One of the best ways to express ourselves is by sharing gifts, and phoenix jewelry may just be some of the best gifts you could give or receive.
The phoenix is a symbol of renewal and strength, which therefore makes it a perfect way to offer encouragement to a friend or even yourself.
The mantra associated with the firebird, “Still I Rise,” makes phoenix jewelry an excellent buy for yourself or for family or friends who need inspiration, encouragement, or a reminder that tough times will pass.
Wearing it every day will remind you of your capability to survive adversity, your strength, and that despite what you face, or how deep you fall, eventually, you will rise again. It’s a constant reminder that no matter what, you will thrive. Let’s take a look at the phoenix as a symbol and how it’s used in jewelry.
Origins of the Phoenix
The rebirth and perseverance symbolism of phoenix jewelry is derived from the bird that they are named after, the Phoenix, or Firebird.
A phoenix is a powerful and colorful bird that was believed to go up in flames only to be later reborn from its ashes. While the name Phoenix comes from ancient Greek, there are several mentions of similar birds in several cultures. The characteristics of these birds vary, but the theme of rebirth remains constant. Another thing that’s common in all the myths was that there only lived one phoenix at a time. It was also a common belief that when a phoenix’s end neared, it assembled a nest using aromatic branches, then spiced it only with the sweetest of spices.
It’s in this nest that the Phoenix burned to ashes in a fire of its own making only to rise three days later, new, young, and refreshed. The newly risen Phoenix then takes the remaining ashes and deposits them on the sun god’s altar. Let’s take a look at the variants of the Phoenix in different cultures.
1. The Greek Phoenix
In the 5th century B.C., Herodotus, a historian wrote about a great bird that resembled an eagle except that it was covered with myrrh and spotted red and golden colors. He further wrote that only one phoenix existed at a time. It would live for 500 hundred years before dying, after which its offspring would appear, bury its body in the Egyptian temple of the Sun, then live out the next 500 years.
2. The Egyptian Bennu Bird
Most stories point to Egypt as the origin of the Phoenix except in the Egyptian language it was known as Bennu, and it resembled a heron. The Bennu bird is said to have been present during creation and was thus worshiped as a deity. It was grey in color but also had streaks of yellow. What made the Bennu associated with the Phoenix is the belief that the holy bird renewed itself every day as the sun rose.
3. Jewish Milcham
In Judaism, the bird Chol also known as Milcham, once lived in the garden of Eden. It’s believed that when Eve gave in to the devil’s temptation to eat the forbidden fruit, she in turn tempted the animals in the garden to follow suit, and they did, all but Milcham. As payment for his strength, it was granted eternal life, dying and being reborn every thousand years.
4. The Arabic Bird of The Sun
In Arabic mythology, the phoenix is depicted as resembling an eagle or a heron, depending on the variation of the myth. Its wings were bright with golden and scarlet colors, and it lived for either 500 years or 13,000 years, again depending on the variation of the myth.
Other Mentions of the Phoenix
Slavic Fire Bird
Slavic folk tales tell of a large majestic bird that glows with orange, yellow, and red light. Even when plucked from the bird, the feathers don’t stop glowing.
Native American Thunder Bird
In Native American mythology, the birds are said to be large whose eyes radiate with the color red to control thunder and lightning.
The Chinese Feng Huang
East Asian folklore tells of a holy bird whose body is an amalgamation of other birds. It also spots five colors: red, black, yellow, green, and white.
Adoption Of The Phoenix in Christianity
The Phoenix became a metaphor for the resurrection of Christ as well as the death and resurrection of the faithful. This can be witnessed by images drawn on the tombstones of early Christians.
Types of Phoenix Jewelry
There exists a wide range of Phoenix jewelry in the market. The design of each piece of jewelry may be different depending on the culture from which it was adopted. Here are some of the most common Phoenix jewelry.
1. Phoenix Necklaces
These necklaces are usually composed of a chain made with either gold or silver. Attached to them will be a pendant in the shape of a Phoenix or a pendant that has the image of the phoenix embossed on it.
Sometimes gemstones will be added to them for the authenticity of color as well as the healing powers associated with the gems. Of the most commonly added stones are amethyst for strength, and ruby for health and naturing.
2. Phoenix Rings
These will mostly be embossed with the image of a Phoenix. Other times, it will be a plain ring spotting the head of a Phoenix with a gemstone as the eye.
3. Phoenix Earrings
The Phoenix symbol is perfect for earrings, whether you opt for studs or dangles. They’re ideal in rustic and boho designs but can also suit sophisticated and classic designs made of gold and precious gemstones.
4. Keychains, Bracelets, and Brooches
Just like necklaces and rings, these three will either be embossed with a phoenix’s image or have a Phoenix shape pendant attached. These too are often enriched with gemstones.
What Does the Phoenix Symbolize?
Because of the life cycle of the Phoenix, it’s often associated with:
- Eternal fire
- Overcoming adversity
- Fresh beginnings
The Phoenix symbolizes overcoming adversity and difficulty in life to succeed. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the most powerful metaphors for strength and the power of the human spirit, evoking images of rising from the ashes to fly with freedom once more.
What is the Phoenix Stone?
This amalgam serves as a reminder to make the most of your inner strength and power to achieve your life goals. The Phoenix stone encourages resilience to brave anything and everything life throws at you.
Sometimes Phoenix jewelry refers to ornaments made with the Phoenix stone while at other times it’s a combination of the stone and imagery of the mythical bird.
If you are someone who has been through a lot, having a Phoenix ornament will remind you of your inner strength.
Similarly, if you know of a person who is walking in murky waters, get them one of these pieces of jewelry to encourage them and assure them that they will rise, for it’s only by going through difficult times that we are reborn.