Rising Out of the Ashes – The Spirit of Fire and Immortality   21 comments

The Phoenix (Phoenos immortalis)

Soaring birds have a magnetic fascination to us. They symbolise the spirit of freedom and peace. Some like the colossal Thunderbird and the huge Roc frighten us. Others, like the healing Caladrius, the shrewd Simurgh and the Phoenix have stirred love or awe.


The Arabian Phoenix Phoenix-Ashes

The Arabian Phoenix, the ancient and beautiful gold-red plumed firebird, both mythical and sacred resembled a very large eagle -which when caught in the sun’s fire appeared to flare and flame, shimmering in the sky. With a tail of gold, rainbow-hued wings and scarlet feet the King of all Birds, the Greek-named Phoenix was spoken of in myth and legend as the Spirit of Fire.

Originating in regions of Europe, Central America, Egypt and Asia it made home the wooded dells in Central India. It lived on dew, touching neither fruit nor flowers, leaving anything it touched unharmed, killing nothing.

Greek mythology says the Phoenix lived in Phoenicia adjacent to a well. Every sunrise, it bathed in the well’s water, and its aroma and song were of such allure that all Earth’s birds followed it. Even Apollo the Greek sun-god stopped his chariot (the sun) to hear it sing.


Immortality and Rebirth

Towards the end of its life, said to be 500-1000 years, the Phoenix migrated West, gathering leaves and branches of cinnamon, myrrh and other spices from the Arabian Peninsula before continuing onto Phoenicia (Modern Lebanon)

2746756_f520Three days later the Phoenix would set itself and its nest of twigs ablaze, burning fiercely until it was completely consumed by flames and reduced to ashes. When arising from the ashes the new young Phoenix, collected its parents ashes into a myrrh egg carrying them to Heliopolis, the City of the Sun, in Egypt to deposit them on the altar of the sun-gods in the Temple of the Sun, before flying East back to India.

In symbolising rebirth the Phoenix also has a lifecycle that defies biology. In this process of self-destruction it shows us the only way to achieve this dreamed of state of genetic immortality-living forever. It is a very powerful human symbol of spiritual rebirth viewed by Egyptians to be a symbolic representation of fire, divinity, and rebirth.

The Phoenix was said to regenerate when injured by an enemy. Essentially it was indestructible, and considered immortal.



Now extinct its beginnings as its end are veiled in a smoke screen of mystery. But its possible Mediterranean Europeans high demand for spices lead to over- exploitation of Arabian Spice Groves, on which it depended. With a population of one the Phoenix was unable to adapt or evolve and by the end of the 16th century its delicate existence was terminally interrupted and one of nature’s most extraordinary creations had been lost forever.

Chinese and Japanese Phoenix

The Chinese Phoenix (Feng Huang) and Japanese (Hou-Ou/Ho-Oo) are viewed in Chinese mythology to be a symbol of grace, influence and affluence and an excellent example of dignity, bravery, respect and leadership. Representing the birth of the new emperor or the dawn of a new age, the Phoenix symbolizes the cleansing power of fire and the Chinese principle of yin; imperial grace and elegance, immortality and rebirth; purity and piety.

Believed to appear only in times of peace and opulence Feng Huang is the second of four supernatural creatures, the dragon, the unicorn, and the tortoise. It presides over the southern quadrant of the universe, and therefore symbolizes sun and warmth for summer and harvest.

ChinesePhoenix  2746786_f520  

It shares the benevolent nature of the unicorn harming nothing. Settling nowhere but the wu t’ung tree, feeding only on the bamboo seeds it satisfies its thirst only at the sweet fountains.


The Japanese call the Phoenix Karura, or The Ho-Oo (Ho being male and Oo being female) and he is an enormous fire breathing eagle with golden feathers and magic gems adorning his brow, the Karura or Ho came to the earth to do good deeds for mankind. Representative of the beginning of a new age, the Ho-Oo represents the sun, loyalty and conformity.


In Astrology, by Hesiod’s calculations the Phoenix’s birth date would have coincided roughly with the instant all the stars return to their starting positions beginning a new orbit in a perpetual sequence. This is known as the Great Year and effectively, the Phoenix becomes a reflection of the universe.

