The mythological bird of fire is familiar to most of us, but perhaps not so well-known is in it’s original meaning — ‘phoenix’ in Greek means ‘palm tree’.
The phoenix is said to live for 500 years. When it grows tired, it builds a nest of aromatic twigs, and then sets fire to itself to be consumed in the funeral pyre of its own making. After three days, the phoenix would arise from the ashes, reborn. According to Egyptian legend, it carries the embalmed ashes of its previous incarnation to Heliopolis, the city of the sun. The Egyptian phoenix was said to sing sweetly, and to dazzle with its plumage of gold and scarlet and purple.
Tales of the phoenix appear in ancient Arabian, Greek, Roman, and Far Eastern mythology. In both Greek and Egyptian tales, the phoenix represented the sun, dying in flames at the end of the day and rising each morning. Early Christians came to view the flight of the phoenix as a symbol of rebirth and the resurrection, leaving the old world for the new world of the spirit, dying and rising again, reborn. It symbolized the victory of life over death, immortality, and Christ’s resurrection. Jewish legend describes the phoenix as the one creature that did not leave paradise with Adam, and that its legendary longevity is due to abstaining from the forbidden fruit that tempted the ‘first man’. On Roman coins, the phoenix represented an undying empire.
According to Chinese mythology, the phoenix is the symbol of grace and virtue and is second only in importance to the Dragon. It represents the union of yin and yang, and was a gentle creature associated with the Empress, who alone could wear its symbol. The feathers of the Chinese phoenix were black, white, red, green and yellow – the five primary colours. In Japan, the phoenix is found carved into sword hilts, and the image of the bird seen as embroidery on kimonos. Along with the sun, the phoenix is one of the emblems of the Japanese Empire. In Japanese tattooing the phoenix is often twinned with the the dragon, symbolizing yin and yang, the harmonious combining of the best of the feminine and masculine virtues.
You’d think that Phoenix, Arizona, must have risen from the ashes of some former town — and it’s true — from the remains of Hohokam settlements. But North American Indians have their own fiery version of the phoenix – the thunderbird — from whose beak lightning is said to flash.
The phoenix as a tattoo symbol is often associated with feminine qualities, each part of its body representing a specific virtue. Duty, goodness, kindness and reliability are some of the lesser known aspects of the phoenix. The flame images represent purification and transformation through fire and adversity. The tribal phoenix tattoo done in morbid tattoo parlor in cash and carry mall makati manila.
The wolf is a powerful mythological and spiritual symbol in many cultures around the world, due to it’s widespread distribution across North America, Europe and Asia. Modern dogs are descendants of Asian wolves and the relationships between man and wolves goes back at least forty thousand years.
Wolves were predatory competitors with early man and wolves symbolized ferocity, cunning, stealth, cruelty and even evil – but because of their close-knit pack behaviour wolves also represented loyalty, courage, fidelity and victory. The tendency of wolves to hunt at dusk and dawn and to communicate by howling at night in many cases caused wolves to be associated with the spirit or shadow world, shape-shifters and malevolent or evil spirits.
The wolf symbolized fear of the night, darkness, and even demonic possession. At the same tine men could not help but admire the skill and success of the wolf pack. At the same time, in Norse legend the wolf is sacred to Odin, and to the God Apollo in Greece. The Romans venerated the wolf, because of the legend of the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, being suckled by a she-wolf after being abandoned. The Roman God of War, Mars held the wolf sacred and to spot one before a battle was an omen of victory.
In North America the wolf is often seen as a teacher figure, a shape-shifter who mentored Shamans and a dancer symbol. Among the Shoshone, the wolf was a creator figure. Wolf chest piece done in morbid tattoo parlor in cash and carry mall makati manila.
The Tiger is a potent symbol across Asia in many cultures and has long been a fixture in indigenous tattooing in India, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, China and Japan. Tigers are associated with power, ferocity, passion and sensuality, beauty and speed, cruelty and wrath. The appearance of a tiger in a dream may signal that new power or passion may awaken within you.
