I’m sure you’re familiar with the exquisite “Dia De Los Muertos” masks that are famous worldwide – for one, I am crazy about them, and I even painted my face like that last Halloween.
However, I only recently discovered that most of the flowers painted on these beautiful masks are marigolds.
I started wondering what the real marigold means since, in Romania, where I’m from, marigolds represent healing and sunlight – quite different from what the Mexican masks stand for.
After extensive research, I discovered that marigolds have a very complex and powerful symbolism.
Marigolds are exquisitely beautiful flowers, most widespread in the color yellow – but they can also be red or orange.
Their solar and bright colors make them stand out, and people have generally given them positive meanings such as inner power, healing, and the inner sun of every person – the place within ourselves where we can all tap to access immense power and Divine Energy.
They represent something different in many important world cultures – from India to Mexico- and in some of the world’s most widespread religions – Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
People worldwide use marigolds in their spiritual practices, eat or drink them to benefit from their healing properties and medicinal purposes (yes, they are edible!), and they use them in tattoos or house decorations as symbols.
But because marigolds are used worldwide to represent so many different things, each person can decide which meaning applies to them and what message they are trying to send through the symbol of marigolds.
If you were looking to use marigolds in a tattoo or to decorate something, or if you’re just passionate about reading about the spiritual symbolism of the plants, let’s have a look together at the 10 main marigold spiritual meanings:
10 Meanings Of The Marigold Flower Symbolism
#1. Death and Mourning
As I start talking about the “Dia De Los Muertos” masks, I will talk about the first meaning of the marigolds – death, mourning, and honoring your dead.
Marigolds, together with chrysanthemums, cockscomb, gladiolas, white hoary stock, and the flower called baby’s breath, are used in Mexico as decorations for the famous Dia de Los Muertos – the Day of the Dead.
They are often painted on people’s faces, on masks, or simply put as “ofrenda” – which means “offering” or “tribute” for the deceased ones, on their graves, or on certain assigned altars.
In this case, marigolds are used to represent mourning, sadness, and paying tribute to the deceased one, who is commemorated and paid respect through the use of these flowers.
#2. Healing and restoration
Marigolds represent healing and restorations in many world cultures – the European culture and back in the days of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece.
In ancient cultures, people were preoccupied with finding plants with healing properties because, as they did not have medication, these plants provided the only healing they could get.
The healing properties of marigold were discovered quite fast – it can calm headaches and toothache, stomach aches, and digestion issues, and it can heal many skin problems.
Thus, marigold was widely used for medicinal teas and drinks and added to foods.
Soon, people started associating marigold with healing and restoration, and in many countries is seen as a symbol for tapping into your healing energy and the restoring power of the Sun, Divine Energy, and the human body.
In Europe, for example, people associate marigolds with healing and emphasize their medical properties.
Here, it is quite common to give a marigold to someone sick – as you are bringing the healing energy of the Sun into their house by doing this.
#3. Grief and despair
Marigolds were used to represent grief and despair back in the Victorian Era.
During these times, people would put marigolds in their houses to show that they were mourning or take marigolds to a deceased person’s grave.
This approach is quite similar to the marigold symbolism in Mexico; however, it is just a bit darker because, in the Victorian Era, people used the marigolds to signal they were truly suffering after losing a loved one.
The Mexican approach is more oriented towards respect and commemoration. Meanwhile, the Victorian approach was very sad and dark.
#4. Respect and worship
The marigold symbolism in Buddhism is all about respect, worship, and paying tribute.
Buddhists used to give marigolds as an offering to Buddha by leaving this beautiful flower in the temple.
In this case, marigolds were used to represent respect, admiration, and a sense of peace of serenity, representative of the Buddhist doctrine.
#5. Brightness and positive energy
Brightness and positive energy are the words that best describe the marigold symbolism in India and Hinduism – India’s main religion.
Here, marigolds have a variety of positive meanings – they represent auspiciousness, brightness, and positive energy.
