Spiritual Meaning of The Phoenix Bird + Legends & Myths
Oct 07, · The Phoenix bird is a mythical creature, resurrecting from its own ash, resembling an eagle, with splendid feathers and a very long life. Mar 11, · Phoenix, in ancient Egypt and in Classical antiquity, a fabulous bird associated with the worship of the sun. The Egyptian phoenix was said to be as large as an eagle, with brilliant scarlet and gold plumage and a melodious cry.
Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. Some legends say it dies in a show of flames and combustion, others that it simply dies and decomposes before being born again. The origin of the Phoenix has been attributed to Ancient Egypt by Herodotus and later 19th-century scholars, but other scholars think the Egyptian texts may have been influenced by classical folklore. Over time the phoenix motif spread and gained variety of new associations: HerodotusLucanPliny the ElderPope Clement ILactantiusOvidand Isidore of Seville are among those who have contributed to the retelling and transmission of the phoenix motif.
Over time, extending beyond its origins, the phoenix could variously "symbolize renewal in general as well as the sun, time, the Empiremetempsychosisconsecrationresurrectionlife in the heavenly ParadiseChristMaryvirginitythe exceptional man, and certain aspects of Christian life".
The modern English word phoenix entered the English language arts from Latin, later reinforced by French. This borrowing was later reinforced by French influence, which had also borrowed the Latin noun. In time, the word developed specialized use in the English language: For example, the term could refer to an "excellent person" 12th centurya variety of heraldic emblem 15th centuryand the name of a constellation 17th century.
That word is probably a borrowing from a West Semitic word for maddera red dye made from Rubia tinctorum. The word Phoenician appears to be from the same root, meaning 'those who work with red dyes'. So phoenix may mean 'the Phoenician bird' or 'the purplish-red bird'. Exterior to the Linear B mention above from Mycenaean Greece, the earliest clear mention of the phoenix in ancient Greek literature occurs in a fragment of the Precepts of Chironattributed to 6th century BC Greek poet Hesiod. In the fragment, the wise centaur Chiron tells a young hero Achilles the following, [ clarification needed ]  describing the phoenix's lifetime as times the length of a long-lived human's:.
A chattering crow lives out nine generations of aged men, but a stag's life is four time a crow's, and a raven's life makes three stags old, while the phoenix outlives nine ravens, but we, the rich-haired Nymphs daughters of Zeus the aegis -holder, outlive ten phoenixes. Classical discourse on what is the definition of resistance in science subject of the phoenix attributes a potential origin of the phoenix to Ancient Egypt.
Herodotuswriting in the 5th century BC, provides the following account of the phoenix: . Indeed it is a great rarity, even in Egypt, only coming there according to the accounts of the people of Heliopolis once in how to make wire bonsai tree sculpture hundred years, when the old phoenix dies.
Its size and appearance, if it is like the pictures, are as follow: The plumage is partly red, partly golden, while the general make and size are almost exactly that of the eagle. They tell a story of what this bird does, which does not seem to me to be credible: that he comes all the way from Arabia, and brings the parent bird, all plastered over with myrrh, to the temple of the Sun, and there buries the body. In order to bring him, they say, he first forms a ball of myrrh as big as he finds that he can carry; then he hollows out the ball and puts his parent inside, after which he covers over the opening with fresh myrrh, and the ball is then of exactly the same weight as at first; so he brings it to Egypt, plastered over as I have said, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun.
Such is the story they tell of the doings of this bird. In the 19th century, scholastic suspicions appeared to be confirmed by the discovery that Egyptians in Heliopolis had venerated the Bennua solar bird similar in some respects to the Greek phoenix.
However, the Egyptian sources regarding the bennu are often problematic and open to a variety of interpretations. Some of these sources may have actually been influenced by Greek notions of the phoenix, rather than the other way around.
The phoenix is sometimes pictured in ancient and medieval literature and medieval art as endowed with a halowhich emphasizes the bird's connection with the Sun. The phoenix came to be associated with specific colors over time.
Although the phoenix was generally believed to be colorful and vibrant, sources provide no clear consensus about its coloration. Tacitus says that its color made it stand out from all other birds. Herodotus, Pliny, Solinusand Philostratus describe the phoenix as similar in size to an eagle,  but Lactantius and Ezekiel the Dramatist both claim that the phoenix was larger, with Lactantius declaring that it was even larger than an ostrich.
According to Pliny's Natural History. The story is that it is as large as an eagle, and has a gleam of gold round its neck and all the rest of it is purple, but the tail blue picked out with rosecoloured feathers and the throat picked out with tufts, and a feathered crest adorning its head.
According to Claudian 's poem "The Phoenix", . Tyrio pinguntur crura veneno. A mysterious fire flashes from its eye, and a flaming aureole enriches its head. Its crest shines with the sun's own light and shatters the darkness with its calm brilliance. Its legs are of Tyrian purple ; swifter than those of the Zephyrs are its wings of flower-like blue dappled with rich gold.
