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The Hunt for Clues
If Phoenicia was known for its abundant and delicious dates, then it would make sense for the date palm to be named after that place, "the Land of Purple" (read part two if you want to understand the importance or purple). That association may have been strengthened by the fact that dates take on an almost purple hue when ripe.
But was the resurrecting bird of myth named after the land, or the tree? Probably the tree, since that is supposedly the place where the bird nests, but then we must ask: What is the significance of the date palm to the phoenix myth? No one seems to have a solid answer. However, there are a few clues available to those who know their Ancient Near East religions.
Before the Greeks popularized the story of a dying and resurrecting bird called the phoenix, the Egyptians told of a dying and resurrecting bird known as the bennu. It's name derives from a root word meaning "to rise brilliantly" or "to shine"—appropriate considering that the bennu represented the spirit of the sun-god, Ra, and was worshiped at the city of the sun, Heliopolis. It was usually represented as a heron, having two long feathers protruding from the back of its head, which is likely why occultists still draw the phoenix with a crest behind its head. In a few later Egyptian legends shared with the Greeks, the bennu had red or purple wings.
Some Egyptian depictions of the bennu bird place the headdress of Osiris atop the heron's head. The bird was often shown atop a willow tree, which was the tree sacred to Osiris. Some scholars believe that the bennu was both the spirit of Ra and the manifestation of the resurrected Osiris, son of Ra. Osiris, the Egyptian god of death and rebirth, synchronizes at least in part with the Mesopotamian god Tammuz (a.k.a. Dumuzi). Tammuz was known by many titles, including Amaushumgalanna, meaning "The Great Source of the Date Clusters," and Baal-Tamar, meaning "Lord of the Palms." Therein we have our first connection between the resurrecting bird and the palm tree.
By comparing that creation myth to the Book of Genesis, it becomes apparent that the rock on which the bennu landed was the primordial mound, the first dry land to appear after God separated the waters above from the waters below. That mound was sacred to the Egyptians, and they gave it a name: benben. The Egyptians made pyramid-shaped blocks of stone and called them benben stones because they represented not only the first mound of earth to rise, but also the sacred mountain of God surrounded by the waters of the third heaven. As above, so below. (The Egyptians capped obelisks with benben stones to signify the mountain in heaven.) Satan once walked upon that heavenly mountain (Ezek. 28:12-14), and he undoubtedly also alighted on the dry earth that arose on the third day of Creation (Gen. 1:9-13).
One of the titles of the bennu bird was "He Who Came Into Being by Himself." This could be interpreted to mean that the Bennu created itself, or it could mean that the bennu was created before any other beings. If the latter is true, it would create a strong link to Satan, who was the first immortal spirit made by God. Like the bennu, Satan probably played a significant role during Creation Week, as directed by the pre-incarnate Y'shua.
My apologies, because the last two paragraphs were tangential; let's go back to our discussion about cycles of time. The Egyptians used a heiroglyph of a palm branch to represent a 365-day year, an obviously important cycle of time. Horapollinis notes that fact in his Hieroglyphica (1595), where he writes:
When they would represent the year otherwise, they delineate a Palm Tree [branch], because of all others this tree alone at each renovation of the moon produces one additional branch, so that in twelve branches the year is completed. (1.03)
Here is a feature specific to date palms: When date palms first put out clusters of fruit, the clusters and the branches from which they hang are orange or red-orange in color. From afar, it almost looks like a fire has spawned atop the trunk. It isn't any wonder, then, that the self-immolating phoenix would be imagined to end its life in the crown of a fruiting palm.
The date palm is a plant which thrives in subtropical regions with little to no rainfall, but counter-intuitively demands constant moisture at its roots. One old saying describes the date palm as growing with “its feet in the water and its head in the fire.” This should lead us to think about the mythological World Tree, which connects heaven and earth. Fire is the primary element of the spiritual realm, while water is the primary element of the Underworld. With this perspective, the symbolism of the date palm tree may teach that the phoenix has its home in both worlds (like the bennu, the spirit of Ra, who traveled daily through both the heavens and the underworld of Osiris).
