The Phoenix: False Sun Symbol

The Phoenix is a Semitic symbol. Hence it should be considered a “fire bird” as opposed to a “solar bird.” Indeed, Herodotus account of it reveals similarities to the Adonis and Bacchus cults. Herodotus writes: “[The Phoenix] comes all the way from Arabia, and brings the parent bird, all plastered over with myrrh, to the temple of the Sun, and there buries the body.”

Here we have three revealing elements:

  • The ball of myrrh, functioning here as a kind of cocoon or womb. This reminds us of Adonis whose mother is Myrrha. She is transformed into a myrrh tree before giving birth to him.
  • The entombing of the creature in a temple of the Sun. This parallels Bacchus entombment beneath Apollo’s temple.
  • Like Adonis and Bacchus, the Phoenix has an Eastern or Arabian origin.

Etymologically the bird is almost certainly related to Phoenicia, where the cult of Adonis thrived. In this parabolic narrative, likewise, one gets a clear sense of a Semitic cuckoo bird placing an egg in an Aryan setting, the temple of the Sun, so that it may survive or be “reborn.” That the offspring bird delivers the parent bird seems to convey, strikingly, a theme of genetic constancy. It likewise suggests a theme of Semitic racial agedness.

In the oldest images of the bird, it is frequently depicted in a seven-rayed nimbus. This, again, is a reference to Saturn and the Semitic. Helios too was frequently depicted with a seven-rayed nimbus in Greek Religion and Art. With Helios, a Titan of “Saturn’s generation,” perhaps it indicates him as being dominated by Saturn, in a manner akin to Michael’s domination by Yahweh. This, of course, makes Helios a less useful and inspiring figure to us than Apollo, despite their obvious relatedness.

Another bit of numerology appearing in ancient texts seems to correlate the phoenix with the Semitic figure Osiris, a synonym of Adonis and Bacchus. There it is indicated he could live 1,400 years before “rebirth.” In my estimation, this is possibly a reference to Osiris who was cut into fourteen pieces by Set. Possibly there is a metaphor in here to an inevitable Jewish “brand make over” after 1,400 years. More simply the symbol of the phoenix contains the themes of burial, concealment, insemination, resurrection and return found in the Semitic vegetation Gods. Indeed, that the Phoenix is understood as “seasonal” as opposed to immortal likewise designates it Semitic for reasons this book explicates.

 

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