Symbolic Number of Petals in Roses

J. E. Cirlot describes the rose: "The single rose is, in essence, a symbol of completion, of consummate achievement and perfection. Hence, accruing to it are those ideas associated with these qualities: the mystic Centre, the heart (1), the garden of Eros, the paradise of Dante (2), the beloved (3), the emblem of Venus (4), and so on. More precise symbolic meanings are derived from the colour and number of its petals. The relationship of the white rose to the red is in accordance with the relationship between the two colours as defined in alchemy (c.v.). The blue rose is symbolic of the impossible. The golden rose is a symbol of absolute achievement. When the rose is round in shape, it corresponds to the mandala. The seven-petalled rose alludes to the septenary pattern (that is, the seven Directions of Space, the seven planets, the seven degrees of perfection). It is in this sense that it appears in emblem DCCXXIII of the Ars Symbolica of Bosch and in the Summum Bonum of Robert Fludd (5). The eight-petalled rose symbolizes regeneration (6)."

1. Bachelard, Gaston. La Psychanalyse du feu. Paris, 1938.
2. Bayley, Harold. The Lost Language of Symbolism. London, 1912 (repr. 1951).
3. Jung, C. G. Symbols of Transformation (Collected Works, 5). London, 1956.
4. B. G. P. Diccionario universal de la mitologia. Barcelona, 1835.
5. Jung, C. G. Psychology and Alchemy (Collected Works, 12). London, 1953.
6. Pinedo, Ramiro de. El Simbolismo en la escultura medieval espanola. Madrid, 1930.

©2000-2005 Daphne Filiberti