In Occident, the legend of the phoenix takes its roots in Ancient Greek mythology. It was described as a magical bird with a stunning longevity that had the power to rise from his own ashes (or another bird would rise from the old bird).
In Ancient Egypt, the phoenix was associated with the sun and summer. In Asia, the phoenix, known in China as Fenghuang and Japan as hô-ô, is a bird connected with heaven, and which apparitions are a good omen. It is the symbol of the empress, a female element associated with the dragon, a male element, for war or love.
The meaning of the phoenix is mostly resurrection, and thus, has been used by christians. It is mainly used as tattoos to celebrate the start of a new life or a survival, for cancer survivors for example. In Asia, it stands for justice, fidelity, peace and femininity. Teamed with flames, it alludes to purification and creation. It is also an alchemy and esoteric symbol.
The phoenix tattoo is represented as a big bird, close to an eagle (in Europe) or a peacock (in Asia). Some prefer to depict it with flames, reminding of Russian firebird, or in fire tones and gold. As a Japanese traditional tattoo, phoenix feathers have only primary colors, but it is mostly very colorful. Its royal appearance also makes it fit for black and grey, and big pieces. Pretty or badass, it is always very graceful and flamboyant. It is a design that stands out, to show an outgoing personality or a strong need to live to the fullest. It is a very noble tattoo design, coveted by many ink lovers and an huge challenge for tattoo artists, and thus, especially present in tattoo masters portfolios.
You will recognize many famous names in this selection, but also discover new ones. But all those artists have tried their hand at phoenix tattoos, giving their own vision and touch to this iconic design for the greatest pleasure of their clients and, of course, for our eyes... I hope you will enjoy those 40 smoking hot phoenix tattoos!