Renewal, Rebirth, Restart – Phoenix Tattoo Guide for 2023

Phoenix tattoo is not a common choice among the tattoo lovers, but it’s always the choice of people who have been through a lot in their lives and have come out stronger and wiser.

Phoenix bird appears in various cultures all over the world. It gets an important mention in traditions ranging from the ancient Greek all the way to Chinese legends.

Most narratives paint the Phoenix as a powerful bird of fire.

The Romans have added it to their coins as a majestic symbol of indestructability of the Roman Empire.

Nowadays we can say that it means rising from the ashes and growing through adversity and re-emerging.

To overcome your problems it is said that, metaphorically, you have to die to be born again, or that you have to go through difficult situations to come out renewed and grow.

The phoenix bird tattoo means to its wearer that they should believe in their potential to grow, adapt. Also, it reminds them to find peace in difficult times because they should trust in their own capability to find creative ways to power through, to learn more, to be flexible.

If you are looking for phoenix bird tattoo ideas, feel free to jump to the designs below.

We do advise you to before that read more about the history and learn about the symbols you are planning to use.

Let’s jump right to it!

Tattoo Banner

Did you know we do custom tattoo design?


Every Tattoo Has A Story – Phoenix Symbols and Meanings

Phoenix bird never truly dies;. It is an immortal creature that will always rise from the ashes.

The phoenix is a red, purple, gold and yellow mix in various mythologies. It either dies in an egg or in the cleansing fire of renewal where it’s reborn from its ashes.

All of its attributes – creation, resurrection and new beginnings – stay on theme with these ideas and are associated this a mythological bird. As such, today they have evolved to become symbols of self-improvement, reinvention, and new beginnings.

In short, these associations with the phoenix bird and phoenix tattoos in general are basically the essence of the human being – growing through adversity and re-emerging.

There is also the symbolism of the oroboros dragon/snake that directly references self-renewal and resurrection. The phoenix, dragon and snake symbolism is heavily linked.

According to ancient beliefs, the Phoenix symbolized many things through its different names. The rebirth and a new period of wealth and fertility for the Egyptian culture. Immortality and resurrection for the Greco-Romans. Breaking with the limitations for the Persians. It is also a symbol of great virtue, grace, power and prosperity for Chinese culture.

According to their legends, the mortal enemy of the dragon is the phoenix, for the two represent both conflict and wedded bliss.

In much of the far East, phoenix and dragon symbolism is associated closely with the imperial family — the emperor being represented by the dragon and the empress on the other hand by the phoenix.

Phoenix Native American Symbolism

Even though the majority of sources state that the phoenix myth starts in Egypt, it is actually a global symbol of rebirth.

Almost all legends of the Phoenix and stories tell the same tale, and the Native Americans were no exception. They called the phoenix the thunder bird.

Thunderbird was a powerful cross-cultural element of Native North American mythology.

In America, the phoenix symbol was depicted on the first Great Seal of the United States in 1782. It was only later replaced by the eagle.

Phoenix Celtic Symbolism

The Phoenix (also known as the Garuda or Sunbird) is said to have been the only living creature that was allowed to fly into Paradise. It had had the sweetest song of all the birds and its tears had immense healing properties.

This mystical fire bird manifests the eternal cycle of time and existence, symbolizing the importance of old endings and new beginnings, with the extra element of starting each rebirth at a higher level.

It also symbolizes that sins of the past have been shed and that the awfulness of the past can be forgotten. Today, the phoenix represents crisis, austerity, and democracy in Ireland.

Phoenix Christianity Symbolism

It is written of it in the Bible:

‘The just will sprout like the phoenix”.

The phoenix became a symbol of Christianity in early literature, either from the ancient Hebrew legend or from the incorporation of Greek and Roman culture, or from a combination of both.

In any case, the ideology of the phoenix fit perfectly with the story of Christ.

The phoenix’s resurrection from death as new and pure can be viewed as a metaphor for Christ’s resurrection, central to Christian belief, just like the cross.

Best Phoenix Tattoo Placements

Phoenix tattoo design, depending if it’s a minimalistic and smaller one, or a big elaborate scene, can be inked on different body parts.

Many will use this motif to develop a big scene of the phoenix rising and that is when the whole back is a great placement to have enough room for all the intricate details, as well as an elaborate leg tattoo.

Smaller designs fit beautifully on the forearm, wrists and ankles, and are a great fit for women’s tattoos.

If you are looking just for the phoenix bird in mid-rising, you can also go for the upper arm, all into the shoulder, or even go for a tattoo sleeve.

Phoenix Tattoo Ideas

To help you with your research for your next tattoo design, we went on a hunt through Instagram to find the best phoenix tattoo ideas.

Take a look below to check them out all:

Are you looking for a custom phoenix tattoo design? We got you.

Our expert tattoo artists will provide a quick initial draft to get you going.
Happy inking ❤

Read later: Would you like to save this post for future reading or use one of the ideas? Save THIS PIN to your Tattoo Ideas Board on Pinterest:

Milena Petrovic

Milena Petrovic

Co-founder of Tattoo Stylist

About the author

Milena has decided to start an organization that will create a safe environment for everybody to get their first, second or third tattoo and to encourage young people to transform their ideas into tattoos safely, with talent and vision.

You can find her writing about tattoos on Quora or updating our Pinterest profile with awesome tattoo ideas!

tattoo regrets featured images
Ragnar viking warrior tattoo
cyber sigilism featured image
Classic semicolon tattoo
Forearm Zeus tattoo
Octopus side hand tattoo