PHOENIX regeneration, indestructible spirit
PHOENIX: A universal symbol of the sun, mystical rebirth, resurrection and immortality, this legendary red "fire bird" was believed to die in its self-made flames periodically (each hundred years, according to some sources) then rise again out of its own ashes. Linked to the worship of the fiery sun and sun gods such as Mexico's Quetzalcoatl, it was named "a god of Phoenecia" by the Phoenician. To alchemists, it symbolized the the destruction and creation of new forms of matter along the way to the ultimate transformation: physical (turn lead into gold) and spiritual (immortality - an occult alternative to the Christian salvation). The philosopher's stone was considered the key to this transformation.
Nearing death, this mystical firebird, half pheasant, half eagle, would prepare a sweet smelling nest of woods and resin, and burn itself in its flames. From the ashes that would remain, it would rise again, symbolizing resurrection, immortality and an indestructible spirit.