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:

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 teacher Melissa Weinman 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. Years later, possibly in the first century AD, someone drew Flower of Life symbols on the pillars using an ochre stain.

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.

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