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All the Pretty Little Peonies

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

Part 3

Even more flowers that bloom on our arms, legs, backs, and many other places for seeds to pollinate.

The peony, known as “the King of Flowers” in Japanese art, is yet another staple of the flower tattoo realm. This flower type signifies good fortune, wealth, and prosperity. It is also seen as a symbol of beauty and risk taking; accompanied with a mild sense of fragility. This is a way to comment on the fleeting nature of existence, and how only great rewards and knowledge will come by taking daring risks. Throughout traditional Japanese tattoo art, the peony is often paired with great symbols of power. This is meant to create a delicate balance of power and beauty in a design element that mimics a symbolic reference to the Yin and Yang at work. The peony can be seen in a wide range of colors, but is most traditionally done in a vibrant red to once again portray the image of power and wealth.

The Dogwood flower has various meanings across many cultures. This beautiful tree is associated with an interesting myth that is significant in Christianity. It is said that in biblical times the dogwood tree was both massive and strong, and therefore chosen to bear the sad task of being the wood that made the cross to which Jesus Crist was crucified on. After that day, the dogwood grew so sorrowful that it diminished in size and is said to be much smaller than its original form. The myth also has twists that say the dogwood begged the Gods to be smaller so it could not be used for this kind of purpose again, and that it may have been diminished by the Gods as a form of punishment. The piece that is most commonly tattooed is the small flowers surrounded by white bracts that have red notches at the tips. The tiny flowers in the center are symbolic of the Crown of Christ’s Thorns and the four bracts (which look like white petals) represent the four arms of the cross. The small red notches at the end of the bracts are meant to resemble Christ’s dripping blood, due to being pierced by nails. The dogwood also holds significance because of blooming in April around the time of Easter, signifying a rebirth. The dogwood in non-religious connotations can symbolize love, pity, sadness, justice, and rebirth.  Whether you think this symbolic flower holds religious significance or not, its most commonly accepted meaning is, “love undiminished by adversity”, denoting that the one who bears it can withstand anything through love.

The Chrysanthemum is not only an awesome word to say, but an intriguing one to look at as well. This fascinating flower is most commonly seen in Japanese art and is associated mostly with royalty, or the emperor. “The Chrysanthemum Throne” is a term that the Japanese have coined for where the emperor sits, and this flower is the symbol for the Imperial Throne. It represents perfection, happiness, longevity, and even the deity in some interpretations. This flower is also representative in the transition from life to death, being that it blooms in autumn. In China there is a saying, “if you would be happy for a lifetime, grow chrysanthemums”, this relates to the flower being the symbol of Taoist simplicity and perfection.

So, I saved one last flower for you that needs a blog all to its self for next week. Any guesses of which lone flower it is that deserves all the attention?

“Flowers don’t worry about how they are going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.” -Jim Carrey-

Happy Healing,


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