I started celebrating my 53rd birthday (it's today) a little early by ordering a few things for myself including some books which I mentioned, and this silver necklace and earrings with the stylized phoenix.
Some material on the phoenix:
Wikipedia - Phoenix
Answers.com - Phoenix
Japanese or Chinese phoenix
Chinese or Japanese - fenghuang or houou
Somewhere there are Native American stories and meanings connected to the phoenix, but I can't find a reasonable source.
And which version, myth, association or symbolism do I like best? Why, all of them, of course.