Tattoo Phoenix - meanings and designs for girls and men

Where did the phoenix come from.

The existence of the immortal bird was known in different parts of the world.

  • The Egyptians believed that after the resurrection of the phoenix brings ashes to the sacrificial altar in the city of Heliopolis (modern Cairo).
  • In ancient China, it was equal to dragons and embodied the feminine beginning of all things. In contrast to its western counterpart, the Chinese bird is more colorful. Fiery red coloring was complemented by blue, green and even lilac.

This is reflected in the images of the phoenix on the body. As a rule, the phoenix tattoo is done in color, although there are monochrome sketches. However, to neglect the full-color tattoo in this case is not worth it. This is an opportunity to fully reveal his temperament, to do it subtly and gracefully.

Placement of the phoenix tattoo

The phoenix is a suitable element for a wide variety of designs. This makes it a viable option for any kind of tattoo placement, though of course you should always remember that designs with a lot of detail need to be a little bigger - and therefore placed somewhere with enough space.

Although a minimalist phoenix design can be made to fit on, say, your wrist, or even your finger, usually phoenixes are tattooed as larger designs. This is because the phoenix as an image tends to look better in medium to large sizes, and is easier to recognize in this format. As a design concept, the phoenix also offers plenty of room for creativity for your tattoo artist, who can add a lot of color and detail.

Areas of the body that are best suited for medium to large phoenix tattoos include:

Back - The largest, relatively flat area on the body. The back is the best place for a large tattoo. In particular, the upper back is very suitable for a bird design with outspread wings.

Chest - Another relatively large space for a tattoo. Consider the top of the chest for larger designs.

Ribs - Ribs, are a popular spot for bird tattoos and the phoenix in particular. For larger designs, consider having the tattoo wrapped around your side, such as starting at the side of your abdomen and ending at your back.

Legs - The legs, especially the side of the thigh, can also offer plenty of room for a more elaborate phoenix tattoo. Again, you might consider a phoenix design that will coil around your foot. This placement has the potential advantage of being easy to display.

With the aforementioned, a phoenix tattoo does not have to be large and completely occupy part of your body, you can also have a phoenix tattooed on your forearm or shoulder, for example.

You can perform a phoenix tattoo in three variants:

  • Classic fiery. Images of the fire bird are common in Europe, the Near East and North Africa. In such a tattoo, red tones dominate, as well as shades of orange, pink and yellow.
  • Chinese phoenix. The tattoo is suitable for lovers of Oriental culture. This phoenix combines a lot of colors. Depending on the preferences of the owner can be performed with the predominance of a certain gamma.
  • Stylized monochrome image. Most often it is black framed by a flame of green or blue color.

Determine the most appropriate option will help the meaning of the tattoo with the image of a phoenix in different cultures around the world.

Facts about the phoenix

Origin of the name

There are several hypotheses. From the Greek phoenix means Phoivit ("scarlet"), in Turkish - Kerkes, in Persian - Simurgh. It is impossible to give an exact answer about the etymology.

Phoenix rising from the ashes
Picture of the phoenix in the book of mythological creatures by Friedrich Johann Justin Bertuch (1747-1822)

Appearance of the phoenix

In the apocrypha "Revelation of Baruch" it is stated that he protects the world from the sun's rays. It does this so that they do not destroy all life. The phoenix is so big that the sea-ocean is knee-deep in it, in which the stone goes to the bottom for three years, but the bottom cannot reach.

According to other sources, the Phoenix is the size of a huge eagle, with a blue beak, golden feathers on its neck, red and purple in its tail.

phoenix symbol
The phoenix is a popular character in the mythology of many countries

The Slavs claimed that the Phoenix had jade and jewels in its guise. His head is adorned with a crown, his feet are in boots.

Herodotus (5th century BC) only indirectly mentions the Phoenix. But he does not claim to have seen it in person. He was only shown an image of the bird with bright red plumage. He did not believe the accounts of the inhabitants of Heliopolis. This is logical, for it was in this city that the god Benu, with the head of a heron, was actively cultivated. Departing from him, Greek writers and created the image of the phoenix.

In ancient Rome, the phoenix was depicted as an eagle on coins, as a symbol of eternal empire.

Life span of the phoenix

Lives phoenix one hundred years, one hundred and sixty, five hundred (according to Herodotus). Or five hundred and forty years (according to Gaius Julius Solonin). Or maybe a thousand years, seven thousand, twelve thousand years. The most (twelve thousand, nine hundred and ninety-four years) was measured by Tacitus.

Photo of phoenix
The phoenix is sharply different from other magical birds. The main difference is that he is a single specimen.

The location of the phoenix

Arabia (according to Hesiod) or India. The Slavs believed that the phoenix dwells in the cedars of Libya for five hundred years without food, feeding on the Holy Spirit.

What does the phoenix eat?

From the descriptions found, it is clear that only dew, the holy spirit.

Death of the phoenix

Even the death of the phoenix is unusual: sensing the end approaching, it blows out a spark in its nest (from the branches of wild cinnamon) and burns to the ground. And in the morning a new phoenix appears.

The Slavs believed that the phoenix, along with the priest, sits on the salt and turns into ashes.

The phoenix differs from other birds

The phoenix does not bear eggs, respectively, does not incubate chicks.

