Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Phoenix Bird of Fire Art

What is Phoenix Bird of Fire Art? Let's see for ourselves. In ancient Egyptian mythology and in myths derived from it, the phoenix is a mythical sacred firebird. Although descriptions (and life-span) vary, the phoenix became popular in early Christian art and literature as a symbol of the resurrection, of immortality and of life-after-death. Originally, the phoenix was identified by the Egyptians as a stork or heron-like bird called a benu, known from the Book of the Dead and other Egyptian text as one of the sacred symbols of worship at Heliopolis, closely associated with the rising sun and the Egyptian sun god Ra. Phoenix bird of fire art is then associated to the birds mythical powers to be born again from its ashes.

The Greeks adapted the word benu (and also took over its further Egyptian meaning of date palm tree), and identified it with their own word phoenix, meaning the colour purple red or crimson (of Phoenicia). They and the romans subsequently pictured the bird more like a peacock or an eagle. The phoenix bird of fire art symbolizes rebirth, especially of the sun, and has variants in European, Central American, Egyptian and Asian cultures.

The ancient Egyptians linked the myth of the phoenix with the longings for immortality that were so strong in their civilization, and from three its symbolism spread around the Mediterranean world of late antiquity. The Bennu bird was usually depicted as a heron. The Egyptian phoenix bird of fire art was also associated with the inundation of the Nile and of the creation.

Perhaps the most well known, the Arabian phoenix bird of fire art was a fabulous mythical bird, said to be a large as an eagle, with brilliant scarlet and gold plumage and a melodious cry. It was said that only one phoenix existed at any one time, and it is very long-lived with a life span of 500 years, 1000 years or even 12,994 years (according to various accounts). 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 bird of fire art 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. Chinese Phoenix bird of fire art is the symbol of high virtue and grace, of power and prosperity. It represents the union of yin and yang.