What Do Roses Symbolize? - Rose Meaning and Symbolism
Roses are flowers that you can see every day. Whether you see them in the local flower shop, in someone’s garden, in local gardens, on someone’s clothes, jewelry or even in the form of tattoos, they are present and they are everywhere. The reason behind that is that they are simply beautiful and they smell great. However, there are more to them than just beauty.
Roses are even present in Greek mythology and they, according to the myths, sprouted from the place where Adonis bled for Aphrodite. Another version tells us that the Aphrodite bled for Adonis and that’s where the roses sprout. Here, in Greek mythology, they were a symbol of love and rebirth. However, that’s not the only place where roses occur in legends and mythology. There is a lot behind the meaning of roses and their symbolism, so let’s explore what do roses symbolize.
Most commonly, roses are associated with love and romance. However, rose symbolism is vast and they can hide some other interpretations behind them.
Sometimes, roses can mean secrecy or confidentiality. If you’ve ever heard of the term “sub rosa” (meaning under the rose), then you are associated with this meaning from the ancient times. When Romans had their banquets and parties, they used to hand roses from the ceiling of the halls, and that’s when the term sub rosa occurred. This meant that anything said under the influence of alcohol should stay confidential.
A similar rose meaning occurred in the Middle Ages when they used to hang roses from the ceilings of meeting rooms. This meant that everything said under the rose, should remain a secret.
Another place where you can see a rose is on four tarot cards - The Fool, The Magician, The Strength, and The Death card. On The Fool there is a white rose and it symbolizes purity and it tells you that you should cleanse your mind. On The Magician card, the rose represents unfolding wisdom. On The Strength one, the rose stands for balance, while on The Death card, a rose is a reminder of clarity, purity, and transparency of intent.
Roses and colors meaning
What do roses symbolize will often greatly depend on their color and the number of roses you are giving to someone. However, let’s look at their colors first.
- Red roses are a symbol of love and romance.
- Pink roses symbolize grace, joy, gratitude and admiration.
- Orange roses carry the meaning of passion and enthusiasm.
- Yellow roses stand for friendships.
- White roses symbolize purity and innocence.
Now that you know what each color means, you can carefully choose the bouquet of roses for the recipient. However, there is another thing to consider and that is the number of these pretty flowers.
- One rose can symbolize love at first sight.
- Two roses stand for shared and deep love.
- Three roses simply say “I love you.”
- Six roses will carry the message “I want to be yours.”
- Seven roses mean “I’m infatuated with you.”
- Nine roses represent eternal love.
- Ten roses will say the recipient “You’re perfect.”
Rose flower jewelry and symbolism
Since jewelry is adored since the dawn of time, it is no wonder that you can find many beautiful flower jewelry pieces. And yes, you guessed it, the rose flower jewelry is really popular. Just like with the meaning of the very flower, the rose flower jewelry can carry the same symbolism, regarding its color and number.
So, if you want to express deep love to someone and you wish to give them jewelry, then you can’t go wrong by choosing a rose flower ring, necklace or bracelet. However, there is another thing to be considered here. Rose meaning is often connected to the month of June. They are the birth flower for that month, so you can easily make someone happy with a rose necklace designed just for their month. Additionally, you can consider jewelry with birthstones and get them a perfect rose birthstone necklace.
Check out Rose Jewelry and Rose Necklaces by Controse
The cultural significance of roses
Apart from being pretty, roses have some significance in our culture. For example, roses are the national flower of England. Also, in the 15th century, they represented two important families - Yorks and Lancasters. Not to mention how there was The War of the Roses between these two families. The Lancasters were represented by a red rose, while the house of York was represented by a white rose.
Additionally, some of the greatest writers like Shakespeare were inspired by this flower. What is more, in his Romeo and Juliet, there is the most popular quote on roses - “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”; and with this sentence, Juliet reminds Romeo about how deep and real their love is.
Moreover, this flower even found its place in architecture; what is more, it is a well-known flower in gothic architecture. We all know that the gothic style of anything features many symbols and shapes associated with it, but in architecture, there is the “Rose window”. This popular window is featured on many gothic cathedrals around the world, and such structures simply wouldn’t complete without it.
Legends on Roses
Besides being the most popular symbol for love and romance, and often purity, roses appeared in many ancient legends and myths.
In Greek mythology, there is the myth of Aphrodite and Adonis. The Goddess of Love is believed to have created a rose from her blood and tears for Adonis.
In Roman mythology, their Goddess of Love Venus adopted this flower and it became the symbol of beauty and love. Additionally, Cupid tried to bribe the God of Silence with a rose, and thus turned it into a symbol for secrecy, just like we mentioned in the rose meaning.
There is also an Arabic legend about roses originally being white. However, one night, a nightingale met a beautiful white rose and fell in love with it. But, because the nightingale’s love for the rose was so strong that he pressed himself onto a rose and the thorns pierced his heart, turning the roses red.
As you can see, this flower is more than just a beautiful plant. It carries some of the most beautiful and important meanings, such as purity, beauty, and love. Not to mention how deep it penetrated in our culture, everyday life and even fashion.