The phoenix is a mythical bird with colorful feathers and a gold and scarlet tail. Ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology has described it as a large bird, blessed with supernatural power to come back to life. Different cultures have different descriptions about their appearance and importance. Like what? Know yourself about some fascinating facts of Phoenix bird myths and history.
1 Importance Of Phoenix
Phoenix is a universal symbol of death and resurrection, immortality of the Sun and the divine spark. Legend has it that the Phoenix is a bird capable of coming back to life from its own ashes. Mystics and writers, notably Dante Aliguieri and Quevedo have taken up the myth of the Phoenix Bird. It is widely diffused in space and time, and appears with different versions.
2 Life Of A Phoenix
A Phoenix is believed to live for 500 years. When it is about to die, it goes to collect some twigs and spices like cinnamon. From the twigs and spices, it constructs a nest. The bird is known for fearlessly facing its death and making no effort to skip or save itself.
After it is reduced to ashes, soon comes a worm. The worm changes the ash into a new beautiful little phoenix. It’s a ritual for the new bird to carry its father’s ashes to the sun god for burial. The majestic bird then continues living for the next 500 years and the cycle goes on.
3 The Legends In Greece
Greek legends say that the bird lived in Arabia and dwelled in a cold well. At dawn it used to bath in the well and chant melodious rhythms. The sun used to stop and be all ears to the melodious music. Sun god was supposed to be the mentor of the bird.
4 Chinese Version Of Phoenix
The Chinese call the sacred bird as Feng and it represents the Great Empress (our Divine Mother, that is, God the Mother within us all). Painted next to a Dragon, it symbolizes the inseparable fellowship.
5 Sufi Mystic
The Birds’ Language is a book by the great Sufi mystic Farid Ud-Din Attar. In it, he explains about countless birds gathering to perform a pilgrimage to a sacred place to receive the wisdom and enlightenment of the “bird of the birds,” Simorg. Simorg was supposed to have the same sacred and eternal features as the Phoenix.
6 Phoenix In Indian Mythology
Also common in India or Hinduism mythology, it appears as a local version of the Phoenix myth that is called as Garuda. The bird is represented as the shining creature with a white face and golden body. As per the legends, he is invoked as a symbol of martial skills, violent speed and force.
7 Phoenix In Egyptian Mythology
In Egyptian mythology, taken from the Atlanteans (since the myth of the Phoenix is of Atlantean origin), this bird takes the name of Benú.
Phoenix was a bird that on reaching the age of 500 years performed a self-immolation. The immolation took place on an altar (made of branches and frankincense resins, myrrh and other sacred plants). The altar was specially prepared for this purpose by a priest. But it is the bird itself that kindles the fire.
The next day, lava emerges out of the ashes and turns into a small cub of a bird. Then with its growth, everyone recognizes its form, brilliance and eternal beauty. The Phoenix rises more beautiful, more powerful and greater.
8 Arab Mythology
The Arabs have widely used Phoenix as the symbol of Alchemy. It represents the creation of the Philosopher’s Stone through a very special Fire, out of the breath of the Phoenix.
The mythological bird lives in some mysterious place of Happy Arabia, but flies to Egypt. Egypt is regarded as the homeland of Alchemy in order to exercise the priesthood of the “sacrificial fire.” In the version of the medieval alchemists, it is a purple or a hairy bird, that when aging builds a pyre of resinous wood and spices to throw itself in the middle of the fatal nest.
The rays of the sun ignite the fire, and the mystic bird stirs the flame using its wings. It beats them incessantly until the fire consumes them completely. Soon a new Phoenix is reborn from the ashes of the fire.
9 Greek And Roman Mythologies
In Greco-Roman mythology, Hesiod says that the Phoenix lived nine times more than a crow. The poet Ovid rescues it in his work Metamorphoses. Many Greek sages associated both this sacred bird and the owl with the goddess of Wisdom Minerva.
