Aster flower meaning and symbolism includes hope, optimism, new beginnings, innocence, fun, affection, and other lovely attributes.
There are over 32,000 species of aster flowers, which comprise the Asteraceae family of flowers, and they are found on every continent except Antarctica. Because of their popularity and wide distribution, many people are curious about what they symbolize. In fact, many cultures around the world have myths and folktales that involve asters.
In this post, we’ll explore all aspects of aster flower symbolism and meanings. And if you’re curious about one of the most well-known flowers in the aster family, be sure to check out my dedicated post on sunflower meaning and symbolism.
Table of Contents
- What does an aster flower symbolize?
- Aster Color Meanings
- White Aster Flower Meaning
- Yellow Aster Flower
- Orange Aster Flower
- Pink Aster Flower Symbolism
- Red Aster Flower
- Purple Aster Flower Symbolism
- Blue Aster Flower Meanings
- Green Asters
- Spiritual Meaning of Aster Flowers
- Aster Mythology and Folklore
- Aster Symbolism in Greek Mythology
- Aster Flower in Native American Culture
- Aster Symbolism in the U.S.
- Celtic Aster Flower Meaning
- Aster in Norse Mythology
- Aster Flower Meaning in China and Japan
- Aster Flower Tattoo Meaning
“Along the river’s summer walk, The withered tufts of asters nod; And trembles on its arid stalk, The hoar plum of the golden-rod.”
– John Greenleaf Whittier
What does an aster flower symbolize?
Here’s a quick list of what asters symbolize. We’ll go into more detail on these throughout this post:
- New beginnings
- Eternal love
Aster Flower Meaning: Hope and Optimism
As springtime flowers that come out when the days are growing longer and the sun is shining, aster flowers are also symbols of hope and optimism.
In fact, the name “aster” comes from an Old English term that translates to “day’s eye.” The reason for the name is that, like lotus flowers, aster flowers open up in the morning to take in the day’s sunshine and then close up again in the evening. So, they respond to the warm and positive energy of the sun.
In this way, they remind us to focus on the positive. After all, hope, gratitude, and having a positive attitude are the best ways to manifest good outcomes.
Aster Symbolism: New Beginnings
Because they open up with the morning sun of a new day, aster flower symbolism also includes fresh starts and new beginnings. The aster is a positive symbol for believing each day is filled with opportunities.
Because of these qualities, the aster is the perfect gift for new babies, newborn spiritual ceremonies, or even those embarking on a new adventure.
Aster Meaning: Innocence and Enthusiasm
As they are symbols of new beginnings and hope, aster flowers are also associated with innocence. So, they make wonderful gifts for babies and children.
The aster also reminds us grownups to never forget our own inner child. Just because we’re grownups with adult responsibilities, doesn’t mean we have to be sophisticated and self-contained all the time.
The aster reminds us, as the Buddhists say, to have “a beginner’s mind.” This means having an approach to life that is curious and enthusiastic, like a child. In other words, it’s the opposite of being jaded.
Aster Symbolism: Fun
There is an easy-breezy aspect to aster flowers. They bloom in spring, when nature is waking up, and they grow easily in a variety of conditions. Not to mention, these flowers are easy to draw. In fact, they were probably the first flowers that many of us drew as kids.
As asters are associated with children, they are also associated with fun and lightheartedness. After all, children naturally know how to laugh and have a good time.
Love and Affection
How many of us have plucked the petals of an aster flower as we played the game “He loves me, he loves me not” or “She loves me, she loves me not”?
Because asters grow easily in many locations, they are often the wildflowers picked spontaneously for a bouquet to give to someone you have a crush on. This is why aster flower meanings also include love and affection.
In fact, in Victorian England, where flower symbolism was a popular pastime, giving a bouquet of aster flowers to someone meant that you returned their affection.
Aster Flower Symbolism: Eternal Love
The pastime of making flower chains out of aster flowers and their stems goes back hundreds of years. In fact, people in ancient cultures wore aster flower chains as head wreaths and belts. Not only were they beautiful, they symbolized ever-lasting love.
Fertility and Motherhood
Just as they are associated with springtime, newborns, and babies, aster flowers are also symbols of fertility and motherhood.
In fact, in ancient Scandinavia, as you’ll read about below, aster flowers were associated with the fertility goddess Freya.
Aster Symbolism: Stars
The Latin name for the Asteraceae family of flowers comes from the Latin word for “star,” which is “aster.”
These flowers not only resemble bright stars, they’re also named for the Greek goddess Astraea who turned into a star. You’ll read more about Astraea in the section on Greek mythology below.
As a symbol for stars, asters remind us of something fundamental, which is that we all originated from the same source, which is stardust.. As Joni Mitchell sang in her song “Woodstock”:
“We are stardust
Billion year old carbon…”
Aster Color Meanings
Asters come in a variety of bright colors, and each color has its own special meanings. Here are some of those associations:
White Aster Flower Meaning
With their white petals and yellow centers, the white aster symbolizes new beginnings, hope, innocence, and motherhood. This is why white aster flowers, or daisies, make lovely gifts for new parents and babies.
Yellow Aster Flower
Like the sunflower, yellow aster flowers symbolize joy, fun, hope, and good luck. In addition, they symbolize prosperity and good fortune.
So, they make lovely gifts for friends or anyone whose spirits you want to lift. As well, they are good luck symbols for manifesting more abundance in your life or that of someone you love.
