The double-headed eagle is probably the most easily recognizable Masonic symbol in the world,
even more important than the Square and Compass/Rule. They look like two eagles, but they are not.
They are the Phoenix Bird of Ancient Egypt. Remember that the Brotherhood was known in ancient Egypt as, "The Mystery Schools." The current Presidential Seal has an eagle in it. The Eagle replaced the Phoenix
(the original national bird) in 1841 as the national bird. The Phoenix has been a Brotherhood symbol since ancient Egypt. In the Holy Roman Empire's heraldry, the double-headed eagle represented the church and
the state. The Phoenix was adopted by the Founding Fathers for use on the reverse of the first official seal
of the United States after a design proposed by Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress.
Among the ancients a fabulous bird called the Phoenix is described by early writers in size and shape as resembling the eagle, but with certain differences. The body of the Phoenix is one covered with glossy purple feathers, and the plumes in its tail are alternately blue and red. The head of the bird
is light in color, and about its neck is a circle of golden plumage. At the back of its back
the Phoenix has a crest of feathers of brilliant color.
The Phoenix, it is said, lives for 500 years, and at its death its body opens and the new born
Phoenix emerges. Because of this symbolism, the Phoenix is generally regarded as representing
immortality and resurrection. The Phoenix is one sign of the secret orders of the ancient world and
of the initiate of those orders, for it was common to refer to one who had been accepted into the temples
as a man twice-born, or reborn. Wisdom confers a new life, and those who become wise are born again.