If there is one tattoo design that has diverse meanings, that would be the lotus flower. The lotus flower has long been part of a lot of civilizations and it is now making its way into modern society. Read on to know more about why the lotus flower is now a favorite among men and women.
What Is A Lotus Flower?
The lotus is an aquatic perennial plant. This means that it is a plant that can live for more than two years and it is often described as having few woods and roots seen.
A lotus flower is seen in rivers and ponds and they are often likened to a water lily simply because the former emerges from muddy waters. The lotus flower often blooms during spring and summer seasons after being underwater during winter and fall. The flower itself has a number of medium-sized layered petals that surround one circular center. The form is likened to the bowl as the petals meet in the very center. The most common color of a lotus is pink or white.
Meanings Of The Lotus
Like what was said in the beginning, the lotus has a lot of meanings and symbolisms. Depending on the religion, civilization, and color, the lotus can vary in associations and meanings. If you are planning to get a lotus flower as a tattoo, it’s important that you know who you are referencing it to in order to know what it symbolizes.
The Lotus During The Egyptian Civilization
The earliest signs of the lotus are found in Ancient Egyptian civilizations. Hieroglyphs portray pharaohs holding lotus flowers and most of the time, these flowers were colored blue. There are two main symbols of the lotus in this civilization – rebirth, and unification.
The lotus symbolizes rebirth for Egyptians because of its life cycle. Egyptians noticed that lotus flowers come from muddy waters and they emerge beautifully only to go back into the waters when the night sets in. Although the lotus does not exactly go back to the water, they do have a “rebirth” because they come out of the water.
At the same time, the Egyptians likened the lotus to the Sun because of its behavior during the night. The sun sets when night arrives and this was said to be the same as the flower.
The second symbolism in the Ancient Egyptian civilization is attached to unification. During the olden times, Egypt was divided into two classes, namely, the upper and the lower class. Needless to say, the upper class were the ones who held lotus flowers while the lower class held the Papyrus plant. When a lotus flower is found with the Papyrus plant, it symbolizes the unification of two opposite sides.
The Lotus In Buddhism
Similar to Buddha’s enlightenment, the lotus depicted in Buddhism symbolizes awakening or enlightenment. This is based on the flower’s emergence from muddy waters. However, a lotus flower can also mean purity in Buddhism. This is because the flower, after coming from dirty waters, emerges clean and free of any damage. This, then, has become a symbol of purity or the breaking away from desire which, in Buddhism, is considered to be a cause of suffering and distress.
The Lotus In Hinduism
The lotus in Hinduism is referred to as the Padma, meaning, sacred lotus. The sacred lotus is a known symbol in Hinduism because it is often associated with the gods, specifically, Vishnu and Brahma. In general, the Padma is associated with the divine and purity. If you will notice, a lot of statues of gods and goddesses have them sitting on a lotus. This further emphasizes that the lotus is closely associated with god-like traits.
The White Lotus
Like anything else that is in white, a white lotus is a symbol of purity and clarity. In the case of Buddhism, a white lotus signifies mental clarity wherein the person is aware of the causes of suffering and has broken away from those bonds. It also symbolizes a mind and soul that is pure or is no longer attached to the things that imprison them.
The Blue Lotus
If there is one thing that the blue lotus is said to symbolize, then that would be wisdom. Wisdom, along with intelligence and knowledge, is said to be achieved by someone if they are self-aware and they are able to make choices that no longer enslave them. In other words, a blue lotus can also mean a person’s enlightenment and the practice of being wise.
The Pink Lotus
Although the white lotus is arguably a symbol of Buddha, the pink lotus is also considered to depict Buddha and Buddhism teachings. In fact, the pink lotus is only used to depict Buddha, unlike other lotus colors that can also describe other gods. It is one of the most beautiful colors of the lotus and because of its color, it can be associated with femininity and softness.
The Purple Lotus
Of all the different colors of the lotus, the purple lotus is the rarest. This is because the purple lotus is barely used in Hinduism and Buddhism alike. However, in the latter, the purple lotus is still used to pay respect to the other gods. It can also indicate the teachings and words of Buddha. Having a purple lotus will indicate that you are learning Buddhism’s teachings or that you are also paying homage to other gods apart from Buddha.
The Red Lotus
The red lotus takes its meaning from love. Thus, it symbolizes love, passion, and other strong emotions. The red lotus, unlike the other types of lotus, can be a neutral symbol because love and emotion, when not controlled can be harmful to a person.
To add to that, an open red lotus flower can also mean that one is open to love or that they are in love. This can describe any form of loving relationship not limited to marriage and partnership.
An open lotus is a design that describes the lotus that has its petals widely spread. The lotus can sometimes symbolize humans and when a lotus flower is open, this often means that the person is open to enlightenment or has experienced an awakening. On the other hand, a closed lotus signifies a closed soul, one that has not received any spiritual awakening.
How To Choose The Right Tattoo Artist
Lotus tattoo designs are almost always detailed. There are also times when the design needs a lot of ink color. Because of this, you want to have the best tattoo artist out there to portray the perfect lotus for you. Here are a few things to look for when picking a tattoo artist.
One of the most important things you should look for in a tattoo artist is his or her experience. The success of your tattoo comes down to the artist’s experience and their skill in replicating the design you have showed them. You can ask your friends regarding referrals on tattoo artists or you can also search online. Usually, you will notice the artist’s experience based on the diverse designs he or she has done. Try to look for their catalog too when you canvass for tattoo artists.
Most states in the U.S. require a license in order to be qualified to be a tattoo artist. When you ask around for tattoo artists, keep this in mind and don’t forget to inquire about their license.
