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The Flower of Life: Intersecting Circles, Infinite Meanings

The Flower of Life is a fascinating Sacred Geometric shape that has recently become highly popular in a wide range of uses. The symbol appears to be a collection of interlocking circles, with different patterns and shapes emerging from this. What makes this symbol so fascinating is its endless layers of meaning, as a whole symbol and when broken down into the various forms and symbols contained within. Here’s a closer look.

Flower of Life – Design and Origin

The Flower of Life typically has 19 evenly spaced overlapping circle. This is formed from a base of 7 circles, known as the Seed of Life, which is contained within a larger circle. The 7-circle or a 13-circle design may be shown on its own and referred to as the Flower of Life. Like a hexagon, the Flower of Life has six-fold symmetry and a hexagonal pattern where each circle overlaps with the six surrounding circles. 

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flower of life symbol
flower of life symbol

The Flower of Life is one of the original sacred geometry shapes and consists of overlapping circles that form a flower-like pattern. Sacred geometry shapes have deep symbolic meanings, often mathematical properties and interesting histories. These symbols reference the patterns and laws that underpin all creation in the universe.

Since ancient times, the Flower of Life symbol has been around, with drawings of red ochre dating back to approximately 535 BC found done on the granite of the Temple of Osiris in Egypt. The symbol is also found in a variety of significant locations, including at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, in ancient Chinese temples, in the Louvre, in the Forbidden City in Bejing, various locations in Spain and many other places.

While the symbol has existed for thousands of years, it was only given the name Flower of Life in the 1990s. This has created renewed interest in the symbol.

Flower of Life Symbolism

Flower of life pendant
Beautiful flower of life pendant by Necklace Dream World. See it here.

The Flower of Life is said to be the basic template for all creation. Many significant geometric forms are found within the flower of life, including other sacred shapes such as the Platonic Solids, Metatron’s Cube, and the Merkaba

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  • The Flower of Life symbolizes creation and is a reminder that everything is united, originating from the same blueprint. Many believe that the symbol shows the basic design of everything in life, from the atom’s configuration to the basis of every life form and thing in existence. 
  • The Flower of Life is a visual representation of the connections between all living beings and life itself. The pattern represents that all life stems from one source just as the circles stem from the one center circle.
  • It represents the mathematical and logical order of the natural world, signifying the laws of nature.

Other Symbols Found Within the Flower of Life

Seed of life flower of life fruit of life
  • DNA Strand – The symbol of the DNA strand, which is represented as two intertwined strands, can be found within the Flower of Life. This reinforces the idea that the symbol represents all creation.
  • Vesica Pisces – The Vesica Pisces is a lens-like shape formed when two circles overlap with the same radius. This symbol is significant in Pythagorean history and is used in mathematics.
  • The Seed of Life – This refers to seven overlapping circles, each of the same diameter. In Christianity, the Seed of Life is significant as it is said to symbolize the seven days of God’s creation. 
  • The Egg of Life – This is made from 7 circles that only slightly overlap. The shape is similar to the early stages of a multi-cell embryo. Because the spaces between the circles are identical to the distances between the tones in music, the Egg of Life is said to form the basis for music.
  • The Fruit of Life – This consists of 13 circles that are connected at the perimeter yet do not overlap. The Fruit of Life also consider a basic design for the universe and forms the foundation for Metatron’s Cube. 
  • Metatron’s Cube – This is believed to be a holy symbol that protects you from evil. Metatron’s cube contains the five structures that act as the foundation for all of life: the star tetrahedron (also known as Star of David), the hexahedron, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron. These structures can be found in all life forms, minerals, and even sounds, including music and language.
  • Tree of Life – Some believe that within the Flower of Life there is the design of the Tree of Life, as per the Kabbalah’s portrayal.
Seed of life
Seed of Life within the Flower of Life

Leonardo da Vinci’s Study of The Flower of Life

The Flower of Life is said to provide enlightenment to those who study it. Insight into scientific, philosophical, psychological, spiritual, and mystical laws may be found by studying the shape of the Flower of Life.

Leonardo da Vinci's drawing of flower of life
Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing of flower of life. Public domain.

One person to investigate the form was Leonardo da Vinci. He found that the Five Platonic Solids, the Golden Ratio of Phi, and the Fibonacci Spiral were within the Flower of Life.

  • The Five Platonic Solids are the same shapes within Metatron’s Cube: tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron. Some of these shapes also demonstrate the Golden Ratio. 
  • The number Phi was known to ancient Greek mathematicians. Still, da Vinci was possibly the first to call it the golden ratio and used the ratio in several of his artwork. Phi is a number that can be squared by adding one to itself or the ratio between the numbers equal about 1.618. More recent studies into Phi reveal that it might be misunderstood and not as mythical and prominent a ratio as initially believed. Phi is associated with the Fibonacci sequence.
  • The Fibonacci Spiral is related to the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Ratio. The Fibonacci sequence is a pattern of numbers starting with 0 and 1. Then all subsequent numbers are found by adding the two previous numbers together. If you then make squares with those widths and connect them, the result will form the Fibonacci Spiral. 
Da Vinci
Da Vinci is said to have studied the Flower of Life

Flower of Life – Modern Use

The Flower of Life is a common design used in jewelry, tattoos, and decorative products. As a symbol used in jewelry and fashion, it’s a reminder of our connection to the world around us and to each other. It’s also a beautiful, symmetrical and intriguing pattern that looks stylish in pendants, earrings, rings and bracelets.

The symbol is also often used in meditative tools, such as mandalas or on items such as yoga mats, clothing and wall hangings. The symbol has been featured on many iconic items, including on the cover of Coldplay’s album Head Full of Dreams.

The Flower of Life has enjoyed renewed interest, especially with the New Age Movement, which is geared towards love and light through personal transformations. The Flower of Life is used by the New Age groups to create new beliefs and practices, such as mediation practices and is studied in hopes of finding deeper spiritual meaning in life. 

Wrapping It All Up 

The Flower of Life is a complex symbol that is believed to contain the truths about the universe, life, and more. Although it’s an ancient symbol, the Flower of Life continues to be popular today in popular culture, fashion, spirituality and certain faiths.

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Dani Rhys
Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education, and has also studied Political Science, Ancient History and Literature. She has a wide range of interests ranging from ancient cultures and mythology to Harry Potter and gardening. She works as the chief editor of Symbol Sage but also takes the time to write on topics that interest her.