Hindus also noticed the fragrant similarity between the yellow marigold and the Sun, which is why they associated it with good news and the bright, beneficial energy of the Sun.
Hinduism's marigold flower symbolism is also connected to the ideal couple – the Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu.
Thus, here marigolds have a powerful connection to love; hence, they are used during weddings as gifts for the married couple or as decorations.
After all, who wouldn’t want the solar and bright energy of the ideal love around them when they are getting married?
#6. Inner strength and riches
If we’re talking about the marigold flower symbolism in Christianity, the best words to summarize its rich meaning are our inner strength and riches.
Christians believe that the name “marigold” is short for “Mary’s gold,” which is why the Bible’s gardens were described as full of marigolds.
Christians also have a habit of giving marigolds as an offering to the Virgin Mary when they pray to her because marigolds are seen as precious and valuable, representing faith and inner strength.
#7. Love and romance
Marigolds are often associated with love and romance as well. For example, as shown above, in Hinduism, they represent the perfect couple.
Also, in the Middle Ages, one of the main spiritual meanings of the marigolds was that they could attract love or make existing love flourish – especially red marigolds.
For this reason, people would carry a piece of marigold with them when meeting someone they really liked or when they were trying to attract a new partner.
Was this working? I don’t know, but if you’re willing to try it out, share with us in the comments section below if marigold has brought you a new lover!
#8. Optimism and renewal
One of the most important marigold meanings is that it symbolizes optimism and renewal.
This meaning can mainly be extracted from Hinduism and Christianity among all the abovementioned cultures and religions.
Thus, the marigold symbolism in India and Europe is a lot about optimism and renewal.
Yellow marigolds are associated with the sun, and it’s a powerful energy that makes us feel happy and positive and helps nature restore itself after the harsh winter.
Thus, if you are in a situation in your life in which you feel like you need a complete transformation – based on renewal and restoration, decorating your house, clothes, or body with marigolds could be a brilliant idea.
#9. The Sun
As mentioned before, marigolds – especially the yellow ones are associated with the Sun.
The main reason for this could be the physical resemblance between this flower and the sun.
This association between the marigold and the sun can possibly be at the root of the main positive meanings assigned to this flower.
Marigolds are believed to bring beautiful, healing energy and light because they look like the sun and are associated with it.
Thus, if you are someone who loves the sun and you are trying to decorate your house, body, and wardrobe with sun-related motives, the marigold is one of the things you can take into account.
#10. The Sagittarius Zodiac Sign
Marigolds also have a correspondent in astrology – and that is, they represent the Sagittarius zodiac sign.
The association between marigolds and Sagittarius comes from the fact that both marigolds and Sagittarius are very powerful and flexible – they can bloom in any environment.
Marigolds are known for the fact they are resilient flowers, and they can grow and bloom even in adverse environments, like hard soil or swamps.
Similarly, people born under the zodiac sign of Sagittarius – a mutable fire sign characterized by fiery and strong energy- are known to be adaptable and independent.
They don’t need much help from others to succeed at what they are trying to do and can adapt to new or tough environments way faster than other people.
Thus, as marigolds have a very powerful spiritual symbolism, they got included in astrology as well to represent this expansive, strong-willed, and very active zodiac sign.
Thus, if you’re someone with their sun, moon, or ascendant in Sagittarius, you may look at surrounding yourself with marigolds or decorating your house/skin with them.
They will help enhance your fiery Sagittarius energy and will help you get in touch better with the Sagittarius in you.
This can be quite helpful, as Sagittarius is a sign who possesses important qualities such as determination, courage, boldness, and independence, and we all know there are many times in someone’s life when we need these qualities.
Marigold Flower Symbolism According to the Color
As marigolds come in 3 main colors – yellow, red, and orange it’s worth having a look at the symbolism of each color.
Colors in themselves have an individual symbolism of them. Thus, this applies when it comes to marigolds.
If you want to use marigolds for decoration, or especially if you’re looking to get a marigold tattoo, choosing the right color can also be important to send the right message.
