Lotus tattoos: Symbolism, Meanings, and More

Lotus tattoos: Symbolism, Meanings, and More

Traditional floral tattoos mean many different things and have intricate and interesting symbolism associated with them, and this is no different when choosing to get a lotus flower tattoo. This flower is rooted in rich symbolism, making it a great personal tattoo choice.

This article aims to discover the rich history of the lotus, both as a flower and as a tattoo, it’s symbolism and meaning, the best place to get a lotus flower tattoo, as well as common characteristics and styles of this popular flower tattoo.

What is the History of Lotus Tattoos?

While the lotus tattoo doesn’t have as much history surrounding it, this beautiful flower itself is rich in history and symbolism. People who choose to have this flower tattooed on them choose it because of it’s deep spiritual meaning.


Long ago, many tribes and civilisations used tattoos as a way of identifying where you were from, and what people you belonged to. These tattoos were done in black ink, with intricate patterns, including flowers, plants, and animals that grew locally.

The Lotus Flower: A History

Fossil records show us that the lotus has been in existence for millions of years. They are believed to have survived the Ice Age between 1.8 million and 10,000 years ago when many plants went extinct.

According to the article “Lotus History ; Symbolism: What We Can All Learn From The Flawless Flower, the lotus appears in South Asian Buddhist imagery dating back to the year  250 BCE , during the time of Emperor Ashoka.

These flowers were left as offerings in Buddhist shrines, called stupas for a goddess who would become known as Lakshmi.


A nomadic tribe in Eurasia (the Indo-Greeks) also thought the lotus was sacred.

The Ancient Egyptians also revered the lotus flower, including it in their hieroglyphics.

Not only that, but spells were also included in the famous Book of the Dead that would transform a person into a lotus flower.

Today, lotus flowers can be found all over the world from Iran to Japan, India, Australia, the U.S., and Russia. The lotus is the national flower of both India and Vietnam.

What Do Lotuses Symbolise?

Lotuses are steeped in spiritual symbolism, particularly within Eastern religions and spiritual practises. The lotus is often referred to as the Flower of Life because of their association with life, death, and eventual rebirth.

The lotus symbolises purity, enlightenment, spiritual growth, and transcendence.


The lotus is sacred to many religions, including Hinduism. Within the context of this religion, lotuses represent spiritual healing, purification, and overcoming adversity.  It is often referred to as ‘the womb of the universe.

This flower grows in muddy, murky waters, and in the perfect moment blooms, beautiful and strong on top of the water’s surface, symbolising purification, and liberation.

The lotus also symbolises the idea of single source of creation, as well as the concept of a universal soul. 

Different colour meanings of Lotuses

Lotuses come in a variety of colours and each colour means something as well:

  • White lotus: This colour flower is associated with the concepts of purity. transcendence, grace, wealth, knowledge, fertility, and faith.
  • Pink lotus: The pink lotus is often associated with Buddhism. A closed bud represents passing through the spiritual path, while a flower in full bloom represents enlightenment.
  • Red lotus: A red flower of this variety denotes compassion and selfless love. They also represent heart, passion, and generosity.
  • Blue lotus: These flowers are rare and therefore hard to find out in nature. They represent wisdom, knowledge, and worldly desires.
  • Purple lotus: Like the blue lotus, these are also incredibly rare in nature. These blooms represent self-awakening, and balance between the different aspects of ourselves.

What Do Lotus Tattoos Mean?

Usually when someone chooses to get a lotus flower tattoo, the meaning is somehow related to the spiritual meaning behind these amazing and beautiful flowers.

Lotus tattoos first and foremost represent spiritual enlightenment and self- awakening. This floral tattoo to many signifies calm and inner peacefulness as well. They can also represent the overcoming of adversity and finding your way out of the darkness into the light.

The meaning can slightly change depending on the colour of tattoo one chooses, weaving in the meaning of the specific colour of the lotus petals itself.

There is some debate over whether or not getting a lotus tattoo could be seen as cultural appropriation, as it’s considered sacred in India and other South Asian countries.


Where Do Lotus Tattoos Usually Go?

Lotus tattoos can be placed wherever you would like it to be placed. One of the advantages of a lotus flower tattoo is that it looks good whether it is large or small, making it a good choice for literally anywhere on the body you choose. However, the most common places are:

  • Arm
  • Back
  • Foot

When choosing the right place for your new floral tattoo, there are a few things to keep in mind like how painful the spot you chose is, how the skin will age with time, and the size of the planned tattoo vs. the actual size of the place you chose to have it inked onto you.


Characteristics And Styles of Lotus Tattoos

Traditionally, floral tattoos come in many different flavours. It’s very much down to personal preference combined with the tattoo artist you choose. The lotus is a popular floral tattoo choice, as many find the natural symmetry of the flower to be appealing.

This flower when tattooed on can be done in all black and white or can have vivid colour added to it. It looks good on its own, with other lotus blooms, or one can add a tribal element for contrast.


Lotus flower tattoos are unique and beautiful. The flower is rich in history and deep spiritual meaning, which is largely represented when you choose to get this flower as a tattoo. No matter the size or personal meaning behind it, the lotus flower makes an excellent tattoo choice.


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