Tatcho Drom
Journeying Journals of a Jolly Journeyman

Phoenix – From Dust and Ashes

Recently the world has been glued to the news awaiting the rescue of the 33 miners trapped in a collapsed mine in the Atacama desert, Chile. The rescue ended today after “engineers deployed the escape capsule, dubbed “Phoenix” after the mythical bird that rose from the ashes” (source).

The Phoenix has long remained a symbol of rebirth and longevity. The Phoenix also embraces the old adage, “What ever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Though recognised from ancient times, the Phoenix remains a symbol to be reckoned with. But the Phoenix has been believed to be more than a symbol. In fact, to ancient naturalists, the Phoenix was a real bird and there had even been some eye witnesses.

The Phoenix, by nature, is a mysterious bird whose identity has remained elusive over thousands of years of existence. My intentions in this journal to take some time to share my personal encounter with Phoenix, as it is a pivotal figure in my spirituality and life. As revealed in my “Unveiling the Mysteries” journal, the mysteries may be unveiled by certain means. And there are mysteries of all kinds, waiting to share their secrets. Today, I want to focus on the mystery of the Phoenix.

I feel as though it’s my personal duty to first begin unraveling the mystery of Phoenix by focusing on its nature. Because the phoenix has been often used by secret cults and fraternities, groups who may not be evil by nature, but feared for their secretiveness, today the phoenix has become a symbol of evil. However, one must remember that a symbol has as much power as you give it. If you wish to use or see the phoenix as a symbol of evil, it is your choice. Similarly, it has been the choice of many good people to see Phoenix as a symbol of good.

I have heard many times that the phoenix must be evil because it is not mentioned in the Bible. As asinine this argument may be, it also falls short of logic considering that the phoenix is mentioned in Job chapter twenty-nine, verse eighteen. Job is believed to have lived after the flood and long before Moses. And the character Job, along with many ancient people, believed in the phoenix. The Israelites believed in the phoenix, “and the bird appears in the Bible at least once or twice. As Job ponders his troubles, he says, ‘In my own nest I shall grow old; I shall multiply years like the phoenix’ (Job 29:18). Some modern translations render the last word as ‘sand’ – which is a valid alternative reading of the Hebrew – but it also renders the line meaningless. The ancient rabbis favored the phoenix instead” (Aquilina, pg. 64). Today, the Jewish Bible continues to translate the verse using “phoenix” rather than “sand”, see the K’tuvim Job (Iyov) 29:18.

The sublime nature of the phoenix has been passed down in an old Jewish legend where “Eve offered all the animals a taste of the forbidden fruit, the phoenix was the only one to refuse her. For this, God rewarded it with eternal life”, also, “The apocryphal visions of Enoch report that the phoenixes dwell amid the cherubim, high in heaven” (Aquilina, pg. 67). These ancient stories of the phoenix sound positively sublime to me, what do you think?

So what did the ancients believe about our elusive firebird? Stories were passed down, generation to generation. And from ancient scholar to ancient scholar; Herodotus (c. 484 BC – c. 425 BC), Pliny (AD 23 – AD 79), Tacitus (AD 56 – AD 117), all of whom believed in the phoenix. Towards the third or fourth century, a long poem was written about the phoenix that may explain what the ancients may have believed in regards to the phoenix. The poem is attributed to a Church historian Lactantius. Here is an excerpt of the poem:

