Everyone has mythical creatures that represent them.  In the middle ages different animals had symbolism attached to them.  For example, a lion represented courage, while a unicorn represented grace and purity.  Those are both currently on the coat of arms for the Royal Family of Britain.  Everyone has their favorite.  I like unicorns, I love dragons, but my favorite is the phoenix.

The Phoenix is a mythical bird that bursts into flames when it is time for it to die and then is reborn in its own ashes.  The phoenix show up in various mythologies, stories and modern fantasies (i.e. Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter). I first heard of the phoenix when it became a character on X-men.  Not the movie trilogy, but the 90's cartoon version.

The Phoenix entity entered Jean Grey in order to save the universe from a mad man.  They did, but Phoenix enjoyed emotions too much that she didn't leave and therefore became Dark Phoenix.  That's the character in a nutshell, because there would be too many spoilers otherwise. 

Since I loved phoenix so much, my father got me a box from Russia with the phoenix on it.  Russian artists produce fairy tale paintings on black lacquered boxes.  My dad would go to Russia on business and brought it back for me.  I never told him, but it's one of the favorite things I own.  The small box currently holds a necklace and a bracelet where it resides on my bookshelf.

The phoenix is also part of Queen's insignia from the 70's, which was designed by Freddie Mercury.  He chose it because of its power and its eternity.  It seemed to me that he picked it because he wanted Queen to be around forever.  I believe their music will be.

Then there is what the phoenix means to me.  I keep rising again from the ashes.  Mental illnesses in general are like fire.  They are destructive and leave you with nothing.  In order to get better, we have to bottom out in a way.  Depression may just be someone leaving that you didn't think possible or trying to end your life.  Whatever it is, the bottom is reached and then it is time to get help.  Addicts reach a point where they decide that they need to get better or they will die.  Basically, we rise from the ashes of our former lives. 

I had my depression go into remission for 3 years only to slowly creep back to me last year.  Then the incident kicked it into high gear.  I bottomed out when he left.  I was already going to therapy and doing what I should, but coming out of the flames takes time.  Phoenixes are amazing creatures that are eternal like the human spirit.  We get crushed, we get down, we lay at the bottom of hell and bleed, but we can come back.  We may get burned, but we survive.  We transform into something else, perhaps something more beautiful than before.

The phoenix is my symbol for fighting on. Hope and healing are eternal. The human spirit is forever as is the phoenix.  We just keep coming back.
If I ever made a crest, the phoenix would be included.  What would your design be?  What is the creature that represents you?


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