COMMON THEMES, EAST & WEST:
Creatures of Fire & Air:
THE FIREBIRD / PHOENIX
[From the now-defunct Russian Sunbirds site]
25 September 2001 ////// 2 January 2007
Until a night or two ago, I forgot that I had even started this page two weeks after 9/11. So much has happened since then -- it's another world away.
But in working on a Pig History & Lore page for this "Animal Guides' section, my research turned up a connection to the Chinese phoenix dating back 7000 years. In looking for a place where I could put the data "on hold," I discovered that I had already started a phoenix/firebird page 5 years ago. It came as a complete surprise. It had a great background of dense green clover I'd found on a Russian ikon site. Against that background, I had placed a title-header, 4 lovely Russian lacquer box illustrations -- and nothing else. In the midst of the shock and turmoil of 9/11 (the Twin Towers were within walking distance of the Lower East Side tenement where I'd lived for 15 years in the 60's and 70's -- I still have friends there), I was instinctively turning to themes of new life arising from the ashes of the old -- the phoenix theme.I am now simultaneously completing this page as well as my Pig History page. I hope you will enjoy the results......
This is "The Tale of Ivan Tsarevich, the Firebird, and the Gray Wolf" as translated and re-told by Andrew Stonebarger, the co-owner with his Russian wife of Tradestone Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland. (Note: there is a more recent link but it is not direct. Despite all my attempts to extract the direct link, the URL keeps flipping back to a portal page. So I am using the old, direct link. The only difference that I can see is that the new link displays lovely lacquer boxes with the Firebird theme. If you're interested in buying one -- and I can personally vouch for the quality of Andrew's Gallery, having been a customer in the past, try the recent link and scroll down to the story --- or contact Andrew directly.)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firebird_%28Russian_folklore%29
Here is how Andrew begins his tale:Once upon a time in a far away land, there lived a mighty tsar. The pride of the tsar's kingdom was a magnificent orchard, second to none. However every night a firebird, with golden feathers and eyes like crystal, would swoop down on the tsar's favorite apple tree, and fly off with a few golden apples. The tsar was very distressed at this and called in his three sons to help.
"My dear sons," he said, "to whichever one of you is able to catch this firebird and bring it back alive, I will give half of my kingdom now, and the other half when I die"....
This is Wikipedia's data on the Russian Firebird -- I am citing the entire passage, since it is brief, but Wikipedia's page offers illustrations and useful hypertext for those who wish to delve more deeply.In Russian folklore, the Firebird (zhar-ptitsa, literally heat bird from heat) is a magical glowing bird from a faraway land, which is both blessing and doom of its captor.
The Firebird is invariably described as a large bird in majestic plumage that brightly glows in red, orange and yellow light, like a bonfire that is just past the turbulent flame. The feathers do not cease glowing if removed, and one feather can light a large room if not concealed. In later iconography, the form of Firebird is usually as of a smallish peacock of fire colors, complete with a crest on its head and tail feathers with glowing "eyes".
A typical role of the Firebird in fairy tales is an object of difficult quest. The quest is usually initiated by finding a lost tail feather of the Firebird, upon which the hero sets out to find and capture the live bird, sometimes on his own accord, but usually on the bidding of a father or king. The Firebird is a marvel, highly coveted, but the hero, initially charmed by the wonder of the feather, eventually blames it for his troubles.
The Firebird tales follow the classical scheme of fairy tale, with the feather serving as a premonition of hard journey, with magical helpers met on the way, who help in travel and capture of the Bird, and returning from the faraway land with the prize. The most popular version is found in the tale of Ivan Tsarevich and the Grey Wolf.
The story of Firebird quest has inspired literary works, including "The Little Humpback Horse" by Pyotr Yershov. Composer Stravinsky achieved an early success with a large-scale ballet score, The Firebird.