Phoenix is a constellation in Earth’s Southern Hemisphere near Toucana and Sculptor. The Phoenix cluster is a dense expanse of unexplored stars, and is also linked with the Phoenicids meteor shower of December 5th.


“The Phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune’s spite; revive from ashes and rise.”

~ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Rising from the ashes, the Spirit of Immortality…the Spirit of Fire…the Spirit of Freedom and Peace…PHOENES IMMORTALIS – THE KING OF ALL BIRDS.


Posted October 20, 2010 by europasicewolf in Mythology and Symbolism

Tagged with , , , , ,

21 responses to “Rising Out of the Ashes – The Spirit of Fire and Immortality

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Excellent post, Wolfie!

  2. Once again we have a most wonderfully detailed offering by our charming friend Icywolfy of the Icy Realm, the Phoenix is indeed a worthy presentation of Myth, Legend and in some instances Genealogy as one searches for the meanings, different symbolisations and the speculative wonder of this Mythical Bird.

    It is said that the Phoenix lives for five hundred years, that it has never actually been seen other than in a photograph or painting and yet the beautiful stories that surround this Mythological creature are second to none. To be honest I don’t know a great deal about the Phoenix so I have eagerly read up a little on this offering, I noticed this addition to your blogging last evening and as it was rather late I decided to wait until the morning to educate myself a little on the subject before offering a lesser informed comment.

    I don’t know if you have learnt this but as life spans go, the Phoenix, which is said to be five hundred years has actually been calculated at being 972 years, perhaps this is where the thousand year assessment filters through, or looking deeper into the life spans of birds it is rather fascinating, the calculations are such that it begins with the life span of a Crow at nine years and progresses through a number of different birds, such as the Raven at twelve years, the Arctic Tern of thirty four years, and so on… Others argue that the Phoenix can live longer than a thousand years, and is calculated through many alternating Mathematical Symbols, each with its own intricate path.

    The Phoenix, as you have already mentioned is said to visit Egypt every five hundred years and then flies in India, however there are countless studies on this magnificent subject matter and all the information gathered on it is extremely exciting, well it is if you enjoy these stories of fact and sometimes a little fiction, as one can never be so precise when discovering legends and myths.

    Of course if one has bothered to educate oneself then it is by the careful analysis of these findings in which to discover all there is to know about the Phoenix. One could even venture further into Greek Mythology, explore the links between The Phoenician Princess and possibly even access information regarding Flavius Philostratus (Circa AD 170)…

    Well I could add lots more to this comment but alas there are limits… Even here in WordPress. Thank you Europa Icewolf (Icywolfy of the Icy Realm) for this fantastic Mythological blog, I will most certainly look forward to reading more as you add to these awesome themes… Androgoth XXx

    • Thank you Androgoth for this informed and well researched response, and for taking the time and interest to do so. As you will know the subject is extensive with many and wide-ranging views linked to it. I have tried to find the middle road, encompasing the most popular views and opinions, but unfortunately I have had to remove large chunks of the original copy of this post, in order to reduce it to what I hope is an more acceptable length. This has meant sacrificing some of the more factual details. But! You have stepped in, in timely fashion to add some invaluable references to this post. There are also some interesting scientific points regarding the Phoenix and its reproduction that perhaps give weight to it’s possible one-time existence….

      • Yes I think a follow up blog would be good on this topic Icywolfy, I can imagine the frustration of not being able to add the full scope of your researching, I only found a small amount and look at the size of my comment? lol

        Bet you were glad to get to the very end of that one? I certainly need to scale down my comments in future, to be honest I didn’t realise how much I had written until I clicked add… lol Have a great time on your Girlie Night Out Icywolfy… Androgoth XXx

      • It is frustrating, but in fairness if I was better skilled in the art of short and concise then I am sure it would have been perfectly possible to include all valid points without it becoming the never-ending-blog post!! lol

        Far from being “glad to get to the very end” of your coment, as you suggested, I did not view it that way at all. All comments small or large are valuable and appreciated and your one in question was very valid and interesting…and comments can never be too long! So have no reserves about that 🙂