The trunk of the palm is straight and tall, connecting heaven and earth like Jacob's ladder, or the pillars of heaven (in fact, "pillars of heaven" may have in some contexts been an idiomatic expression for palms). A palm trunk is like the conduit or umbilical cord that the Greeks and Romans imagined coming down from heaven to meet the earth at the Axis Mundi ("Navel of the World").
It's not a leap to associate the palm tree and the axis mundi with human anatomy. When Y'shua healed a blind man at Bethsaida, he did so in two stages. After the first stage of healing, he asked the man what he saw, and the man responded, "I see people, but they look like trees, walking” (Mark 8:24). The human head, spine, and reproductive organs are a microcosm of the unseen realm: the head is the heavens (the realm of Mind), the spine is the channel between heaven and earth, and the reproductive organs are the underworld (which we keep covered, like Sheol). This is why eastern mystics who teach enlightenment speak of the Kundalini energy starting at the base of the spine (the level of the mundane/"mundi") and traveling up the spinal column into the head, where the inner eyes are opened in the ecstatic experience of spiritual birth. The funerary fire of the phoenix in its nest atop the straight trunk of the palm correlates to the mind-fire of the second birth of a spiritual man.
Palms in the Bible
Here are some of the Bible verses which treat palms with special significance:
(Exo. 15:27) They came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water, and seventy palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.
(Deu. 34:3) and the Plain of the valley of Jericho the city of palm trees [which is in Canaan].
(Jdg. 4:5) She lived under Deborah’s palm tree between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
(1Ki. 6:29) He carved all the walls of the house around with carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, inside and outside.
(Psa. 92:12) The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree.
(Isa. 9:14-15) Therefore Yahweh will cut off from Israel head and tail, palm branch and reed, in one day. The elder and the honorable man is the head, and the prophet who teaches lies is the tail.
(Eze. 41:20) Cherubim and palm trees were made from the ground to above the door. The wall of the temple was like this.
(Joh. 12:12-13) On the next day a great multitude had come to the feast. When they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet him, and cried out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!”
(Rev. 7:9) After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could count, out of every nation and of all tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.
Isaiah 9:14-15 connects palm fronds with men who are worthy of respect and who wield influence due to their wisdom. Likewise, Judges 4:5 connects the place of the palm tree with the wisdom of Deborah the Judge. The association of palms with wisdom exists also in the verses about Jericho, though not as blatantly. Several times throughout the Tanakh ("Old Testament"), when Jericho is mentioned it is called the City of Palms. Jericho is one of the oldest cities in the world, having been originally built with cyclopean architectural techniques by the earliest occultists. Jericho was a city ruled by giants, and it was a hotbed for the practice of arcane arts. In other words, the people of Jericho were great in the wisdom of the Kingdom of Darkness.
From the verses listed above, we also see that the palm and the cherub together is an important motif in the Holy Temple. Not only did Solomon decorate the first Temple with palms and cherubiym (plural of cherub), but the Millennial Temple described in Ezkiel will also incorporate palms and cherubiym. In fact, Ezekiel contains no less than eleven verses detailing the role of palms in the Millennial Temple.
Perhaps the most telling verses of all are the last two that I listed. They show that the worshipers of Adonai wave palm fronds to praise him at both his First and Second Advents.
So what does it all mean? Taking everything into consideration, I propose that palm trees represent spiritual sight and the understanding of higher truths, the fruit of which is very sweet, and also the connection between immortal spirits and mortal men.
In the story, Inanna plants the huluppu tree in her garden, but the Anzu-bird, a fire-breathing storm bird, makes a nest in its boughs. Meanwhile, a serpent that cannot be charmed takes up residence at the roots of the tree, and a demon named Lilith makes her home in its trunk. The association between the palm tree, a divine bird, a serpent, and an unclean spirit is enigmatic but very intriguing.
Phoenix-Like Birds in Diverse Cultures
Not every ancient culture told the story of a resurrecting bird like the phoenix, but some did. Fire and immortality are the traits most commonly assigned to mythological birds. Here are some notable examples:
The Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans all have legends about a bird who is immortal. It is red and has long, beautiful tail feathers. It features prominently in folklore about royalty.
In every period of Persian art, one will find representations of the simurgh, a huge bird of prey (sometimes shown with a human or dog face) possessing the knowledge of all ages. It has a tail like a peacock. In one legend which echoes phoenix lore, the simurgh was said to live 1,700 years before plunging itself into flames. It roosts in the Tree of Life in the middle of the world.
