Artwork on a blank canvas

Posted: January 31, 2015 in Erin, Uncategorized

After years of pondering, pacing and wondering, I finally got up the nerves to have tattoo in May 2013. The decision to have a tattoo cannot be a light one. I have seen too many people having them done “for the hell of it”. 

It is a permanent feature on your body, artwork on a blank canvas which cannot be rubbed off. So not surprisingly, being a very proud Freemason, my first one was a Masonic one.

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The following one I had was a design I had my eye on for a long time. A flowing image of a Phoenix, a mystical bird that has different meanings in different cultures. This colourful fiery bird is perhaps one of the most beautiful tattoo designs – it represents rebirth, immortality, grace and virtue. 

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In Greek, phoenix means purple-red, which indicates that this bird is associated with fire.

In Ancient Greek Mythology, 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.

Early Christians considered phoenix as a symbol of resurrection – the phoenix’s dying and arising 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.

From young I have gone through many internal conflicts, not being sure where I truly belonged in this world. Drugs and alcohol playing a large part. (LOL. I still remember my mom’s reaction when my best man spilled the beans on a few things)  Internal peace for me occurred when I joined Freemasonry and discovered who I truly am. I chose the Phoenix as it represents my life  fighting temptation and becoming a better man, signficantly portraying the Masonic motive ” making good men better” 

My following tattoo is in honour of the light of my life, my beautiful daughter Erin, whom we were told we would never have

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The Phoenix tattoo, however, was unfinished. Initially I thought of flames, associating the mythology of this magnificent bird. I changed my mind as I felt the right adaption/addition will show itself, as art would inspire the artist.

And then when the inspiration occurred, I knew immediately that it will be the perfect addition to complete.

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