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Phoenix: Death or Judgment?

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ZKEI  ZKEI is offline
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Phoenix: Death or Judgment?


The Phoenix has been used as a symbol in many decks, usually in Death or Judgment card;
Death: Crowley Thoth, Sun and Moon Tarot, Shadowscapes Tarot
Judgment: Transparent Tarot, Robin Wood Tarot

(It seems that there would be some overlapping meaning between these cards
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=130763 )


However, I am still wondering in what sense the Phoenix becomes the Death card
and in what sense making it the Judgment card.

Could anyone please clarify this for me?
Also, have you seen the Phoenix symbolised in any other cards apart from these two?

Thank you in advance.
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From the wikipedia entry:

Quote:
A phoenix is a mythical bird that is a fire spirit with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple, blue, and green according to some legends). It has a 500 to 1000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again.
So both associations are correct depending on which part of the story you're looking at. Or am I not understanding your question?

Rodney
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I definitely can see the Phoenix as an equivalent to the concept of the Death card: one cycle ends so that another can begin. The ending, while it can be difficult or painful, is necessary for the rebirth to happen. A phoenix dies so that its egg, warmed in the ashes of its former self, can hatch renewed and possibly stronger for it. For me, that's what Death is all about.

As Judgement, though? Hmm. I don't see that quite as clearly. Any thoughts, anyone?
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Judgement is a belief, and some just don't believe in it, hence why some deck creators use the symbol of the Phoenix.
The card means rebirth to them, not judgement.
Judgement implies punishment for failures and they believe there is no failure only lessons learned.

So rebirth is a fair equalizer where everyone wins.
The fire implies purification through tough experiences and transforms you into someone who is wiser and stronger.
It brings in rejuvenation, reward, transformation, a spiritual awakening.
A changed state of consciousness.

There is no hell for the bad and heaven for the good.
You are a little God spark experiencing creation...you are doing exactly what you were ment to do...so who is going to judge you for that??
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwcarter
From the wikipedia entry:

Quote:
A phoenix is a mythical bird that is a fire spirit with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple, blue, and green according to some legends). It has a 500 to 1000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again.
So both associations are correct depending on which part of the story you're looking at. Or am I not understanding your question?

Rodney
Yes, you understand the question correctly, Rodney.
But could you please clarify on which part of the story each card is associated with?


PS.
This is mainly because at the time I read each deck's LWB mentioned above,
it seems I understand the artists'/authors' concept of using the Phoenix on such particular card.
However, after reading/using more and more LWBs/decks,
those stories/concepts seem to merge to each other and make me confused.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZKEI
I am still wondering in what sense the Phoenix becomes the Death card
and in what sense making it the Judgment card.
The Pheonix succumbs to Death at the end of its life cycle, engulfed in flames, reduced to ashes and out of the ashes the bird is reborn.

Death is about death. It is the card that says something has come to an end, time to let it go, allow it to die, grieve, plow the earth in preparation for something new.

Judgment is about rebirth, about taking the next step. It is about action, answering the call. This is the part of the story where the Phoenix soars out of the ashes.

In my view the symbolism is more appropriate for the Judgment card, as the remarkable aspect of the mythology is the bird's rising from the ashes, not as much its death. But some card creators like to emphasize the transformative aspect of Death, rather than the more permanent death aspect of death. Indeed in some decks the author eschews the title Death altogether, and calls this card Transformation.
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In the Tarot of the Four Elements, the Judgment card is called Realization. It hints at a rebirth. In the Pearls of Wisdom Tarot, the Judgment card shows a woman rising from her death into heaven/the hereafter. Again, a rebirth. I would associate both of these with the phoenix.

In the Daughters of the Moon Tarot, the death card is actually called The Phoenix: it addresses both the death aspect and the rebirth aspect of the phoenix.