Thus, have a look at the following marigold color symbolism:
Yellow marigolds’ main meaning symbolizes the Sun and everything it represents – light, warmth, power, healing, fiery energy, restoration, and positive energy.
They also look very similar to the sun, which is where this association comes from, and they are a perfect gift for anyone who is recovering from sickness.
They are also ideal if you are trying to bring more light, healing, and solar/positive energy into your own life.
On the other hand, yellow marigold flower symbolism also implies grief, mourning, or jealousy.
Thus, if you want to show that you are grieving anything or anyone or you are in mourning, feel free to express it using yellow marigolds.
The red marigolds' flower symbolism is mainly related to love and romance.
This should not be a surprise, as this is generally the meaning of the color red, especially when it comes to flowers (for example, the red rose).
Thus, red marigolds are suitable to tattoo or use as decorations or even wear in your pocket if you’re trying to draw love into your life.
Also, giving someone a red marigold or an object decorated with red marigolds can symbolize that you have romantic feelings for the person.
The energy of the red marigold can help consolidate love in that relationship or bring the romantic outcome closer to fruition!
The orange marigold flower symbolism is mainly about positive energy but also about strong emotions and empowerment.
Thus, if you are trying to express boldness, strong love, inner power, and strength, or simply to bring these energies into your life, feel free to do it with the help of orange marigolds.
Marigold Tattoo Meaning
The marigold tattoo meaning can be quite complex, and the range of meanings that can be attributed to these flowers is quite broad.
This is because, as we’ve seen above, marigolds represent so many things worldwide – sometimes even contradictory things, such as healing and positive energy, but also loss and mourning.
It can be confusing, I can imagine. Thus, if you like marigolds and want a marigold tattoo, I encourage you to choose the meaning that best applies to you.
If one of the marigold meanings resonates with you right now, go ahead and get the tattoo, regardless of what others could think.
You could also assign your own meaning to marigolds and what they represent to you, or you can simply get a marigold tattoo because you like how they look.
However, I will still list below some of the main marigold tattoos meanings across the world for you to see which one (if any) resonates with you:
#1. Positive energy
One of the main reasons why people tattoo marigolds on their skin are because they are trying to bring more positive energy into their being.
Or maybe they are trying to express more positive energy into the world, which will return to them eventually.
#2. Inner Healing
Another marigold tattoo symbolism is to represent that the person is going through a process of inner healing or to bring more inner healing into their life.
#3. Inner Strength
Marigolds (yellow or orange) are a powerful symbol of inner strength (see the Christian marigold symbolism).
If inner strength is important to you, or if you’re trying to tap into your inner strength and use it for something, marigolds are a great tattoo for that.
#4. The Sun
If you’re someone who loves the sun and wants to have it represented on their body, besides tattooing the sun itself, you can also choose to tattoo the yellow marigold.
The yellow marigold has the spiritual power of bringing more solar energy into your life and into your being. Thus, it can be a great tattoo idea.
#5. Mourning and sadness
Another important marigold tattoo meaning is to show that you feel sadness while grieving a certain loss or that you’re in the process of mourning.
As the Mexicans use marigolds to express mourning and sadness, you can also choose to express your mourning mixed with love and respect for someone who passed away by tattooing the beautiful marigold (maybe with their name alongside) on your skin.
#7. Love and romance (red marigolds)
You can tattoo red marigolds on your skin as a symbol of love and romance or as an attempt to draw more love into your life.
If you want to represent the mourning or grief of a Soulmate or your significant other, the red marigold is also a perfect choice.
If you liked this article on marigold flower meaning and marigold symbolism across the globe and during different eras, share your opinion in the comment section below.
Also, if you have a marigold tattoo or anything decorated with marigolds, we would love to know the story behind it!
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Alexandra, the head author at Subconscious Servant is a Psychologist, Reiki Therapist, and writer. She loves writing about any topic from Applied Psychology, Metaphysical and Spiritual healing, hoping that people on a spiritual, self-discovery journey will find guidance and light through her articles. If you want to read more about Alexandra, visit her full author bio here.