The Firebird concept has parallels in the Iranian legends of magical birds, in the Brothers Grimm's fairy tale about The Golden Bird and the related Russian magical birds like Sirin. The story of the quest itself is closely paralleled by Armenian Hazaran Blbul. In the Armenian tale, however, the bird does not glow but rather makes the land bloom through its song.
This is scholar Heidi Anne Heiner's superb SurLaLune's version of the Russian tale of Ivan, the Firebird, and the Wolf. Here is how it opens:http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/firebird/other.htmlIN a certain far-away Tsardom not in this Empire, there lived a Tsar named Vyslav, who had three sons: the first Tsarevitch Dimitri, the second Tsarevitch Vasilii and the third Tsarevitch Ivan.
The Tsar had a walled garden, so rich and beautiful that in no kingdom of the world was there a more splendid one. Many rare trees grew in it whose fruits were precious jewels, and the rarest of all was an apple tree whose apples were of pure gold, and this the Tsar loved best of all.
One day he saw that one of the golden apples was missing. He placed guards at all gates of the garden; but in spite of this, each morning on counting, he found one more apple gone. At length he set men on the wall to watch day and night, and these reported to him that every night there came flying into the garden a bird that shone like the moon, whose feathers were gold and its eyes like crystal, which perched on the apple tree, plucked a golden apple and flew away.
Tsar Vyslav was greatly angered, and calling to him his two eldest sons, said: "My dear children, I have for many days sought to decide which of you should inherit my Tsardom and reign after me. Now, therefore, to the one of you who will catch the Fire Bird, which is the thief of my golden apples, and will bring it to me alive, I will during my life give the half of the Tsardom, and he shall rule after me when I am dead."
For folklore scholars, this is an invaluable collection from Heidi Anne Heiner's SurLaLune of other related tales:http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/firebird/themes.htmlThe following tales are similar to the Tsarevitch Ivan Fire Bird and the Gray Wolf fairy tale, Aarne-Thompson 550: The Quest for the Golden Bird/Firebird. I have included the England language tales of this type which have been gathered by D. L. Ashliman in his A Guide to Folktales in the English Language. However, I have included other tales when I have deemed them appropriate to my purpose. The tales come from many cultures and are similar to the Tsarevitch Ivan Fire Bird and the Gray Wolf story in various ways....Heiner also includes AT-531 as well as AT-550 and gives both text and online sources, where available.
This is another excellent page from Heidi Anne Heiner's SurLaLune on contemporary Firebird themes:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_FirebirdThe Firebird has appeared in modern literature and other forms of art, such as music and film. This page provides a small discussion of some of the better known treatments by authors and other artists....She offers synopses of recent novels and also looks at related poetry, music, and film.
Ivan captures a feather from the Firebird
[From the now-defunct Russian Sunbirds site]
This is Wikipedia's illustrated page on Stravinsky's ballet, The Firebird:http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Labyrinth/8952/russia.htmlThe music was premiered as a ballet by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in Paris on 25 June 1910 conducted by Gabriel Pierné. It was the first of their productions with music specially composed for them. Originally the music was to have been written by Russian composer Anatol Liadov (1855-1914); but when he was slow in starting work, Diaghilev transferred the commission to the 28-year old Stravinsky. The ballet has historic significance not only as Stravinsky's 'breakthrough piece' ("Mark him well", said Diaghilev to Tamara Karsavina, who was dancing the title role: "He is a man on the eve of celebrity..."), but also as the beginning of the collaboration between Diaghilev and Stravinsky that would also produce Petrushka and The Rite of Spring....
From this site's unnamed author come several Russian firebird legends. The site is attractive but the data is entry-level only. Links are offered to other cross-cultural Firebird legends: see below.
This looks at the firebird of Persia (Iran), the female Simurgh:http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Labyrinth/8952/egypt.htmlThe Persians believe in the Simurgh. The Simurgh is a gigantic bird that has lived so long that it has seen the world destroyed three times. The Simurgh has the head of a dog, four wings, orange metallic feathers, a silver head, a peacock's tail and the claws of a lion. It resides in the Tree of Knowledge that is laden with seeds from all the plants in the world. When the Simurgh leaves the tree it shakes the tree so that seeds flew in all directions. The Simurgh also lives on the mountain Alburz. The Simurgh has been known to take children in to foster them. Her touch is supposed to heal even the direst of wounds....
