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At summer solstice, an observer standing within the Stonehenge stone circle will see the sun rise directly above the Heelstone (read more)

Featured Article: Phoenix

The phoenix from the Aberdeen Bestiary.
The phoenix, or phœnix as it is sometimes spelled, has been an enduring mythological symbol for millennia across vastly different cultures. Despite such varieties of societies and times, the phoenix is consistently characterized as a bird with brightly colored plumage, which, after a long life, dies in a fire of its own making only to rise again from the ashes. From religious and naturalistic symbolism in ancient Egypt, to a secular symbol for armies, communities, and even societies, as well as an often-used literary symbol, this mythical bird's representation of death and rebirth seems to resonate with humankind's aspirations.

Although many cultures have their own interpretation of the phoenix, the differences in nuance are overshadowed by the mythical creature's more homogeneous characteristics. The phoenix is always a bird, usually having plumage of colors corresponding to fire: yellow, orange, red, and gold. The most universal characteristic is the bird's ability to resurrect. Living a long life (the exact age can vary from five hundred to over a thousand years), the bird dies in a self-created fire, burning into a pile of ashes, from which a phoenix chick is born, representing a cyclical process of life from death. Because it is reborn from its own death, the phoenix also took on the characteristics of regeneration and immortality.

Popular Article: Sodom

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
Sodom—together with its companion Gomorrah and two other towns—was a city destroyed by God for its sins: a complete disregard for the tradition of hospitality and an aggressive form of homosexuality. Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim were destroyed by "brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven" (Genesis 19:24-25). Since then, the names of Sodom and Gomorrah have become synonymous with unrepentant sin, and their fall with a proverbial manifestation of God's just wrath.

Before its destruction, the region around Sodom is described as well watered by the Jordan River, "like the garden of the LORD." (Gen. 13:10) Sodom and Gomorrah were members of a coalition of small city-states known in ancient times as Pentapolis. The patriarch Abraham reportedly came to the military aid of Pentapolis after his nephew Lot, a resident of Sodom, had been taken captive in war (Gen. 14). Lot and his two daughters would be the only people who survived the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.