Phoenix – Mythological Greek Phoenix

The Phoenix is a mythical Greek bird often referred to as a Firebird, that also features in many other civilisations mythologies too, Arabian, Persian and many more. In looks, the Greek Phoenix was a red and gold feathered bird who’s appearance was so bright it shone with pure sunlight, which accounts for its nickname of Firebird. The tail of the Phoenix was as colourful as its body, with blue, green and purple feathers, that combined would be a sight that could transfix and enchant its admirers.

The Appearance of the Phoenix

The Phoenix was a tall bird, thought to have stood around three to four feet tall, with slim legs a long tail and an impressive wingspan, made all the more beautiful by its bright colouring and the dazzling sunlight it emitted. In comparison to other birds, the Greek Phoenix was often depicted as a cross between an eagle and a peacock, larger in size than an eagle but slightly more weighty than a peacock.

“The Phoenix had apparently been spotted in town, the towns folk told of its dazzling feathers, they said they could hardly see, the Phoenix shone so bright. They had mentioned that the bird had not been spotted for over 500 years, and the return of the Phoenix was an omen, they believed the town had been blessed when it was bathed in the sunlight of the majestic firebird.”

The Mythology of the Phoenix

Mythical Greek Phoenix

The Mythical Greek Phoenix

The Phoenix was blessed with an ability to be reborn, with a new Phoenix born out of the death of its parent. The Phoenix would build a next that contained a mix of twigs and spices, and when it was reborn it would rise from its ancestor in a blaze of light and ash. This would occur every 500 years, and the new Phoenix would return to Egypt where it would embalmed its parent from which is rose in an egg shell made of myrrh, and would then bury it in the Egyptian Sanctuary Helios, known as the temple of the sun in Heliopolis, Egypt.

The Phoenix itself is not unique to Greek Mythology, the bird also features heavily in many other cultures and countries across the world, from China where the Phoenix is known as the ‘Immortal Bird’ to Greece where the Phoenix is deemed a symbol of its re-birth.

“It was rare to see the birth of a Phoenix and we were blessed to see it. We had heard it only occurred every 500 years and it was truly a spectacle to behold. The new Phoenix rose rapidly in a blaze of light and pyrotechnics, a cloud of ash trailed the bird as it circled into the sky. If the legends were true, the Phoenix would soon return to its birth place to honour its ancestor.”