As to figuring out which aspect of the phoenix Death or Judgement addresses, you would really have to go by the image on the card; surrounding cards; and your own intuition. And, if I may, I'd put the LWBs down; they can be confusing because the deck authors have their own vision and that vision isn't always clear to the user.

Just my $.02.

T.
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Judgement


Quote:
Originally Posted by lark
Judgement is a belief
It is true that the Last Judgement imagery is a belief and that some people don't agree with it, however....
Quote:
Judgement implies punishment for failures and they believe there is no failure only lessons learned.
Well, that's not exactly true. I think we all believe, or want to believe, that those who do really bad things and get away with them will, at least, have a moment or realization that they did wrong. That they will be "punished" with an understanding of the pain they inflicted on others. If not, then what did they learn? What I think we find and search for in the Judgement card (or Realization card, which I think is a great name for it), is acknowledgement of wrongs we did to others, or wrongs done to us.

It's not about going to heaven or hell, it's about the fact that you can't hide from yourself, from what you've done or what was done to you. Anyone who has carried around a guilty feeling that they did wrong to someone, or a grudge that they were wronged knows about Judgement. You face this feeling, and YOU decide what needs to happen in order to let go of it. To be at peace again and feel restitution was made. This goes for both sides. The side that did the wrong, and the side that was wronged.

Which is why, to me, the phoenix doesn't work for this card. It fails to indicate that most important part of facing yourself and what is bothering you. It does indicate a fire of purging, but that's a little too general for me.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZKEI
The Phoenix has been used as a symbol in many decks, usually in Death or Judgment card
While I certainly respect Crowley and his Thoth images, I don't feel the phoenix is that great a symbol for either card. The Death card, in name and usual image, scares people as they assumed it means they or someone else will die. So the phoenix is often used along with "rebirth" or some other name to avoid "Death" and that grim reaper.

But the phoenix is about a creature that never really dies. It just renews itself by way of flame and fire. Yet Death IS about something actually ending. Forever gone. Dead. And the card says that there will be a period of mourning for that death. This is a part of life. Things do end and vanish and we spend time being sad about it. But something else will come around to fill the empty spot. It will not, however, be the same. Not another phoenix just like the last one.

So that is why the phoenix doesn't work for me as a symbol for the Death card. It works better for Judgement in that it does indicate a fiery purge of the old. And the phoenix does build that nest to do the purge, so that also feels close to dealing with issues, burning them with the old self. But I think the phoenix still cheats people of the hard truth that one can't be renewed till one faces oneself and all the issues one is carrying around.

Judgement is like one of those reality shows about people with clutter problems. It's about facing that problem, letting go of stuff you ought to have let go of years ago, so that you can have a new life. A phoenix works as a symbol of that, but it doesn't quite indicate how hard and personal the event can be.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen
It is true that the Last Judgement imagery is a belief and that some people don't agree with it, however....

Well, that's not exactly true. I think we all believe, or want to believe, that those who do really bad things and get away with them will, at least, have a moment or realization that they did wrong. That they will be "punished" with an understanding of the pain they inflicted on others. If not, then what did they learn? What I think we find and search for in the Judgement card (or Realization card, which I think is a great name for it), is acknowledgement of wrongs we did to others, or wrongs done to us.

It's not about going to heaven or hell, it's about the fact that you can't hide from yourself, from what you've done or what was done to you. Anyone who has carried around a guilty feeling that they did wrong to someone, or a grudge that they were wronged knows about Judgement. You face this feeling, and YOU decide what needs to happen in order to let go of it. To be at peace again and feel restitution was made. This goes for both sides. The side that did the wrong, and the side that was wronged.

Which is why, to me, the phoenix doesn't work for this card. It fails to indicate that most important part of facing yourself and what is bothering you. It does indicate a fire of purging, but that's a little too general for me.
I was referring to the Christian aspect of Judgment...not what it has evolved into now...the base, where it came from.
And some people don't believe in that concept.
One persons truth is not another's....that doesn't mean isn't true for them.
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