Deciphering the Sacred is our series where we explore the symbolism of different geometric figures. Make sure to check out our previous installments, like this in-depth analysis of Metatron’s Cube.
There is a tremendous amount of theory that tries to account for the phenomenon of consciousness, but nothing sums up the miraculous power of our minds better than the Flower of Life — one of the most frequently depicted pieces of sacred geometry in tattoos.
This mystical geometric symbol springs from the Seed of Life, a set of seven circles representing the first stage of our growing conceptions of the universe. According to some metaphysical theorists, once the psyche reaches theses confines of perception, it expands into new domains, becoming comparable to a sequence interlocking vesica piscis — i.e. a set of overlapping spheres, like a bundle of Venn diagrams. These 19 circles make up the Flower of Life, which represents a complete understanding of the cosmos.
In New Age thought, the Flower of Life is believed to contain an Akashic record — an account of everything in existence — and because of its all-encompassing nature, it is used in meditation as a means of aspiring to enlightenment in some spiritual disciplines.
Though art historians have not yet pinpointed its origins, the Flower of Life is one of the most ubiquitous figures in sacred geometry. It is found in numerous cultures from around the world — Egyptian, Gaelic, Turkish, Chinese, German, and Indian, among many others — and appears in countless works of art, ranging from the beautiful stained glass windows of cathedrals to Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams. It even crops up in Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketchbooks numerous times. In the 21st century, however, it’s most frequently seen on people’s bodies.
Because the Flower of Life is such a common symbol, tattooists have stylistically enhanced it in numerous ways to make it their own. Some artists keep it simple, as seen in the carefully plotted composition by Guy Waisman, but others — Alexis Calvié, Piotr Szots, and Tomas Tomas — embed it in their designs in more inventive ways. Lil’ B uses the figure to create a halo over his saint’s head, and if you look closely at Nissaco’s dragon, you’ll see that the dragon’s scales are all petals from the flower. Jondix employs it to express the enlightened mindset of the Buddha in his intricate piece. The diverse ways they customize the symbol aside, each of these tattooers illustrates how it is at the heart of everything in the universe, especially ornamental body art.
To see more sacred geometry by these luminaries, find your way to their Instagrams. Should you want a tattoo of the Flower of Life of your own, have one of them design it for you. If you already have a tattoo of this profound figure, please share it with us at #FlowerofLife.