Legends of the mythological Phoenix are far-reaching: Egyptian, Greek, Chinese, Arabic and Native American cultures all carry the tale of the great Phoenix.
The Native American bird symbol has been found across Canada and the U.S., and similar figures have been found throughout Africa, Asia and Europe.
The phoenix was depicted on the first Great Seal of the United States in 1782. (It was changed to the eagle around 1902.)
Throughout the many cultures the Phoenix represents
high virtue, grace, power, prosperity, strength, peace, purity and life.
Etymology: Middle English fenix, from Old English, from Latin phoenix, from Greek phoinix
Date: Before 12th century : a legendary bird which according to one account lived 500
years, burned itself to ashes on a pyre, and rose alive from the ashes to live another period;
also : a person or thing likened to the phoenix : phoenix like : adjective
A legendary bird that lived in Arabia. The Phoenix consumed itself by fire every 500 years, and a new Phoenix sprang from it's ashes. In ancient Egypt, the Phoenix represented the sun. Early Christian tradition adopted the phoenix as a symbol of immortality and resurrection.
MSN Encarta Encyclopedia
Phoenix's Wisdom (Shamanism)