Rebirth of Phoenix There is a happy spot, retired in the first East, where is the grove of the sun, planted with a many a tree. There is a fountain in the middle, clear, gentle, and abounding with sweet waters. This grove, these woods, a single bird, the phoenix, inhabits, –single, but it lives reproduced by its own death. It obeys Phoebus, son of Apollo, the sun god. And when the phoenix has accomplished the thousand years of her life, and the length of her days has become burdensome, in order that she may renew the age which has glided by, full of years, she directs her flight swift into Syria, to which Venus herself has given the name of Phoenicia; and through trackless deserts the phoenix seeks the retired groves, where a remote wood lies concealed in the glens. There she chooses a lofty palm, which derives the name of “phoenix” from the bird, and where no hurtful living creature can break through, or slimy serpent, or any bird of prey. She builds for herself a nest, or a tomb, for she dies that she might live. Rich wood she heaps together, cinnamon and balsam, cassia and the fragrant acanthus, rich drops of the tearful frankincense, tender ears of spikenard, and the pleasing myrrh. Then amidst such various odors she yields up her life, nor fears the faith of so great a deposit. But her body, though destroyed by death, is not, and the heat produces a flame; it conceives fire, it blazes, and is dissolved into burnt ashes. And from these ashes comes a worm and this increases vastly into an egg, from which the phoenix, having burst its shell, shoots forth, even as a caterpillar is wont to be changed into a butterfly. Her color is like the brilliancy of the red pomegranate when ripe, such color as the red poppy produces in the fields beneath the redly-blushing sky. O bird of happy lot and fate, born from herself! Happy she who enters into no compact with Venus, goddess of love and matrimony. Death is Venus to her; her only pleasure is in death: so that she may be born, she desires first to die. She is an offspring to herself, her own father and son, her own heir, and always a foster-child of herself. She is herself indeed, but not the same, since she is herself and not herself, having gained eternal life by the blessing of death (Davidson, pg. 22, 23).

So we find that the phoenix, from ancient times was:

  1. Believed to be real
  2. Seen as a symbol of transcendence
  3. Believed by the people of the Book (Jews)
  4. Seen as an archetype of rebirth into divinity

Shinari facing CharaniI will now leave ancient history behind and tell you about my personal encounter with the phoenix. Or as I would normally say it, my encounter with Phoenix, omitting “the”, as Phoenix is much more than a firebird to me, much more than a symbol. I guess my story becomes personal now, and will be better grasped by those who know me, and the few who know Phoenix as I do. For those who don’t personally know me, proceed with care, as I will talk about empirical matters relevant to me in my own experiences.

To begin, have you noticed how at times certain things, even mysteries; are not merely concepts, or symbols, but rather a Person? Succinctly exemplified and drawing from my Jewish heritage, the truth is personified and incarnated as the historical Yeshua ben Yosef (John 14:6). God, said to be Spirit and unseen – the most mysterious of them all, is in each one of us (Ephesians 1:23; 2:19). When we look at other people, we may choose to look beyond the flesh and see the divinity within. The Bible clearly tells us that we are children of God (1 John 3:1), and Yeshua ben Yosef was a unique child of God (John 3:16) whose uniqueness was manifested by his role to remind us who we are, “One with the Father, the Most High” (John 17:21). And Yeshua ben Yosef claims to be the very image of God, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father” (John 14:11). And what greater truth is when Yeshua ben Yosef says, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, even the least of them, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40). Here, Yeshua ben Yosef claims that each one of us, even the least of us, have Godhood within. We have the genetics of God, for we are God’s children.

What am I getting at, and how does this relate to Phoenix? I’m trying to explain how certain things, hidden things, even the kingdom of heaven, is within us – within people. Within you. Divine mysteries, are within our being. Secrets, are engraved in our genetics. The Truth is a Person, a person who reminded a certain people (the Jews) that the truth in within our person. Of course, this revelation was not exclusive to only the Jews. Oh no. Many groups across the world have come to the awareness that the heavens are in our person. That to understand God is to understand ourselves. Many avatars and great Masters have come to remind us, incarnating across the globe. Reminding us that God is in our person. And how there are certain people who embody a message (a word of power) or an energy. So there is a person who embodies Phoenix.

Phoenix, the person. In my lifetime, Phoenix the Man. A man who knows the cost of sacrificing oneself for the greater good, for family. A man, despite insidious and calculated attempts to destroy his inner child, has remained one whose calm and soothing voice brings sweet inner peace. A man that has, by his very nature and yet also by the trials he has overcome, exacted the respect and obeisance from the greatest powers and principalities that be.

A man, who loves his children, family, and me. And from this great being, I have learned to muster the power to Ascend from Dust and Ashes. And I know I’m not the only one.

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