10 Mexican Mythologies
In ancient Mexico, the Phoenix is always in the company of the great avatar Quetzalcoatl. The early Christians symbolized Christ himself, who died and rose gloriously.
Pliny too included it in his Natural History, describing it as a great eagle that has a golden necklace around his lap. It had a purple body and blue tail with some pink feathers. No one has ever seen her feeding. Pliny estimated its average age to about 500 years.
Isidore of Seville describes the bird as long-lived, centuries-long. When 500 years pass, it builds a fragrant pyre to immolate itself in the fire and soon reborn from its ashes.
11 Gnostic Symbology
It is the symbol of the Resurrection in Eternity, in which the night follows day and night. It alludes to the periodic cycles of cosmic resurrection and human reincarnation. For the Greek Gnostics, the Phoenix lives a thousand years. At the end of the thousand years, it lights a blazing fire and consumes itself. She is born again from her ashes and lives another thousand years and thus up to seven times seven.
The “seven times seven”, or 49 times, are a transparent allegory. It is an allusion to the 49 Manus, the 7 Rounds, the 49 deep levels of the human mind, and the 49 human cycles in the Round verified in each Globe System. In Gnostic Alchemy, it is the symbol of the Regeneration of Universal Life. In its inverted symbology it represents the Psychological Self which can be reborn in our mind.
12 The Tale Of Bird’s Birth
The Tree of Wisdom grew in the garden of Paradise. Beneath the Tree of Wisdom rose a rosebush. In his first rose a bird was born. His flight was like a ray of light with magnificent colors and a song that caused a rush.
When Eve reaped the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, and when she and Adam were cast out of Paradise, from the flaming angel’s sword a spark fell on the bird’s nest and set it on fire. The little animal died burning. Out of the reddish egg flew another bird. It was single and always the same: the Phoenix Bird.
13 The Bird And Its Flight
Legend tells that the phoenix bird makes its nest in Arabia, and that every hundred years there is death burning itself in its own nest. From the red egg comes a new Phoenix Bird, the only one in the world.
The bird flies around us, bright, splendid and magnificent. When a mother is seated by the cradle of her son, Ave approaches her pillow and spreads its wings. It then traces a halo around the child’s head. He flies through the sober and humble room and there is sunshine in the room.
14 Phoenix Bird And Aurora Borealis
Phoenix Bird is not only the Bird of Arabia. It also transmits the radiance of the Aurora Borealis over the icy planets of the copper rocks. The copper rocks of Falun are present in the charcoal mines of England. The bird flies like the moth over the devout in the hands of the pious worker. On the lotus leaf it slides through the sacred waters of the Ganges, and the eyes of the Hindu maiden light up at the sight of it.
15 Phoenix Bird as the Holy Swan of Song
Phoenix Bird is the Bird of Paradise, and the holy swan of song. It was in the car of Thespis. The Icelandic singer’s harp was pulsed by the swan’s red beak. It propped up on the shoulder of Shakespeare and adopted the figure of Odin’s raven. He then and whispered in his ear: “Immortality!”
16 Phoenix Bird and song to Marseilles
Phoenix Bird supposedly sang in Marseilles. It came in the entire paradisiacal splendor, and may have turned back to behold the sparrow that had golden ornaments on its wings.
17 Phoenix Bird of Arabia
The Bird of Paradise rejuvenated every century. It was born among the dead flames. The image, marked in gold, is placed in the rooms of the rich. It often flies towards solitude, made of only legend: the Phoenix Bird of Arabia.
18 Phoenix in movies
The bird was seen in the movie- Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. The phoenix shown in the movie is called Fawkes. It was a pet protector of Dumbledore. Phoenix was also seen in the movie- The Chronicles of Narnia.
19 Phoenix on flags
Because of its ability to be reborn, Phoenix is widely used as a symbol on the flags. Cities like Atlanta, Georgia, San Francisco and California, have adopted the symbol of phoenix, rising from its own ashes.