FAQ's | Intro | East |
CLAN - Center- October 8, 2007
is complete - to
find a new clan click here)
naming of a clan is a very sacred process. It is not dictated by the
creativity alone of the facilitator, but is rather more of a download of information that best represents the existing energy
of the group as a whole. Through intuition, meditation, inspiration,
imagination, observation and deep listening the clan is named, not by a
human, but through a human by the unseen energy source that connects us
all one to another.
Although human issues are
universal, what is so amazing about the dynamic of each clan is that the
particular members of a clan hold a piece of each other's puzzle. Upon first appearance, this may not
seem so, but the wheel is a study in this very principal, as we all get
exactly what we need, exactly when we need it, in perfect order, every
time. The people come together, time after time after time in service to
We are but reflections of one another, until we are
reflecting only what is inside of our heart of hearts. For it is then
that we are not so much reflectors, as we are receptors and projectors.
It is then that we are
projecting the most essential part of our highest and finest selves
from the very core of our being. And so it is wise to pay attention to
everything and everyone that comes into your space. Let no blessing go unnoticed and no message go
unheard. Be not fooled by the wrapping paper on the gift.
And so with this, we have the
naming of the first official Addiction Alchemy tribe:
Rebirth of the
There are five birds which are symbolic of the alchemy of spiritual
progression. They are the Black Crow (raven), White Swan, Peacock,
Pelican and the Phoenix. Each bird allegorically and energetically
corresponds to the cardinal directions on the Recovery Medicine Wheel.
We will learn more about these birds and what they represent during the
journey. We will be tapping into the energy of each of them as we travel
the directions. Of special note to this clan is that the Phoenix is at
the culminating stage of the alchemical progression. This is not
surprising as the energy of the Phoenix is one of total rebirth,
regeneration, triumph and victory. At the bottom of the page are more
links to information about birds of alchemy.
INTRODUCTION TO THE PHOENIX
There are many, many descriptions of this legendary bird. Some consider
the phoenix a prime example of unseen things (such as God), which can
only be understood through their names and attributes. Some describe the
phoenix as an eagle-sized bird; half eagle and half pheasant. Others say
it is heron-like or a conglomeration of the most beautiful parts of all
the birds in the world. Its name comes from the Greek word for crimson
because the phoenix is associated with fire and the sun. It has been
described as golden or multi-colored. Some say it never eats. Others say
it eats only dew. Most believe there is only one of its kind and it
lives alone in Arabia or Ethiopia. All agree it is a bird of great
power and beauty.
The Phoenix enjoys immortality, which had to be renewed with fire every
300 to 500 years. When the end of its life cycle drew near, the phoenix
would gather aromatic herbs, woods, and spices from around the world
with which to build its own funeral pyre or nest. Sitting in the nest,
and having turned to face the rays of the sun, beating its wings, it
deliberately fans the flames for itself and is consumed in the fire.
Once the old body was consumed, the phoenix would be reborn from a worm,
its marrow, or an egg found among the ashes and would embark on another
500 years of life. According to some legends, the renewed phoenix
carried its old bones to the City of the Sun in Egypt where they were
disposed of with special funeral rites.
ORIGINS OF THE PHOENIX
Identified as a heron with its long straight back and head adorned at
the back with two erect feathers, the Bennu was later named Phoenix by
the Greeks. The Bennu lived on the ben-ben stone or obelisk within the
sanctuary of Heliopolis and was worshipped alongside Ra and Osiris.
Bennu was also considered a manifestation of Osiris, said to spring from
his heart as a living symbol of the god. The Bennu symbolizes rebirth as
it rises from the ashes, just as the new sun rises from the old.
Every 500 years, the Bennu flew to the Sun Temple in Heliopolis where
the priests were waiting to assist it. The bird then built a large
funeral pyre of spices, climbed on top, and allowed the sun's rays to
consume it. From the ashes, a worm was born which grew into an adult
Bennu by the end of the day.
Greek mythology places the phoenix in Arabia, where it lives close to a
cool well. Every morning at dawn it bathes in the water and sings a
beautiful song. So beautiful is the song that the sun god would stop his
chariot to listen. There only exists one phoenix at a time. When the
phoenix feels death approaching (every 500 or 1461 years) it builds
a nest, sets it on fire, and is consumed by the flames. A new phoenix
springs forth from the pyre. It then embalms the ashes of its
predecessor in an egg of myrrh and flies with it to the City of the Sun.
There the egg is deposited on the altar of the sun god.
