Phoenix Symbolism & Meaning
Are you facing some of the most challenging moments of your life? Are you grieving and wanting to heal old emotional wounds? Phoenix as a Spirit, Totem, and Power Animal can help! Phoenix teaches how to endure in trying times while giving yourself time for healing. Delve deeply in Phoenix symbolism and meaning to find out how this animal spirit guide can calm, support, and illuminate you.
Phoenix Table of Contents
- Phoenix Symbolism & Meaning
- Spirit Animal
- Totem Animal
- Power Animal
- Native American Symbolism
- Phoenix Dreams
- Astrology & Zodiac
- Far Eastern Symbolism
- Back to all Fantasy & Mythical Creatures
- Back to all Spirit Animal Meanings
Phoenix Symbolism & Meaning
The symbolism and meaning of the Phoenix as an animal spirit ties tightly to the myths and legends surrounding this creature. Certainly, there are differences depending on culture and era, but some commonalities arise. Phoenix represents rebirth, magic, renewal, safety, transformation, permanence, inventiveness and the sacredness of life.
No matter the setting the story of the Phoenix has a distinctive them. It begins with lifting from darkness into light; this is a complete life cycle and also a symbol of our immortal soul.
The most commonly known writing about the Phoenix comes from the historian Herodotus in ancient Greece. He believed that the Phoenix originated in Ethiopia. It is described as a larger than life bird with spectacular feathers. The Phoenix beds itself in cypress branches where it waits for death. Sitting still, Phoenix creates fire and burns to ashes. Three days later, she emerges whole and immortal (well nearly so, lore says they live longer than nine generations of ravens).
Romans featured the Phoenix on their coins; this represented the impressive strength of Rom and the continuance of the empire. Unfortunately, Rome did not have the Phoenix’ ability to rise from the ashes.
Considering the story, it’s not surprising to find the Church using the Phoenix as a symbol of resurrection. As Christ spent three days in the cave, so did Phoenix remain as ashes. Finally, both return from the dead without so much as a blemish.
Moving to Egypt, Phoenix held a strong place among solar symbols. Legend tells us that the Bennu (a heron/falcon blend) is responsible for the annual Nile floods that create rich farmland. The Bennu carries the sun out of its slumber each day, then returns it by night. Without the Bennu’s efforts, there would be no crops and no life.
Egyptian alchemists used the Bennu for various rituals. They ascribed it to the cardinal direction of the south, which governs health and strength. Her element is fire, the ultimate symbol of transformation and creation. Bennu is ruled by the sun, offering the symbolic value of illumination, self-awareness, time and clarity. Bennu’s season is summer, a time of nature’s bountiful growth and its element is red Sulphur, representing the soul.
Phoenix Spirit Animal
When Phoenix comes to you as a spirit guide, she brings fire to your soul. It is time to literally put a fire under your hopes and aspirations and get moving. This fire also nourishes your spirit, which may feel very weary.
There is no question that Phoenix medicine is all about change. You may have to let something die symbolically to experience rebirth; this is not always an easy process, but Phoenix Spirit is an expert guide.
Phoenix spirit animal shines the light of day on any darkness in your life. There is no place for shadows to hide. As you purge negativity, you’ll find that life has more coherence and your creativity soars like your wise Teacher.
If you are about to embark on a new path (a new job, school, etc., Phoenix’s message to you is one of development. Phoenix works in tandem with your personal growth, so you can really spread your wings. Trust the growing vision Phoenix medicine gives you. For someone getting married the appearance of Phoenix is a very happy omen of a longing relationship.
Phoenix Totem Animal
If you were born with the Phoenix as your totem, you have a natural willingness to sacrifice yourself to a greater good. You radiate hopefulness to those around you and have little tolerance for proverbial grey clouds.
Because of the transformative nature of Phoenix energy, you will have many roles in life-changing jobs, partners, homes; this is always a positive change, however. You know how to pull up your bootstraps and keep moving. You often find that change a relief and blessing. There is really no stopping your sunny disposition.
Phoenix people are hardy and strong to their toes. They have a core that’s been forged by fire and keeps them centered. During trying times, Phoenix knows there’s something down the road. Use your spiritual awareness to guide your feet.
