peony tattoo

Peony Tattoo Meaning and 10+ Various Designs for any Body Part

Are you looking for an original and symbolic tattoo that will set you apart from the mass of tattooed people? Look no further than the world of flowers where the peony is one of the most distinct options available. The large flowers of the delicate plant exude an impressive and eye-catching vibrancy that is unparalleled speaking of floral tattoos. A peony tattoo can be as bold or subtle as you want and lends itself to any location imaginable. Without even mentioning the many styles of realization that you can choose from, some are more attractive than others!

What is the meaning of the peony tattoo?

As always, before choosing which part of the body to get a tattoo and how to perform the design, it is worth paying attention to the meaning of the peony tattoo. In the end, an eternal stamp on the skin has to have deep meaning, before anything else, right? Being flowers with distinctive large petals, people have naturally made up all sorts of romantic origin stories for peonies. Perhaps that is why the peony tattoo is so popular across the world.

Means peony tattoo according to Greek mythology

In the West, the common meaning of peony is related to romance, prosperity, good fortune, happy marriage, wealth, honor, and compassion. But these flowers can also represent shyness, especially when talking about the pale pink peony. By taking a look at Greek mythology and its characters, some of these connotations get more context.

 The legend of Peon

Peon was a young novice herbalist who studied under the god of medicine, Aesculapius. While Aesculapius was excellent at this job, he was also a bit sensitive. Péon had a theory about the healing properties of the peony root, particularly in relieving the pain of childbirth. He proved his hypothesis, but Aesculapius was seized with jealousy and feared that his pupil would usurp his title. Also, he swore to kill Péon. Eventually, to save him from his teacher’s vindictive spirit, Zeus transformed Peon into a peony flower.

A curious fact is that peony roots actually have medicinal benefits outside of Mount Olympus. Peony extract is commonly used as a relaxant, especially for muscle cramps. For this reason, many people see the peony as a symbol of strength and healing.

The Paeonia myth

In another Greek legend where people turn into flowers out of jealousy, Paeonia is a beautiful nymph. One day, she caught Apollo’s attention and the two began to flirt. Aphrodite, being herself the goddess of love and beauty, grew resentful towards Paeonia. When the nymph saw Aphrodite, she was ashamed of her flirtation and blushed. It was then that the jealous goddess transformed the nymph into a peony, which gave the flower its pink and red hues.

During the Victorian era, the myth of the “jealous Aphrodite of Paeonia” became the most widespread association linked to peonies. So flowers were thought to bring bad luck and people were encouraged to avoid them. By the way, the Latin name for peonies is also Paeonia from the family Paeoniaceae.

Peony meaning in Chinese tradition

Peonies are actually native to China where they cause associations of nobility. The Chinese city of Luoyang is known for producing the most beautiful peonies in the world and even the Chinese word for peony translates to “the most beautiful”! In the East, the peony is also known as “the queen of flowers” due to an ancient Chinese legend.

The Legend of the Empress

The story goes that an impatient empress was strolling through her garden in early spring and she was delighted to smell the jasmine but was saddened that the other flowers had not yet bloomed. She ordered the flowers to bloom immediately so she could enjoy them and all but the peony obeyed. In anger, the Empress banishes the flower to the coldest corner of the Empire. However, the peony was not bothered and survived the low temperatures. The empress was impressed by the plant’s courage and hardiness and allowed it to return to her garden, proclaiming it the queen of all flowers.

Did you know there is a grain of truth in this myth? Peonies look delicate, but they are hardy with strong roots that thrive underground in winter only to return in spring year after year with blooms more gorgeous than ever. Indeed, the longevity of some peonies exceeds that of the average human! Thus, a peony tattoo could be a symbol of endurance, perseverance, and hardiness.

Japanese peony tattoo and meaning

Thanks to their popularity in the Edo period woodblock prints, and peonies have become ubiquitous in Japanese tattoos. And while the Western world associates almost any flower with the Woman, in these works of Japanese art, the flowers in question are often used to evoke a bold masculine personality. Therefore, a Japanese peony tattoo symbolizes nobility, bravery, and masculine daring in its puristic form.

How to customize your peony tattoo?

In conclusion, it can be said with certainty that this drawing does not symbolize a single thing, but refers to a whole world of magical stories. Apart from the cultural context, the meanings of the peony tattoo depend on the state of mind of its bearer. In addition, each tattooed person can further personalize their model by adding other significant symbolic elements. For example, peony and poppy tattoos and a skull design do not carry the same energy. The same goes for a dove tattoo, hummingbird, or another type of bird tattoo adorned with peony flowers. Let’s take a look at some such examples in the photo gallery to follow!

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