stronger.
Although the plant itself represents good luck, the blossom of the plant represents purity and gentleness. In fact, the symbolism of this plant is so widely recognized that there is the phrase “to live in clover” which means to live luxuriously.
In Wales, there is symbolism connected with the two-leaf clover which is said to bring love and romance. It is said that if you find a two-leaf clover and place it under your pillow then your future lover would be revealed to you through a dream.
In other European countries, it is again the four-leaf clover that holds significance as placing a four-leaf clover over the door of a house would symbolize that the first man to walk through it would be the girl’s future husband.
The clover more generally also symbolizes hope as it was spotted growing in places where it never had before. However, this symbolism is slightly opposed now as it is known that clovers are an invasive species, hence them popping up in places where they were never seen before.
What Do Clover Tattoos Mean?
Clover tattoos can mean many things but perhaps the most overarching meaning is good luck. Many people get a clover tattoo to symbolize that they need a little extra luck and to help them through life. Typically this is more commonly depicted as a four-leaf clover regardless of the connotations of the two or three-leaf clover.
Many people who have a connection to Ireland, either because they live there or they have Irish ancestry, also choose to get a clover tattoo to signify this connection. These tattoos in connection to Ireland can be shown as both a three-leaf version or a four-clover version of the plant.
When it comes to the clover flower there are also different meanings depending on the color of the flower. For example, the red clover flower means love, fidelity and success.
The yellow clover flower has no specific meaning and carries on the symbolism of the clover more generally. The white clover flower are a symbol of beauty, purity and love just like many other white flowers more generally.
Where Do Clover Tattoos Usually Go?
Because the clover is a very small plant, regardless of whether you choose to depict the flower or the leaves, it is often better suited to more dainty areas of the body such as the wrist and ankle or even the crook of your arm.
Also because the plant is fairly simple in its shape and coloring it can easily be overwhelming to have it as a big tattoo meaning that many people often opt for a small version of the tattoo, rather than a larger tattoo which would require more surface area such as the back, shoulder, thigh or even upper arm.
Characteristics and Styles of Clover Tattoos
The daintiness of the clover easily lends itself to dainty fine line tattoos, regardless of whether you choose to have the tattoo in black and white or in color.
You can choose to add as much or as little detail as you like as the universally-recognized outline of the plant means that it is as easily recognizable through a simple outline drawing as it is through a detailed depiction.
You can choose any amount of leaves that suits your chosen symbolism. For example, if you want to add extra luck to your life then you should choose the four-leaf clover rather than the three-leaf clover.