The Benu Bird is linked to that of the phoenix. Both are birds of the sun, both are self created, rather than being born from other creatures, both undergo death and become symbols of regeneration.
The Egyptian sunbird is identified with Re, the Sun God. The word Benu in Egyptian means both purple heron and palm tree. The Benu was identified with the Temple of the Sun God at Heliopolis, which was revered by the Egyptians as the sacred mound from whence the Sun god, in his aspect of the Benu Bird, arose cyclically to renew Egypt; another feature which was shared by both the phoenix and the Benu Bird.
The Benu Bird was also known to be a symbol of Osiris and is said to have sprung from the heart of Osiris as a living symbol of God, thus renewing itself. The Benu is thought to have originated in either Egypt or Arabia and by one account, spends most of its life in Phoenicia.
A festival to the Benu is noted on the 12th Day of Khoiak in the Season of Aket (the Inundation); it was the Day of Transformation of the Benu. Offer to the Benu in your house on this day. It refers to the Benu as a personification of the everlasting Sun God.
The names of the Benu Bird and the Benben are derived from the same root Bn, which means ‘ascension’ or ‘to rise’; it is also thought that it comes from the root word weben meaning ‘to shine’ or ‘shining’. It is this image, in the form of a hawk, which is passed on to the Pharaoh, who is the living ‘Principle of Ascension’.
The Phoenix completes a process of soul development. The Phoenix bird builds its nest which at the same time is its funeral pyre, and then setting it alight cremates itself. But it arises anew from the ashes transformed.
Here we have captured the alchemists experience of spiritualisation, He has integrated his being so much, that he is no longer dependent upon his physical body as a foundation for his being.
He now stands upon the sureness of the spiritual - he has in this sense attained the Philosopher's Stone, the Spiritual core of his being.
The Aztec, and Maya and Toltec all embraced the concept of the Phoenix. It represented the sun, blessings, resurrection, and happiness. In mythology, the Phoenix was the Quetzal Bird, the companion of the feather serpent, Quetzalcoatl.