Four leaf clovers have long been a symbol of good luck–but why? They’re incredibly common, and yet, other good luck symbols, like horse shoes or rabbit’s feet are not so common. What makes four leaf clovers so special?
Typically, associated with Ireland’s rolling hills and legends of leprechauns, the four leaf clover is actually closely related with the shamrock, which is considered a charm against evil. The difference of course is that a shamrock is quite common and only has three leaves. The fourth leaf is actually caused by a genetic mutation. As a result, one leaf is often smaller than the other three. Although, in media imagery and today’s pop culture all four leaves are of equal size. But what do they mean?
Meaning of Each Clover
Symbolically, one leave is for hope, one for faith, one for love, and one for — you guessed it — luck. The reason these plants are associated with luck most of all is probably because of how rare they are. Many people have spent hours crawling through the grassy fields on sunny afternoons and still haven’t found one.
Because four leaf clover tattoos are so common, there is a vast array of designs available for them. From solid green and plain, to sporting complex shading and texture with adornments like Ireland’s flag, a crown, or a white dove.
Many four leaf clover tattoos are adorned with flowers surrounding the actual clover to add some color and dynamics to the tattoo. Others feature ribbons or sashes encircling the clover and giving the tattoo a grander, even regal appearance. And because four leaf clovers symbolize luck, it’s not at all uncommon to see the word ‘luck’ either above or below the clover in various styles of script.
Also, to emphasize the connection between four leaf clovers and Ireland, oftentimes Celtic symbolism is connected with clover, such as a Celtic cross, Celtic knot designs, or even the great tree of life from Celtic mythology.
Most people can remember the days when they searched their backyards for four leaf clovers. It’s not at all hard to understand why these tattoo designs are popular. And if it truly does bring good luck, it never hurts to have one.