The phoenix, or phenix, is a famous mythical bird. It is a sacred creature. A part of many cultures, different people know it by different names.
Names of the phoenix
The Greeks call it Phoenix; the Egyptians call it Bennu, and the Chinese call it Fêng-Huang. In Japan it’s named Ho-o, in Russia, it is the Firebird. It is also known as the Arabian Anka, the Georgian Paskunji, the Hindu Garuda, the Persian Simorgh, the Turkish Zümrüdü Anka, and the Tibetan Me byi karmo. Some Native Americans knew it as Yel. It can even be found in Phoenician and Roman mythology.
Facts of the phoenix
Regardless of what any one group calls the phoenix, its fire is so fierce it’s always identified with the sun. Egyptians considered it to be the spirit of the god Ra. It lives to be between 500 and 1,000 years old.
As it reaches the end of its life, it builds a special nest of incense, spices, twigs, and other scared material. It ignites the nest and dives into the fire. A new, young phoenix arises from the still warm ashes of the old and it appears to be reborn and ready to live a better life than the previous one.
The new phoenix then magically embalms the ashes of its previous self inside an egg of myrrh. It then deposits the egg in the ancient Egyptian city known as Heliopolis or what the Greeks called “Sun City.” The return of the phoenix was considered to be a good omen and that being bathed in its sunlight was a blessing.
The phoenix’s tears are special. They can be used to cure any infection or heal any wound. When properly used, the tears of the phoenix can even be used to raise the dead.
The phoenix and creation
Before the universe existed, the immortal phoenix was there flying over a sea of chaos. It landed on the single pyramid of ground. There it sang a beautiful song that set off the creation of the universe itself.
Face of the phoenix
Compared to other birds, the Greeks depicted the phoenix as a colorful cross between a peacock and an eagle. They pictured it as heavier than a peacock but larger than an eagle. The Egyptians once represented it as a stork or heron.
As the spirit of the fire, however, the phoenix evolved into a more eagle-like form complete with slim legs, sapphire blue eyes, colorful plumage and a long tail of red and yellow or gold. Other cultures say its tail contained purple, green, and blue feathers. The phoenix is said to have a rather impressive wingspan.
Legend has it that it gave off pure, dazzling sunlight. it stood between three and four feet high. However, the phoenix could appear to be as big as a house. It was sometimes said to have the ability to change into other birds or even a human as well. There is never more than one phoenix at a time.
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