Because the Phoenix is born of fire, you may be a rather feisty soul. For all of your ability to shine in any situation, you also need the help of trusted people, so you don’t burn out.
Phoenix Power Animal
The Phoenix makes an excellent helpmate whenever you are facing difficult changes. When called upon, Phoenix provides the insight necessary to navigate bumpy water.
If you are dealing with literal or figurative death, Phoenix energy can heal those wounds and help you come to acceptance. You will mourn for a season, but then be born anew and find your joy once more.
Phoenix medicine can give you new perspectives on things that otherwise seem elusive, including the solution to vexing problems. Be aware, however, that when you call for aid, you will experience the fires of cleansing and a challenge to be open to completely fresh outlooks that are healthier for you.
Speaking of fire, turn to the Phoenix spirit animal for guidance in working with the element of Fire. Shamans say this is the hardest to master. As a being born of flame, Phoenix offers protection and wisdom in using this type of magic.
Native American Phoenix Symbolic Meanings
Native American stories tell of a bird that never lays eggs, and therefore has no children. It has been with the world from the beginning of time. Standing beneath a glorious sun, the bird looked up. The solar disk smiled at the dazzling colors of the Phoenix tail and claimed the Phoenix for eternity.
Phoenix took this as a great honor but found that humans were forever trying to capture him. Looking for a safe haven, he flew to where the sun rose in the morning so he could sing to her.
There he remained for 500 years, keeping his promise to sing. But he was weary. Even his feathers lost their luster. Phoenix thought that this was the end, his death was near. He begged the sun to make him strong and young again. Sun didn’t answer. He flew across mountains and deserts singing out for aid. Along the way, Phoenix gathered cinnamon twigs and carried them on his journey.
Phoenix finally grew weary and came to land and create a nest from the cinnamon, some fragrant leaves and a ball of myrrh to be the “egg” he would never have. He sang to the sun again, and she replied with glorious beams of warm light. The sunlight was so intense it caught the nest on fire.
When the flames died, there was no evidence of Phoenix other than a pile of ashes. That would not last for long, however. A small, but glorious phoenix shook off the ash and spread his wings. Upon seeing he was whole, he promised the sun to sing her songs forever. He continues his song to this day, releasing himself to ashes every 500 years to be born anew.
A Phoenix appearing in your dreams is a positive omen of a new beginning. The Phoenix speaks strongly to our Higher Self and spiritual pursuits, so you are about to go through a burst of magical awareness and insight. Phoenix may bear the additional message of needing closure from part of your past that lingers and holds you back. If the Phoenix looks worn, it is a message to look after your health. Do not burn that candle on both ends.
Phoenix in Astrology & Zodiac Signs
Influenced by the Greeks, the Phoenix appears as an Egyptian Zodiac sign for those born between June 25 and July 24. People born under this sign know the value of using any opportunity that comes along. They are typically successful, upbeat and full of passion.
Far Eastern Phoenix Symbolic Meanings
The Phoenix appears in various Far East traditions. In China, art depicts the birds in pairs, representing the yin and yang of the Universe; this also symbolizes balance as the Yin is intuitive and lunar and Yang is the sun and logic. This imagery frequently appears at weddings as a gift that ensures an auspicious and happy marriage.
The Phoenix has been used to represent the imperial household. In this setting, the meaning of Phoenix includes respect, fidelity and an era of peace. The Phoenix appears only at very special times such as the birth of a great leader. At such moments Phoenix comes from the heavenly realms to bless humankind with gifts. When it’s time here is done, Phoenix returns to the Celestial realm.
Some philosophers connect the colors of the Phoenix’s tail to the five virtues of Confucianism: namely charity, honesty, loyalty, knowledge, and good manners. The “red bird” of Japan resides in the Western quarter of creation similar to the Native American story of greeting the rising sun. Painting the image of a Phoenix on a tomb keeps it free from evil spirits. Carrying an image of the Phoenix brings good luck.
The art of placement, Feng Shui, considers the Phoenix an auspicious creature. It’s a good symbol for attracting money and wish fulfillment. Hang the image of the Phoenix in the Southern part of your home, improving the chi for prosperity.
Phoenix Symbolic Meanings Key
- The Soul