Tag Archives: immortalité

The Phoenix: the Immortal Firebird

Many myths, fantastic creatures have gone through centuries of history and thus mark our memories almost immutably. It is an animal whose myth is as old as its legendary longevity: the Phoenix.

The Phoenix: the Immortal Firebird

Hello my Marmosets!

I hope I missed you? Yes ? No ? Never mind ! I am still incrusted! Today, I come to make you a little “chat” about this animal that fascinates me as much as the dragon.

The phoenix is a legendary bird, resembling the heron, which has a long longevity that is characterized by its ability to reborn after consuming its own flames. It thus symbolizes the cycles of death, resurrection, but also of nobility. For the latter, I suppose, but as usual, it is only my humble opinion, that this is due to its majestic, almost imperial aspect.

The phoenix, or phoenix, comes from the ancient Greek φοῖνιξ / phoînix, meaning: “purple red”.

This fabulous bird was originally from Arabia and attached to the cult of the Sun in ancient Egypt, where it was also venerated. The narratives describe the phoenix as a sort of eagle adorned with a plumage of brilliant colors. Certainly because of this attachment to the worship of the sun. It is also probably the reason why, it remains in our minds like “the bird of fire” par excellence. When we think “phoenix” do we not immediately think of “immortal” and “fire“?

The phoenix can live for a long time, for centuries (the poor, it must be bored firmly); no tradition mentions an existence of less than five hundred years (nothing but that!). Whereas the shock for him is that suddenly our friend the phoenix reproduces himself: when he feels his end arrive, he builds a nest of aromatic branches and incense (he has the taste … or ought I to say smell), sets it on fire and burns itself in its flames. From the ashes of this pyre arises the new phoenix.

Georges Cuvier (anatomist and paleontologist) saw in him the golden pheasant. It has also been identified with birds of paradise and flamingos.

As with any mystical and fabulous creature, the phoenix has crossed several civilizations, and thus several myths. It is for this reason that we find birds similar to the one that is anchored in our current imagination in the mythologies: Persian under the name of “Simurgh” or “Rokh”, Chinese under the name of “Fenghuang” which means “immortal bird”, Native American with “Thunderbird” or aboriginal in Australia with “Minka bird”.

Through myths

As for the Persian phoenix, the bird has a connotation of lightness, the quintessence of things and beings. Here the animal incarnates the thought opposed to matter, the inner search for man, his “deep self, his spirit.

The Egyptian phoenix (the bénou) and the Greek are the oldest.

Herodotus (Greek historian and geographer) describes it thus:

“It is only in their country that every five hundred years […] its wings are partly golden and partly red, and it is entirely in conformity with the eagle as to the figure and the detailed description …”

However, the point of view of Herodotus contains several inconsistencies. Notably the burial of the father, knowing that there would be only one at a time.

The Moderns (who thought that literary creation consisted of innovating and militating for literature adapted to contemporary times and new artistic forms) saw it more like the Egyptian benou: a heron perched on the benben stone, the sacred stone of the temple solar of Heliopolis on which the first rays of the sun fall. The bird would then be the incarnation of the soul of Re or also the manifestation of Osiris.

As for the Roman phoenix for Ovidus, Pliny and Tacitus, the phoenix decomposes to be reborn, whereas in Martial and Stace the theme of the pyre and its spices appears analogous to the funerary practices of the Romans.

The effigy of the phoenix appears on the coins of Trajan to Constantine I (Roman emperors) and his sons.

Whatever the myths, the legendary phoenix is intimately linked to fire, either by solar attachment or by its own flames.

And religion in all that?

The Midrash Rabbah (set of ten aggadic midrashim collections on the five Torah Books and the five Rolls) reports that when Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge all the animals also ate fruit forbidden, and that death was decreed for them all, except one bird called Khôlעוף החול” who did not eat it. That is why the phoenix lives forever. And Rabbi Yannai (or Rabbi Jannai, a wise Jew who lived in the third century) explains that his life takes place as follows: he lives a period of a thousand years at the end of which a fire bursts from his nest and consumes him an egg, and from this egg it grows again.

The phoenix is ​​also one of the most widespread Christian symbols. Numerous literary sources, profane and Christian, evoke the legend of the phoenix. Its symbolism is probably Stoic inspiration: the eternal fire destroys everything and brings it all back to life. It is the symbol of the Resurrection. The Christians have brought to light all that in nature could prepare the acceptance of this mystery. The legend of the phoenix contributes to it, as does the cock that announces the new day: a metaphor for the Christian who awaits the day when Christ returns. From that moment he occupied a prominent position on the bell-tower of the churches.

