A phoenix gains new life by rising from the ashes of its forefather. Its existence is long and cyclical, making it an emblem of time, of the solar cycle, and of the soul.
The phoenix’s link with fire is no secret as it represents life, often connected to Osiris—the Egyptian rising god—the yin and yang, and the sun. Its energy seeps through the universe, and we are all connected to it.
What represents the soul, or our life energy, better than fire? Than the phoenix?
After all, energy cannot be destroyed. Only changed.
Renewal and balance and keeps the phoenix adapting, morphing, and recreating itself to live alongside humanity in the same ways we must acclimate to function in different stages of life and its varying incidences.
In “The Mark of the Phoenix,” Aderyn embodies this cycle: a lonely man who meets a woman, falls in love, becomes a father, and is sentenced to die. This sparks many spirals for him: one of wobbling grief; one of dark addiction; one of astonishing connections; and one of quiet enlightenment.
He’s not the only one caught in the cycle of the phoenix. The woman he impregnates has her own hidden loop, linked with their daughter through the destruction of the Atlantean gods and their home.
They, like us, hope that each new start—a new day, new week, month, year, phase, life—will bring about a better version of themselves. One that creates balance and opportunity.
We shouldn’t be afraid to burn away the parts of ourselves that don’t serve us anymore and rise above the difficulties in our lives to endure as the phoenix does.
As we begin a new year, may we set our lives on fire and channel the strength of the phoenix.
Alisha Costanzo is from a Syracuse suburb. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she currently teaches English. She’s the author of the Blood Phoenix saga, Loving Red and is co-editor of Distorted, Underwater, and After the Happily Ever After. Lucifer’s Daughter, her new novel, is in its creation for a hopeful 2018 release. In the meantime, she will continue to corrupt young minds, rant about the government, and daydream about her all around nasty creatures.