Friday, May 29, 2009

Burning Birth 5/29/09

Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the phoenix.

Christina Baldwin
Come in and bring your brain.
The Legend of the Phoenix exists in some version the world over. It can be found in the ancient texts of China, India, Persia, Arabia, Egypt, and Europe. In Russia it's known as the Firebird. It tells of rebirth, regeneration, resurrection.

Briefly the legend is that the phoenix is a very large bird with many colorful feathers. There is only one phoenix. It lives for 500 to 1,000 years. When the time comes it builds a nest in a palm tree. It then sets the nest on fire which burns up both the nest and the bird. But out of the flames comes another phoenix who constructs an egg out of myrrh, frankincense, and other spices, some say cinnamon. Gathering the bones of the parent phoenix it puts them in the egg then flies to Egypt where it leaves the egg on the alter of Ra, the sun god, in the temple of Heliopolis.

One interesting Biblical reference reads: "I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand." (Job 29:18)

Some day I'd like to write about Heliopolis, an ancient Egyptian city of great leaning, visited by Herodotus, Plato and others, possibly Jesus, the place where monotheism was born and where Nebuchadnezer threatened to smash its obelisks but never did (one of which now resides behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC and the other in London, mistakenly called Cleopatra's Needles). The city was also known as On, whose high priest Potaphera's daughter married the patriarch Joseph and bore him two sons.

By placing its egg on the alter to Ra, the phoenix is celebrating the fiery rising of the sun again, the rebirth into existence from a nest of darkness, the continual change that signals the "always" of life.

In the tree across the street from me the bird who lives there has again built her nest and will soon have eggs to care for. Down below I hear the yammering of a class of young school children on their way to the library. Those things please me very much. They tell me that the sun will rise again tomorrow, that the eggs will hatch into baby birds, that the children will learn and grow and that life itself is immortal.

DB Vagabond Journeys
Smile at me.


Linda S. Socha said...

Beautiful DB....
YOur writing and your spirit.

Beth said...

Yes, "rising from the ashes." I always liked the story of the phoenix. I'm also intrigued by the city of Alexandria, and its library. Can you imagine what treasures resided there? Ooo, it gives me shivers just to think about it! Hugs, Beth

Gerry said...

I have always loved the story of the phoenix since I reside in the city of Phoenix I like being reminded of the story. You have added more details I found very interesting, which is why I like your blog. I learn something new very often when I read it. I am reading a collection of striking events in history. Some of the stuff in this book is staratling to say the least, having dinner with Ghengis Khan for example, written down at that time by one who did. I have always been a history buff and I love running into writers of that mind set.

Pat said...

How interesting! I loved
mythology in high school and even
though it conflicts with the mono-
theism that I am devoted to, I
can appreciate the artistic and
fictional part of it and find it

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I know we would love to go to Eygpt someday, so much history :o)

Silver said...


that's really cool, my friend.


Rose~* said...

Great read today, DB - Egypt is one of the places on my "must see" list before I die. I actually saw King Tuts sarcophagus when it made the rounds at the world exposition back here in Vancouver, in 1986. -Absolutely breathtaking!