Orange Aster Flower
As with other orange flower meanings, an orange aster flower symbolizes health, healing, and optimism. They also symbolize zany, off-beat fun.
Pink Aster Flower Symbolism
Like other pink flowers, pink asters symbolize love and affection, including both platonic and romantic love. They also symbolize innocence and serenity.
So, pink asters are ideal for gardens and in flower pots to welcome new babies, celebrate new moms, or simply as gifts for those in your life who love the color pink.
Red Aster Flower
Like other red flowers, red asters symbolize romantic love. Because the nature of these flowers is lighthearted and fun, red asters make lovely gifts for new crushes or long-term partners when you want to keep things light.
In addition, as a symbol of eternal love, the red aster is a sweet gift for a long-term flame when you want to reconfirm your commitment to them.
Red is also the color of wealth and good luck in some cultures, such as China. So, red aster flowers also symbolize prosperity and good fortune.
Purple Aster Flower Symbolism
Like orange asters, purple aster flowers symbolize zany fun and spontaneity.
In addition, purple is the color of peace and understanding. So, as with other purple flowers, a purple aster symbolizes the kind of hope and optimism that brings people together and heals misunderstandings. Thus, it is a flower that represents unity.
Blue Aster Flower Meanings
As with other blue flower meanings, blue asters symbolize loyalty and trust.
They’re also helpful symbols to use in visualization and other meditation practices.
Like wishing on a star, focusing on a blue aster in prayer or meditation can help to calm the mind and envision positive outcomes.
Green aster flowers symbolize new beginnings, renewal, and growth. So, they are helpful symbols for new creative, business, or other endeavors. Along these lines, they are positive symbols for building wealth.
Spiritual Meaning of Aster Flowers
On a spiritual level, the aster represents spiritual faith and the eternal life of the soul.
They also embody the idea that we all have the opportunity to begin again, no matter the mistakes we’ve made in our past. For some, aster flowers are also symbols of reincarnation.
Associated Spirit Animals
Because they grow on every continent except Antarctica, the aster plays an important role in the natural ecosystems in which they grow. As a result, they share synergies with the wild animals and insects in their natural habitats.
For example, rabbits and deer love to eat aster flowers. In addition, insects including ladybugs, spiders, damselflies, and dragonflies prey on the insects that eat asters. In doing so, they help to protect the life force of the flowers.
Furthermore, birds, including finches, sparrows, cardinals, and towhees, are attracted to asters for their seeds and the insects that live in their ecosystems as a source of food.
On a spiritual level, aster flowers share synergies with the rabbit spirit animal because they are symbols of fertility and new beginnings.
Aster Mythology and Folklore
Because they grow on nearly every continent except Antarctica, aster flowers have appeared in the mythology and folklore of many cultures. Here are some of those stories:
Aster Symbolism in Greek Mythology
Aster flowers were sacred to the ancient Greeks. In addition to weaving them into wreaths, the Greek placed aster flowers in their temples. They also burned their leaves to detoxify the air and drive evil spirits away.
The Greeks associated their goddess Astraea with Aster flowers. According to one myth, during the Iron Age, humans began to make more weapons and became increasingly violent.
Angered by all the bloodshed, Zeus decided to destroy the world of men with a great flood. However, before he did so, the gods who had been living on Earth, left. The goddess Astraea was the last to leave. Heartbroken at the loss of life, she asked Zeus to turn her into a star.
Eventually, the flood waters receded. But all that was left of the world was mud and slime. Seeing the destruction, Astraea wept, and her tears fell as stardust. When they hit the land, they turned into aster flowers.2
Aster Flower in Native American Culture
For Native Americans, aster flowers, like sunflowers, are associated with the life-giving attributes of the sun. The Native Americans also eat the aster seeds and in ancient times, they used to use their stalks as building materials.
Aster Symbolism in the U.S.
In the United States, the aster is the September birth flower. They symbolize new beginnings, happiness, and fun.
In fact, Robert Frost wrote about the optimism of the aster flower in his poem “A Late Walk,” which starts off in a melancholy way, but ends with hope:
When I go up through the mowing field,
The headless aftermath,
Smooth-laid like thatch with the heavy dew,
Half closes the garden path.
And when I come to the garden ground,
The whir of sober birds
Up from the tangle of withered weeds
Is sadder than any words.
A tree beside the wall stands bare,
But a leaf that lingered brown,
Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought,
Comes softly rattling down.
I end not far from my going forth
By picking the faded blue
Of the last remaining aster flower
To carry again to you.3
Celtic Aster Flower Meaning
For the ancient Celts, asters brought protective powers and good luck to babies and young children.
Aster in Norse Mythology
The Vikings associated asters with their goddess Freya, who was a fertility goddess and a guardian spirit of childbirth and new mothers.
Aster Flower Meaning in China and Japan
In China and Japan, aster flowers are associated with fidelity and eternal love.
Aster Flower Tattoo Meaning
An aster flower makes a beautiful design for a tattoo because it can be depicted relatively simply or in a more complex design. In addition, it symbolizes many positive attributes.
An aster flower tattoo demonstrates to the world that you are a lighthearted soul who enjoys life. It can also represent a new chapter or new start in your life.
While tattoos are highly personal to each individual, hopefully understanding the qualities that Asters represent will bring deeper meaning to your tattoo.