Flame and Fire Tattoo Meanings, Designs, and Ideas

Updated on March 11, 2020
thelyricwriter profile image

Richard Hale is a tattoo enthusiast who studies and researches tattoo symbolism, meanings, and history.

There are near-endless design ideas for tattoos that incorporate flames or fire. These two designs feature skulls with flames.
There are near-endless design ideas for tattoos that incorporate flames or fire. These two designs feature skulls with flames. | Source

Fire and Flame Tattoos

When mankind first made fire, it was a huge accomplishment, and it changed destiny forever. Fire gave humans warmth in the cold and offered protection from other men and deadly animals. They could cook, clear brush and forest, and make tools. Fire gave light in the dark and became part of many religious ceremonies and rites. Fire played an elemental role in man's evolution.

Eye-catching fire and flame tattoos can represent an array of different things. In this article, you will learn about fire and flame tattoo meanings and design ideas and see lots of photos to inspire your next tattoo.

An arm tattoo of rising flames.
An arm tattoo of rising flames. | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
A black and gray flame tattoo.This colorful tattoo features blue flames.Many fire and flame tattoos incorporate other symbols, like the cross.This flame tattoo features multiple symbols.Orange and blue flames adorn this arm tattoo.A pair of fiery arm tattoos.
A black and gray flame tattoo.
A black and gray flame tattoo. | Source
This colorful tattoo features blue flames.
This colorful tattoo features blue flames. | Source
Many fire and flame tattoos incorporate other symbols, like the cross.
Many fire and flame tattoos incorporate other symbols, like the cross. | Source
This flame tattoo features multiple symbols.
This flame tattoo features multiple symbols. | Source
Orange and blue flames adorn this arm tattoo.
Orange and blue flames adorn this arm tattoo. | Source
A pair of fiery arm tattoos.
A pair of fiery arm tattoos. | Source

The Historical, Religious, and Mythological Symbolism of Fire and Flames

Fire and flames are mentioned in a variety of different myths and legends.

  • In Greek mythology, Prometheus was known to have stolen the fire from the gods. Prometheus gave the fire to mortals, since Prometheus, who created humans out of mud, loved them more then the Olympian gods who had banished his family to Tartarus.
  • The Phoenix is made out of flames and has the ability to reincarnate itself every 500 years from its own ashes. The flames on the Phoenix are said to symbolize transformation and rebirth. It also represents the circle of life, just as the sun.
  • Fire and flames are also symbols of Christianity and hell. Hell is made up of fire and flames to torture those who sin and are cast there by God. It is said that those who end up in hell will be there to suffer for eternity.
  • Fire is also a symbol of the Holy Ghost and might represent the burning bush that Moses saw.

A fiery Las Vegas tattoo with flames and dice.
A fiery Las Vegas tattoo with flames and dice. | Source

Fire and Flame Tattoo Meanings and Interpretations

Below, you can find some of the meanings behind fire and flame tattoos:

  • Change
  • Temptation
  • Warning
  • Danger
  • Lust
  • Hell
  • Holy Spirit
  • The Sun
  • Life
  • Sin
  • Destruction
  • Passion
  • Wisdom
  • Knowledge
  • Light
  • Rebirth
  • Transformation
  • Creation
  • Phoenix
  • Circle of Life
  • Energy
  • Life Source
  • Deadly or Transforming Heat

Positive and Negative Meanings

When we look at what fire and flames represent, we find that both are very diverse in associated meanings. Fire and flames can be used in positive manners, but they can also cause destruction and devastation of wide proportions.

As you already know, fire and flames give off heat, which can give you warmth in the cold. It can also give us light in the dark. Fire can also be very destructive and can burn nearly anything down to ashes. Nearly anything that is in the path of the flames can be destroyed. Every year, wildfires destroy thousands of acres of land. Fires can claim buildings, homes, and also human life. When a fire is out of control, the results can be devastating.

Why People Choose This Tattoo

Since there are so many diverse meanings of fire and flame tattoos, you really see a variety of different reasons why they are chosen as a tattoo. Most meanings depend on what tattoo symbol is portrayed with the fire and flames. For example, when alone, a heart represents love, but fire and flames on a heart tattoo might represent deep, burning passion and desire.

