Monday, August 07, 2006
In Chinese mythology, the phoenix is the symbol of high virtue and grace, of power and prosperity.
It represents the union of yin and yang. It was thought to be a gentle creature, alighting so gently that it crushed nothing, and eating only dewdrops. It reflected the empress, and only she could wear the phoenix symbol.
Jewelry with the phoenix design showed that the wearer was a person of high moral values, and so the phoenix could only be worn by people of importance. The Chinese phoenix was thought to have a large bill, the neck of a snake, the back of a tortoise, and the tail of a fish.
It carried two scrolls in its bill, and its song included the five whole notes of the Chinese scale (I don't exactly know how it could sing with its mouth full).
Its feathers were of the five fundamental colors: black, white, red, green, and yellow.
A mythical bird that never dies, the phoenix flies far ahead to the front, always scanning the landscape and distant space.
It represents our capacity for vision, for collecting sensory information about our environment and the events unfolding within it.
The phoenix, with its great beauty, creates intense excitement and deathless inspiration.
And at myth's end, when the ashes are cold, and the trials are over, another fire appears.
This fire is the burning of love in our hearts, the passion ignited in response to the Universe love of us.
Our very souls begin to burn with this passion as we seek to emulate the Universe in whose image we are made.
We have talents to develop for use in the service of others, a life's work to do, a mission to fulfill.
Before, we may have grown jaded; now, purified by the flames, our passion is renewed, its own flames fanned by the beating of the thunderbird's wings.
And so, as myths blend into one another, our past blends into a bright new future with the Universal love.