In Jewish legend, the phoenix's name is Milcham. According to tradition,
after Eve ate the forbidden fruit, she became jealous of the immortality
and purity of the other creatures in the garden. Eventually, she
persuaded all the animals except the phoenix to share in her fallen
state by eating from the forbidden tree. God rewarded the phoenix by
setting him up in a walled city where he could live in great peace for
1000 years. At the end of every 1000-year period, the bird is consumed
by fire and reborn from an egg found in its ashes. One variation of this
Jewish legend states that at the end of each 1000-year period, the
phoenix's body becomes small and featherless like a baby's and then he
grows up all over again. In any case, the Angel of Death may never touch
Ovid tells the story of the Phoenix as follows: "Most beings spring from
other individuals; but there is a certain kind which reproduces itself.
The Assyrians call it the Phoenix. It does not live on fruit or flowers,
but on frankincense and odoriferous gums. When it has lived five hundred
years, it builds itself a nest in the branches of an oak, or on the top
of a palm tree. In this it collects cinnamon, and spikenard, and myrrh,
and of these 'materials builds a pile on which it deposits itself, and
dying, breathes out its last breath amidst odours. From the body of the
parent bird, a young Phoenix issues forth, destined to live as long a
life as its predecessor. When this has grown up and gained sufficient
strength, it lifts its nest from the tree (its own cradle and its
parent's sepulchre), and carries it to the city of Heliopolis in Egypt,
and deposits it in the temple of the Sun."
In Chinese mythology, the phoenix is represented by the Feng-huang, a
bird symbolizing the union of yin and yang. It is made of all the most
desirable parts of earth's creatures: the snake's neck, the crane's
forehead, the dragon's stripes, the fish's tail, the tortoise's shell,
the swallow's throat, and the fowl's bill. It carries in its bill either
two scrolls or a square box that contains sacred books. According to
tradition, the phoenix's song includes all the five notes of the
traditional musical scale; its feathers include the five fundamental
colors and its body is a composite of the six celestial bodies: the head
symbolizes the sky; the eyes, the sun; back, the moon; the wings, the
wind; feet, the earth; and the tail, the planets. The phoenix appears
only in peaceful and prosperous times, and hides itself when there is
trouble. It is sometimes pictured with a fiery ball representing its
association with the sun. It is the emperor of birds and is called the
The Feng-huang lives in the Kingdom of the Wise, which is somewhat to
the east of China. It drinks the purest water and eats bamboo. Whenever
it sings, all the roosters in the world join in its five-noted melody.
Its marrow is considered heavenly food. The legendary phoenix was a
symbol of high virtue and grace to the Chinese. This bird is the Chinese
emperor's protector. The male Feng-huang symbolizes happiness and the
female Feng-huang represents the empress. A pair of Feng-huangs
symbolizes marital bliss. At conception, this remarkable bird delivers
the soul of the infant to its mother's womb.
In the legends of native North Americans, the thunderbird is a powerful
spirit in the form of a bird. Lightning flashes from its beak, and the
beating of its wings creates the thunder. It is often portrayed with an
extra head on its abdomen. Lesser bird spirits, frequently in the form
of eagles or falcons, often accompany the majestic thunderbird.
The thunderbird petroglyph symbol has been found across Canada and the
United States. Evidence of similar figures has been found throughout
Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Wherever it is found, the phoenix
is associated with resurrection, immortality, triumph over adversity,
and that which rises out of the ashes. Thus it became a favorite symbol
on early Christian tombstones. In chapters 25-26 of his letter to the
Corinthians, St. Clement, Bishop of Rome, upheld the legendary phoenix
as an evidence of Christ's ability to accomplish the resurrection of the
faithful. He quotes Job as saying, "Thou shalt raise up this flesh of
mine, which has suffered all these things."
In numerous ways, the phoenix was found to be a symbol of Christ. In
most countries, it was believed that only one phoenix lived at a time.
It was born from itself without following the natural laws of
reproduction. During the Middle Ages, it was believed to rise from the
dead after three days.
Often, as an emblem of Christ, it was found with the palm tree (another
symbol of resurrection) or carrying a palm branch (a symbol of triumph
over death), or carrying an olive branch (a symbol of God's peace
offered to humans).
The Phoenix is symbolic of rebirth, hope, purity, chastity, marriage,
faith, constancy, summer, eternity, immortality, and light. It is an
image of the cosmic fire some believe the world began and will end in.
The Taoists called it the "cinnabar bird." Romans placed the phoenix on
coins and medals as an emblem of their desire for the Roman Empire to
last forever. The Phoenix was also depicted on the first Great Seal of
the United States in 1782. (It was changed to the eagle around 1902.)
