Thursday, January 27, 2011


The Firebird

In ancient Egypt the firebird was called Bennu and was born from the fire of a holy tree in the temple of Ra. Some other names given to Bennu include “He Who Came Into Being by Himself,” “The Ascending One,” and my personal favorite “Lord of Jubilees.” In appearance Bennu resembled a large Heron

In Persian mythology the firebird is called Huma (or Homa) and flies endlessly over the desert causing burning winds and sandstorms wherever he travels (in some versions of his story Huma lacks legs). His touch is considered auspicious and it is said that even seeing its shadow can guarantee you a long happy life. Like all Firebird myths the Huma consumes itself every 100 years or so. It is reborn from its ashes to start its journey over the desert all over again.

In Russian folklore the Firebird is often the subject of a quest a great hero must embark upon to win a princess. The descriptions of it often compare it to a peacock that glows with a light like fire. Its feathers are priceless and its song can either lull you to sleep or predict your death (depending on the fairy tale)

Perhaps most famously Greek folklore (which was originally adapted from a Phoenician myth) describles the Firebird (or Phoenix) as a spirit of fire that can live for almost 1000 years before it burns and is born again from its own charred remains. Descriptions of it range from it being gold or scarlet to purple blue and green.

There are many many different styles and variations of the Firebird. which has appeared in literature and art as far away as China. Its power of rebirth and rejuvenation is something that people today still use as a symbol for rising strong out of adversity.

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