Spider Lily Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Spider Lily Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Spider Lilies have a unique look that translates well into ink, but you might not know that they also have some pretty significant symbolism behind them. So, what does a spider lily tattoo mean? We’re glad that you’ve asked!

Read on and we’ll tell you all about spider lily tattoos – their symbolism, meanings, and more. As it turns out, there is a whole lot of meaning behind these Asian beauties than one might think!


What is the History of Spider Lily Tattoos?

Spider lilies originated in three countries – China, Nepal, and Korea. This is important because these are very old countries and one of the perks of ancient civilizations is that flora and fauna come with a deep symbolism that can really add a lot of depth when it comes to art.

While they originated in those places, the beauty of these flowers meant that soon spider lilies would spread, being brought first to Japan and later to the south and Southeastern United States! Aside from their undeniable beauty, however, Buddhist and other beliefs about these flowers also leant a lot of weight to their appeal and overall popularity.

As such, they’ve continued to spread and you can find them now all over the world, in places where the climate permits and in indoor gardens where it doesn’t. It’s only natural that they would eventually be planted in that garden which we call ‘our skin’ and the results are, sufficed to say, absolutely stunning.


What Do Spider Lily Tattoos Symbolize?

With art, the aesthetics are just a small part of the whole equation, and Spider lily tattoos can draw on an enormous well of symbolism that gives you a chance to really make things personal. The meaning of the spider lily is not just based on what’s around it, but by its color.

For instance, red spider lilies are associated with the last time that you say goodbye to someone. While this could be for a relationship that’s ending, these flowers are also often planted on graves by Buddhists – though never given as a bouquet to them – as a beautiful ‘last goodbye’.

The red spider lily is also said to guide the dead through Samsara, the cycle of rebirth into the next life.

By contrast, blue spider lily means that someone is trustworthy and that their work is of a high grade of excellence.

Then we have the orange spider lily, which means abundance in the form of wealth, success, and interestingly enough, enormous self-assurance and pride.

White spider lilies are more humble, representing innocence and satisfaction in the simple life.

Yellow spider lilies also indicate wealth, but of a less pushy-variety – symbolizing wisdom, a love of life, courage, and an attitude towards love that would best be described as ‘yes, please’!


What Do Spider Lily Tattoos Mean?

With so much symbolism, spider lily tattoos can mean a lot of things. Either on their own, where you have just the symbolism based on color, or coupled with other objects or even names that you add.

For instance, a red spider lily with a name underneath or even upon it is a graceful way to say goodbye to someone important to you who has passed away. On the ‘flipside’, you could ink in red spider lilies and a symbol or name of something that is part of your ‘old life’, as a personal affirmation in ink.

Yellow spider lilies might indicate that you have a little ambition, but even more love of life and making the most of it, while blue spider lilies pictured with a knife or even a stone might indicate that you are brutally honest and completely trustworthy once you’ve given someone your trust.

If you simply like the aesthetics, then you might even tattoo an arrangement of every color of Spider lily, which has some amazing color but also with the unique shape of these flowers you’ll get an aesthetic appeal that you can’t quite get anywhere else. The meaning is up to you, but you’ve got serious options with spider lily tattoos.


Where Do Spider Lily Tattoos Usually Go?

Spider lily tattoos typically go somewhere that they will be seen. The arm, for instance, is one of the most popular spots, but a close second is a single, elegant flower on the back. The nice thing about flower tattoos, however, is the easy placement.

Since you can go with a single flower or even an entire patch of them, placement is only going to be limited by your specific requirements. Ask yourself if you want the tattoo to be visible most or all of time, or if it needs to be easy to hide in order to avoid ‘rocking the boat’ at your job.

Give it a little thought and don’t worry, the perfect spot will come to you.


Characteristics and Styles of Spider Lily Tattoos

Spider lilies have a distinct enough shape that you can do them a lot of ways, even in black and white. Taking the color out of a flower where the meaning is normally interpreted based on it can add a bit of mystery.

You can tattoo other items as hints so that those ‘in the know’ will be able to discern the meaning.

More often, however, spider lily tattoos are done in full, glorious color, usually in Japanese style to cash-in on the tasteful elegance that often comes with it, though you can try photorealistic or watercolor if you really want to catch the eye with your end design.

Get creative with it and don’t rush your decision – after all, it’s going to be with you forever, so it’s worth mulling over what you have in mind and some sessions with your artist to find out exactly what they can do to make your ‘dream tattoo’ absolutely perfect for YOU.


Some ‘final goodbyes’ with Spider Lily tattoos

Today we’ve explored the rich history of Spider lilies so that those of you out there considering spider lily tattoos will have everything that you need to personalize your ink to its very core.

Whether you want to use the original symbolism or turn it on it’s head in a deeply personal way, you should be set, but don’t forget that the tattoo can simply be about the beauty of the Spider lily.

Your ink — your rules – and don’t ever forget it!

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