Exploring Symbolic Sunflower Meaning
The sunflower moves itself in the most direct position in front of the sun so it can get the maximum sun rays. This is symbolic of spiritual faith, and worship because we follow our belief system as the sunflower moves to face the life-giving rays of the sun.
The sunflower is the Greek symbol of Clytie (a water nymph) who turns into a sunflower after grieving over the loss of her love (Apollo). The mythological symbolism here is that Clytie (in the form of a sunflower) is always facing the sun, looking for Apollo's chariot to return and she might be joined again with her love. The sunflower is also a symbol of Daphne (another Greek nymph).
In Chinese symbolism, the sunflower (and sunflower meaning) deals with long life, good luck and is considered very auspicious. It's yellow color signifies vitality and intelligence. It's a symbol of happiness too.
In esoteric Christianity, the sunflower is a symbol of God's love. The sunflower as a symbol can also represent the unwavering faith that guides the soul to the highest spiritual attunement.
Years ago, I was an active member of a local Spiritualist church. I mention this because their insignia was the sunflower. When I asked the church president about it, she informed me the sunflower was a perfect symbol for the faith because the blossom (bright and bountiful) is always seeking out the light. Symbolically, this is spiritually akin to the heart/soul of humankind always seeking and attaining unity with the light of faith and keeping a connection with the Source/God/Goddess of one's own understanding.
Some other symbolic sunflower meanings include...
In Native American symbolism, the sunflower is used in late summer festivals as a symbol of bounty, harvest and provision. It is a symbol of the sun, and thus likened to the life-giving force of the Great Spirit. The color of the sunflower was noted for its vitality and symbolic of energy as well as fertility.
Speaking of sunflower color...I often interpret color symbolism according to the chakras. As a yellow flower, the sunflower can be compared to the solar-plexus chakra (Manipura). This chakra (and its color) governs intellect, and is a central force of perception as well as self-awareness and personal evolution. I mentioned being a member of the Spiritualist church in my area...well...the church had a course on automatic writing, which is a method of communicating with those who have passed into non-physical by writing messages in a state of heightened consciousness. I always find it fascinating that the instructor of the course insisted we all use yellow sheets of paper in this exercise. She pointed out that the color yellow is a mind-expanding, and spiritually broadening color. Keep this in mind while you connect with the sunflower.
We could also incorporate the color orange in symbolic sunflower meanings. Referring back to the chakra system, orange is associated with the sacral chakra (Swadhisthana), and is linked with areas of creativity, expansion, fertility, reproduction (of all types). Orange is also a powerful color to use in aspects of self-acceptance, and a great tool to auger self-confidence. Perhaps the sunflower might be a useful symbol in meditation as a means for bolstering security and confidence. Check out my page on chakra color meanings for more information on this aspect of symbolism.
Sunflower meaning is mostly derived from solar (sun) symbolism which deals with...
Actually, the symbolism of water comes into play with sunflower meaning too. According to Ted Andrews in his book Nature-Speak (see link below to purchase this awesome book), water builds up in the cells of the shady side of the sunflower's stem and pressure forces the blossoming head in a steady arc toward the direction of light. Water carries powerful symbolism of force, emotion, cleansing and purification. Check out more water symbolism here.
Check out these great reference books, which I highly recommend. These have been mentioned, or have inspired me in the writing of this article.
I hope you have enjoyed these thoughts on symbolic sunflower meanings. Be sure to check out the links below for more related content on this website.
Also, thanks to David J. Crotty for the use of his sunflower picture shown at the center of his page.
An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings
Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.
This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."
Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)
As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!