The Arabs tell of a fire-bird called ghoghnous which lives on a date palm in the desert. It lays only one egg.
The kerkes is the Turkish version of the phoenix and bennu. As the first creature to be created, it emerged from the primordial mud. It was at first represented as a wagtail but later took the appearance of a heron with red legs and two long feathers protruding from its head. It lived for 500 years, after which it would self-immolate and hatch again from a golden egg spawned in its own burning carcass. It then rose gloriously from the burning tree in which it had died.
In Russian folklore derived from Slavic mythology, the firebird is a large, magical bird whose plumage glows in fiery colors.
A religious minority known as the Yezidis revere an angel who takes the form of peacock. They call him Melek Taus. He is the preeminent spirit among the seven archangels to whom the Creator entrusted the world. According to Yezidi lore, Melek Taus passed a test imposed by God by refusing to bow before the first human being, Adam. Pleased by the peacock angel's decision, God made Melek Taus his regent on earth.
Shortly after Adam was brought to life, Melek Taus made him face the sun and instructed him to pray to it daily, for it represented the Supreme God. The peacock angel spoke to Adam and Eve in 72 languages because their descendants would populate the 72 regions of the Earth. [For information about the number 72, see chapter three of Leviathan's Ruse.] He informed Adam that if he and his descendants remained steadfast in righteousness, they would eventually see and know the Supreme God personally. In the meantime, Melek Taus would be their protector and teacher even while residing in another dimension. He would be the king of the world.
Later, each of the 72 tribes took his image and teachings with them to their new homes. Over time, they forgot the angel's name and what he looked like. However, they retained a basic remembrance of his deeds, which is why, say the Yezidis, the creation myths of most ancient cultures allude to an ancient savior who taught infant humanity about agriculture, astronomy, civilization, religion, and the like.
Hopefully you've noticed the parallels between Melek Taus and Satan, "the god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4), both of whom were the first created beings, both of whom were in the Garden of Eden, and both of whom taught mankind advanced knowledge and the worship of stellar bodies. The Yezidis have put a positive spin on what is in reality very negative. According to them, hell no longer exists because Melek Taus extinguished it with his tears (what wishful thinking!).
If there remains any doubt as to who the peacock angel really is, take a look at this Yezidi depiction of him:
The scene is set within a wheel-like object, with the "eyes" of the tail feathers positioned around the rim of the wheel. We know from Ezekiel 28:14-16 that Satan was (or is) a cherub. Connect that fact to what Ezekiel reveals in chapters one, nine and ten—namely, that the cherubiym travel on living wheels encircled with eyes:
"Now as I looked at the living creatures [cherubiym], I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them.... And their rims were tall and awesome, and the rims of all four were full of eyes all around" (Ezek. 1:15, 18).
Notice the inclusion of the sacred numbers 7 and 12 in the design of the plumage. Furthermore, the crest of the bird is a fleur-de-lis. I don't have the luxury of time to explain why that's important, but suffice it to say that the fleur-de-lis is a stylized trident—symbol of threefold sovereignty over heaven, earth, and the underworld—which shows up repeatedly in both old and new illustrations of the phoenix.
Here's another thing about Melek Taus: the Yezidis have made graven images of the peacock sitting atop a column. These idols are called sanjaks. According to one Yezidi website, the sanjak represents the Axis Mundi, or World Tree, with Melek Taus as Pole Star sitting atop it. The sanjaks are crafted from copper, which is significant because the Bible describes angelic beings as having the appearance of copper or brass, and the graven serpent which Moses affixed to a pole was made from brass (Num. 21:8-9).
The Yezidis do not teach that Melek Taus dies and resurrects like the phoenix. Instead, he is considered immortal, never subject to death. However, they do teach that our current world will be brought to ruin and followed by a golden age ushered in by Melek Taus. The theme of rising from the ashes is definitely present in the myth of the peacock angel.
Modern Occult Use of the Phoenix
Although studying the Enemy's ancient symbols can be interesting, you may be wondering whether it holds any practical value for us today. Well, that depends on how serious we are about extraditing ourselves from the systems of this world which are led by satanic forces. I, for one, want to know exactly what Satan has he claws in, so that I can have nothing to do with it, if possible.