STORY OF THE PHOENIX
There is a bird that lays no eggs
and has no young. It was here when the world began and is still living
today, in a hidden, faraway desert spot. It is the phoenix, the bird of
One day in the beginning times, the sun looked down and saw a large bird
with shimmering feathers. They were red and gold--bright and dazzling
like the sun itself. The sun called out, "Glorious Phoenix, you shall be
my bird and live forever!"
Live forever! The Phoenix was overjoyed to hear these words. It lifted
its head and sang, "Sun glorious sun, I shall sing my songs for you
But the Phoenix was not happy for long. Poor bird. Its feathers were far
too beautiful. Men, women, and children were always chasing it and trying
to trap it. They wanted to have some of those beautiful, shiny feathers
"I cannot live here," thought the phoenix. and it flew off toward the
east, where the sun rises in the morning.
The Phoenix flew for a long time, and then came to a far away, hidden
desert where no humans lived. And there the phoenix remained in peace,
flying freely and singing its songs of praise to the sun above.
Almost five hundred years passed. The Phoenix was still alive, but it
had grown old. It was often tired, and it had lost much of its strength.
It couldn't soar so high in the sky, nor fly as fast or as far as it was
"I don't want to live like this," thought the Phoenix. "I want to be
young and strong."
So the Phoenix lifted it's head and sang, "Sun, glorious sun, make me
young and strong again!" but the sun didn't answer. Day after day the
Phoenix sang. When the sun still didn't answer, the Phoenix decided to
return to the place where it had lived in the beginning and ask the sun
one more time.
It flew across the desert, over hills, green valleys, and high
mountains. The journey was long, and because the Phoenix was old and
weak, it had to rest along the way. Now, the Phoenix has a keen sense of
smell and is particularly fond of herbs and spices. So each time it
landed, it collected pieces of cinnamon bark and all kinds of fragrant
leaves. It tucked some in among its feathers and carried the rest in its
When at last the bird came to the place that had once been its home, it
landed on a tall palm tree growing high on a mountainside. Right at the
top of the tree, the Phoenix built a nest with the cinnamon bark and
lined it with the fragrant leaves. Then the Phoenix flew off and
collected some sharp-scented gum called myrrh, which it had seen oozing
out of a nearby tree. The Phoenix made an egg from the myrrh and carried
the egg back to the nest.
Now everything was ready. The Phoenix sat down in its nest, lifted its
head, and sang, "Sun, glorious sun, make me young and strong again!"
This time the sun heard the song. Swiftly it chased the clouds from the
sky and stilled the winds and shone down on the mountainside with all
The animals, the snakes, the lizards, and every other bird hid from the
sun's fierce rays -- in caves and holes, under shady rocks and trees.
Only the Phoenix sat upon its nest and let the suns rays beat down upon
its beautiful, shiny feathers.
Suddenly there was a flash of light, flames leaped out of the nest, and
the Phoenix became a big round blaze of fire.
After a while the flames died down. The tree was not burnt, nor was the
nest. But the Phoenix was gone. In the nest was a heap of silvery-gray
The ash began to tremble and slowly heave itself upward. From under the
ash there rose up a young Phoenix. It was small and looked sort of
crumpled, but it stretched its neck and lifted its wings and flapped
them. Moment by moment it grew, until it was the same size as the old
Phoenix. It looked around, found the egg made of myrrh, and hollowed it
out. Then it placed the ashes inside and finally closed up the egg. The
young Phoenix lifted its head and sang, "Sun, glorious sun, I shall sing
my songs for you alone! Forever and ever!"
When the song ended, the wind began to blow, the clouds came scudding
across the sky, and the other living creatures crept out of their hiding
Then the Phoenix, with the egg in its claws, flew up and away. At the
same time, a cloud of birds of all shapes and sizes rose up from the
earth and flew behind the Phoenix, singing together, "You are the
greatest of birds! You are our king!"
The birds flew with the Phoenix to the temple of the sun that the
Egyptians had built at Heliopolis, city of the sun. Then the Phoenix
placed the egg with the ashes inside on the sun's altar.
"Now," said the Phoenix, "I must fly on alone." And while the other
birds watched, it flew off toward the faraway desert.
The Phoenix lives there still. But every five hundred years, when it
begins to feel weak and old, it flies west to the same mountain. There
it builds a fragrant nest on top of a palm tree, and there the sun once
again burns it to ashes. But each time, the Phoenix rises up from those
ashes, fresh and new and young again.
Phoenix Legends and Stories
Animal Symbolism in the Alchemical Tradition
Birds Of Alchemy by Crystallinks.com
FAQ's | Intro | East |