A phoenix is a large and beautiful bird, often considered to be a heavenly equivalent of the eagle or the peacock. As in the card, they are often depicted as being yellows and reds and golds – the colours of flames. These magnificent creatures are impossible to capture, they are too fast and too clever. It is said that their feet never touch the ground and they fly so high in the sky that they can’t be seen. Some say there can only ever be one phoenix at a time. Some say the phoenix cannot reproduce and thus is associated with virginity.
But the most important thing to know about the phoenix, is that it never truly dies. They live a long life, records suggest 500 to 1400 years, and just before death, they construct a funeral pyre with oils and spices. This pyre is not lit by the hand of man, but instead it is ignited by the sun itself. From the ashes of this fire, the phoenix would rise again, reborn as a symbol of the power of life and light.
The phoenix really is a child of fire, a child of the sun. Because they never die, it is believed that the phoenix has healing powers. Their tears can heal and their feathers can undo death.
Different cultures have different birds which could be considered to be the phoenix, for example Garuda from Hinduism and the Firebird from Slavic tales. My notes about the phoenix also include “how sri lanka was created, look into”. I’m not sure where that came from and I can’t find much about it right now. If you come across anything, let me know!
As you can see, there is so much symbolism contained within the phoenix. A few things you might want to consider if you’ve drawn this card include:
- regenertaion, ressurection, renewal
- cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth
- baptism by fire
- ancient knowledge
- the power within us all to rise like the phoenix from the ashes
- hope and life in the face of destruction
- the cleansing power of fire