As one of the four natural elements, fire can serve as either a life-giving or destructive force. In small quantities, it aids in survival by providing warmth and lighting the darkness. When allowed to grow uncontrollably, fire consumes and destroys.
Symbolically, fire has many interpretations. Since its discovery by our caveman ancestors, fire has been practically used in various aspects of living, from cooking food to staying safe and warm. For this, it can be taken as a symbol of survival, hope, safety and comfort. When used in religious rituals and prayers, fire is regarded as a sacred element, capable of dispelling darkness and evil. Being the first source of illumination before the advent of electric bulbs, fire can represent passion, knowledge, discovery and enlightenment. As raging flames can reduce everything thrown its way into ashes, it is also seen as a symbol of transformation, eliminating the old to make way for the new.
In tattoo art, fire can be depicted in so many ways; as a pattern surrounding a design, a candle, torch or pyre. All one has to do is consider what personal significance the fire should convey, and apply some imagination to incorporate it into a design.