Is the Phoenix male or female?
Phoenix rising from the ashes in Book of Mythological Creatures
by Friedrich Johann Justin Bertuch (1747-1822)
"A mythical bird that never dies, the phoenix flies far ahead to the front, always scanning the landscape and distant space. It represents our capacity for vision, for collecting sensory information about our environment and the events unfolding within it. The phoenix, with its great beauty, creates intense excitement and deathless inspiration." - The Feng Shui Handbook, feng shui Master Lam Kam Chuen
Eternal and beautiful, the Phoenix represent hope and life in the face of calamity and destruction.
The Phoenix, a large bird the size of an eagle with brilliant scarlet and gold plumage.
According to Greek mythology, the phoenix lived in Arabia next to a cool well. At dawn, it bathed in the water of the well, and the Greek sun-god Apollo stopped his chariot (the sun) in order to listen to its song.
The reason the Phoenix is so famous lies in his ability to regenerate in a manner quite unique. As the Phoenix approaches its death, it is consumed by flames to such degree that its whole body turns into ashes. From these ashes a new Phoenix is born.
As the end of its life approached, the phoenix would build a pyre nest of aromatic branches and spices such as myrrh, sets it on fire, and is consumed in the flames. After three days the birth -- or as some legends say a rebirth -- the phoenix arises from the ashes. According to some sources, the phoenix arose from the midst of the flames.The young phoenix gathers the ashes of its predecessor into an egg of myrrh and takes it to Heliopolis, the city of the sun, to deposit it on the alter of the sun god.
The Phoenix therefore doesn’t engage in normal breeding so it is believed that only one phoenix existed at any one time, and it is very long-lived with a life span of 500 years, 540 years, 1000 years, 1461 years or even 12,994 years (according to various accounts).
Map of Arabia
As far as history can show, the oldest version of the phoenix can be found in the Benu bird a now extinct ancient type of Heron.
The Egyptians believed that the universe began with the cry of this bird and due to their cultural beliefs on immortality would hold this long lived bird in hight regard.
The Arabic version of the phoenix is the most popular in modern times.
It is said to be as large as an eagle, with brilliant scarlet and gold plumage and a melodious cry. Making it's home near a cool well, the Phoenix would appear at dawn every morning to sing a song so enchanting that even the great sun god Apollo would stop to listen.
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