The Origin Of The Mysterious Legend Of The Phoenix Bird

YouTube Saliha Ergüneş

Different cultures and ways of interpreting the legend of the bird that is reborn from its own ashes

The phoenix bird is a legend that has attracted the attention of many people around the world, has been the official insignia of many brands, appeared in series, movies and is also used as the nickname of brave and strong people. Whatever version of history we read, we will understand that this fantastic being symbolizes the same thing in different cultures, immortality and resurrection, as well as the hope of never dying for man.

The origin of this legend is Egyptian and originally the bird was called Bennu, symbolizing the Sun star that dies at night and is reborn in the morning; the poet Ovid explained in his texts that in Egypt, the Phoenix bird died and was reborn once every 500 years, from this country, passed to the Greco-Roman culture of the hand of the Greek historian Herodotus.

But all these legends agree that the Phoenix is similar to an eagle with golden feathers and crimson, which was considered a semi-God, according to early Christian legend, among the animals that inhabited the earthly paradise was the phoenix bird and had its nest in a rose bush. When Adam and Eve were cast out of paradise, the angel who banished them released a spark from their sword that accidentally burned the nest next to it.

The Phoenix was burnt, but miraculously reborn from its own ashes, totally healthy, because God gave it immortality and other gifts such as the dominion of fire and light, as the only animal of Eden that resisted the temptation to taste the forbidden fruit.

Worldwide references to the Phoenix bird

This legend appears constantly in classical literature and is quoted by well-known authors such as Shakespeare. However, many of us have in mind the mascot of Dumbledore, the character who appears in Harry Potter movies. On the ribbon, the bird is the symbol of the “order of the Phoenix” and both Harry Potter’s and Voldemort’s magic wand are made with a phoenix feather.

Carl Gustav Jung explains in his book “Symbols of Transformation” that the human being and the Phoenix have many similarities. This emblematic creature of fire, capable of rising majestically from the ashes of its own destruction, also symbolizes the power of resilience, a term used to represent the incomparable capacity we have as people after a problem, to renew ourselves into much stronger, braver and more luminous beings.

If there is one myth that has nourished many of the legendary doctrines, cultures and roots of our countries, it is undoubtedly the Phoenix bird. It was also said in the Egyptian records that his tears were healing; he had great physical endurance, control over fire and infinite wisdom. It was, in essence, one of the most powerful archetypes for Jung, because its fire contained creation and destruction, life and death, all at the same time.

The faces of the bird that lights up in fire

It is also very interesting to find references to their mythology in other spaces and civilizations, Arabic poetry, Greco-Roman culture and even the historical legacy of the East. In China, it is a creature that has little to do with the flaming bird, as it has the body of a fish, the neck of a snake and the back of a turtle. It symbolizes the highest virtue, power and prosperity; it also represents the yin-yang, that duality that makes up the universe.

It symbolizes the highest virtue, power and prosperity; it also represents the yin-yang, that duality that makes up the universe and the difference between good and evil.

In India, a local version of the Phoenix bird appears. It is a bird that when it reaches 500 years of life, is immolated on the eve of spring, in an altar that has been specially prepared for this purpose by a priest. But it’s the same bird that lights the fire. The next day, among the ashes, a larva appears and transforms into a bird, once again the Phoenix can be recognized.

In Mexico, the Phoenix bird always appears in the company of the great God Quetzalcoatl, and for the first Christians, it symbolized Christ, being an allegory of his death and resurrection after being crucified, in the same position that the bird lifts its wings to fly.

As we have seen, the Egyptian myth of the Phoenix bird is a very beautiful and profound story. However, let us now look at some of its details. Let us pause for a moment and think about how the Phoenix builds their nest. He looks for the richest materials of his land, those that combine delicacy and delicacy to make a comfortable space but also use strength to face the dangers and difficult moments that will help him in his transformation.

The legend in our daily lives

If we think about it, this process is very similar to the one that makes up the psychological dimension of resilience. Because we too are looking for those magical elements with which to build a resistant nest, where we can feel comfortable to progress as people, meet our goals, improve our skills every day, and be happy.

All these components will help you in your ascent but not without first being aware of one aspect, there will always be an end, we must keep in mind that a part of ourselves will also go away, it will become ashes, in the remains of a past that will never return, because we are in constant learning and character building, every day we are different from what we were yesterday.

However, these ashes will not be blown away by the wind; on the contrary, they will be kept together underneath us and will form the necessary experience to know how to proceed in the face of new challenges; they are ashes that give shape to a total rebirth of fire, much stronger, greater, and wiser. Undoubtedly this legend can serve as an inspiration to those who feel stuck in their lives and do not find how to move forward after suffering.




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