The design in the picture is a perfect example of a flame tattoo. As a design flames tattoos may represent transformation, destruction, change, passion, a beacon of light and knowledge and serve as a warning to the wearer. Flames, fires and burning have often been used in religious rites and symbolism, as the smoke of the fire wafts towards the heavens it was thought to bear the wishes and prayers of the faithful. An object or sacrifice that is consumed in a fire becomes flames, heat and smoke and all that remains afterwards is ash. The destructive power and ability of fire to destroy much in it’s path has made it both feared and revered. For while a flame may destroy something if it is not controlled, fire also gives off heat to ward off the cold, and light, to hold back the darkness. Fire and flames as symbolized in torches, beacons, urns, candles represent symbols of hope and light and knowledge. Fire is one of the four principal elements which include Earth, Water and Wind. It is also seen as one of the five Chinese elements. In Hinduism fire is one of five sacred elements of which all living creatures are comprised and is considered an eternal witness essential to sacred religious ceremonies. So, if your thinking of getting a tattoo, then consider getting a flame tattoo or at least fire elements added to add greater meaning to your design.
The flame tattoo is a powerful representation in many different cultures around the world. And that’s because of the innate symbolism that fire has. In Christianity, fire is a symbol of the Holy Ghost and is often used in descriptions of hell. God made his presence known to Moses in the symbol of the Burning Bush. Flames are also symbols of temptation and sin, and Satan is often depicted surrounded by flames or controlling flames. In Judaism fire also has a great significance. Candles are lit to usher in holidays and to separate Shabbat from the rest of the week, as well as to remember the dead. Another important fire symbol is the Eternal Flame, which was a fire kept in the First and Second Temple that was never supposed to go out. And in Greek mythology the Phoenix is consumed in flames and is reincarnated out of it’s own ashes. The flames are a symbol of transformation and rebirth and represent the cycle of life. But no matter the symbolism that your trying to capture with your flame tattoo, there is one last thing that you need to consider. Flame tattoos are almost always very colorful and add a powerful element to any design. Use your imagination and add in tribal, fantasy or Gothic symbols and see what impact can be made on your personal collection of body ink.
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