Symbolism and Meaning of Roses

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Roses are red, and pink and yellow and lavender and more, oh my! The abundance of colors, shapes and sizes of roses in my neighborhood is astounding and delightful right now. On a recent walk I started noticing the roses and then I started looking for them. Below you will find a variety of photos I’ve taken lately of roses I’ve found, including in my own garden. As I was gazing at a bouquet of roses my daughter picked in our garden, I got curious about the symbolism and meaning of roses.

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I was especially curious about the ancient and spiritual meaning of roses beyond the traditional common meaning of roses symbolizing love and passion. Where else in art, history and religion do they appear? Turns out there is lots to explore. And no wonder, roses are often heart-stoppingly beautiful, delicate and abundant for short periods of time. I think their ephemeral nature adds to their mystery and allure.

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Symbolic Rose Meanings

  • Love
  • Honor
  • Faith
  • Beauty
  • Balance
  • Passion
  • Wisdom
  • Intrigue
  • Devotion
  • Sensuality
  • Timelessness

This list of words is from a great article on that covers the symbolism of the rose across time, history and culture. Athena was pictured with roses and roses were said to grow at the site of Christ’s death. Roses are seen as carriers of secrets or of an understanding between a couple.

Roses also appear in many of the Tarot cards as a symbol of balance and equilibrium – roses are beautiful and they have dangerous thorns. I feel a bit like I am in this type of dichotomy right now where danger is out there and I’m in here, safe in my home, sheltering in place and blooming with ideas and love and connection. The thorns are ones of grief, tenderness, sadness for what’s happening in the world which I see and release.

What do you love about roses?

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  1. Cindy Winsel on April 10, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    What a beautiful time in Santa Barbara! We have a few things attempting to bloom; however Mother Nature will giving us snow for the weekend. I love roses and luscious smell.

    • minette on April 10, 2020 at 4:26 pm

      Sending you warm, sunny hugs from Cali!

  2. Julie A Jordan Scott on April 10, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    I so loved the video of making abstract roses. It was like a very fast meditation. Do any particular types of roses show up more often than not in tarot?

    • minette on April 10, 2020 at 4:26 pm

      Great question, I will have to go and do more research 🙂

  3. Brenda Fluharty on April 10, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    I dream about different colored roses all the time.

    • minette on April 10, 2020 at 4:25 pm

      Oooohhh that’s amaznig, all different colors?

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