Carl Gustav Jung explained in his book «Symbols of transformation» that the human being and the Phoenix have many similarities(the myth of the Phoenix). That emblematic creature of fire capable of rising majestically from the ashes of its own destruction also symbolizes the power of resilience, that unique ability to renew ourselves in much stronger, brave and luminous beings.
If there is a myth that has nourished practically all the legendary doctrines, cultures and roots of our countries, it is undoubtedly that which refers to the Phoenix. It was said of him that his tears were healing, that he had great physical resistance, control over fire and infinite wisdom. It was, in essence, one of the most powerful archetypes for Jung, because his fire contained both creation and destruction, life and death …
“The man who stands up is even stronger than he has not fallen»
It is also interesting to know that we find early references to his mythology both in Arabic poetry, as in Greco-Roman culture and even in much of the historical legacy of the East. In China, for example, the Phoenix or Feng Huang symbolizes not only the highest virtue, power or prosperity, but also represents yin and yang, that duality that makes up everything in the universe.
myth of the Phoenix
However, and this is worth remembering, it is in Ancient Egypt where the first cultural and religious testimonies around this figure appear and where in turn, that image we have today about resilience is shaped. Every detail, nuance and symbol that outlines this myth certainly offers us a good exercise to reflect on.
The myth of the Phoenix or the power to be reborn from our ashes
Viktor Frankl, neuropsychiatrist and founder of logotherapy, survived the torture of concentration camps. As he explained in many of his books, a traumatic experience is always negative, however, what happens from it depends on each person. In our hands is to rise again, come alive once again from our ashes in a triumph without equal or on the contrary, limit ourselves to vegetar, to collapse …
This admirable capacity for renewing ourselves, for recovering our breath, our desire and strengths from our miseries and broken glass, first passes through a really dark phase that many will have lived without a doubt in their own skin: we speak of “death.” When we go through a traumatic moment we all “die a little”, we all let go of a part of ourselves that will no longer return, which will never be the same.
In fact, Carl Gustav Jung establishes our similarity to the Phoenix because this fantastic creature also dies, he also propitiates the necessary conditions to die because he knows that a much more powerful version of himself will emerge from his own remains.
Thus, and among all the myths surrounding this figure, it is the Egyptian that offers us as we said those key points where we must stop them to better understand the relationship of the Phoenix with resilience. Let’s see them below.
myth of the Phoenix
The phoenix in Egypt – the myth of the Phoenix
Ovid explained in his texts that in Egypt, the Phoenix died and was reborn once every 500 years. For the Egyptians, this majestic heron was Bennu, a bird associated with the floods of the Nile, the Sun and death, and which they explained was born under the tree of Good and Evil. This fantastic creature understood that it was necessary to renew every certain time to acquire greater wisdom and for that, followed a very meticulous process.
He flew all over Egypt to build a nest with the most beautiful elements: cinnamon sticks, oak branches, tuberose and myrrh. Then, settling in his nest, he sang one of the most beautiful melodies that the Egyptians had ever heard to then let the flames consume him completely. Three days later, the Phoenix was reborn full of strength and power. He then took his nest and left it in Heliopolis, in the Temple of the Sun to begin a new cycle with which to offer inspiration to the people of Egypt.
Resilience and our “nest” of transformation
As we can see, the Egyptian myth of the Phoenix is a beautiful story. However, let’s now analyze some of its details. Let us stop for example in how the Phoenix builds its nest. Look for the richest materials in your land, those that combine both delicacy and strength, and that will help you in your transformation, in your ascension.
If we think about it, this process is very similar to the one that shapes the psychological dimension of resilience. Because we also look for those magical elements with which to build a very resistant nest were to join strengths.
The human being must spread his wings to fly over his inner universe in search of the branches of his self-esteem, the flower of his motivation, the resin of his dignity, the land of his illusions and the warm water of his self-esteem …
All these components will help you in your ascent but not before being aware of one aspect: that there will be an end, that a part of ourselves will also go away, it will become ashes, the remains of a past that will never return.
myth of the Phoenix
However, those ashes will not be carried by the wind, on the contrary. They will be part of ourselves to shape a being reborn from the fire much stronger, bigger, wiser … Someone who may serve as an inspiration to others but, above all, will allow us to move forward with a very tall face and wings wide open.
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