Phoenix tattoos are a good choice for anyone who has ever hit rock bottom and risen above circumstance, has had a near death experience or has found freedom from addiction since all of these things embody things that the phoenix symbolizes. Purgation, cleansing, power, strength, perseverance, and determination are all concepts embodied and personified in the Bird of Fire.
Phoenix tattoos also convey some strong spiritual symbolism that make it appealing to many in the greater tattoo community and on many multicultural levels. It is one of a few mythical creatures that is recognized and revered among such a broad spectrum of belief systems and pantheons which only lends fuel to its symbolism of endurance and truth.
The Phoenix in Mythology
This mythological bird may be familiar to the vast majority of us and has many meanings. The phoenix appears in mythologies from across the world, both western and eastern cultures. In most western traditions, the explanation is about the same. The phoenix is said to have the ability to live about 500 years. Once it fulfills a life cycle, it builds a ceremonial nest for itself and then sets itself on fire, creating its own funeral pyre. After three days, it rises reborn from the ashes.
According to Egyptian mythology, the phoenix carries its own ashes to Heliopolis (literally translated: “city of the sun”) where it is re-energized and returns to live another life cycle. The Egyptian embodiment of the phoenix is unique in that while most other cultures depict it with bright reds and yellows with fiery plumage, the is more regal in its appearance, depicted in vibrant colors of purple, red and gold.
The Phoenix Tattoo a Symbol of Honor
The Chinese have a unique take on the phoenix. They consider it a symbol of virtue and honor. It holds a place of honor that is second only to the dragon and represents the balance of Yin and Yang. It was portrayed as gentle and regal and as a familiar to the Empress who was the only one allowed to adorn its symbol.
You should consider a phoenix tattoo design if you believe you represent or aspire to any of its virtues. Duty, steadfastness, honor, fidelity, generosity and bravery are just a few of its attributes. It can also be worn as a tribute to someone who fits any of these descriptions or the many others that the phoenix represents.