The Phoenix Mythical Bird

The Phoenix lives a long life, and then is consumed by flames, only to immediately rise again from the ashes. This mythical bird is surrounded by folklore and legend. Read on to know about this legendary fictitious bird.
| Saturday, February 14, 2009
Phoenix - To Burn Itself and Rise Again From Its Ashes

The phoenix bird is a symbol of immortality, rebirth and afterlife. In earliest Greek and Egyptian mythology, it is linked with the sun god. As per the Greeks, Phoenix resides in Arabia, close to a cold well. Each sunrise at dawn, the sun god would stop his chariot to listen to the bird sing a melodious song while it bathed in the well.

Only one phoenix exists at a time. When the bird felt its death was near, every 500 to 1,461 years, it would build a nest of aromatic wood and set it on fire. The bird then was consumed by the flames.


The phoenix, germinating in the legends of ancient Egypt, has become a common emblem of reincarnation and the most legendary of all magnificent birds. Covered with red and gold feathers, it carries the color of the rising sun; it had a harmonious voice that became despondent with impending bereavement. Other mortals were then so surmounted by its beauty and melancholy that they themselves fell dead.

The prodigy surrounding the Phoenix bird has myriad variants, with some of the most primitive accounts dating back to 8 centuries before the Christ was born. It is said that if the Phoenix is wounded, it can cure itself and enjoy a long life span.

When the Phoenix gets close to the termination of its life, it's believed to build itself a nest of fragrant spices such as cinnamon and myrrh. It then sets the nest and itself on fire and is burned to ashes. Soon after, the Phoenix rises again and starts its life anew. In some customs, the new Phoenix collects the ashes of the old and takes them to Heliopolis to present them to the Sun God.

Portrayal - What a Phoenix Looks Like

Phoenix, as described by appearance, has the dimension of an eagle, with gold plumage around the neck, an amethyst body, and a sapphire tail. The throat has a crown, and the head has a clump of feathers.

Traits - Some Attributes

The main characteristic of the phoenix is that it is reborn through fire: when it gets aged it will make a nest and put it on fire. The phoenix will envelop in the flames, but will take another life out of the ashes. There can be only one Phoenix at a time; its life extends for many years (accounts vary from 500, 540, 1000 or 1460 years.) No one has ever seen this bird devour. This myth was very widespread among the Egyptians, the Greek, oriental cultures, and during ancient period.

The Phoenix Re-emerges

Phoenix, as they believe, is the only bird competent of restoring and reproducing its own life form. Contrasting to other birds, the Phoenix does not nourish on seeds, but on the gum of frankincense (a pungent resin) and the juices of amomum (an herb of the ginger family)

Phoenix represents

Phoenix is said to represent the sun, which dies ach night and take a new birth every morning. Some traditional writers also relate it with "existing in heaven", enjoying everlasting adolescence. Amid Christians, it signifies reincarnation.

Also Referred to As

Also called Feng-Huang- (Chinese adaptation) in this translation, the bird is sent to the world to execute astonishing tasks and to assist the development of mankind. It emerges in diverse phases of the earth's evolution, and then proceeds to heaven.

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