This page looks at Egypt's firebird, the bennu:http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Labyrinth/8952/milcham.htmlUsually depicted as a heron, peacock, or eagle with beautiful red and gold feathers, it had a long straight back and two feathers on it's head. The Bennu (Phoenix) lived on the ben-ben stone or obelisk within the sanctuary of Heliopolis. The Bennu was said to have created itself from the fire that burned on the sacred Persea tree in Heliopolis. Or in another legend, it was the first life form to have appeared on the mound that rose from the watery chaos of the first creation. The mound was called the ben-ben and was the origin of the city Heliopolis. (Also said to have sprung from the heart of Osiris as a living symbol of the god. )The Bennu's true home however is Arabia. It only comes back to Heliopolis to die and be reborn. Osiris is said to have given the secret of eternal life to Bennu. The Bennu symbolizes rebirth and a period of new wealth and fertility, when the nile floods the earth each year. Bennu is a personification of creation and life force. According to Herodotus, Bennu flies to the sun temple in Heliopolis after 500 years, to build it's funeral pyre with incense sticks. Then it climbed onto the pyre and waited for the sun's rays to ignite the pyre while singing a song of rare and incredible beauty. It is said that a new Bennu immediatly rises from the ashes to fly it's parent's ashes to Heliopolis accompanied by turtledoves. Pliny however says that from the ashes emerges a small worm that becomes the Bennu at the end of the day.
This site looks at a Jewish firebird:"I shall multiply my days as the Hol, the phoenix" (Job 29:18) The Jews call the phoenix the Milcham or Hol. After Eve ate the apple, she grew jealous of the other animals immortality and innocence. So she persuaded all of the animals to eat the fruit and share her current state of disgrace. Only the Milcham did not give into her. God rewarded the bird by putting him in a walled city to live in peace for 1,000 years. At the end of every thousand year period, all of his feathers fall off and he shrinks to the size of an egg which he is then born from. He is called the guardian of the terrestial sphere. He follows the sun in it's orbit, he catches the sun's rays by spreading his wings. Without the Hol all life on earth would end. On his right wing there are words that say "Neither the earth produces me, nor the heavens, but only wings of fire." He eats the manna of heaven. His excrement is a worm who in turn excretes a cinnamen prefered by kings. Enoch describes the Hol as "Flying creatures with the feet and tails of lions, and the heads of crocodiles" They are purple and are nine hundred measures long. They have twelve wings and attend the sun bringing heat and dew as God ordains.
Chinese Feng or firebird
Archaeology shows that the worship of China's phoenix dates back over 7000 yrs. Here is the brief article:http://www.arikah.net/encyclopedia/FenghuangNew archaeological discoveries show that the worship of the phoenix by ancient Chinese can be dated back as early as 7,400 years ago in central China. A large amount of pottery, decorated with patterns of wild animals, the sun and birds have been excavated at the Gaomiao relics site in Hongjiang, Huaihua City of central China's Hunan Province.
"The patterns of birds should be the phoenix worshipped by ancient Chinese," said He Gang, a researcher with the Hunan Institute of Archaeology. The worship of the phoenix, an imaginary totem like the dragon, originated in ancient people's praying for sunshine, rain and harvest, said He.
