Phoenix, Up From the Ashes


There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.

·        Louis L’Amour

The birth of day is preceded by the death of night; the end of the caterpillar is the beginning of the butterfly.

It is our fear of beginning, of rebirth, that keeps us tightly wrapped in inimical circumstances. We clutch and cling to people, ideas, places, and things in order to avoid the unknown, and so we live dispirited in an intricate web of our own making.

Mainly, we try to convince ourselves that this is what we want, the status quo, the comfortable cocoon, but deep down we truly wish to be transformed into a butterfly, a beautiful free-winged butterfly!

When all seems finished, then we will either take wing and soar, or perish in despondency.

• Scott M. Gallagher, Search Yourself – 365 Meditations for the Mind, Body and Soul ©2000

Scott M. Gallagher was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1965. After graduating from high school in New Jersey, he drove across the country to live in Southern California. He attended community college and the University of California, Los Angeles before starting his own business. It was, ironically, during this time that he began to study literature and write. One of his poems was featured on ABC for National Poetry month 1998. Scott became editor of The Mind, Body, and Soul Network on August 1, 1998. Along with writing the Daily Meditations for MBS, he also writes the bi-weekly Newsletter. In his off-hours, Scott can be found teaching shepherding with his Old English Sheepdog, Apollo. I highly recommend the purchase of Scott Gallagher’s book, Search Your Self: 365 Meditations for the Mind, Body, and Soul (©2000 Harper Collins/ William Morrow) by clicking here.


Now, finally, we could look at history not as the bloody struggle of the human animal, who selfishly learned to dominate nature and to survive in greater style, pulling himself from life in the jungle to create a vast complex civilization. Rather, we could look at human history as a spiritual process, as the deeper, systematic effort of souls, generation after generation, life after life, struggling through the millennia toward one solitary goal: to remember what we already knew in the Afterlife and to make this knowledge conscious on Earth.

·         James Redfield, The Tenth Insight (Chapter 6: A History of Awakening)

Who was it that said, ‘It ain’t over until it’s over’ - ? – Oh, yes, that most interesting practitioner of the American English lexicon, the one and only, the inimitable Yogi Berra. Just when you think something is concluded, complete, here comes another round, a fresh start, new opportunities. Or more problems. . . which will it be? And when will it end so that I have a chance to rest? How ‘bout if things just slow down for a bit, let me catch my breath?


In religious symbology, many things come in threes. Let’s consider, for a moment, these three symbols: the Raven, the Dove, and the Phoenix. Let the Raven represent the concept of duty, of justice and necessity for the individual while on earth, while the Dove symbolizes that heavenly mercy and liberty which produces Light, the knowledge of and yearning for that which is not of the earth, concepts which make being alive worthwhile. What, then, would the third of my threesome, the Phoenix, represent? In strict interpretation, a fabulous bird that periodically regenerates itself, used in literature as a symbol of death and resurrection? Ah, but the language of symbology is never that simple!

According to legend, the Phoenix lived in Arabia; when it reached the end of its life (500 years), it burned itself on a pyre of flames, and from the ashes a new Phoenix arose. As a sacred symbol in Egyptian religion, the Phoenix represented the sun, which dies each night and rises again each morning. According to Herodotus the bird was red and golden and resembled an eagle. (Eagle, the mighty symbol of American determination and liberty?) The study of Feng Shui asserts that it is a "mythical bird that never dies; the Phoenix flies far ahead to the front, always scanning the landscape and distant space. It represents our capacity for vision, for collecting sensory information about our environment and the events unfolding within it. The Phoenix, with its great beauty, creates intense excitement and deathless inspiration." (More information)

So, here I find myself, in the “dead” of winter, just as the days begin to become longer, the morning light coming a little earlier in the day, and staying a little longer in the evening. The calendar year is just about used up and beginning to blow away, Father Time traipsing off while Baby New Year prepares to take his place. Just when I think it should be over, that the old is just about worn out and gone, the cycles of nature and life change, renew, revitalize, come around to the beginning again.

It is a time to look back at the list of resolutions I made last year and see how I did with them, and see if I can save myself some time and use the same list this year. It was rather comprehensive and challenging!

Father Time reminds me it is now time to renew my spirit and myself. Time to recommit my life to those things that need to be done and to prepare myself for what this next year will bring. Time to appreciate my blessings and pass them on, so that I have room for more, and those I love have more abundance, too. Time to stand up, dust myself off, and begin to rise again. Time to remind myself of what I already know: that I have my feet on the earth and my head in the heavens; that I am a Bearer of Light, to others and to myself; that I am firmly upon my Path, striving toward that spiritual process and solitary goal which is mine alone to seek and obtain. And that I am not alone in this quest.

As I said last year, we are about to experience "three hundred sixty-five bright mornings and starlit evenings; fifty-two promising weeks; twelve transformative months full of beautiful possibilities; and four splendid seasons. Another simply abundant year to be savored." It ain’t over ‘til it’s over - and in fact, it’s about to begin, again.

Here we go! Up and at ‘em, troops!



FastCounter by bCentral

Sign My Guestbook Get your own FREE Guestbook from htmlGEAR View My Guestbook