Phoenix is a long lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn
If you have seen Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets you must be aware of the pet bird of Albus Dumbledore, Fawkes. Who rescues Harry and his friends from the chamber in the climax. And when Harry goes to meet Dumbledore, to Harry’s shock the bird burns itself to take birth as a young one.
It was also said that two of the Fawkes’ tail-feathers were procured by the wand maker Ollivander, and fashioned into the cores of two wands, made from yew and holly. The yew wand went to Tom Riddle and the holly went to Harry Potter.
At that time we thought it is yet another fiction by J.K. Rowling but there are many mythological believes of the existence of this legendary bird, known as Phoenix.
According to Greek mythology, Phoenix is a long lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn. Associated with the sun, the phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. It is believed that the phoenix lives for over 500 years before rebirth.
The story of Phoenix
There is a bird that lays no eggs and has no young. It was here when the world began and is still living today, in a hidden, faraway desert spot. It is the phoenix, the bird of fire.
One day in the beginning times, the sun looked down and saw a large bird with shimmering feathers. They were red and gold bright and dazzling like the sun itself. The sun called out, “Glorious Phoenix, you shall be my bird and live forever! Live forever!” The Phoenix was overjoyed to hear these words. It lifted its head and sang, “Sun glorious sun, I shall sing my songs for you alone!” But the Phoenix was not happy for long. Poor bird. Its feathers were far too beautiful. Men, women, and children were always chasing it and trying to trap it. They wanted to have some of those beautiful, shiny feathers for themselves.
“I cannot live here,“ thought the phoenix. and it flew off towards the east, where the sun rises in the morning.
The Phoenix flew for a long time, and then came to a far away, hidden desert where no humans lived. And there the phoenix remained in peace, flying freely and singing its songs of praise to the sun above.
Almost five hundred years passed. The Phoenix was still alive, but it had grown old. It was often tired, and it had lost much of its strength.
“I don’t want to live like this,“ thought the Phoenix. “I want to be young and strong.“
So the Phoenix lifted it’s head and sang, “Sun, glorious sun, make me young and strong again!“ but the sun didn’t answer.
When the sun still didn’t answer, the Phoenix decided to return to the place where it had lived in the beginning and ask the sun one more time.
It flew across the desert, over hills, green valleys, and high mountains. The journey was long, and because the Phoenix was old and weak, it had to rest along the way. Now, the Phoenix has a keen sense of smell and is particularly fond of herbs and spices. So each time it landed, it collected pieces of cinnamon bark and all kinds of fragrant leaves. It tucked some in among its feathers and carried the rest in its claws.
When at last the bird came to the place that had once been its home, it landed on a tall palm tree growing high on a mountain side. Right at the top of the tree, the Phoenix built a nest with the cinnamon bark and lined it with the fragrant leaves. Then the Phoenix flew off and collected some sharp-scented gum called myrrh, which it had seen oozing out of a nearby tree. The Phoenix made an egg from the myrrh and carried the egg back to the nest.
Now everything was ready. The Phoenix sat down in its nest, lifted its head, and sang, “Sun, glorious sun, make me young and strong again!“
This time the sun heard the song. Swiftly it chased the clouds from the sky and stilled the winds and shone down on the mountain side with all its power.
Suddenly there was a flash of light, flames leaped out of the nest, and the Phoenix became a big round blaze of fire.
After a while the flames died down. The tree was not burnt, nor was the nest. But the Phoenix was gone. In the nest was a heap of silvery-gray ash.
From under the ash there rose up a young Phoenix. It was small and looked sort of crumpled, but it stretched its neck and lifted its wings and flapped them. Moment by moment it grew, until it was the same size as the old Phoenix. The young Phoenix lifted its head and sang,
“Sun, glorious sun, I shall sing my songs for you alone! Forever and ever!“