In Asia the tiger is associated with the power and might of kings, a position similar to the Lion in the Middle East and Europe. (not a terribly surprising symbolism for apex predators who early men would have seen as direct competitors and potent threats.
The Koreans call the tiger the ‘King of the Animals’. In Hinduism the god Shiva, in his aspect of the destroyer, is depicted wearing a tiger skin and riding a tiger. The tiger is generally seen as a symbol of power and strength, but also of destruction and violence. The tiger can be a symbol of both life and death, evil and evil’s senseless or destructive power. In China, tiger images are used as charms to ward off evil. Stone tigers are common protective guards outside of buildings and houses. At the time of the Chou dynasty, images of tigers were hung in pregnant woman’s rooms to protect the unborn baby. In some areas tigers are thought to punish sinners, in the name of a supreme being, by attacking them.
Some Asian cultures have stories about weretigers, people that can change themselves into tigers, much like the werewolves seen in horror movies. According to their legends, the Tibetans and Na-hsi of the Yunnan province in China have descended from tigers. The Na-hsi give tiger figures to boys and girls at their coming-of-age ceremonies and also to newly wed couples.
The scorpion has long been a popular tattoo symbol in many different cultures, including a number of traditional tribal tattoo styles in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. In fact, almost everywhere you can find these potent relatives of the spider you can find scorpion tattoos. In most cases the scorpion tattoos are potent amulets and talismans – meant to protect the bearer of the tattoo and ward off both the sting of the scorpion and often times, evil spirits, for the scorpion is widely feared and highly respected by all beings, both natural and supernatural. Such is the power of the scorpion.
The Scorpion, long an emblem of treachery, death, danger, pain, wickedness, hatred and envy — is all due to the sting of its tail, which is generally considered to be fatal, in particular for small animals, children, the weak and the elderly. From all over the world, Scorpion legends tell of the stinging tail serving as a weapon and for protection. Scorpion amulets are still worn for protection in places like Tibet and Egypt. The Egyptian goddess, Isis, had giant Scorpions as bodyguards. Other ancients had the Scorpion guarding gateways to the underworld, sacred gateways and tombs.
Orion, the Greek hero and giant, met his match in a Scorpion encounter. With the sting stuck in his foot, he was thereafter immortalized as the constellation of Orion fleeing the sting of his Scorpion killer.
There’s plenty of Scorpion imagery found in religious references. The Bible describes the Israelites trampling Scorpions as a metaphor for victory over the ‘venomous attacks of the devil’. In Buddhist mythology, a ninth century king dreamed of Scorpions the size of yaks, which he took as a sign to stop persecuting monks. You can still see the Scorpion on woodblock prints and wheel charms in Tibet and other Buddhist cultures. As a protective feature, it was also found on sword handles and personal seals, or in temples as guardians of the holy Dharma. Buddhists intended the Scorpion to be a symbol of pacification, which turned menacing at the first sign of anyone intending harm.
Scorpion has another facet more helpful to humans. Praying to the Egyptian Scorpion goddess was said to ease the pain of childbirth. It also stood as a symbol of maternal self-sacrifice. Amongst the ancient Mayans the Scorpion was associated with surgery, possibly because it numbed its prey before the big sting. In parts of Africa, the oil from the Scorpion’s venom has been traditionally used as a medicine.
Astrologically speaking, theÂ ‘Scorpio’ is the eighth sign of the zodiac. It rules over the time period October 24th to November 22nd. Early Christians believed that sexual temptations were irresistible during that period, and were accordingly wary — or alert! The Scorpion mating dance is exotic (if not erotic) and those born under Scorpio have a reputation for both eroticism and rather exotic tastes in the boudoir, in addition to notoriously prodigious sexual appetites!
More current myths and legends see the Scorpion as a favourite combat figure, starring as weapon wielding guards or devouring monster insects. You will see Scorpion Men in comics, games and animation, all battling to the death for supremacy in the imaginations of kids of all ages. Scorpion anklet tattoo done in morbid tattoo parlor in cash and carry mall makati manila.