Phoenix tattoos are symbols of rebirth and resurrection. The phoenix is a mythological firebird originating in Phoenician, Egyptian and Greek mythology.
Most people are aware that the phoenix is a mythological creature, the exact story is often quite fuzzy though.
In general, the story is that the bird lives for 1000 years (or 500) at a time. Upon the conclusion of the 1000 years, it creates a nest made from myrrh twigs and burns the nest, as well as itself. Once the burning is completed, a new phoenix rises from the ashes after 3 days, to live for another 1000 years.
The story itself is often modified and altered depending on the area where it originates from but the moral is always the same, the intention of the story is to prove that the bird does in fact rise again.