The Phoenix has been a commonly used design for ladies' garment within the Imperial family. Actually it was the tradition that the Empress wore Dragon designs often and the Phoenix is worn by Imperial concubines, wives of princes and princesses. Wives of dukes, marquises, earls, and first- and second-rank officials wore tartar pheasants designs. Wives of third- and fourth-rank officials wore peacock designs. Wives of fifth-rank officials wore mandarin ducks design. Wives of sixth- and seventh- rank officials wore paradise flycatchers. Wives of eight- and ninth-rank officials wore flowers. All these are symbols of "Beautifulness" and "Purity".

In many civilizations, there is a belief of a mythological ‘fire bird’ that burns itself in the flames - then is reborn from the ashes beginning a new cycle of time. The Phoenix is a female mythologcial bird symbolizing immortality, resurrection and life after death. She is associated with the sun. She is said burn herself after a certain number of years in a cycle then is reborn from her ashes.

Egyptian Mythology - Bennu
In ancient Egyptian mythology she is associated with the sun god. She is called Benu. Its Egyptian name is “Benu” means as much as “the Ascending One”.

The Bennu bird was an imaginary bird resembling a heron. It had a two long feathers on the crest of it’s head and was often crowned with the Atef crown of Osiris (the White Crown with two ostrich plumes on either side) or with the disk of the sun.

This name apparently was being associated during the earlier periods of Egyptian history with various birds: the crane, the heron, the stork or the flamingo. Later it was more clearly identified with the heron.

She was a kind of primordial god, which built its nest on the willow, which is on the top of the primordial hill.

The deities Re (Ra) - and Atum were akin to the symbolic meaning of the phoenix. Because of its birdlike nature, the phoenix was called “ba of Re” - the soul of Re. The soul was believed to be a birdlike spiritual being. As a deity of creation and life it was also associated with Osiris. The phoenix was called “the famous ba, which came out of the heart of Osiris”.

There was a connection to the deity Kepera (the scarab-god), the Lord of Life and Death.
The phoenix supposedly burns itself in his nest on the hill (sunset) and is being reborn the next morning. The hill is being located on the Flaming Isle of Re in the East, where the sun rises.

At Koptos in Egypt, the Bennu bird is depicted with two human arms stretched upwards and outwards toward the star Sothis - Sirius, which appears in the early sky before the sun rises.

The Phoenix/Bennu bird is said to arise ‘at dawn from the waters of the Nile’. It is linked with summer.
The Bennu was the sacred bird of Heliopolis. Bennu probably derives from the word weben, meaning “rise” or “shine.” The Bennu was associated with the sun and represented the ba or soul of the sun god, Re. In the Late Period, the hieroglyph of the bird was used to represent this deity directly. As a symbol of the rising and setting sun, the Bennu was also the lord of the royal jubilee.

The Bennu was also associated with the inundation of the Nile and of the creation. Standing alone on isolated rocks of islands of high ground during the floods the heron represented the first life to appear on the primeval mound, which rose from the watery chaos at the first creation. This mound was called the ben-ben.

The Bennu was also considered a manifestation of the resurrected Osiris and the bird was often shown perched in his sacred willow tree.

Greek Mythology - Bennu - Benu
The phoenix enters into Greek mythology in the abduction of Europa, which originated on the island of Crete, but later cultivated into Greek mythology. The tale is of the king of Phoenicia, who was known as Agenor, or Phoenix. Zeus, who being enamored by her stunning beauty and feminine charms disguised himself as a bull, wooed his daughter Europa. Using her natural affections as his lure, he eventually was able to get close enough to her, and carried her off through the waves to Crete. She later gave birth to Minos, Rhad-amanthys, and Sarpedon. The Greek God Phoibos(Apollo) was also associated with the Phoenix.

“The first care of the young bird as soon as fledged, and able to trust to his wings, is to perform the obsequies of his father. But this duty is not undertaken rashly. He collects a quantity of myrrh, and to try his strength makes frequent excursions with a load on his back. When he has gained sufficient confidence in his own vigour, he takes up the body of his father and flies with it to the altar of the Sun, where he leaves it to be consumed in flames of fragrance.”

Chinese Mythology
T’ang dynasty gold phoenix hair ornament lent its wearer the protection and majesty of the bird, one of the Four Sacred Creatures.

The Feng-huang or Fung; the “vermilion bird,” the “substance of the flame.” The Feng has the head and comb of a pheasant and the tail of a peacock. It personifies the primordial force of the heavens. It is one of the Four Spiritually Endowed, or Sacred, Creatures and like the dragon and ky-lin, with which it is always associated, it is both yin and yang. When it is the male feng it becomes yang, solar, the fire bird; but as the huang it is feminine, yin, and lunar.

When portrayed with the dragon as a symbol of the Emperor, the phoenix becomes entirely feminine as the Empress, and together they represent both aspects of imperial power.

Like the dragon and ky-lin, the phoenix is made up of various elements, typifying the entire cosmos; it has the head of a cock (the sun), the back of a swallow as the crescent moon, its wings are the wind, its tail represents trees and flowers, and its feet are the earth; it has five colors symbolizing the five virtues; “Its color delights the eye, its comb expresses righteousness, its tongue utters sincerity, its voice chants melody, its ear enjoys music, its heart conforms to regulations, its breast contains the treasures of literature, and its spurs are powerful against transgressors” (from an ancient ritual)
The Feminine aspect (huang), denotes beauty, delicacy of feeling, and peace. It is also a bridal symbol signifying “inseparable fellowship.” This is not only for the married couple but also for the complete yin-yang mutual interdependence in the universe in terms of duality.

Japanese Mythology
The sun; rectitude; fidelity; justice; obedience

Roman Mythology
The rebirth and perpetual existence of the Roman Empire; imperial apotheosis.

Indian Mythology
In Indian myth there is the Garuda. He is depicted having the beak, wings, talons, and tail of an eagle, and the body and legs of a man (sometimes having four arms). Garuda was semi-divine, as he was the mount of Vishnu. Garuda personifies the sun, as well as being the enemy of snakes.

Christian Mythology
Resurrection; Christ consumed in the fires of Passion and rising again on the third day; triumph over death; faith; constancy; Christ’s divine nature (as the Pelican was of his human nature).

In early Christian tradition the phoenix was adopted as being resurrection and immortality. Through Christian eyes, we are taught to believe in the resurrection, as Christ himself exhibited the character of the phoenix: “I have the power to lay down my life and to take it up again.”

Using Christ’s life as an example, one can live a similar learning life of rejuvenation.
The phoenix makes a coffin and fills it with fine smelling spices, then dies where the stink of corruption is (effaced) by (agreeable) smells.

Man may make a coffin of faith, faith being Christ, who sheathes and protects you in days of trouble. Your good spices are your virtues-chastity, compassion, and justice, being odors of noble deeds, sweet in life (as Christian doctrine dictates).

Depart from life with the clothing of this faith, and as St. Paul states, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith, the crown of justice is restored to me.”
Thus, as with all other symbols, there is a cycle, a returning to something, as in many things of life. A symbol occurs because of its reflective association (the return) with the one viewing the symbol. It is lived through the interpretation of the viewer.

Aztec, Maya, Toltec
Solar; blessings; happiness; it is the Quetzal, the companion of Quetzal.