The phoenix patterns at the Gaomiao ruins were some 400 years older than the phoenix patterns on ivory objects, unearthed from the 7,000-year-old Hemudu Neolithic site in east China's Zhejiang Province. Archaeologists said they have found a sacrificial altar, the earliest sacrificial site in China, at the Gaomiao site, covering an area of 1,000 square meters. The bones of dozens of animals including deer, pigs, cattle, bears, elephants and rhinoceros have been excavated from the 39 sacrificial pits at the site. Source: People's Daily Online (23 February 2006)
This is the Chinese "firebird," or Fenghuang:http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Labyrinth/8952/china.htmlFenghuang, the Chinese phoenix, has no connection with the phoenix of the western world. The images of the phoenix have appeared in China for over 7,000 years, often in jade and originally on good-luck totems. It is a totem of eastern tribes in ancient China. Current theories suggest that it may be a representation of a large pre-historic bird, similar to an ostrich, which were common in pre-historic China....
...The fenghuang has very positive connotations. It is a symbol of high virtue and grace. The fenghuang also symbolizes the union of yin and yang. It appears in peaceful and prosperous times but hides when trouble is near. In ancient China, they can often be found in the decorations for weddings or royalty, along with dragons. This is because the Chinese considered the dragon and phoenix symbolic of blissful relations between husband and wife, another common yin and yang metaphor....
This is another brief look at China's Phoenix:http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/ho-oo-phoenix.shtmlIn China, the Phoenix is called either the "phuong" (male) or the "hoang" (female) but it is commonly called feng, and is represented by the feng-huang, symbolizing the union of Yin and Yang. Unlike other cultures, there can be two feng alive and they can live as a couple. This couple represents marital happiness and everlasting love....
This site looks at the phoenix from Japanese and Chinese perspectives. Here is how it opens:http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Labyrinth/8952/garuda.htmlIn Japan, as earlier in China, the mythical Phoenix was adopted as a symbol of the imperial household, particularily the empress. This mythical bird represents fire, the sun, justice, obedience, and fidelity. According to legend (mostly from China), the Ho-oo appears very rarely, and only to mark the beginning of a new era -- the birth of a virtuous ruler, for example. In other traditions, the Ho-oo appears only in peaceful and prosperous times (nesting, it is said, in paulownia trees), and hides itself when there is trouble. As the herald of a new age, the Ho-Oo decends from heaven to earth to do good deeds, and then it returns to its celestial abode to await a new era. It is both a symbol of peace (when it appears) and a symbol of disharmony (when it disappears). In China, early artifacts show the Phoenix (female) as intimately associated with the Dragon (male) -- the two are portrayed either as mortal enemies or as blissful lovers. When shown together, the two symbolize both conflict and wedded bliss, and are a common design motif even today in many parts of Asia.....
The Asian Phoenix should not be confused with the Phoenix found in Egypt and Greece -- that is a bird of completely different feathers and traditions. The Arabian-Western Phoenix, if you recall, is a solidary creature -- only one of its kind. When it dies, it dies in flames, and from the ashes is born the next phoenix....
This is a very brief page with thumbnail illustrations of India's Garuda. Here is an excerpt:The Indians call the phoenix Garuda, Garuda has an eagles beak and scarlet wings with a golden human body , and a white face. Garuda is the avatar of Vishnu and one of the supreme seers of infinite consciousness....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_bird_(mythology)The Aberdeen Bestiary (Aberdeen University Library MS 24) is a 12th century bestiary that was first listed in 1542 in the inventory of the Old Royal Library at the Palace of Westminster. Folio 56r of the Aberdeen Bestiary has a miniature of the Phoenix (see above).
From Wikipedia come links to entries for these traditions: Garuda (Indian firebird); Bennu (Egyptian); Phoenix (Greek adaptation of the Egyptian Bennu); Zhar-Ptitsa (Russian); and Huma (Persian firebird).http://www.winshop.com.au/annew/Phoenix.html
This is an excellent page (with a fine bibliography) filled with cross-cultural mythic data by Anne Wright. Here is how she begins, followed by additional excerpts from her site:http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Labyrinth/8952/phclassic.htmlNotes and history: The introduction of a Phoenix into modern astronomy was, in a measure, by adoption rather than by invention. But, whether Bayer knew it or not, his title is an appropriate one, for with various early nations - at all events, in China, Egypt, India, and Persia, - this bird has been "an astronomical symbol of cyclic period" some versions of the well-known fable making its life coincident with the Great Year of the ancients beginning at noon of the day when the sun entered among the stars of Aries; and, in Egypt, with the Sothic Period when the sun and Sirius rose together on the 20th of July. Thompson further
writes of this: "A new Phoenix-period is said to have commenced AD 139, in the reign of Antoninus Pius; and a recrudescence of astronomical symbolism associated therewith is manifested on the coins of that Emperor". Coincidentally, Ptolemy adopted as the epoch of his catalogue the year AD 138, the first of Antoninus. [SLM p.335].
