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The Phoenix, the Reincarnating Ego

This morning I read an interesting section on the symbolism of the phoenix in the book “The Divine Plan“, by Geoffrey A. Baborka, a commentary on The Secret Doctrine. Googling this information, I found that the book is also now published in German. I bought it 4 years ago after a seminar of my spiritual teacher, Sri K. Parvathi Kumar, on the Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky. The book is part of my Saturday morning reading, and I just read 2-3 pages, so the progress is quite slow, but sure 🙂

Baborka writes that according to ancient Greek and Roman writers the phoenix represents the reincarnating Ego: Gathering twigs from spice-trees the bird fashions a nest. The next bursts into flames consuming the body of the bird. From the ashes a young phoenix springs into life, and when strong enough, flies to Heliopolis, the city of the Sun, dropping the remains of the nest upon the altar of the sun: From the ashes of the old personality springs the new personality. The fiery nest is of the same essence as the sun. The city of the sun is the citadel to which the divine spark of man returns when the old personality is consumed. When reincarnating like the new phoenix, the Skandas, the seeds of the personality, spring into life again. So the old personality isn’t lost, but remains a pearl on the Thread of Life, the sutratma (the thread-soul), which carries the imperishable records of the reincarnating ego.

A most sublime image. It made me think of the death and rebirth of the phoenix in the volumes of Harry Potter. In the last chapters of the 7th volume there is a great scene of near-death experience, when Harry is going through the sacrifice of his life on his way to the final overcoming of his bond with the evil Voldemort, a very occult scene.

The reborn phoenix Fawkes with Albus Dumbledore, from the Harry Potter Wiki (copyright note)

The present month of Scorpio is precisely related to the mystery of death and rebirth, of the fight of the eagle (the spirit) with the serpent. I found a picture on the web with a Scorpio and a phoenix, for copyright reasons I can’t show it here. But here are some other photos related to this myth, and a third one, a  nice one of Blavatsky, which I found this morning.

Painting of a phoenix by Barthélémy de Glanville  (”Le livre des propriétés des choses”, Manuscrit (Burgundy, XVth c. Bibliothèque municipale d’Amiens, France)

End of a fire ritual – like the nest of a phoenix


Blavatsky (photo: London 1889) calls the phoenix “the bird of resurrection in Eternity”. “The death and revival of the Phoenix exhibit the successive destruction and reproduction of the world, which many believed to be effected by the agency of a fiery deluge.” Through the work of H.P. Blavatsky the eternal wisdom teachings reappeared to the world like a phoenix from out of the ashes.

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