Greek Mythology – the Story of the Phoenix
In Greek, phoenix means purple-red, which indicates that this bird is associated with fire.
In Ancient Greek Mythology, the phoenix is known as a fiery bird, said to live for 500 years.
When about to die, the phoenix builds a nest from aromatic twigs and sets fire to it – then it consumes itself in flames. Three days after its death, the phoenix arises from the ashes, resurrected and reborn.
According to an Egyptian legend, after its resurrection, the phoenix carries the embalmed ashes of its previous existence to Heliopolis, the city of the sun. Once arrived, it submits its ashes to the Sun.
In both Greek and Egyptian mythology, the phoenix was known to sing very sweetly, while dazzling in its plumage of gold, scarlet and purple.
The Phoenix Tattoo Meaning Today
Fire, rebirth, immortality
The phoenix tattoo represents renewal, rebirth and the beginning of a new life.
The rising of the phoenix symbolizes that a person has gone through difficult times, but has resurrected and survived. It means that he or she has arisen from flames as a winner, beating all life challenges and defeating hard times.
Therefore, phoenix is a symbol of rebirth from the ashes of the past, and it also represents the victory of life over death, thus immortality.
Kindness, goodness, reliability, duty, prosperity
- The phoenix represents also a number of good virtues in the person. The reason for this may lie in the fact that when someone comes out of difficult situations, i.e. flames, he or she emerges as a new, better person.
- In Chinese Mythology, the phoenix is associated with feminine virtues, such as grace and kindness.
- It is also said that each part of the phoenix represents a different virtue: the body represents kindness, the wings symbolize prosperity, and the head means reliability.
The Phoenix in Different Cultures
As we have just mentioned, the Chinese believed that the phoenix represented virtue and grace, and the Chinese Empress was the only person who could wear the symbol of the phoenix.
In Chinese mythology, the phoenix is therefore associated with a feminine side, while the dragon represents the masculine energy. These two symbols together represent the union of yin and yang.
The Chinese phoenix has black, white, green, red and yellow plumage, which are primary colors that correspond to five primary elements.
Early Christians considered phoenix as a symbol of resurrection – the phoenix’s dying and rising from the flames after 3 days had many similarities with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
According to Jewish legends, the phoenix was the only creature who refrained itself from eating the forbidden fruit. To do so, the bird consumed itself in flames and resurrected from the ashes after 3 days. In this sense, the phoenix represents victory over temptation, as well as sacrifice and renewal.
Ancient Romans displayed the phoenix symbol on their coins to ensure the longevity of the Roman Empire.
In Ancient Egypt, the Phoenix was considered to be the symbol of the Sun God Ra.
Together with the rising sun, the phoenix is one of the emblems of the Japanese Empire. They call it Ho-o (Ho-ou), which means the Immortal Bird. For the Japanese, the phoenix is therefore associated with immortality.
Well, hasn’t all this convinced you to get a phoenix tattoo? Let us know in the comments!
Cover photo: pinterest.com