Tattoos have always been personal and for some of us, faith is an integral part of life, so skin art such as Rose of Sharon tattoos are becoming more and more commonplace each day.
In today’s article, we’re going to discuss Rose of Sharon tattoos, their history, their meanings, and even some designs, so that you’ll understand a little more about what these tattoos are all about. Let’s talk about the Biblical (and even the not-so-Biblical) meanings behind the Rose of Sharon!
What is the History of Rose of Sharon Tattoos?
The Rose of Sharon is first mentioned in the famous Biblical passage known as the ‘Song of Solomon’. It was first translated into English in the year 1611 in the King James version of the Bible, although there is still a little contention about the specific plant that it refers to (more on this shortly).
In the passage, the female speaker says that she is a Rose of Sharon, ‘a lily from the valleys’, and this imparts a meaning an inference of beauty as she is comparing herself to a wildflower. Now, while this is the modern accepted meaning, it’s interesting to note that the translation is believed to have been mistaken.
Scholars say that the flower would have more accurately been an aromatic Crocus, and the flower being referred to in the translation actually originate from China. To make things more confusing, there are different ‘Rose of Sharon’ varieties, though the Biblical one is thought to be the Hibiscus Syriacus.
This same flower is the national flower of North Korea, but the funny thing about meanings and symbolism is that words and meanings change depending on how we use them, and so the Hibiscus Syriacus, whether the originally intended flower or not, is the Rose of Sharon that we know today.
What Do Rose of Sharon Tattoos Symbolize?
Rose of Sharon tattoos can symbolize a deep faith and can also symbolize a beauty hidden ‘among the thorns’ which is also wild in nature. As the passage states that she ‘grows in the valleys among the thorns’, invoking an image of ‘a diamond in the rough’ and has connotations of beauty hidden until it comes into the light.
As it is Solomon’s lover who is speaking, this is often a deeply personal choice and one that is made with faith in mind, though the tattoos don’t necessarily have to symbolize that. For those who love beautiful plants, it might simply symbolize that the owner of the tattoo loves beautiful and wild flowers, especially those with a written history.
That said, in the Jewish and Christian faiths, the Rose of Sharon is all about healing, love, and beauty, and so this is the most common symbolism which is invoked when someone chooses to wear Rose of Sharon tattoos.
What Do Rose of Sharon Tattoos Mean?
Rose of Sharon Tattoos typically mean that the owner keeps their religion close, but it also expresses a purity of love and beauty, as well as a wild nature (within limits).
Just as the passage is deeply romantic and even erotic, this symbol is probably the most popular expression that one of faith can use to express that they have a ‘wild side’ that is present, but which does not conflict with the tenets of their faith.
These tattoos are a way of telling the world, especially others of one’s own faith, that the tattoos owner is a rare beauty, wild and full of love, hidden amidst the thorns that represent the trials and tribulations of this life.
It’s a beautiful symbol and part of it’s meaning is going to come directly from what the wearer believes and that is how every tattoo should be! As the true identity of the plant is disputed, one may even choose the Rose of Sharon that they feel represents their own inner beauty and faith the best, as well.
Characteristics and Styles of Rose of Sharon Tattoos
The Rose of Sharon actually comes in many varieties, such as the ‘Aphrodite’, the ‘White Chiffon’, the ‘Red Heart’, and more, so the choice of the actual flower might be something that you wish to consider. While some go with the traditional red variety, it’s ultimately going to be up to you.
As far as the styles, many will choose a photorealistic style, but you are definitely not limited to this choice. Watercolor tattooing, for instance, can create some truly amazing art that you can enjoy for the rest of your days.
Still others might choose a style such as New School, as a way to take the exaggerated and colorful style to tell the world at large that they are not only a rare beauty, but have quite the sense of humor.
What you settle on after deliberating your design should tell the world a little bit or even a LOT about who you are as a person, so be sure to give it a little thought before you commit to make your Rose of Sharon tattoo truly your own.
Where Do Rose of Sharon Tattoos Usually Go?
Rose of Sharon tattoos can be placed anywhere that you like, though intimate spots such as the hip are a popular choice, considering the intimate nature of the message. That said, it’s not uncommon either for one to be displayed proudly on the arm or even on the ankle.
A rose of Sharon taking up half of one’s back, much like Japanese style tattoos, is another elegant, beautiful, and classy way to express that one is both beautiful and always keeps their heart in their faith, but where it goes is going to be something that you and your artist will need to decide.
Just promise yourself to take a week to think it over once you’ve decided on your initial design and to review numerous portfolios beforehand to see exactly what your options will be. It’s worth the extra time it takes and your tattoo will be 100% better for it, so don’t rush your beautiful skin art!
Some final words on Rose of Sharon Tattoos
The Rose of Sharon, as you can see, has predominantly Biblical connotations, although the ultimate meaning is going to be up to you. Some might choose to display it with a little scripture, while still others may simply show the beautiful hibiscus to see who ‘catches on’ as a message to the truly faithful out there.
Whatever you decide, it’s a beautiful choice and one that you and perhaps a special someone are sure to enjoy as the years together accumulate and pass by.