The Mythical Phoenix
The Phoenix is a bird of Greek and Egyptian mythology. The phoenix is said to have red and purple plumage (hence the name Phoenix, which comes from the Greek word for purple), although is has also been said to be gold or all the colors of the rainbow. The phoenix is a symbol of the sun, and every morning, Apollo, the sun god, would stop his chariot to listen to the phoenix singing as it bathed itself. The Egyptian version is seen as a heron, while the Greek version is seen as a peacock or an eagle.
Traditionally, there is only one phoenix at a time, and it lives for five hundred years. (There are many variations on this length, from 100 years to 1000. 500 is the number I've seen the most.) When it is near its death, it builds a pyre and sprinkles aromatic herbs over it, and then consumes itself in flames. Out of the ashes of this fire a new phoenix rises. This phoenix puts the ashes in an egg and carries it to Heliopolis, the city of the sun in Egypt, where it leaves the egg on the altar of the sun god, Re. Because of its life cycle, the phoenix is also a symbol of rebirth.
There are also mythological birds of other areas that have been called phoenixes. These include the Feng-huang of China, the Ho-Oo of Japan, the Roc of Arabia, and the Thunderbird of North America.
Phoenix Building Systems- Mythology
The Phoenix and the Rising Sun
Pedigree of the Phoenix - How total solar eclipses may have inspired the ancient winged sun symbol, the phoenix myth, and other mythical sunbirds
"And god help you if you are a phoenix
And you dare to rise up from the ash
A thousand eyes will smoulder with jealousy
While you are just flying past."