Flowers have always been one of the most popular tattoo designs, from symbolic renderings in ancient tribal tattoos, and the convict tattoos of the first Australian settlers from the West, to the detailed polychromatic masterpieces we see today.
Of course, with such rich meaning and symbolism, as well as aesthetic appeal, it is not surprising that flower tattoos have become such a popular part of inking culture.
Indeed, both the timelessness and versatility of tattooed flowers mean they are set to remain popular for years to come.
Although, there are a myriad of flower types of designs to opt for, one of the most popular of which is the Lily of the Valley.
Fortunately, you can read all about these blooms and the relationship to tattoos, including their symbolism, and meaning in the post below.
What Is A Lily Of The Valley Tattoo?
Lily of the Valley tattoos usually depicts a single stem with multiple bell-like blooms cascading off. They often include leaves sprouting from the bottom of the stem too.
The traditional coloring for blooms is white green for the plant, although any colors can be used, and many are also rendered solely in outline for a simple and striking effect.
The Meanings of Lily Of The Valley Tattoos
For such a small and delicate flower, Lily of the Valley sure has a lot of different meanings. First of all, they are often associated with feminine qualities including sweetness, purity, and motherhood.
Indeed, one of the most popular reasons to get a Lily of the Valley tattoo is to represent the bond that a mother has with her children.
Lily of the Valley is also known by a myriad of other names including its scientific moniker Convallaria Majalis as well as May Lily, May Bells, Jacob’s Ladder, Mary’s Tears, and the Conval Lily is also associated with the Month of May.
Indeed it is the official birth flower of this month and connected with the star sign Gemini, making it an ideal option for someone with a birthday in May, or as a remembrance for a loved one that was born in May.
Finland’s national flower, this lily also has some religious significance, as it can be used as a symbol of rebirth and Christ’s second coming.
Indeed it is mentioned in the bible around 12 times and is especially well known as the flower that Eve’s tears were transformed into after she was banished from the Garden of Eden.
It’s not only the Christian tradition that holds Lily of the Valley dear either, as it was also often associated with the German myths of the virgin goddess Ostara, a being known for her humility.
Also within Greek Mythology, it is said to be the flower that represents and honors Maia, daughter of the mythological Atlas who holds the whole world on his shoulders.
Additionally, Lily of the Valley can also be used as a symbol of luck in life and in love, which makes a tattoo if it blooms a great option for those embarking on a new chapter in a romantic relationship such as getting married or moving in with a partner.
It also said that this plant has lucky status, a story perhaps coming from King Charles IX, as in 1561 he was gifted this bloom, and continued to give them to the Ladies of his court thereafter.
Indeed, to this day bunches of lily of the valley are sold on French streets throughout May and in many European cities, Lily of the Valley springs are worn as a symbol of luck on items of clothing.
The Lily of the Valley is also used as a symbol on Labor Day in the US, and on Workers’ Day in the rest of the world.
Then some suggest Lily of the Valley is a symbol for the return of happiness after a difficult time.
To that end, a Lily of the Valley tattoo might be chosen when a loved one returns from overseas, on a tour in the military, or after recovery from a physical illness or a mental illness such as depression.
The reason being that it can remind the wearer of all they have overcome and to enjoy their life as it is now.
Lily of the Valley is also known to help protect against evil, and it is used as a part of the Beltane festival which is a Pagan ritual performed on May 1st.
In particular, Lily of the Valley is said to guard against the nefarious behavior of witches, something that makes them ideal for anyone looking for a little additional protection in their lives.
Additionally, all over Europe the Lily of the Valley is considered to be a flower closely related to folklore and fairies. This is because the bloom looks like a tiny cup which the fairies could turn upside down and drink from.
Specifically in England, Lily of the Valley flowers are said to have sprung where St. Leonard of Sussex was injured in a battle with a fearsome dragon, further reinforcing that status as good luck and as an ideal tattoo choice for those that have overcome great hardship.
Traditional colors for a Lily of the Valley tattoo are white for the blooms and green for the stems and leaves.
Although, there are many ways to add in additional hues such as shading or adding in other elements and blooms.
However, black and gray work can also be used to create a simple and striking Lily of the Valley tattoo, and some wonderful effects can be created with cross-hatching and shading.
Popular Accompanying Designs
When choosing to get a Lily of the Valley tattoo, there is no rule saying that you can use Lily of the Valley with other design elements too.
Indeed, by adding in other aspects of design you can create a dynamic and individual piece.
Popular elements to combine with a Lily of the Valley tattoo include, of course, other flowers, but also antique elements such as bell jars can work well too.