Whether in myths, religion, or even literature, the phoenix fuels our imagination in a marked way. He is, with the dragon, one of the few fantastic creatures to have not undergone any real physical change. It remains over the years as we imagine it: a kind of flaming eagle that is reborn from its ashes.

Its traces even go back to genesis, you are entitled, my Marmosets, to ask me these questions: has it really existed? Does he exist today? Obviously, I can not answer you. But, as for many of you, I remain passionate about all these wonderful creatures. I do not care if they are real or not, what matters to me is that they make us live our imagination, and that, along with the sirens and all the others, makes them , in my opinion, truly immortal.


The Phoenix in the manga

  • “Phoenix, the bird of fire”, by Osamu Tezuka

  • Ikki, character of “Saint Seya”

  • Marco, character of “One Piece”

  • “The Wings of the Phoenix”, Lim Jin Ju

  • “Phoenix”, Osamu Tezuka


The Phoenix in Music

  • PHÉNIX, the French Heavy Metal band


The Phoenix in Science

  • Phénix (nuclear), the fast breeder reactor located in Marcoule (Gard).

  • Phoenix is a constellation of the southern hemisphere.


The Phoenix in Literature

  • “The Order of the Phoenix”, (Harry Potter) JK Rowling, [NB: Fumesck, the Phoenix of Dumbledore, however appears before this volume.]

  • “The Metamorphoses of the Phoenix in Ancient Christianity,” in Folia Electronica Classica No. 8, Paul-Augustin Deproost.

  • The Bestiary of Christ, Milano, Arche, Louis Charbonneau-Lassay.

  • “The colorful phoenix (from Herodotus to Ambrose of Milan)”, Bulletin of the Association Guillaume Budé vol. 1, Laurence Gosserez

  • “The creation of the world and the phoenix”, Laurence Gosserez.

  • “The Birds Conference,” (Persian tale of the thirteenth century), Sufi Farid al-Din Attar of Nishapur (poet).

  • “The Phoenix Trilogy”, Bernard Simonay

  • “Cycle of the Phoenix”, Sébastien Pennes

  • “The Phoenix Guards”, Steven Brust


See you soon for new discoveries always more fabulous …

S-P Decroix, Author of The Princess Of The Deepest Times.

Did the vampires really exist?

Vampires are emblematic figures that form an integral part of our culture. These are mythological creatures entered into legend since the dawn of time… Discover their origins and where to find them through this exciting article! Did the vampires really exist?

It’s S-P DECROIX that tells you better about it…

Hello girls, boys and marmosets!

What? There are no boys among you? Ah! Ah! I know, I know, not even funny! Alexia told me I was funny. It’s really nice of you Alexia, but my sense of humor is to see again. So, from today, I will call you “marmosets“.

So, after my article on the dragons I asked myself: “But what am I going to tell them to marmosets next time? “Ah! If you knew all that crosses my mind, you would take your legs to your necks! In short, let’s go back to our monsters and various creatures.

“What’s she going to talk the lady?”

(OK the sentence is super null, but hey, you will have to do with!)

After jargoning about the “dragon”, I decided to talk to you about “creatures of the night”, but which one? No! Not John Travolta! So? You found ? Yes? No?

The Vampires!

Origins

Yes, with their pointed teeth and their pronounced taste for blood, vampires are the creatures of the night par excellence! The origins of this legendary creature are found in ancient myths and diverse throughout the world, but become popular mainly on the European continent.

“Vampire” comes from the German “Vampir”, which comes from the Hungarian “vámpir”, which in most Slavic languages is a word designating a bat.

The vampire is part of the great “ghost” family. According to the different folklore and the most common superstition, this undead man feeds on the blood of the living to derive his life force. Its victims die of having been emptied of their blood or they undergo certain conditions (blood exchange, placing underground with its “genitor” are some of the best-known examples), in vampires, but only after their death: “they die and live again!”

It is Arnold Paole, a Serb, who was the first to be called “vampire” in the eighteenth century.

You may think that it is the one that everyone calls “Dracula” who was the first vampire, but not… Vlad III Basarab, of his real name, knows indeed an important celebrity during his lifetime: the merchants Saxons of Transylvania and the king of Hungary, Matthias Corvin, make him a cruel ruler who impales his enemies, which earned him nicknames such as “The Impaler” or “Drăculea” (“son of the devil” or “son of the dragon”). Inspired by the nickname of Vlad III Basarab, the figure of the Count of Dracula was invented by Bram Stocker for his novel in 1897, which is why Vlad III Basarab is now assimilated to a vampire but he wasn’t one!