Fire and flames have both positive and negative associations; therefore, the meanings behind the tattoo can be either positive in nature or negative.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Flame tattoos on the knuckles.A black and gray flame tattoo.A flaming skull tattoo.This fiery tattoo features stars.A colorful pair of fire arm tattoos.This tattoo pairs flames with musical notation.A flaming heart tattoo.This firefighter's tattoo features blue flames.An intricate and colorful flaming skull tattoo.A winged flaming heart tattoo with a cross.
Flame tattoos on the knuckles.
Flame tattoos on the knuckles. | Source
A black and gray flame tattoo.
A black and gray flame tattoo. | Source
A flaming skull tattoo.
A flaming skull tattoo. | Source
This fiery tattoo features stars.
This fiery tattoo features stars. | Source
A colorful pair of fire arm tattoos.
A colorful pair of fire arm tattoos. | Source
This tattoo pairs flames with musical notation.
This tattoo pairs flames with musical notation. | Source
A flaming heart tattoo.
A flaming heart tattoo. | Source
This firefighter's tattoo features blue flames.
This firefighter's tattoo features blue flames. | Source
An intricate and colorful flaming skull tattoo.
An intricate and colorful flaming skull tattoo. | Source
A winged flaming heart tattoo with a cross.
A winged flaming heart tattoo with a cross. | Source
A flaming Phoenix tattoo.
A flaming Phoenix tattoo. | Source

Design Options for Fire or Flame Tattoos

  • Most importantly, these tattoos don't have to be red, orange, and yellow. You can choose to have your blaze inked in any color you choose. Blue and black are obvious and popular options, but I've seen other colors, too.
  • A tattoo might be portrayed solely as flames, or sometimes with smoke.
  • The flames can be designed with any other image or symbol, and this will change its overall meaning.
  • Flames and fire are often inked with skulls, dragons, phoenixes, crosses, demons, hearts, and barbed wire.
  • Flames are a popular choice among bikers and can be associated with Harley Davidson Motorcycles.
  • Fire and flames are commonly used in firefighter tattoos. Some may get a firefighter helmet tattooed with flames or get their logo or station number inked on.
  • If you want flames put on any symbol, it can be done. The options are endless.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A dragon entwined with flames.A flaming winged cross.A flaming skull done in blue ink.Flames and water surrounding a cross.A flaming star.A realistic flaming skull.
A dragon entwined with flames.
A dragon entwined with flames. | Source
A flaming winged cross.
A flaming winged cross. | Source
A flaming skull done in blue ink.
A flaming skull done in blue ink. | Source
Flames and water surrounding a cross.
Flames and water surrounding a cross. | Source
A flaming star.
A flaming star. | Source
A realistic flaming skull.
A realistic flaming skull. | Source

Before You Tattoo

It is very important to do research. You want to make sure that you fully understand what your tattoo represents and try to learn everything it might mean. Take your time and don't rush into getting inked. Make sure you are 100% confident in your choice.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A flaming fleur de lis.This tattoo incorporates flames and Celtic knots.Flaming dice with smoke.A flaming skull.
A flaming fleur de lis.
A flaming fleur de lis. | Source
This tattoo incorporates flames and Celtic knots.
This tattoo incorporates flames and Celtic knots. | Source
Flaming dice with smoke.
Flaming dice with smoke. | Source
A flaming skull.
A flaming skull. | Source

Comments

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    • profile image

      anonymous 

      15 months ago

      Fire is one thing that you can’t control and many things happen in your life that you can’t control hence why I got my flame tattoo done on my forearm but I got it done in my favorite color and I am also a fire sign so make sure you want your tattoo

    • profile image

      Claudia Virginia Alarcon 

      15 months ago

      My zodiac sign is LEO. My career was Food Service. My element is Fire.

      I want to design a tattoo that symbolizes me, just don't know how big and budget wise.

      Can you help me on this please, thanks

    • thelyricwriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      8 years ago from West Virginia

      Raj Kamal Singh, thanks for viewing this article. Hlad you enjoyed them. Take care.

    • profile image

      Raj kamal singh 

      8 years ago

      Really fantastic collection of tattoos!!!!!!!!!!!!""

    • thelyricwriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      8 years ago from West Virginia

      Thank y all for visiting and your comments. I have been awhile for a little while so sorry I can't address you all individually. Many thanks and I wish you all the best.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      8 years ago from Western NC

      I like the colorful ones, but the black and white ones are REALLY striking. Voting up and beautiful. :)

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett C 

      8 years ago from Asia

      Interesting article. I actually like the flame and tribal style tattoos, but only when in black and white. I'm not sure why, but most lose their impact when in colour, unless exceptionally well done.

      Thanks for SHARING.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      8 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Voted up! These are great and fiery!

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      8 years ago from Orange County, CA

      One of the more dramatic tattoos, especially when it wraps around the entire limb with color. Voting this Up and Beautiful.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      8 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Some of these are amazing, others almost frightening. All are wonderfully done and presented in your own great style. Very nice Hub lyricwriter.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      8 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      A great hub and the detail you go into is in depth. I don't think I would ever have a flame tattoo but it is very interesting.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      8 years ago from Shelton

      thelyricwriter this was hot...huh? LOL great share as usuasl

    • profile image

      8 years ago

      Very colorful.

      I think most of the examples you gave are of male tattoos; I think the fire motif tends mainly to be used by men.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      8 years ago from South Carolina

      Great hub about the symbolism around fire and flame tattoos.

      As the photos show, these tattoos can be pretty intense and some are very colorful.

      Some reminded me of the decals on hot rod cars.

      Voted up, useful and awesome.

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