Phoenix (or Ffenix) feathers have been highly treasured magical ingredients for centuries. Used in all manner of potions and magical amalgamations, the feathers possess the radiant immortal fire of the birds. Enchanted into a wand as a core, the feathers have a light which is brilliant scarlet-gold. Connected to the ancient kingdom of Phoenicia, the phoenix energy has ties to phonetics and the very act of language. In this respect, its energy is as much Airy as Fiery. Contrary to the popular myth recounted by Lady Gryphon below, there are many phoenixes, though they reproduce infrequently given their very long lives and immortality. Their feathers must, of course, be gathered when they molt and not on a burning day. Gathered in this way, the feathers are in no danger of spontaneous combustion, but will instead lend their eternal flame to the heart of the wand, enhancing all magical operations and render them more lasting. Its light will also be of particular aid in the resurrection of any sort or in aid of seemingly lost causes.
“The phoenix was a fabulous mythical Arabian bird, said to be as large as an eagle, with brilliant scarlet and gold plumage and a melodious cry. It was said that only one phoenix existed at any one time, and it was very long-lived – no ancient sources gave it a life-span less than 500 years. As its end approached, the phoenix made a nest of aromatic branches and spices, set it on fire, and was consumed in the flames. From the ashes (according to some sources, from the midst of the flames) miraculously sprang a new phoenix.
“The ancient Egyptians linked the myth of the phoenix with the longings for immortality that were so strong in their civilization, and from there its symbolism spread around the Mediterranean world of late antiquity. At the close of the first century Clement of Rome became the first Christian to interpret the myth of the phoenix as an allegory of the resurrection and of life after death. The phoenix was also compared to undying Rome, and it appears on the coinage of the late Roman Empire as a symbol of the Eternal City.
“In Chinese mythology, the phoenix is the symbol of high virtue and grace, of power and prosperity. It represents the union of yin and yang. It was thought to be a gentle creature, alighting so gently that it crushed nothing, and eating only dewdrops. It reflected the empress, and only she could wear the phoenix symbol. Jewelry with the phoenix design showed that the wearer was a person of high moral values, and so the phoenix could only be worn by people of importance. The Chinese phoenix was thought to have a large bill, the neck of a snake, the back of a tortoise, and the tail of a fish. It carried two scrolls in its bill, and its song included the five whole notes of the Chinese scale (I don’t exactly know how it could sing with its mouth full). Its feathers were of the five fundamental colors: black, white, red, green, and yellow.”
Source: Immortal Fire ~ Phoenix