Marigolds are a very joyous looking flower, meaning that you may think of them as a good option for a floral tattoo, but they also hold more sombre meanings such as grief and mourning.
Although the vast majority of flowers are very pretty to look at their outer beauty does not always correspond to their inner symbolism. This is one such example with the marigold and is a great reason why it is so important to do a little bit of background research about flowers before deciding which ones you want to be tattooed on your body forever.
Many flowers have obvious meanings that are well-known throughout society, such as the red rose, which has become a symbol of romantic love and synonymous with valentine’s day. However, there are so many more flowers that make great options for floral tattoos that are not as well known.
Here we will cover the marigold to help you decide whether or not this is the right floral tattoo for you.
What is the History of Marigold Tattoos?
Marigold tattoos do not have a particularly rich history. Traditionally floral tattoos are pretty restricted in terms of subjects, with roses, daisies and lilies being the main flowers of choice both given their beauty, their meaning and also their deep-rootedness in the history of tattooing.
Marigolds also do not seem to be making any particular waves in terms of trends and are still fairly uncommon in terms of people’s first choice for a floral tattoo. One reason behind this may simply be that the flower is not that common in society and not often thought of when people think of the world “marigold,” often instead thinking of washing up gloves!
The flower itself blooms predominantly in spring but can be seen throughout the vast majority of the year. It gets its name from the Latin for “little clock” and it is a reference to the shape of the blooming flower. However, there is also another genus of the flower which gets its name from Tages, an ancient prophet.
Despite not being popular in the world of tattooing, the flower has been rather popular in many other aspects of society, particularly in medicine, where it has been used as a traditional herbal remedy. For example, marigolds can be used as a medicine to help with inflammation, as an antiseptic and even as an antioxidant.
Additionally, the flower has been used to treat burns and rashes as well as in a variety of different skincare products. They are even known to help relax muscles, working in some cases to help relieve spasms and cramps.
One rather easy use for marigolds is to plant them as a rabbit deterrent. By planting a border of this flower around your garden you will be able to keep it free of rabbits as they do not like the smell!
What Do Marigold Symbolize?
When it comes to the symbolism behind marigolds they are very bipolar in their meanings. Their symbolism is both positive and sombre.
For example, as you may be able to guess from their joyous and bright coloring they symbolize positive energy and are connected to the sun. In some cases they are even said to be connected to resurrection.
However, the fact that the petals collect dew which weeps off of the petals in the morning associates the flower with death and grief.
The flower has collected different symbolism in different parts of the world. In Buddhism, the marigold is used to worship Buddha and is often tied on a string and hung as an ornament.
In Mexico, the symbolism of this flower dates back to the Aztecs who believed that the flower was sacred. For this reason they play a very important role in the Day of the Dead festival. They are used to honor and remember the dead as well as to draw their spirits back.
In Hinduism, the marigold is connected with the sun and symbolizes joy, positive energy and good luck. The flower is also connected with the religion’s ideal couple (Vishnu and Lakshmi) and so they are commonly used in weddings.
In Christianity, the marigold (Mary’s gold) holds strong ties with the Virgin Mary. They are often referred to in the Bible as being planted all over the Earth.
On a slightly darker note, in Victorian England, the marigold was a symbol of grief, mourning and despair because they were commonly used as a flower for remembering the dead.
What Do Marigold Tattoos Mean?
Like most flowers, the different color variations mean different things.
Perhaps the most common coloring for this flower, orange, represents deep feelings and passion as well as joy.
The red marigold, which until fairly recently was rather elusive, represents romantic love, in line with almost all red flowers.
The red-orange version of this flower is a combination of the two and represents deep feelings of a romantic nature.
The light yellow-hued flower represents positive emotions and joy as well as optimism.
Although these are the meanings associated with the coloring of the flowers, it is worth remembering that the flower itself has a myriad of different meanings and so it is hard to know the true meaning behind someone’s marigold tattoo without asking them.
Where Do Marigold Tattoos Usually Go?
The dainty marigold (with or without the stem) is the perfect tattoo for the wrist or forearm. If you want the design to include the stem then another good placement is the calf, where it can follow the line of your leg up from your ankle.
If you only want the flower then this will suit almost any placement on your body.
Characteristics and Styles of Marigold Tattoos
Marigold tattoos are the perfect option for a color tattoo. The striking contrast of the orange against the green makes it a truly stand out piece and a fantastic work of art.
Opting for a botanical style of tattoo will really bring the tattoo to life and keep it light and feminine but pack all the punch that the colors can afford it.
Watercolor is another great option for this floral tattoo if you want something a little bit more elegant and understated. A light wash of orange and green over fine line work will add just the right amount of color.