With the Egyptians, who knew this bird as Bennu and showed it on their coins, it was an emblem of immortality; indeed it generally has been such in pagan as well as in Christian times. In China the constellation was Ho Neaou, the Firebird. [SLM p.335]....
...This splendid and fabulous bird rose at dawn from the waters of the Nile like the Sun, and legend states that it burnt itself to ashes and went out like the Sun in the darkness of the night, only to be reborn from those ashes. The phoenix conjures up an image of creative and destructive fire, from which the world began and in which it will end.
It was a symbol of the resurrection which awaited dead people after their souls had been weighed, provided that they correctly followed the ritual of sacrifice and the judges of the dead had accepted as truthful their denial of sin. The dead person became a phoenix. The phoenix often bore a star to display its celestial nature and the nature of life in the Otherworld. Phoenix' is Greek for the bird called the 'bennu'. It is depicted at the prow of many of the sacred boats which launched 'into the vast gulf of light ... a symbol of the universal soul of Osiris, endlessly self-creating so long as time and eternity shall last' (CRAM p.78). [p.752 "The Penguin Dictionary of Symbols", 1969, Jean Chevalier and Alain Gheerbrant" translated by John Buchanan-Brown, Penguin books].
The Phoenix: According to tradition only one Phoenix at a time could live in our world. Its true home was Paradise, a land of unimaginable beauty lying beyond the distant horizon towards the rising sun. Nothing dies in Paradise, and here was the crux of the bird's dilemma. After a thousand years had passed, the Phoenix had become oppressed by the burden of its age; the time had come for it to die. To do so, the Phoenix had to wing its way into the mortal world, flying westwards across the jungles of Burma, and the torrid plains of India until it reached the scented spice groves of Arabia. Here it collected a bunch of aromatic herbs before setting course for the coast of Phoenicia in Syria. In the topmost branches of a palm tree, the Phoenix constructed a nest out of the herbs and awaited the coming of the new dawn which would herald its death.
As the sun soared above the horizon, the Phoenix faced east, opened its bill and sang such a bewitching song that even the sun god himself paused for a moment in his chariot. After listening to the sweet tones, he whipped his horses into motion and a spark from their hooves descended onto the Phoenix's nest and caused it to blaze. Thus the Phoenix's thousand-year life ended in conflagration.
But in the ashes of the funeral pyre a tiny worm stirred. Within three days the creature grew into a brand-new Phoenix, which then spread its wings and flew east to the gates of Paradise in the company of a retinue of birds. The symbolism is not too difficult to understand. The Phoenix represents the sun itself, which dies at the end of each day, but is reborn the following dawn. Christianity took the bird over, and the authors of bestiaries equated it with Christ, who was put to death but rose again. (John Sparks, The Discovery of Animal Behavior 1982)....
...The phoenix was regarded as sacred to the sun, and the length of its life (500 to 1000 years) was taken as a standard for measuring the motion of the heavenly bodies and also the cycles of time used in the Mysteries to designate the periods of existence....
Greek, Arabian, Egyptian. Good quotes.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_(mythology)
From Wikipedia: many cultures and perspectives -- well illustrated.http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Phoenix
Wikitionary is a site for word-lovers like me that offers translations of "phoenix" in all its guises from many languages.http://www.mythicalrealm.com/creatures/phoenix.html
An entry-level site that looks briefly at Egypt, Arabia, China, and Japan.
