According to Egyptian mythology, the Bennu was a self-created being said to have played a role in the creation of the world. It was said to be the ba of Ra and enabled the creative actions of Atum. It was said to have flown over the waters of Nun that existed before creation, landing on a rock and issuing a call that determined the nature of creation. It was also a symbol of rebirth and was therefore associated with Osiri.
The Greek historian Herodotus describing Egypt in the fifth century BC wrote that the priests at Heliopolis described the phoenix to him. They said it lived for 500 years before building its own funerary pyre and setting it alight. The newborn offspring of the previous phoenix rose from the ashes of this fire and carried them to Heliopolis, depositing them on the temple's altar. Greek descriptions of the phoenix liken it to an eagle with red and gold plumage, reminiscent of the sun or of flames the name of the phoenix could be derived from "Bennu", and its rebirth and connections with the sun resemble those of the Bennu bird, although Egyptian sources do not mention the bird's death.
In terms of physical appearance, the phoenix, when pictured or described in medieval artwork and literature, will sometimes have a nimbus (a physical feature that emphasizes the phoenix’s connection with the sun). Quite often, the oldest images of phoenixes on record would have nimbuses with seven rays, just like Helios, the personified sun in Greek mythology and as having a crest of feathers on its head. Helios was imagined as a handsome god crowned with the shining aureole of the Sun, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day to earth circling Oceanus (the Atlantic Ocean) and through the world-ocean returned to the East at night.
The playwright Ezekiel (second century BC) mentions the phoenix in his play about Moses. "Another living creature we saw, full wondrous, such as man has never seen; 'twas near in scope to twice the eagle's size, with plumage iridescent, rainbow-hued. Its breast appeared deep-dyed with purple's shade, its legs were red like ochre, and its neck was furnished round with tresses saffron-hued; like a coxcomb did its crest appear, with amber-tinted eye it gazed about, the pupil like some pomegranate seed. Exceeding all, its voice pre-eminent; of every wing'd thing, the king, it did appear. For all the birds, as one, in fear did haste to follow after him, and he before, like some triumphant bull went striding forth with rapid step apace."
Although the phoenix is a mythical creature the symbolism is deep and most people in the world have heard of this magnificent bird. There is something mysterious and frightening about a creature that can burn in flames and instead of being ashes to ashes, it rises from the ashes reborn. This of course is similar to Jesus rising from the dead. If these are metaphors then the lesson is one of rebirth, our body may die but our spirit rises to another reality where we are eternal beings and can never die. We transform from human back to our natural state of being which is spirit,
The phoenix message is one of enlightenment and rebirth; it shows us that our physical body is just a temporary host for a magnificent light. All the colours of the rainbow have been used to describe the phoenix; all the colours of the rainbow make up the colours that describe the whole spectre of the sacred chakras which when awakened lead us to the enlightenment that we seek. For those lucky enough to be enlightened they learn to see the bigger picture of life and that one life is just one step on a journey of evolution of soul. The phoenix is gifted with the wisdom of the ages.
The sun represents warmth, life, light, vitality and illumination this is how someone would describe the person who has phoenix as their power animal. They have a very deep spiritual side but they also have an amazing and wicked sense of humour, they can brighten up any room just with their presence. Their charisma comes from the illumination of their spirit which other spirits are immediately attracted to. We sometimes immediately like someone without knowing them this happens when spirit recognises spirit, the human might not be aware of this but their spirit is.
Fire although destructive also brings regrowth, while the sun helps life to spurt it can also kill that which is not properly nurtured. Life needs sun and water to sustain itself, likewise we need to be aware of the duality of ourselves, we are human and we are spirit, one cannot exist without the other. Although the phoenix is the keeper of esoteric knowledge, the phoenix has the wisdom to know that this knowledge can be dangerous to people who are not yet evolved enough to hear it. The phoenix only ever gives its wisdom and knowledge to people who are ready to open their hearts and minds.
If phoenix is your power animal then you are someone who has witnessed the violet flame and have been initiated into the truth and wisdom of who you are. You know what it means to be in an absolute state of grace. Your life on this earth is devoted to cosmic karma and you are a being who has understood what it means to love unconditionally, you are here to serve mankind and you do this willingly. There are very few people in the world that can be truly called a ‘being of light’ you are definitely one of these people. You are a rare and humble being and walk among us as an equal; you are not lofty but rather know that every soul will eventually reach the heights that you have reached. That is our purpose on this earth and we will all evolve to this when we are ready.
You do not have to be told when to call on the phoenix for you are the phoenix, you are aware of the connection between animal, plants, human and spirit. You know that everything comes from the same source and that source is love.
Characteristics: rebirth, illumination, wisdom, esoteric knowledge, unconditional love, duality, perfection.
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