The contemporary myth of the vampire would be a sort of “superposition” of several other supernatural creatures from various European folklore, especially Slavic. Some authors have enumerated precursors: spirits, demons, or ghosts in turn, possessed or not (incomplete list): the “visitor”, the “hungry”, the “nightmare”, the “strangler”, the “chewer” (well yes, they chew us gently the neck with their small pointed canines… ok… really must I stop!) And finally the returning to animal form (Bat? Hum … no comment).

Characteristics of Vampires

This undead creature is universally known to feed on the blood of the living as soon as night falls, for, as I said before, to take their vital force and remain immortal! In fact, this is not entirely accurate, as it is for the Vampire to no longer be subject to old age. Other elements of folklore are well entrenched in our minds: the coffin in which he takes refuge during the day to rest and the cemetery: “let’s go home!” (Honestly each his “trip”, me personally, the cemeteries at night, it’s not my trip…).

In many legends, the vampire also feeds on human excrements and flesh, including his own: it is the automation that includes not only his flesh but also his clothes (if you had just eaten, excuse). This detail seems to be verified by old records of stories of shrouds found chewed. (I warned you: Vampires love to chew on).

Of course, what also characterizes the Vampire is his legendary pair of … what? From sharp canines! (Stop having ideas misplaced!) The clothing appearance, it would have been built in the cinematographic and theatrical folklore, in particular his famous cloak.

Some mystical powers are also given to him:

He hypnotizes his victims, seduces them, reads in thoughts, changes into mist, bat, sometimes in wolf or, according to legends, he controls them.

It is also this particular link with the wolf that makes that generally when one thinks of the Vampire, we often associate the Werewolf.

It seems that killing a “master vampire” or a “vampire-genitor” frees those he has transformed or sometimes his children die with him.

The Vampire if he becomes more powerful, fast, and resistant with age, would be “indisposed” by the smell of garlic, wild rose or hawthorn. Some objects would be able to repel it: the mythical crucifix, the rosary, the holy water and the mirror (since it cannot be reflected in it). He cannot walk on consecrated soils (Church, etc.). The legend also says that a Vampire cannot enter a house without being invited.

Bram Stoker’s work, Dracula, was first published in 1897 and is still popular today.

As the Vampire is an undead, he is already dead! So to kill him, it was necessary to rack one’s brains! (Ah, Ah!) Of course, decapitation is the most effective way to eliminate it, followed by a stake in the heart, a nail in the head (definitely) or a cremation in good form!

References to the Vampire

(Incomplete lists, you understand that they are too long…)


Literature:

  • Dracula by Bram Stocker.
  • The Vampyre by John Stagg
  • The Vampire by John William Polidori
  • The Vourdalak Family (published in Tolstoy’s Stories of the Living Dead)
  • History of the Pale Lady, novel by Alexandre Dumas (1849).
  • The Knight of Darkness by Paul Féval (1860)
  • Lokis of Prosper Mérimée.
  • The Horla (in its first version) by Guy de Maupassant
  • The Parasite of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Vampire Chronicles, Interview with a vampire by Anne Rice

Movies:

  • Nosferatu the vampire by Friedrich Murnau, in 1922
  • Vampyr, or the strange adventure of David Gray in 1932
  • The Dracula Nightmare, by Terence Fisher in 1958.
  • Polanski’s Ball of the Vampires in 1967 (parody)
  • Tony Scott’s Predators in 1983
  • Vampire, did you say vampire ? Tom Holland in 1985 and Tommy
  • Lee Wallace in 1988 Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola in 1992
  • Interview with a vampire by Neil Jordan in 1994
  • Craig Gillespie’s Fright Night in 2011.

Cinematographic and television series:

  • The Blade Saga
  • The Underworld Saga
  • The Twilight Saga
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Angel
  • Vampires Diaries
  • Supernatural (Ahhhhhh the best series in my senses, which has many other creatures!)
  • True Blood
  • Being Human
  • The Clan of the Damned
  • The Originals (I love it!)

Mangas / Comics:

  • Vampire Hunter D (manga)
  • Vampire Princess Miyu (manga)
  • Vampire Knight (manga)
  • Hellsing (manga)
  • Requiem, Chevalier Vampire (BD)
  • The Prince of the Night (BD)
  • 30 days of night (comics)

Video Games:

  • Castlevania (since 1986),
  • Legacy of Kain (since 1996)
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula, in 1993.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  • Dracula: Resurrection, Dracula 2: The Last Sanctuary, Dracula 3: The Way of the Dragon
  • The Masquerade (roleplaying)
  • Dracula’s Fury (board game).

We may never really know if the vampires existed as they are described to us, but is there smoke without fire? One thing is certain: those who inspired these creatures did indeed exist, but they undoubtedly renounced their immortality in order to rest in peace! Their legend, in any case, it, continues to persist in time… for eternity!

Article written by S-P DECROIX.