60 Best Phoenix Tattoo Designs – The Coolest Symbol for Tattoo

The phoenix tattoo and the image of this mythical creature is a matter of philosophical thoughts and deep symbolism. That’s why the drawing is popular among all willing to change their life, not just simply to have a body drawing, but the meaningful one which would help to a achieve all desired changes.


  • The Legend of a Phoenix Bird
  • Phoenix in Different Cultures
  • Main Phoenix Tattoo Meaning
  • The Talisman of Freedom and Victory
  • Embodiment of Feminity and Bravery
  • Hope and Immortality
phoenix in fire by Henry Jacob

by Henry Jacob

The Legend of a Phoenix Bird

Phoenix tattoo often becomes a matter of admiration and the design frequently picked by clients of tattoo shops all over the world. The meaning of this fabulous symbol is pretty serious and has a rather rich philosophical essence. In spite of all the biased treatment, the fact that this is not just a bright spectacular image, but  the point of the life force and positive energy concentration. It is hard to find the phoenix tattoo designed to be a small one. They are commonly located in a big areas of the skin and performed with a usage of bright saturated colors.

The original source of the phoenix bird is the legend of Heliopolis (Ancient Egyptian city of the Sun). Priests of Heliopolis worshiped the mythical creature Bennu. It was depicted as a bird – a heron and in some drawings in has a body of a man and a head of a heron. According to ancient legends, the soul of God of Sun Ra entered the body of Bennu and after rising from the ashes of its predecessor, he would bring the ashes to the altar of the sun god in Heliopolis

The divinity Bennu was believed to come from the flame burning on the Sacred Tree. That’s why he became the embodiment of all resurrected and the symbol of the power of the Sun. Legend says, that the bird could live up to five hundred years and at the verge of dying this magical creature would build a nest and set himself on fire. Turned to ashes the bird would rebirth three days later.

The interpretation of the tattoo originated from Egyptian legends is actually one of the most popular. The image of a phoenix on a body of a person is an evidence that he or she had reconsidered and mastered the philosophical essence of existence, what the cycle of life is, and probably believes in the constant cycle reincarnations of the soul which can live in offspring.

phoenix and skull tattoo by unknown artist

by unknown artist

Phoenix in Different Cultures

✺ The image used to be put on one side of Roman coins.
✺ In Christian religion phoenix used to be the embodiment of an internal life of the man’s soul and the celebration of the life over the death.
✺ Jewish people as a lot of other cultures of the world have a legend describing the phoenix bird. It says, that the bird gained the gift of immortality as a reward ‘cause it managed to resist the temptation of tasting the forbidden fruit. According to these beliefs, the bird is a symbol of the immortality of the soul and a long path of a man.
✺ Chinese philosophy interprets the symbol of the creature as an embodiment of feminity and at the same time the strength. So, the drawing is recommended for women only in this culture. If the bird is accompanied with a dragon in one design, such tattoo forms the overpowered symbol. This combination stands for the balanced unity of feminine and masculine, commonly known as Yin and Yang.
✺ In Slavic legends and folklore, the image of the phoenix resembles a lot the Firebird which is described as a symbol of  luck, intelligence, wisdom and abundance.
Nearly all tattoo shops have at least one phoenix tattoo in their catalogs of created artworks and commonly there are several of them of different styles, colors and sizes.

phoenix tattoo for girl by unknown artist

by unknown artist

Colorful phoenix tattoo on back by unknown artist

by unknown artist

Main Phoenix Tattoo Meaning

The basic idea of the symbol lies in the principal of rebirth, reincarnation or resurrection. The body drawing of the fabulous bird is a symbol of a new beginning, which emerges from the ashes of the days and years that passed. Such interpretation matches Egyptian beliefs completely as it was said earlier, the phoenix would revive and rise to the Sun the third day after he turned into the ashes.

This legend has some similarities to the story of the Jesus Christ’s resurrection. So, this reading is also pretty relative to the Christian community.

phoenix tattoo on back by unknown artist

by unknown artist

The Talisman of Freedom and Victory

The rebirth of the mythical bird from ashes, as it was told earlier, is one of the favorite meanings of tattoo enthusiasts. The fire element is commonly associated with destruction and death, but phoenix overcomes this stereotype and appears to be an embodiment of the glory of life. Moreover, one of the meanings of this tattoo design is taking under the control all the file difficulties.

Important! Such tattoo is often picked by people struggling through a lot of difficulties and problems willing to overcome all of them, come out of them safe and sound.

Christians also make phoenix tattoo as a proof of a new life after death.

Night Burning Phoenix tattoo sleeve

by unknown artist

Embodiment of Feminity and Bravery

Women place a colorful drawing of this fabulous bird on their bodies as a symbol of their feminity, virtue and grace. In Chinese tradition, a phoenix is depicted in green, red, white and black – the colors of a deep philosophical essence.

Hope and Immortality

A Bigger part of designs is made with a usage of red shades of colors as the Greek word “phoenix” meaning “fire”. Japanese people call the bird “immortal”. According to this, phoenix tattoo having a huge variety of different meanings symbolizes an internal life, hope for the better future and serves the motivation to the active life attitude.

chest tattoo phoenix watercolor

by Emrah de Lausbub

phoenix art by unknown artist

by unknown artist

The body drawing of the phoenix symbolizes loyalty and inner power, the stem of spiritual life. The bird, mentioned in legends and folklore and tales in cultures all over the world, contributes a lot into the tattoo owner’s life struggle to overcome  all the life difficulties and problems.

As a conclusion, there are a lot of embodiments of phoenix in different spheres of life. In elements – Fire, in chemical elements – sulfur, in the color specter – red.

Phoenix Wings Aquarelle tattoo by Adam Kremer in Progress

by Adam Kremer

Phoenix Girl Face Tattoo on Arm

by Melissa Fusco

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