  3. is it a myth like all so many other legends whos to say but a lovely blog icey xxjen

    • The Phoenix, even if it proved to be simple myth is beautiful in what it symbolises…immortality, freedom and peace…it is also a beautiful firebird…how cool if it did in fact exist once! Great to see you! Thanks for the visit! 😉

  4. Greetings from Cape Town,
    I have enjoyed browsing through some of your posts and am prompted to include two links to two posts that I read today, which may interest you.
    Kind thoughts, Kate

    Enormous Ring is Developing on the Sun http://beforeitsnews.com/story/218/366/

    HUGE media blackout regarding Earth and Moon orbital changes? http://beforeitsnews.com/story/229/227/

    • Hi Kate, Greetings from Europa…Home world of the Ice wolves 🙂
      Lovely surprise to see you here, and how thoughtful of you to not only take the time to stop by and have a look around…but also to include those links too…thank you!

      They were indeed of great interest to me and it was very kind of you to think of me. They link in very well with some of my earlier posts and I will undoubtedly be making further return visits to these links. I shall also be watching spaceweather.com very closely too! Have a lovely weekend Kate, and you are always very welcome here 🙂

  5. Hej Wolfie..
    Kul att du tittade in..
    Men nu är jag mera på http://www.nightlady070.webs.com
    Inte så mycket liv här på wordpress blir kanske mera när alla space är borta.. Kram Nicki / Night lady / Shalima

    • Hej Nicki/Night Lady/Shalima!!!
      Härligt ställe du har
      Om jag någonsin får tid
      jag kan lägga upp en webbplats här
      Men just nu är det som om jag är på
      en virtuellt karusell
      hoppa från plats till plats!
      Kram Ice wolf 😉

  6. Where might I meet one of these fascinating birds?

  7. They are lost in the realms of myth and legend…but perhaps if you venture back through the space-time continuum to the days of ancient India and Egypt maybe…just maybe…you might find one of these magnificent fire birds! Who knows! 😉

  8. I’ve just been reading this wicked blog of yours again, I certainly like this one… of course you always add very interesting posts, I wonder what will be your next theme, maybe something on the Romans or even a look into the mysteries of the deep?

    Whatever you choose I am sure that it will be a most wicked read… Okay Icywolfy grab a topic and get writing… lol How Ridiculously Bossy of Me? lol Be Good Now…

    Androgoth XXx

  9. My Grammar Is Definitely Off A Little On That Last Comment But Hey I’m Only A Cheeky Jolly Vampire… lol Have A Nice Day and Evening Icywolfy of the Icy Realm…

    Androgoth XXx

    • Yes…lol…that was ridiculously bossy of you! lol you who is only a cheeky jolly vampire 😉 In the present circumstances the very notion of even considering scrawling a blog is enuf to make a jolly ice wolf ROTFL!! …. maybe by the weekend…if I’m a really really really good Icewolfie, I might be allowed out to play blog…lol 😉 Pleased to know you’re still a tiny little bit interested in the Icy of the Icy Realm blogs tho! Have a good evening in the Gothic Realm 🙂

  10. Like the Phoenix… I have risen from the ashes !!!

    He who runs faster than the wind . “RUN’S AGAIN”

    Yeeeeessssssssss hhhhooooowwwwwwlllllllllllllll
    take care Timid one
    kenny .

    • HooOOOoWWWWWLLLLLLLLoooooo Kenny…what a welcome surprise to see you here! And this must mean you are progressing so well you are home AGAIN!! Is this extended weekend leave since it is now Monday?!!! 🙂

      You are indeed like the Phoenix rising from the ashes…it was you with your “Spirit of Fire” I was thinking of when I wrote this one…that you have stopped by and seen it is a bonus! As always…my greatest well wishes for a speedy recovery…Timid one 😉

  11. Fantasmical post! Bravo!

    • Wow! You’ve been a-touring! Thanks 🙂 I barely make it round all the most recent posts myself! How disorganized of me lol…

      I enjoyed this post, in terms of research it was a huge task but you come to love the Phoenix and don’t want the story to end! Wolfie hugs 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: