#39. Phoenix Faces Sun

Okay – to you and me it may just look like a “lowly” and somewhat homely American Coot (Fulica americana). But I suspect in its own universe, it is a Phoenix. We each create our own reality, afterall.

Across cultures, the Phoenix (a spectacular mythical bird) is a universal symbol of rebirth, which entails the transmutation of matter from one form to another, thus making the legendary creature a potent symbol of alchemy. In this 39th move of the Liuhebafa form, the Phoenix is facing the morning sun, gathering the strong yang energy offered by the macrocosm until it has amassed enough to be able to take flight later in move #56 (Phoenix Opens Wings). Phoenix Facing Sun also references the state we attain when we can dissolve the boundary between internal and external realms (self and nature, the microcosm and the macrocosm). At this stage we will reputedly be able to “swallow” the incoming rays of the morning sun’s yang energy through our eyes without damage. (But don’t try this eye part at home! Remember, all Taoist instruction is encoded in metaphor.) 

May you be phoenix facing sun,

Kim Goldberg

Text and Photos (c) Kim Goldberg

About Kim Goldberg

Kim Goldberg is an award-winning poet and journalist and the author of 7 books. Latest titles: UNDETECTABLE (her Hep C journey in haibun), RED ZONE (poems of homelessness) and RIDE BACKWARDS ON DRAGON: a poet's journey through Liuhebafa. She lives in Nanaimo, BC. Contact: goldberg@ncf.ca
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