The meaning of the phoenix tattoo

  • In Christianity, the symbol of the phoenix resonates with the miraculous resurrection of Jesus Christ. And the Jewish people have a legend explaining the bird's miraculous transformation. According to myth, the phoenix refused to taste the forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden, for which he was rewarded with immortality. The meaning of the phoenix tattoo in Christian circles symbolized eternal life not of corruptible flesh but of a spirit that managed to defeat death. The magical phoenix talisman prolongs mortal life and strengthens the spirituality of the carrier.
  • In ancient Egyptian legends, the phoenix is considered a solar symbol. The carrier of such an image is protected by the sun, soaking up energy. It has the ability to reincarnate the soul and the continuation of itself in the descendants.
  • The Chinese associate the phoenix with feminine energy and beauty. Therefore, colored phoenixes are more often stuffed by the beautiful half of mankind. In Russian mythology, the prototype of the phoenix is the firebird, which is considered as a symbol of good luck, prosperity and wisdom.

Whatever the chosen sketch of the phoenix tattoo, it will give the owner confidence, spiritual strength and patience. Will help cope with difficulties and find a way out of difficult situations.

The phoenix: the meaning of the symbol

The phoenix in Christianity.

Signified the rebirth of Christ and victory over death, mercy. The humanity of Christ reflected another bird - the pelican.

Bird, Firebird, Mythical, Pencil, Drawing, Sketch
The phoenix is a popular Christian symbol.

Lapis ehellis is a stone, the power of which brings back the life of the Phoenix. It correlates with, (and sometimes called) the Grail and can provide eternal youth to those who serve it.

The phoenix in alchemy

In alchemy, the magical bird means purifying fire. Also the chemical element sulfur and the color red. The phoenix was also associated with the philosopher's stone.

The phoenix during the Renaissance

During the Renaissance, the phoenix was depicted as a symbol of chastity.

Phoenix, Divine, Animals, Spirituality
The phoenix gained popularity in the Middle Ages.

The phoenix and secret societies

In ancient and medieval secret societies, "phoenixes" were the names of newly converted neophytes. They died to the mundane world and were reborn to life to fulfill a high social mission.

The phoenix in heraldry

From the 16th to the 19th century, apothecaries depicted phoenixes, salamanders or dragons on their signs.

The youngest of the 50 states, Hawaii (admitted to the United States on August 21, 1959), has a coat of arms containing several traditional elements. It is a four-parted shield and the Phoenix bird, symbol of eternal life, rising from the flames.

Eagle, Coat, Guns, Phoenix, Maroon, Nobility
The phoenix was often depicted on coats of arms and shields

In heraldry, the phoenix is always depicted rising from the flames. Both Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots, chose the phoenix as their emblem.

As we can see, the phoenix is a very popular character in folklore. Read about other magical birds in the special article Magical birds: species and description
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  • Different styles are relevant for colored tattoos, one of them is oriental. The sketch of the phoenix tattoo in this case is performed in accordance with Asian painting traditions.
  • Also popular are old skool and new skool, thrash polka and watercolor.

Monochrome images are performed in such styles as:

  • Linework. Suitable for originals and fans of linear graphics;
  • Tribal. Southern style popular in Oceania, Polynesians, Australians and Africans;
  • Ethnographic;
  • Minimalism and some others.

The choice of color and style of drawing is often influenced by the location of the tattoo and the presence of additional details.

Choice of location

The location of the bird depends on the gender of the wearer. Thus, the phoenix tattoo for girls is more often vertically oriented and located on the shin, the outer side of the thigh, on the forearm or occupies the space on the side from the chest to the buttocks.

Men opt for bolder solutions, painting large-scale pictures on the back or chest. The left forearm is also relevant. It's much less common for men to have the phoenix on their legs.

The phoenix tattoo is combined with other elements. For example, a popular image of a phoenix with a dragon: the struggle of feminine and masculine beginnings. Often there is a phoenix bursting out of the flames or captured against a landscape background.

The phoenix bird: sketches and location of the tattoo

A small role on the meaning of the image is played by the area of the body where it is displayed. For example, a bird will look very attractive on the back of a man or a girl. The most popular parts of the body for the application of the phoenix:

  • The back is a really interesting option, because the bird can be large in size, placed on a complex background and complemented by various objects or details. The back is the largest convenient area of the body on a man for tattooing, allowing you to create full-fledged paintings that can become a real work of art.
  • Forearm - no less attractive option, the bird itself will turn out a little smaller, but here you can organize a good detail, paying attention to every area of skin.
  • The wrist is a small tattoo, which is always in view. The ideal solution is a phoenix on the wrist, whose wings and tail diverge to neighboring areas of the hand.
  • The shoulder or arm is no less versatile option.
  • Leg or hip - often these areas of the body for tattooing are used by girls. In this case, the image of the burning bird is softer, has smooth lines and transitions.
  • Ribs - another interesting option for creating a drawing with a phoenix, which is more often used by men.

If the tattoo will be colored, it is better to perform it in the style of oriental, new or old skool, thrash polka or watercolor. For monochrome tattoos in black, the following styles can be used:
  • Ethnic.
  • Graphic.
  • Tribal.
  • Linework.
  • Minimalism.
  • Classic.

The most popular subjects used for the phoenix bird tattoo on the male or female body:

  • The phoenix and the dragon are two fiery characters who are depicted fighting each other.
  • The phoenix and the basilisk are perfect for fans of the Harry Potter series of books and movies.
  • The phoenix amidst fire, lava, or ashes.
  • The phoenix feather is an oft-used option that is now too banal and primitive.
  • A phoenix bird against a landscape (trees, mountains, clouds, etc.). A masterpiece that requires the hands of an experienced and talented craftsman.


For women

For men