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Red Spider Lily Tattoo: Meaning

A red spider lily tattoo symbolizes the cycle of rebirth, the beginning of the fall and the September Equinox, and death in Japan and in anime — a style of animation that originated in Japan.

The red spider lily (Lycoris radiata) is a bulbous perennial plant in the amaryllis family, Amaryllidaceae.

It is native to China, Nepal, Korea, and Japan. It grows mainly in the subtropical biome. Lycoris radiata is a perennial that grows from bulbs, about 30 to 60 cm tall.

Although it is a native of Asia, Lycoris radiata has become naturalized in the southeastern US.

The genus name Lycoris is believed to originate from a lover of Roman general Mark Antony named Cytheris (Lycoris).

Red Spider Lily Tattoo – Meanings:

Are you contemplating inking a red spider lily? There are several meanings that you need to know.

red spider lily tattoo minimalist on one finger

Red spider lily tattoo minimalist on one finger

They are about the cycle of rebirth — in Buddhism

In Asia, red spider lilies are believed to guide dead people through Samsara, the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Rebirth brings the soul into another life; however, increasing good karma can result in a better rebirth in samsara.

This cycle continues until an individual attains spiritual enlightenment and transcends death and birth. Therefore, the ultimate target of Buddhist practice is to become free from samsara.

In Sanskrit, the word samsara translates as “passing through” or “flowing on.” Samsara can be described as the experience that results from ignorance, aversion and spider lily tattoo neck

The saṃsāra doctrine is tied to the karma philosophy of Hinduism — law of cause and effect which holds an individual responsible for her or his actions (mental, verbal, and physical).

“Higanbana” is the term that the Japanese name for red spider lilies (translating to “from the other shore”), and it means that this is the flower of this life and of the next life.

They are beautiful but dangerousred spider lily tattoo sleeve

All parts of red spider lily are toxic if ingested since, like other members of the Amaryllis family, it contains lycorine compounds, with the bulb having the highest concentration of lycorine.

Intoxication with lycorine can lead to diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. It may even be lethal when ingested in certain quantities.

So, are red spider lilies beautiful? Definitely. “Seductive” is the word that describes something that is beautiful but also dangerous. This term sometimes has a negative connotation, but it is what it is.Red Spider Lily Tattoo on belly

Red spider lilies are beautiful flowers but potentially dangerous to play with them. Having a red spider lily tattoo can show the world exactly that, that you are beautiful and dangerous, and they better not mess around with you.

They are about the beginning of the fallRed Spider Lily Tattoo on chest

You know fall has arrived when Lycoris radiata show up.

Red spider lilies symbolize the beginning of fall and the autumn equinox (also referred to as the September Equinox) — and mark the end of summer and the beginning of autumn in the northern hemisphere. Also, spring starts in the Southern.

Equinox comes from the Latin for “equal night.” The autumnal equinox is usually September 22 or 23.

The autumn equinox is when the Sun crosses the celestial equator. At the September equinox, it’s crossing from north to south. The equinox occurs at the same moment worldwide.Red Spider Lily Tattoo on wrist

From the day of the September Equinox, the day is shorter than the night. Beginning with this day, plant life slows down as well as temperatures drop.

Worldwide, there are many celebrations associated with the fall equinox. As such, a red spider lily tattoo is strongly associated with the beginning of the fall.

These tattoos represent death — in anime and in Japan

The term anime can be new to many Western audiences, however, it is a Japanese colloquialism used for the term “animation.” It usually contains action-oriented plots,  energetic characters, and colorful graphics.

tokyo ghoul red spider lily tattoo on shoulder of a woman

Tokyo Ghoul red spider lily tattoo

Interesting fact – in Japan, many schools have anime as an actual subject.

Red spider lilies are found in many anime and mangas. Their association with anime probably comes from these lilies’ associations with death and graveyards. Japanese used to plant them in close proximity to burial sites in Japan. Thought, not anymore since 99.81% of deceased Japanese are cremated.

For these reasons, these flowers should never be given as a bouquet.

For instance, Lycoris radiata is found in Tokyo Ghoul, a Japanese dark fantasy manga series. In 2014, a 12-episode anime TV series adaptation was produced. The protagonist of the series, Ken Kaneki, is intertwined during the series with Lycoris ghoul red spider lily tattoo on shoulder

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is another manga series where we can find red spider lilies. Demon Slayer was written and illustrated by Koyoharu Gotouge. The manga has more than 160 million copies in circulation.  In 2019, it was released a 26-episode anime TV series adaptation.

Therefore, if you are part of the anime and manga fandom, a red spider lily tattoo may be exactly for you. Not many people have this type of tattoo, it is interesting and a bit macabre since they are considered a tribute to the spider lily spine tattoo


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