The satanic Mystery cults which used to rule the world were in large part killed off by the rise of Christianity, yet they didn't stay dead. Since the time of The Enlightenment in Europe, they've been emerging from the ashes and reasserting control little by little, mostly in the shadows and in the unseen courts of ultra-wealthy power players. Every now and then, they step out from behind cover and flash cryptic clues in the public eye, knowing that the profane masses will see but not see. I am going to show you a few instances of occult organizations publicly displaying their goals through the use of phoenix symbolism.
Without a doubt, the Economist holds a positive view of globalism, so it doesn't come as much of a surprise that at least some of the magazine's leadership reveres the Mysteries. The push for globalism—the reversal of the fall of Babel—has long been a primary goal of the Occult. Still, it's shocking to see that they were prepping the public thirty years ago for a big step towards globalism. It's equally shocking to see that the Economist projected a 2018 launch date. Here's a pertinent excerpt from the 1988 article:
Thirty years from now, Americans, Japanese, Europeans, and people in many other rich countries, and some relatively poor ones will probably be paying for their shopping with the same currency. Prices will be quoted not in dollars, yen or D-marks but in, let’s say, the phoenix. The phoenix will be favoured by companies and shoppers because it will be more convenient than today’s national currencies, which by then will seem a quaint cause of much disruption to economic life in the last twentieth century.... Pencil in the Phoenix for around 2018, and welcome it when it comes. (Vol. 306, pp. 9-10)
I propose that they knew because the spirits which rule the Kingdom of Darkness told them about the plan. The cosmic rulers of this world (the fallen immortals) have an agenda and a timeline. They don't always get their way, of course, as they battle the Kingdom of Light, but sometimes they do, and all the more as we approach the end of the Age. As time goes on, YHVH intervenes less and less on a broad scale, allowing Evil to take its course so that we will soon reach the climactic conflict of history. The phoenix of occult world government, which Assur/Nimrod once briefly achieved, is being allowed to rise again.
Another part of the closing festivities involved the construction of a two-dimensional pyramid. Furthermore, the stadium hosting the event was topped with clusters of lights in triangles.
Light was literally shining forth from the top of flat pyramids over the venue, just like the rays from the eye atop the pyramid on the Great Seal of the United States (or the logo of DARPA IAO, or the Luxor pyramid in Las Vegas, etc.).
The scene presented within that almond shape at first glance seems nice, like a celebration of family, but it's not so innocent. The boy in the tree above is a simply a more likeable version of the nachash (cosmic serpent) in the earth below. Like the nachash in the Garden of Eden, this boy hands fruit to a young girl as a boy looks on. This is Satan continuing to hand the forbidden fruit to the next generation of humanity—he's still telling the same old lie, making what is evil seem good. Now look even closer: the baby boy positioned right above the phoenix, almost at the center of the sun-circle, cradles a dove in his arms. He will be the man who brings "peace." He is the son of the Sun, the Seed of the Serpent—the False Messiah.
I could go on for quite a while, unpacking all the meaning encoded within this mural, but I won't. Nevertheless, here's a quick list of the key items:
- The serpent in the underworld, wrapped around the pillars of the earth, is stabbing himself to death. This reflects the belief that Satan sacrificed himself for mankind in the Garden of Eden. In the occult mind, the nachash helped free Adam and Eve from repression even though he knew it would cost him his place in heaven, and he would become cthonic.
- The people in lit areas are pulling others out of dark holes in the rock. The prisoners are being rescued from their chains. This imagery represents "profane" individuals being taken out of the darkness of ignorance and enlightened.
- Some people remain the caves, unwilling to leave. These are the ignorant Jews and Christians who want to remain under the rule of that oppressive God, YHVH. They will not be a part of the new world.
Remember, this huge mural is boldly displayed by itself in the decision-making room of the United Nations, an organization which wields great influence over the modern world. When the Bible calls Satan "the god of this world," it isn't kidding. He may have fallen from heaven, but he's rising on earth.
Thankfully, he'll only rise so high before YHVH pulls him down once and for all. The immortality of the phoenix is a lie.