However, there is no formal education when it comes to tattooing so don’t expect to be shown a diploma or a certificate. Instead, there are qualifications that will make a tattoo artist a legal practitioner of the art.
Most tattoo artists charge on an hourly basis. However, there are also others who give a flat rate for tattoos. There is no clear answer as to who would be better because you have to take into account that not all cheap rates give low-quality artworks. At the same time, not all expensive rates give high-quality tattoos. At the end of the day, it depends on the artist’s skill and experience. You can try negotiating with the tattoo artist since not all prices are set in stone.
The location of the tattoo artist’s studio is also important. Although the location affects the price, it is still better to go to a studio near you. This is so you can easily consult the artist for anything that needs to be changed or added to your tattoo.
Hygiene And Sanitation
You might consider this as a given, but hygiene and sanitation are important when getting a tattoo. Of course, there are tattoo studios that make sure the ambiance is right and that the place looks orderly. But more than that, what you have to watch out for is the tattoo artist’s cleanliness. Since he or she will be handling the needle and doing your tattoo, it is a must that the artist should practice proper sanitation.
A lot of people forget about looking at their bond with the tattoo artist. If you have had a tattoo done before, you would notice that it will always be better if you click with your artist. This means that if you feel at ease with them and are confident with their abilities. If you have any hesitation with them, then they might not be the right choice.
Tip: In order to know more about the tattoo artist, try canvassing among tattoo studios and observe the artists there. It would also help a lot if you ask them about your design and see if they can give advice as to how to make your design better.
Common Placements For Lotus Tattoos
A lotus tattoo can be placed anywhere in the body. Here are some areas where you can put yours:
The shoulder is a great place to put a lotus tattoo. Depending on the clothes you wear, it can either be a safe place where your tattoo won’t be seen or it can be where you can show it off. Most people who have tattoos on their shoulder pick medium-sized tattoos just to maximize the area.
Below The Collarbone
The area just below the collarbone is not a usual place to have a tattoo especially when the tattoo’s design does not include words and phrases. This area is ideal for tattoos that are horizontal in nature. However, a small and compact lotus flower can also look good here. It can serve as an additional accessory to your clothes.
Above The Elbow
Above the elbow is a subtler area for a tattoo. For those who have a low pain tolerance level, this area is ideal because there is a lot of muscle. At the same time, the skin here is not close to the bone except when you put it too close to the elbow. Nonetheless, a lotus flower in this area will be an added accessory to your arm.
Like the area above your elbow, the inner wrist provides a more hidden place for a tattoo. Tattoos placed here should either be small or just the size of your wrist length. However, be warned, because this area is very sensitive. It has a lot of nerves and it is close to the bones connecting your hand.
Side Of The Rib
Similar to the inner wrist, the side of the rib is a more painful place to put a tattoo whether it’s small or large. This is because the skin is this area is very close to your ribs and the closer the skin is to the bone, the more painful it will be. Although there are people who can say that the pain is not the one that will disturb you. Instead, you will feel uncomfortable feeling the buzzing of the needle too close to your bones.
Depending on your pain tolerance, a tattoo on the hip can either be very painful or tolerable, similar to the pain you will experience when you get a tattoo on your arm. If you have a lot of muscle and fat in this area and the tattoo is not directly on your hip, then the pain will be less. But if it’s directly at the hip and you are also skinny, then you will experience discomfort and pain. Lotus tattoos in this area often are small or medium in size.
Last but not the least is the ankle. Although this area is more exposed than the inner wrist, the ankle is still a good place to have small tattoos like the lotus flower. Because this part has a lot of bones and has thinner skin, you can expect to feel at least a bit of pain and discomfort.
How To Take Care Of Your Lotus Tattoo
When all is said and done, all that is left for you to do is to take care of your fresh new lotus tattoo. Here are some ways you can do so:
Cover It With A Bandage
If your tattoo artist didn’t cover your tattoo, then ask him or her to add a bandage. Although not all tattoo artists will advise you to cover the tattoo up, this will only be helpful if your clothes are tight around the tattoo. If this is the case, then a bandage is important just to lessen the friction between the new tattoo and your clothes.
Wash It Gently
It’s important to keep the tattoo and the area surrounding it clean. When you wash the tattoo, make sure that you are using lukewarm water and a fragrance-free soap. Even after two weeks of having the tattoo, avoid scrubbing it to avoid unnecessary bleeding.
Frequently Apply Moisturizer
After you’ve patted the tattoo dry, apply moisturizing lotion or petroleum jelly. Usually, the petroleum jelly is put to relieve you of the pain and itchiness. However, you can also use this to constantly keep the area moisturized. Dry skin will only increase the chances of itchiness and dirt.
Another thing you should keep in mind is to not scratch the tattoo nor the skin surrounding it. Scratching can cause it to bleed especially when the tattoo is still fresh. Let it stay for two weeks and even if this time has passed, avoid scratching it at all.
No Sunbathing And Swimming
And finally, avoid sunbathing and swimming for at least two weeks after you get your tattoo. Your goal now is to keep the quality good and keep the tattoo away from infection. Even if you’ve had the tattoo for a full day now, you should still be wary of anything that can potentially infect it. Since water carries a lot of bacteria, you shouldn’t submerge the tattoo in water for long periods of time. Also, do not stay under the sun for a long time because this might cause discoloration.
Now that you have your lotus tattoo, hopefully it represents the character and the state you are in. If not, then let the tattoo be a reminder of tranquility, enlightenment, and purity.