According to Pliny the Elder, Marcus Manilius had written that the phoenix appeared at the end of each Great Yearwhich he took to have occurred "in the consulship of Gnaeus Cornelius and Publius Licinius ", that is, in 96 BC. In time, the motif and concept of the phoenix extended from its origins in ancient Greek folklore. For example, the classical motif of the phoenix continues into the Gnostic manuscript On the Origin of the World from the Nag Hammadi Library collection in Egypt generally dated to the 4th century: .
Thus when Sophia Zoe saw that the rulers of darkness had laid a curse upon her counterparts, she was indignant. And coming out of the first heaven with full power, she chased those rulers out of their heavens and cast them into the sinful world, so that there they should dwell, in the form of evil spirits upon the earth. It kills itself and brings itself back to life as a witness to the judgement against them, for they did wrong to Adam and his race, unto the consummation of the age.
There are [ Likewise, there are three phoenixes in paradise—the first is immortal, the second lives 1, years; as for the third, it is written in the sacred book that it is consumed. So, too, there what are 3 ways to write a ratio three baptisms—the first is spiritual, the second is by fire, the third is by water.
Just as the phoenix what is couch grass used for as a witness concerning the angelsso the case of the water hydri in Egypt, which has been a witness to those going down into the baptism of a true man. The two bulls in Egypt posses a mystery, the Sun and the Moon, being a witness to Sabaoth : namely, that over them Sophia received the universe; from the day that she made the Sun and Moon, she put a seal upon her heaven, unto eternity.
And the worm that has been born out of the phoenix is a human being as well. It is written concerning it, "the just man will blossom like a phoenix".
And the phoenix first appears in a living state, and dies, and rises again, being a sign of what has become apparent at the consummation of the age. The anonymous 10th century Old English Exeter Book contains an anonymous line what color shoes with a black and white dress alliterative poem consisting of a paraphrase and abbreviation of Lactantius, followed by an explication of the Phoenix as an allegory for the resurrection of Christ.
This bird's nature is much like to the chosen servants of Christ; pointeth out to men how they bright joy through the Father's aid in this perilous time may under heaven possess, and exalted happiness in the celestial country may gain.
Even thus by the great sages 'tis confessed The phoenix dies, and then is born again, When it approaches its five-hundredth year; On herb or grain it feeds not in its life, But only on tears of incense and amomumAnd nard and myrrh are its last winding-sheet. Nor shall this peace sleep with her; but as when The bird of wonder dies, the maiden phoenix, Her ashes new create another heir As great in admiration as herself; So shall she leave her blessedness to one, When heaven shall call her from this cloud of darkness, Who from the sacred ashes of her honour Shall star-like rise as great in fame as she was, And so stand fix'd Phoenixes are present and relatively common in European heraldrywhich developed during the High Middle Ages.
They most often appear as crestsand more rarely as charges. The heraldic phoenix is depicted as the head, chest and wings of an eagle rising from a fire; the entire creature is never depicted. In the modern era, the phoenix motif continues to see use in a variety of contexts. Elon University 's sports teams became known as the Phoenix instemming from the colleges fire and subsequent recovery in University trustees at the time announced their intentions to make Elon "rise from the ashes".
Swarthmore College 's newspaper has been named "The Phoenix" since the college's fire in ;  the phoenix bird was considered emblematic of the college's rebirth from its ashes.
More recently, "Phineas the Phoenix" has become the official mascot  of Swarthmore College, with a dancing student inside a costume of plush plumage. The flag of San Francisco features a phoenix in its center, symbolic of the city's rebuilding following the San Francisco earthquake.
Coventry University use a phoenix rising from the flames as their emblem, tying in with the city they are based, and the same reason Coventry City Football Club carry a phoenix on their club crest. Scholars have observed analogues to the phoenix in a variety of cultures. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn in Greek mythology.
For other uses, see Phoenix disambiguation. Main article: List of phoenixes in popular culture. Early Christian Latin Poets. OED Online. September Oxford University Press. The British Museum. Retrieved London: British Museum Publications. Panegyric on the Sixth Consulship of Honorius.
The Gothic War. Shorter Poems. Robinson The Nag Hammadi Library. HarperCollins Publishers. A collection of Anglo-Saxon poetry, from a manuscript in the library of the dean and chapter of Exeter". Retrieved 9 December Phoenix at Wikipedia's sister projects. Armiger Law of heraldic arms Grant of arms Blazon. Conventional elements of coats of arms Coat of arms emblazoned onto an escutcheon. Slogan battle cry.
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The Phoenix Through Time
English Language Learners Definition of phoenix: a magical bird in ancient stories that lives for years before it burns itself to death and then is born again from its ashes See the full definition for phoenix in the English Language Learners Dictionary. Mar 28, · Fascinating Symbolic Meaning of the Phoenix The symbolic meaning of the phoenix is about renewal. The phoenix is about overcoming darkness and rising to the challenge to become powerful and succeed. But the phoenix has a legacy in many cultures. Symbolic Meaning Of Phoenix The phoenix symbolic meaning has made its mark on various cultures throughout history. For example, the Chinese believe that this spiritual bird was sent to Earth to assist in the development of mankind. Typically, they view the phoenix as coming in twos, one male and one female, representing yin and yang energy.
