The fiery phoenix is a product of ancient Greek mythology generally intended to symbolize life-changing concepts such as life and rebirth. In the legend, the phoenix is a fiery bird that lives for about 500 years, only to combust into a pile of ash. Soon after, the incredible phoenix inexplicably is reborn from those ashes in a burst of flame, to live again for another five centuries. Over the years since its conception, the phoenix has come to represent the cycle of life in all living things. Generally, the phoenix has been depicted as a red, orange, and yellow bird with flaming plumage and in majestic, inspiring, and powerful poses. With that, it’s perfect fodder for some truly sweet and inspiring tattoos to represent strength and the circle of life.

Legends of the Phoenix

So, we’ve scoured the depths of Instagram to find the coolest, most interesting, and most awe-worthy phoenix tattoos — in our humble opinion. There is, of course, no shortage of ink that pays homage to the phoenix on the internet, but allow us to curate ideas for readers’ next or first pieces of ink. From incredible watercolor styles to ink inspired by traditional Japanese artwork, there are plenty of angles from which to adapt the legendary phoenix into an incredible piece of ink. We’ve also found a few more offbeat expressions of the mythical creature, like differently colored fire birds and Americana-inspired takes. With that, browse our top 35+ picks for some ideas to drive that next (or first) tattoo that honors this mighty bird.