Dr Jan COLLIE
The Chinese phoenix reflects my long standing interest in the Chinese language and culture (I read Chinese at London University's School of Oriental and African Studies) but also the phoenix reflects the ability to regenerate and adapt despite difficult circumstances. This sentiment is echoed in the motto: ‘Fortis In Adversis’ - Strength in (the face of) Adversity. Seshat is the Ancient Egyptian goddess of wisdom, knowledge and writing. Her name means ‘she who is the scribe’. This reflects my first career as a professional writer. The counterpoint is the Crescent, a symbol of Thoth, the inventor of writing and scribe of the underworld, also associated with wisdom. Another way of reading the Crescent is via Celtic culture (my genes are mainly Celtic), where it is a symbol of the feminine as well as creativity. The symbols of the Lyre and Olive branch, for Apollo and Athene, represent careers in both the arts and science. I also have an enduring interest in ancient Greek culture. Finally, the five Mullets represent the five-pointed Dog Star, Canis Major. This is the canting part of the arms - Collie / Dog. They also point back to Seshat, she is closely linked to the Dog Star and it appears at the centre of her symbol.