The phoenix (often written phoenix by mistake) is a mythical bird that has different meanings in many cultures. This majestic colorful bird is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful tattoo designs – it represents rebirth, immortality, grace and virtue. It is actually one of the oldest symbols in the world and, as a tattoo, it can be worn by both men and women. But let's take a look at some of the most important meanings of phoenix tattoos …
Greek Mythology – History of the Phoenix
In Greek, the word phoenix (φοῖνιξ – phoînix) means purple red, which shows that this bird is associated with fire.
In Greek mythology, the phoenix is known as a firebird that would live about 500 years.
When it is about to die, this bird builds a nest with aromatic twigs and fires it – it is consumed in the flames. Three days after his death, he is reborn from the ashes, literally resurrecting from them.
According to Egyptian legend, after his resurrection, the phoenix would carry the embalmed ashes of his previous existence to Heliopolis, the city of the sun. Once there, he would offer his ashes to the sun.
In both Greek and Egyptian mythology, the phoenix is known for its sweet song and the brilliance of its golden, red-orange and purple plumage.
Meanings of phoenix tattoos today
Fire, rebirth and immortality
The phoenix tattoos represent renewal, rebirth and the beginning of a new life.
The renaissance of the phoenix represents the fact of having gone through difficult times but to have survived, to have come back to life. This means that whoever wears the tattoo has risen from the ashes as a winner, overcoming all the difficulties of life and overcoming adversity.
This is why the phoenix is a symbol of rebirth that also represents the victory of life over death and therefore, immortality.
Kindness, kindness, trust, duty and prosperity
The phoenix also represents all the virtues of the wearer. The reason is probably that, when someone passes through difficult situations (symbolized by the flames), he comes out grown and better.
– In Chinese mythology, the phoenix is associated with feminine virtues, like grace and kindness.
– It is also said that each part of the bird would represent a different virtue: the body would represent kindness, wings prosperity and the head, the fact of being of confidence.
The phoenix in different cultures
As we have just pointed out to you, the Chinese think that the phoenix represents virtue and grace, which is why only the empress was allowed to wear her symbol.
In Chinese mythology, this bird is associated with the female side, while the dragon represents male energy. These two symbols put together represent the union of yin and yang.
The Chinese phoenix has black, white, gray, red and yellow feathers, which are the primary colors corresponding to the five elements.
Early Christians regarded the phoenix as a symbol of resurrection – the fact that it takes the phoenix three days to be reborn from its ashes after burning is similar to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
According to Jewish legends, the phoenix is the only creature that has not eaten the forbidden fruit. To defend himself from temptation, he would have burned and consumed before being reborn three days later. In this sense, this mythical bird represents victory over temptations, as well as sacrifice and renewal.
The ancient Romans represented the symbol of this bird on their coins to ensure the longevity of the Roman Empire.
In ancient Egypt, the phoenix was considered the symbol of the sun god Ra.
Like the rising sun, the phoenix is one of the emblems of the Japanese Empire. It is called Ho-o (Ho-ou), which means the Immortal Bird. For the Japanese, the phoenix is associated with immortality.