Flower of Life Meaning and Symbolism

Flower of Life

The Flower of Life symbol is a two-dimensional illustration that contains 19 equally proportioned overlapping circles. A school of thought known as Sacred Geometry explains the profound meanings implied by this ancient symbol.

What is the Flower of Life?

The Flower of Life symbol is a two-dimensional illustration that contains 19 equally proportioned overlapping circles. A school of thought known as Sacred Geometry explains the profound meanings implied by this ancient symbol.

The Flower of Life is a geometrical design that consists of 19 circles of the same size that are interconnected. The image looks like a set of equally proportioned flowers. The composition is not only beautiful; it has profound symbolic meanings for our existence, life on Earth, and the formation of the Universe.

Flower of Life

The Flower of Life is comprised of simpler shapes, or structures. The design starts with a vesica piscis, which is a geometrical shape consisting of two overlapping circles of the same size:

Vesica Piscis

From the two spheres, additional circles are added.

A similar design, but with only seven interconnected circles is known as the Seed of Life. Just as real-life seeds are the origins of flowers, the Seed of Life symbol is a building block for the Flower of Life design.

Flower of Life Stages
Flower of Life stages. Based on an illustration by Mike Oprisko.

Flower of Life in Sacred Geometry

In the theory of Sacred Geometry, geometrical (or mathematical) patterns found in nature are evidence of intelligent design. While we can explain these patterns in scientific terms, followers of Sacred Geometry believe they are evidence of creation by a higher power.

One example of Sacred Geometry in nature is the Fibonacci Spiral, which I wrote about in my posts about the Seed of Life and Snake Meanings and Symbolism.

The Fibonacci Spiral is a pattern that repeats throughout nature and the greater Universe. Sunflowers, hurricanes, galaxies, nautilus seashells, and even coiled snakes, contains spirals.

Spirtal in Nature

Some spirals found in nature follow the mathematical pattern of the Fibonacci number sequence, which starts with 0 and 1 and then increases with the sum of the previous two numbers, such as 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, and so on.

Symbolically, a spiral represents the expansion outward from a single source, which grows or gains power. In Sacred Geometry, the fact that we find this pattern in such a variety of life forces demonstrates our origins, or creation, stemming from a single source.

What is the meaning of the Flower of Life?

Flower of LIfe Meaning

Followers of Sacred Geometry believe these types of repeating patterns demonstrate an interconnectedness of life on Earth and Universal existence. They believe that these arrangements are derived from a single source, which is a divine creator.

In Sacred Geometry, symbols like the vesica piscis, which evolve to become the Seed of Life and then the Flower of Life, symbolize the building blocks of life and existence. They are considered blueprints for creation.

Even if you don’t believe in a divine creator, the Flower of Life design can also symbolize the interconnectedness of life on Earth from a scientific and ecological standpoint.

Leonardo da Vinci and the Flower of Life

Born in 1452, Leonardo da Vinci was supposedly obsessed with geometry and the implications presented by Sacred Geometry. In fact, Da Vinci incorporated what were considered sacred shapes into the compositions of his artwork to imbue it with deeper meanings.

In this video, artist and educator Melissa Weinman1 explains how da Vinci incorporated sacred geometric shapes into his work:

Vitruvian Man

Leonard da Vinci's Vitruvian Man Drawing
Leonard da Vinci’s illustration of the Vitruvian Man, 1492. Image: Gallerie dell’Accademia.

Historians believe that da Vinci’s famous drawing Vitruvian Man was composed, at least in part, based on the Flower of Life symbol. The drawing incorporates a square overlapping a circle. Historians believe that da Vinci was depicting the concept that human beings bridge the gap between the physical or material world (represented by the square) and the spiritual or metaphysical world (represented by the circle.)

Vitruvian Man and the Flower of Life

In addition, the Flower of Life symbol as a basis for the drawing demonstrates that human beings’ proportions are in harmony with the building blocks of the Universe. In other words, we are also the product of intelligent design.

Flower of Life Meaning in Ancient Cultures

Beyond da Vinci’s world, the Flower of Life appeared in other ancient cultures around the world.

Egypt

In the ancient city of Abydos, Egypt, archaeologists discovered the temple of Osirion, which was located below, yet connected to, the Temple of Seti I. Osirion has enormous red granite pillars. The temple was most likely built somewhere between 1294 to 1279 BC.2 Years later, possibly in the first century AD, someone drew Flower of Life symbols on the pillars using an ochre stain.3

Ancient Rome

The Romans also incorporated the Flower of Life design into their artwork, including a mosaic floor that was discovered in the ancient city of Pompei.

Asia

A spherical Flower of Life appears under the paw of one of the lions that guards the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. Furthermore, in Buddhism, the lotus flower meaning is often seen as synonymous with the Flower of Life.

Christianity, Judaism, and Kabbalah

Foundations for the Flower of Life appear in religious contexts, including Judaism and Christianity.

In Christianity, the Seed of Life represents the sum of the Holy Trinity and the four corners of the world. Together, these elements comprise the building blocks of life on Earth. The Flower of Life represents their expansion and interconnection.

Sefirot
The 10 Sefirot of the Kabbalah.

In the mystical Jewish practice of Kabbalah, the Flower of Life is associated with another symbol called the Sefirot. The Sefirot, which is sometimes referred to as the Tree of Life, represents 10 channels of spiritual practice as well as divine life force in this body. In this way, the Sefirot are like the chakras.

Flower of Life and the Sefirot of the KabbalahThe common theme in these spiritual symbols is that all life, including that of humans, is derived from an original source.

Flower of Life Tattoo

A Flower of Life symbol can be a beautiful design for a tattoo because symbolism is such an essential aspect to tattoo art. The elegant, yet simple, two-dimensional design can express profound meaning about life and our existence. Whether it stands on its own or is overlayed on another design, a Flower of Life tattoo can invite some fascinating discussions about history, spirituality, and existence.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meaning of Flower of Life?

For those who believe, the Flower of Life symbol represents a divine blueprint for creation. They believe the shapes within the Flower of Life design represent the building blocks of life, or existence.

What religion is the Flower of Life?

The Flower of Life pre-dates modern-day world religions. Thus, the symbol doesn’t represent any one religion. However, its concepts exists in many religions. For example, the Flower of Life symbol appears in Hindu and Buddhist mandalas as well as Christian, Jewish, and Muslim artwork.

Is the Flower of Life mentioned in the Bible?

Historians believe the Flower of Life symbol pre-dates the Bible and the written word. However, the idea of the Flower of Life as evidence of a single source creating the world from nothing has parallels in the Book of Genesis. For example, Genesis 1:2 describes the world as without any form until God began to craft it: “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”4

What is the Flower of Life in Sacred Geometry?

In Sacred Geometry, the Flower of Life demonstrates repeating mathematical patterns that exist in nature and the Universe at large. These patterns are based on building blocks that repeat. Thus, followers of Sacred Geometry believe the Flower of Life is evidence of intelligent design by a divine creator and the interconnectedness of life in the Universe.

What is the spiritual meaning of the Flower of Life?

On a spiritual level, the Flower of Life represents that life on Earth, in the Universe, and our existence are part of a divine, interconnected plan. In addition, for those who believe, it demonstrates evidence of a divine creator.

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