The Real Meaning Of A Phoenix Tattoo

For many, tattoos are a way to remember goals, show off personal achievements, and keep a reminder of the things they love close by. Whether you're a fan of trending tattoos or prefer something more intimate, a tattoo is something completely unique to you. It isn't just the design that's important — you should also consider your pain tolerance when planning for a tattoo. Tattoos of birds or photos will take up more room, and therefore, be more painful than a tiny moon on your ankle. 

Some tattoos are also more popular with artists than others — a recent Insider article revealed that tattoo artists don't like doing tats of your partner's name, popular film symbols, or finger tattoos. In this article, tattoo artist Christopher Drummond of PFRANKMD shared, "intricate tattoos with many colors" have a tendency to "fade and blur" over the years, meaning they will need to be retouched.

Still, for the majority of people, elaborate and colorful tattoos are a point of pride, and the phoenix is the perfect way to display your personal story.

Phoenix tattoos can mean different things across cultures

A phoenix tattoo — like the one above by artist Törőcsik Dániel — can represent a number of things. According to Tatt Mag, it can be a portrayal of something new starting in someone's life or a reminder of an important moment to them. The meaning of a phoenix tattoo varies from region to region, but the tattoo mostly represents four things: rebirth, royalty, balance, and growth. 

The phoenix tattoo represents balance through yin and yang. Yin and yang are most commonly defined as a "dynamic balance of opposing but complementary and interconnected forces" (via Mind Body Green). Yin symbolizes themes like stillness and quiet, whereas yang represents expansion and movement. These two forces come together to connect their power and create balance. Moreover, the idea of phoenixes representing growth is down to the troubles we encounter during our lives and the idea that each road we take helps us to grow in mind, body, and spirit. 

In Japanese culture, the phoenix tattoo is a symbol of rebirth. This idea is often expressed through bold colors to show the bright side of starting a new adventure. The phoenix is sometimes interlinked with other imagery like flowers to once again push the idea of a fresh start and growing something new. In Chinese culture, the phoenix symbolizes balance due to its yin-yang connotations. It is also associated with royalty due to it representing each new empress in the past.

There are many different types of phoenix tattoo you can get

If you're looking into getting a phoenix tattoo, there is a whole range of designs you can take inspiration from. As outlined in Tatt Mag, a phoenix would look great on a person's back due to the expanse of space and potential to get creative. One of the most striking versions of the tattoo is the flaming phoenix. Depicting a phoenix engulfed in flames is a way to let people know you are rebuilding your path from the ashes of your old life. Additionally, it can represent cut ties and the bravery it took to do so. On the other hand, a flying phoenix tattoo is a great way to show your pride in an accomplishment. Or, you could use it as motivation when working towards something. 

You could also take a note from Greek mythology and have a phoenix feather tattooed on you to remind you to live your mortal life with no regrets. If one animal isn't enough, you could pair your phoenix with another, commonly a wolf or dragon. The wolf and phoenix combination represents being fearless and succeeding in your personal battles, whereas the phoenix and dragon mix symbolizes order and stability in traditional Chinese culture. 

No matter which version of the phoenix tattoo you opt for, its beautiful meanings will serve as a visual reminder of how far you have come in life.