Southern Hemisphere Bird-constellations
Johann Bayer, Uranometria, 1603.
This is an excellent & creative educational site for children about our 88 constellations. Here is the Phoenix:http://forum.slooh.com/viewtopic.php?t=1401The Phoenix was a bird with a beautiful voice and feathers of gold and red. The bird lived for a long time, usually 500 years. When a phoenix reached the end of its life, it would build a nest of herbs and twigs, light it and throw itself into the flames. A new phoenix would be born from the ashes. The phoenix was associated with life, rebirth and immortality. The bird appeared on ancient Egyptian and Roman coins. Phoenix is one of the Southern Hemisphere constellations introduced by Johann Bayer in 1603. The constellation is in fact rather like a large bird, rising into the air....
This is another appealing site on the 88 constellations (with good illustrations). The author began his series with the Phoenix in mid-October 2006:http://www.r-clarke.org.uk/constellations/phoenix.htmThis posting is the very first of what I hope will be popular enough to become a weekly series. I have collected mythology, stories, names, translations, & other such data on all 88 constellations for somewhere around 25 years. I've always been a book collecter & when we built our house a few years back, a library room was planned in. These types of my "collections" fill up a pretty decent section of the shelves.He takes a leisurely look at the mythology and then considers the history of this constellation, writing:
I call them "collections", rather than "writings", because I do not claim to be an author. I did this for my own use & enjoyment, but I do also enjoy sharing, & receiving, knowledge.......Our modern constellation of Phoenix was first invented, roughly, by the 16th century Dutch navigators, Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman, about 1596. However, it was slightly redrawn & popularized when Johann Bayer published it, along with 11 others invented by the 2 gentlemen, in his 1603 "Uranometria", which was the first atlas to cover the entire celestial sphere. These 12 new constellations became known as "Bayer's 'Twelve", although he actually stole their approximate positions from the 2 Dutchmen....
This is an astronomical site -- here is an excerpt:http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/plasma/complex/news/2006/news18_01_06_02.htmlLocated between Hydrus and Grus, the Crane, Phoenix is an insignificant constellation in the southern hemisphere. Principal stars are: Ankaa Alpha Phoenicis, magnitude 2.4 and Beta Phoenicis, a double star, integrated magnitude 3.3. Meteor Showers:The constellation is associated with the Phoenicids meteor shower: December 5th.
The Celestial Birds of the Southern Sky: The Phoenix
[See site directly below]
This is a scientific site using art and science to create new visions of reality. Here is what the artist/physicist writes in 2006 :http://en.mimi.hu/astronomy/phoenix.htmlThe Celestial Birds of the Southern Sky: Our official CPL wallpaper this year will feature the recent artworks I made for the "World Year of Physics Art Prize" competition held in December last year. It is one of the 46 shortlisted entries and is currently on display at Macquarie University Art Gallery until 23rd of January. The artworks depict globular clusters, nebulae, and galaxies observed in the birds constellations in the Southern hemisphere. Nebulae and galaxies are some of the examples of complex plasma in our universe. You can download them from our wallpapers section.
Here are the story behind the artworks:
Since cavemen time, humans have been intrigued by the wonders of heaven, the beauty of night sky, and he infinite space out there beyond our reach. Every curious person who gazes at the stars in the sky becomes an astronomer. Understandably, astronomy is both the most distant and the closest science from our common experience.
Today, the sky is officially divided into 88 constellations. In the northern celestial hemisphere, the names of these constellations are mostly based upon the creatures of Greek mythology passed down through the Middle Ages. Constellations in the southern hemisphere were not observable by the ancient Greeks and were therefore unknown until two Dutch navigators, Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman, mapped them during their travel down south during the sixteenth century.
A German astronomer, Johann Bayer, included twelve of these new star constellations in his book Uranometria which was then published in 1603. He followed tradition and named some after mythological creatures, and others after recently identified animals.