Posted on Last updated: March 13, Categories Spirituality. By: Author Insight State's Editorial. The Phoenix bird is a mythical creature, resurrecting from its own ash, resembling an eagle, with splendid feathers and a very long life. Wrapped in mystery because of its exceptional destiny, transformed into a symbolic image of rebirth, considered as originating from the most diverse places, this bird is presented in classical mythology under many forms, multiplied by the innumerable reinterpretations proposed by the following centuries and by the various cultures in the classic world.
It has extraordinary longevity its lifetime varies from to almost 13, years, depending on the sources. Also, it is the only one in its species and, therefore, it can not reproduce.
The Phoenix bird originates in Arabia or Ethiopia and is the object of particular worship in Egypt, at Heliopolis. When its long life is about to end and the bird feels this, it makes a nest of aromatic herbs and incense; it then sets fire to this nest, and, according to legends, it lays in it, burning along with the nest.
The ashes are the source of its rebirth as another bird. The new Phoenix bird buries the previous one, placing the remains in an egg-shaped myrrh and incense wrap and carrying them, with a cortege made of other birds flying around, to the sanctuary of Heliopolis. After this transitory appearance in Egypt, the young bird returns to Arabia or Ethiopia , where it lives its long solitary life feeding on incense pearls until it generates another specimen of its ashes.
Herodotus and other Greek and Latin writers certainly knew, more or less directly, about Egyptian sources describing a similar animal, the Bennu bird, sometimes reproduced and placed at the bow of Egyptian ships.
They related it to the daily cycle of the Sun and the annual Nile overflow, but the astrologers linked the story of its long life to the theory of the sidereal revolution. It is certain that the equivalent of the Phoenix bird was related to the cult of the Sun, as well as to the idea of regeneration and life, and that these characteristics are resumed in classical mythology.
The attempts to link the Phoenix bird from mythology with a real bird, undertaken by the ancients, were unsuccessful; we know that in the time of Emperor Claudius, a so-called Phoenix bird was captured in Egypt and shown in Rome, but its identification was received with skepticism.
The mysterious First Time, or Zep Tepi, was an expression the ancient Egyptians used to refer to the beginning of time. In their mythology, Zep Tepi was marked by the elevation of the primordial mound from the ocean and the landing of the Phoenix bird on it. According to Egyptian mythology, the Phoenix arrived to mark the birth of a new era.
For the Egyptians, Phoenix was the symbol of the year Sothic cycle. The beginning of the cycle was of great importance to the Egyptians. At the beginning of the cycle, Belgian author and lecturer Robert Bauval found that Milky Way was on top of the Nile course. In the 5th century BC, Herodotus said he had visited Heliopolis and was told of a grandiose Phoenix bird. It is assumed that the next Phoenix bird will be born from this egg. Thus, the Greeks adopted the Phoenix bird as the emblem of the cycles of life and death, of the eternal rebirths of its own ashes.
When the first piece of land had gone out of the dark waters of Chaos, the shining Bennu bird had descended to the primordial mound. The earliest references to the Bennu bird describe it as a yellow wagtail, but then it will be presented as a heron. The scream of the Bennu bird marks the beginning of time. Moreover, this bird announced the end of time and the return to the world of chaos.
At Heliopolis, the center of solar worship, the bird would sit on the Benben stone a primitive obelisk or in the branches of sacred willow. When the Pharaohs reached a year-old reign, they prayed to the sacred bird to renew their strength and vitality. As a manifestation of Osiris, the Bennu bird leads the spirits of the dead through the dangers of the underground world.
Some spells from the Book of the Dead a collection of spells that enable the soul of the deceased to navigate the afterlife invoke the transformation of the dead into the Bennu bird so that they can travel freely between the two worlds. As a side note, the Sphinx embodies the four cardinal constellations of the zodiac, the four corners of the cosmos, Leo, Taurus, Scorpio, and Aquarius, the four elements that act to build the material world.
Also, according to the secret history, the Sphinx is a monument dedicated to the first moment in which the four elements have settled and the matter has become solid. Therefore, the Sphinx marks the point where two successive waves of emanations of the cosmic mind formed the solid matter. In Chinese mythology, there is a fabulous, Phoenix-like being.
Although a pair, the Chinese Phoenix is considered a single bird, having a superior significance and imperial rank. The eyes are the sun, the head is the sky, the wings are the wind, the back is the moon, the tail is the planets, and the feet are the earth.
I am totally surprised that the Central American Aboriginal " Quetzalcoatl ," Phoenix bird was, and isn't conveyed in this treatise. Share Pin Twitter. Click here to cancel reply. Charles EagleHorse Monday 3rd of February Charles Monday 3rd of February