(Image: Bertuch)

The phoenix is a supernatural bird found in the folklore of Europe and the Middle East. It was the size of an eagle, with the shape of a pheasant and red-purple plumage. Its name is derived from the Greek word for purple. It was said to inhabit Persia, India, Ethiopia, and Arabia. Although its ability to live again is not consistent throughout stories, a phoenix always constructs a nest of spices when it is at the end of its life. In some cultures, the phoenix them burns and is reborn from the ashes, but this is not consistent in all stories (Rose 291-292).

Since the legend of the phoenix often includes its rebirth through flames, the story itself may be interpreted as hope for a fresh start when things seem to be ending. However, in the cultures not celebrating the death of the phoenix, it may be seen as a symbol of great luck because it is so rare, like the spices in its nest.


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