Fire tattoo, owing to its rich and ambiguous symbolism, is very popular and widespread in the modern world.
Fire is one of the main four sacred elements besides Earth, Water and Wind. Since the dawn of humanity, this awesome natural force has been feared and respected because of its powerful ability to destroy and obliterate everything on its way.
However, fire has dual nature as, on the one hand, it can destroy and incinerate every living thing, on the other, it gives warmth and light necessary to all beings. So, everything depends on fire controllability, whether it is under control or not.
Also, as an example of such duality can be two concepts of "hellfire", that escaped from the underworld and settled on the earth, and "heavenly fire" that cleanses of sins.
Fire plays a great role in mythology of various nations, mainly it’s regarded as an ally of a man.
Thus, Greek mythical Titan Prometheus stole the fire from the gods to give it to mankind, for what he paid with his life. At the same time, people got secret knowledge that had been available before only to gods.
Fire is revered as a sacral (sacred) element in Hindu religion. Christians regard flame as a symbol of Holy Spirit, but at the same time fire is used in description of hell. Thus the Satan is often depicted enveloped in flames of sin and temptation.
The dual symbolism of fire as both a destructive and a creative force explains the variety of interpretations of this image, which is widely used in tattooing.
So, flame signifies fairness and cleansing, but at the same time it is a symbol of rude and ruthless force.
Everything that is enveloped in fire turns into flame too. Therefore, fire tattoos and flame tattoos symbolize transformations from one state to another, changes in people’s lives and powerful energy that can be under control. Thus, controllable fire gives light, warmth, life, and also means:
-spiritual force and inspiration;
-transformation and cleansing;
- renewal of life and fertilization;
- strength, power and energy;
- sexual force and passion;
- protection and defense;
- enthusiasm and education;
When fire is depicted in the form of candles, torches or signal lights, it usually symbolizes hope, knowledge and light.
Flame on a head or around it in the form of halo is a symbol of divine force, genius, high mental potential.
Besides fire tattoo symbolizes the triumph of light and life over death and darkness, renewal and reincarnation (the Phoenix burned itself and rose again from its ashes, young and beautiful).
Two components of fire tattoo such as light and heat mean accordingly intellect, emotions and warmth, comfort , well-being.
Flame is closely associated with a symbol of heart (mythical hero Danko lighted with his burning heart the way to people through the dark), so it often symbolizes love, passion and self-sacrifice.
As fire embodies truth and knowledge, it’s called to deal with lies, ignorance and other human frailties.
Baptism of fire is a ceremony, that symbolizes return to original purity and deliverance from negative things (cleaning and charging amulets with new energy).
Besides the above-listed qualities, the fire tattoo owner usually wants to emphasize his or her hot temper, activity, inflexibility in opinions, aggressive views, willfulness and insubordination.
Also fire is associated with power, honor and victory, the highest justice, righteous anger that punishes the guilty, but also warms the needy.
Fire tattoos can be applied in different ways from multi-color in realistic style up to black-and-white in Celtic style. The pictures of fire are often combined with other images (heart, cross, skull, flower and so on).