Of the twelve Bayer constellations, Tucana (the toucan), Apus (the bird of paradise), Grus (the crane), Pavo (the peacock), and Phoenix (the firebird) form “the celestial birds” in the southern hemisphere. These bird constellations house some of the most spectacular objects observable only in the southern countries, with Australia being one of them…
Phoenix Constellation by Johann Bode
This is a rich astronomical resource with many linked articles on the Phoenix constellation. One link states: "Phoenix has a star with an orbiting PLANET." Another states: "Phoenix Planet - was one of the earlier names for the discovered pulsar planets, as in a possibility of rising from the ashes of the supernova's dust." Yet another link states:http://starryskies.com/The_sky/constellations/phoenix.html...We can picture the Universe as a continuous `branching' process in which new 'mini-universes' expand to produce locally smooth patches within a highly chaotic background Universe. This model is like a Big Bang on the scale of each mini-universe, but overall it is reminiscent of the steady state model. The continual birth and rebirth of these mini-universes is often called, rather poetically, the phoenix universe. This model has the interesting feature that the laws of physics may be different in different mini-universe, which brings the anthropic principle very much into play....There is much here to explore for the scientifically minded as well as for the perennially curious, like me <smile>.
This is a very brief page on the constellation with a small illustration and minimal data.
and Fawkes, his pet Phoenix
This is "Poems of the Week: The Phoenix" by John Stringer, who writes:http://www.readerly-writerlytexts.com/symbols.htmLast week I had an e-mail from a friend in South Korea, who, after discussing a totally different issue, said: “By the way, do you know of any poems or quotations about a phoenix?”Stringer then adds:In a way, it’s a timely idea. Professor Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, has a pet phoenix called Fawkes, and in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets he plays a key role in saving Harry. Fawkes is described as “A crimson bird the size of a swan . . . It had a glittering golden tail as long as a peacock’s and gleaming golden talons . . . it had a long, sharp golden beak and a beady black eye.” Later it turns out that phoenix tears have healing powers....Stringer's page then roams widely through many quotes and poems. It is a lovely journey.
This is "Symbols of Transformation in Cymbeline" by John Boe, English Department, University of California. The phoenix plays a significant role in the author's interpretation.http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Labyrinth/8952/lit.html
Literary passages from various traditions.http://home.c2i.net/w-206240/blood.htm
This lengthy essay is "The Eagle, the Phoenix and the Divine Blood" by Derrick Everet.http://www.mythic-fire.com/anne.php
Mythic Fire: a fire-dancing San Francisco troupe.http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Labyrinth/8952/gallery.html
Two pages of interesting phoenix/firebird-related images.
Menu of Common Themes, East & West:
[Note: these are out of date -- please see the home page for updates]
Crones & Sages
Dragons & Serpents
Earth Goddesses & Gods
Floods, Storms, Rainbows, & Other Weather Wonders
Food: Sacrality & Lore [Forthcoming]
Landscape: Sacrality & Lore (Mountains, Wells, Springs, Pools, Lakes, Caves, Labyrinths, Spiral Mounds, Crop Circles, Stone Circles, Feng Shui)
Nature Spirits of the World
Rituals of Puberty
Sacred Theatre, Dance & Ritual
Sky Goddesses & Gods
Star Lore & Astrology
Symbols, Signs, & Runes: [Forthcoming]
Time(Calendars, Clocks, Natural Temporal Cycles, Attitudes toward Time, & Millennium Issues)
Trees & Plant Lore
Tricksters, Clowns, Magicians, Jesters & Fools
Weaving Arts & Lore (Cosmic Webs, Spinning, Spindles, Clothing)
Down to Geographical Regions: Africa
This page created with Netscape Gold;
colors may appear distorted on Macs.
Technical assistance: William Weeks
Text and Design:
© 2001 by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
All rights reserved
Page designed 25 September 2001.
Re-discovered, written, further illustrated, and expanded
2-15 January 2007.
Finally launched 3:45am, 15 January 2007.