Body tattoos have become a great way to make an expression of one’s personality and attitude, without being too loud about it. Tattoo designs incorporate various objects like flowers, fish, feather, arrow, anchor, stars, religious symbols and text and words, all bearing significant meanings. One of the most important designs with worldwide popularity is Phoenix tattoos. Phoenix, as we know, is a mythical bird which rises from its own ashes, making it an object of awe and fascination. This, in addition to the aesthetic value of this design, is the reason why many discerning tattoo lovers love to have phoenix tattoo designs etched on their body.
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Phoenix – The Bird of Power and Resurrection
Phoenix is a bird which holds a place of glory in mythological history as it has been known for its spectacular ability to emerge out of its ashes. It has been called the mystical firebird in Greek, Egyptian and Phoenician cultures. The legend goes that this amazing bird lives solitarily for centuries and as it came of age, it laid a single egg in a nest. Then they would set in the nest and set it on fire, along with the egg. Then a younger and stronger bird would come up as the fire went out. Another legend states that the bird lives for a thousand years, following which it burns itself in a nest made of myrrh twigs. Then it would rise again from the fire after three days, with a new and invigorated avatar which would again live for another thousand years. According to this legendary belief, the phoenix is a bird of resurrection and rebirth, which inspires people to emerge out strong from even the biggest calamities and problems in their lives.
Historically speaking, the origin of the phoenix has different stories related to it, depending upon the part of the world these legends come from.
- Phoenix in in Egyptian culture – In ancient Egyptian culture, phoenix was known by the name of Bennu, the bird who was born out of a burning holy tree. This bird resembled a heron and was revered as the soul of Ra, the mythical Egyptian Sun God.
- Phoenix in Greek culture – The word phoenix comes from the Greek culture, which stands for its amazing and vivid ref color carrying a hint of purple. In this culture too, phoenix was associated with the Sun. Just as the sun sets every day like a ball of fire to rise again the next day, this wonderful bird ends up in fire to come to life yet again.
- Phoenix in Indian Culture – The ancient Indian history talks of an immortal bird called Garuda, which is perhaps what the idea of the phoenix comes from. It was a mythological character from the period of the epic of Ramayana and was believed to have a man’s body which carried wings and an eagle like beak.
- Phoenix in Chinese culture – The Chinese culture talks of a bird called fenghuang, which was the leader of birds and had the powers of yin and yang. It stood as the symbol of peace and harmony. The Japanese culture mentions phoenix as fushicho, which again signifies the balance between yin and yang.
- Phoenix Tattoos in Catholic religion – The Catholic religion talks of the phoenix as a sign of life after death and the great resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In this way, phoenix finds mention and occupies a pivotal place in almost all the cultures of the world and derives meanings from their mythology. All of these point towards one and the same thing that this bird relates to resurrection and rebirth. Because of its deeper symbolic meaning, a phoenix tattoo is chosen by people who are willing to face the most difficult situations and challenges in their lives and also, those who have the self belief and commitment to come out unscathed from the ordeals of life. Phoenix tattoo stands for courage of the soul as well as the integration of the mind and the heart. It gives the faith to the bearer to hold on even if he has faced many sufferings in his life. No matter what fate has in store, one must never give up and face the worst, is the message given by the phoenix tattoo.
Popular Phoenix Tattoo Designs
Phoenix is a bird which comes in vivid and bright colors, in shades of fire red, orange, yellow and hints of purple. This is why most of the phoenix tattoos are featured in these colors. A Chinese phoenix tattoo uses the 5 primary colors, which are white, black, red, yellow and green. On the other hand, the color combination used in the Greek phoenix is scarlet and gold. Another option is black and white phoenix tattoo, but it is not preferred as much as these colors do not highlight the aesthetic beauty of the phoenix tattoo. In addition to the single phoenix design, some additional elements can be included to create something unique and alluring. Most of the phoenix tattoo designs are prepared with Chinese symbols, fire and flames, the sun, dragons and tribal patterns. Some text, initials, names or words can also be added to highlight the symbolic meaning of the tattoo. Incorporating these elements in the phoenix tattoo designs can solve the very purpose of having a tattoo done on one’s body, which is reflecting one’s belief and attitude. At the same time, a tattoo is made for presenting and saying something in a very subtle way, without intimidating anyone in the process.
Placement of Phoenix Tattoos
Phoenix tattoos are a hot favorite among both, men as well as women and they can be featured on almost any part of the body to create an exquisite effect. They look absolutely wonderful on the forearm, shoulder and the back, both upper and lower, as it is easier to reveal rather than conceal on these parts of the body. Moreover, all these body parts are hardly affected by the aging of the skin as well as exposure to the sun, which adds to the durability and longevity of tattoos in these areas of the body. It is rather easy to maintain the tattoos here as compared to other parts of the body, which are more sensitive and bear the after effects of continual exposure to the harmful rays of the sun. Some people may opt for phoenix tattoos on other positions such as the wrist, legs, fingers, ankles, thighs, chest and side. While women prefer delicate looking phoenix tattoos, men go for power packed and aggressive looking tattoos which represent masculinity.
A phoenix tattoo can not only enhance your personality, but add a deeper meaning to your life with its symbolic significance. It can inculcate a sense of self-confidence and self faith in the bearer, besides giving him the courage and strength to face all the adversities in life without giving up at any stage of struggle. However, while deciding about having a tattoo done, one must keep in mind the pain factor involved. One may have to suffer a lot of pain to get the much wanted phoenix tattoo and the pain can be immense if you are looking for a vividly colorful design, as is common in case of phoenix tattoo. Still, if one is ready to bear this pain and incur the cost of having this tattoo done, a phoenix tattoo design is absolutely worth the pain and money spent.