Serpent Rising sparked my interest with its promise of ancient mysteries and overlays of spirituality. What is Truth? How do we recognize it? Where does it lead us? Do we truly want what it will reveal, or do we only think we do?
For Serena, our heroine, the quest for Truth leads her across the globe in a high-octane, gripping tale brimming with legends, symbolism, and the yearning for healing. Healing from a trauma she suffered in her childhood. Healing from the inescapable identity-contorting effects of repressed memories. Her story is compelling and relatable. Her struggles are familiar and, sometimes, haunting. They draw the reader in and along with her as theories and tensions intensify.
I enjoy reading intelligent stories. Ones that prompt me to consider diverse concepts, beliefs, and perspectives. Serpent Rising was as much a Tomb Raider action-packed fantasy as it was a philosophical exploration of harmony, yin and yang duality and the complexities of metaphysical science.
If you’re looking for a unique tale that engages, compels, and questions, look no further!
There are many mystical and metaphysical aspects to the story told in this two-volume novel, The Saga of Venom and Flame. You can join Serena on her Circle training, a journey of transformation, and absorb some ancient wisdom teachings along the way. Here are some noteworthy backstory elements:
The book’s cover features two joined symbols: an ouroboros and a yin-yang. The ouroboros is an ancient symbol of cosmic harmony. Its inclusion is meant to evoke the notion of harmony and balance, and also to represent the polarities of masculine-feminine, light-dark, truth-falsehood–all elements of the War of the Two Serpents.
The snake biting its tail is cross cultural inclusive of Egyptian, Greek, Hindu, Norse , and other cultures. It has been used by Gnostic philosophers to denote the dual nature of both our earthly and divine nature, matter and spirit. All of these symbolic aspects are woven into a story rich in myth and mysticism.
Serpent mythology pre-dates all modern religion. and is cross cultural worldwide. This fact and my fictionalized “War of the Two Serpents” represent one of the three layers of meaning in the title, Serpent Rising.
Chakras, the energy vortexes that interface the subtle energy body, with a more expansive energy dimension, are an essential plot element in Serpent Rising. Specifically, Kundalini rising through the chakras as they are activated is the purpose of Serena’s Circle training.
According to Hindu tradition, in order to be able to integrate this spiritual energy, a period of careful purification and strengthening of the body and nervous system is usually required beforehand.
Kundalini is considered to occur in the chakra and nadis of the subtle body. Each chakra is said to contain special characteristics and with proper training, moving Kundalini through these chakras can help express or open these characteristics.
Kundalini is described as a sleeping, dormant potential force in the human organism. It is one of the components of an esoteric description of the “subtle body”, which consists of nadis (energy channels), chakras (psychic centres), prana (subtle energy), and bindu (drops of essence). Kundalini is described as being coiled up at the base of the spine.
Kundalini is the second of the three serpent elements that comprise the layers of meaning in the title of this novel.
This picture depicts the Virgin of Candelaria appearing to the Guanches. Careful observation reveals lettering in the hem of the Virgin’s garments. These represent 7 mysterious words and phrases that have NEVER been deciphered. These are important story elements in both book one and in book two, Revelation, that tell the story of The Saga of Venom and Flame. Research suggests the Guanches have roots in Atlantis. More info about this picture and the strange lettering can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_of_Candelaria
I had wanted to write a novel where the central theme had to do with truth and mankind’s difficulty distinguishing truth from falsehood. In this time of fake news, media manipulation, and propaganda, it’s a timely topic.
During lunch with a close friend, we discussed his mother who was gravely ill. He told me she was a nurse and had been quite a force of healing stating, “…and she is a Candelaria.” I didn’t realize this was his mother’s maiden name and took it to be a title denoting a great healer, a light bearer, a force for good. This notion of a Lightbringer who carries the Flame of Truth to dispel darkness is central to the story and the social theme I wanted to address. My unfamiliarity with this surname led to a very rich storyline with the Candelarians acting to address and heal a great social ill–humanity shackled by ignorance and manipulated by lies. The truth shall set us free…
The cover image of The Cosmic Serpent is rather intriguing. The double-helix coil of the DNA molecule evokes a serpentine analogy, but there is much more going on here. DNA as a carrier of information, an encoded source of both knowledge and a coded blueprint for spiritual enlightenment are what DNA is designed to do. DNA is the third of the three serpent elements that comprise the layers of meaning in the title Serpent Rising.
What amazes me is that I had already outlined the snake/serpent aspects of DNA as a carrier of genetic code to guide spiritual growth. I only learned about Narby’s excellent work as confirmation of the hypothesis I had already outlined. There is truly something cosmic about that and it points to some aspect of universal consciousness. Narby’s book did have additional information about Peruvian shamanism and the use of ayahuasca that was helpful.
DNA is an extraordinary molecule. The statements made by Serena’s friend Bryson about DNA emitting and receiving both light and sound energy are just some of the remarkable features about DNA. As an information storage molecule, it is unparalleled. And this is important not only to understand Serena’s genetic destiny, but for us to appreciate as well.
Victor Acquista has become an international author and speaker following his careers as a primary-care physician and medical executive. He is known for “writing to raise consciousness.” His multi-genre works include fiction and nonfiction and often incorporate social messaging to engage readers in thought-provoking themes.
He is a member of the Authors Guild, the Mystery Writers of America, the Florida Writers Association, Writers Co-op, and is a Knight of the Sci-Fi Roundtable.
When not pondering the big questions in life and what’s for dinner, he enjoys gardening and cooking. He lives with his wife in Ave Maria, Florida.
Find Victor through these Links:
Book Club Discussion Questions
Podcast with opening scene narration
I would like to thank Dr. Acquista for the privilege of reviewing and learning more about his work. Thank you for the generous gift of your valuable time and talent.