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The Phoenix (Constellation)

The Law

Things Learn

The Constellation

The Phoenix is one of the most easily recognised constellations, possibly due to frequent depiction in Urizen art and iconography. It is rare to find even an Urizen child who hasn’t been taught how to find the Phoenix in the night sky, and then use it to more easily locate The Chain and many other constellations.

For several months in 380YE, the constellation underwent a strange process of fading and then returning. At the height of the phenomenon, it became almost impossible for Imperial astronomancers to see the constellation in the night sky - even though the stars themselves were still present. Even when looking straight at them, or comparing the night sky to an astronomantic diagram, the constellation itself was impossible to make out. No satisfactory explanation was delivered for this peculiar phenomenon.

Another more immediate phenomenon was observed in the wake of the Summer Solstice 385YE. Astronomancers across the Empire became aware of the names and titles of the individual stars that make up the Phoenix. Speculation suggests that a coven performed a divinatory ritual during the Solstice to commune with the constellation, and that one of the side effects was the revelation of these names. Where these names come from, and what they mean for a wider understanding of astronomancy, is unclear but a matter of some discussion.

The Phoenix (Illus.)


The Phoenix is the transformation of the self through learning, wisdom and understanding; unlike the Great Wyrm, which is elemental change, the Phoenix is the rebirth of the soul through understanding and education – the awakening of enlightenment.

In some cultures the legend of the bird’s fiery death and rebirth is seen as a metaphor for the transit of souls through the Labyrinth – in others, the fiery end is seen as the strife and toil required to better oneself. Nothing worth learning should be cheap or easy.

Using the Phoenix in Ritual

The Phoenix stands for knowledge revealed and the betterment of all thereby. It is the enemy of ignorance and secrets, the flame that burns superstition and misunderstanding away. It has considerable application in rituals designed to counter or destroy other rituals especially those which cloud or obscure; it is also efficacious when used to raise morale or counter fear and despair.

Tulpas of the Phoenix

The thoughtforms of the Phoenix are always vivid in colour and vigorous in movement; enthusiastic, energetic, rousing and full of fire. Red Jack Firestarter in the Marches, the Flame-Haired Woman in Dawn and the Chimneysweep in The League are all known tulpas of the Phoenix.

Phoenix Stars Map.png
# Name
1 Alkaid, Who Pierces the Veil
2 Mizar, Who Sees and Judges
3 Alioth, Who Tends the Enlightened Flame
4 Megraz, Who Tends the Root
5 Pulastya, Whose Heart is Embers
6 Merak, Who Rouses Ashes
7 Kratu, Whose Song is Joy
8 Tellum, Feather of Learning
9 Hikma, Feather of Wisdom
10 Fahum, Feather of Understanding

Stars of the Phoenix

Ten stars make up the Phoenix. As of Summer 385YE, these names and titles are known to Imperial astronomancers. They might be evoked specifically during rituals that draw on the power of the constellation.


Ritualists who align closely with the Phoenix speak of being energised; of knowing that the solution to a problem is literally just within their reach, and of being full of energy and drive, often to unclear purpose. Decisions made in such a state can often be of dubious utility in the cold light of day.

The Chain (Things hold together) The Chalice (Things heal; things apart come together) The Claw (Things bleed)
The Door (Things move and change) The Drowned Man (Things end) The Fountain (Things live)
The Great Wyrm (Things change and transform) The Key (Things are revealed) The Lock (Things can be hidden)
The Mountain (Things are not easy) The Oak (Things endure) The Phoenix (Things learn)
The Spider (Things are watched by a hidden eye) The Stallion (Things procreate) The Stork (Things matter)
The Web (Things are connected) The Three Sisters (Things are connected by blood) The Wanderer (Things are not what you think or Things go awry)