Rebirth and the Phoenix Tattoo
Fantastic Phoenix Tattoo
The tattoo of the phoenix is one of the most fantastic to work with. Whether you do it in dark ink, bright colors, or in some cases the combination of both, you've really got to have a poor tattoo artist to screw this one up, as the body and lines you can create with a phoenix tattoo are endless. They look good whether they're small, medium, or large in size.
Probably more than any other tattoo with the exception of the cross, the phoenix is pregnant with meaning. While most of us know the fiery bird is known to represent rebirth, it's largely unknown some of its other symbolics, which we'll get into a little later.
Where the fire comes in with the phoenix is in reference to ancient cultures thinking of the sun as flaming out at the end of the day and emerging or rising the next.
It is also alleged by some that some of the early Christians considered the phoenix as a symbol of the resurrection of Christ and their own subsequent rebirth as a result; representing being born again and beginning a new way of life.
While that's possible, it's doubtful it was part of the larger Christian community, which pretty strictly adhered to Christ being the resurrection.
But that doesn't mean some didn't, as around the early part of the fourth century, all sorts of mixture with paganism was added to the church, and so it definitely could have been possible at that time.
Some Jewish myths have added the the mystique of the phoenix, as they talk about the phoenix as the one living creature that never left the garden of Eden, and it never partook of the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; thus its longevity.
Even some ancient empires would take the phoenix as a representation of the empire lasting for a long time.
Photo of Amazing Tattoo Phoenix Design on Woman's Side
Chinese Phoenix Tattoo Meaning
With the Chinese, the phoenix was very important, with only the dragon holding a more important place in their culture. Only the Chinese Empress was allowed to wear the phoenix as a symbol, which represented the union of yin and yang, symbolizing virtue and grace.
Japan Phoenix Tattoo Meaning
The phoenix is also significant to the Japanese, and is an important symbol of theirs, included with the sun.
The Japanese like to entwine the phoenix with the dragon, as you can see on many of their tattoos. This also symbolizes yin and yang for the Japanese, mixing the highest qualities of the masculine and feminine together.
Dark Inked Phoenix Tattoo Half Sleeve
Phoenix Meaning as a Tattoo: The Fire
I find it interesting that as a tattoo, the phoenix design has gravitated toward a more feminine association, although I find it a strong representation of both genders, as the Asian cultures have adopted it in that sense.
But you do seem to find far more women embracing the phoenix than men.
As with any fire, there's the sense of purification coming from heat of the fire, as represented by going through difficult times that try you as fire and transforms you into a new person if you can survive those purging times. That's the flame and fire side of it.
Phoenix Tattoo on Woman's Back
The Meaning of the Phoenix Itself
For the phoenix itself, in the tattooing world, it is more associated with a representing a number of good qualities in a person, things like kindness, duty, and being reliable, among others.
This seems to mean that those emerging from the fire and ashes end up with admirable qualities that represent being a new person.
Hey, I told you there was a lot of meaning attached to the phoenix tattoo. But let's face it, in the end, they just look good, and I would bet that's the reason, more than most others, people get them.
In the Asian countries that would be different, but in the West I believe that's the case.