Category Archives: Sassy Scholar

Healing Stones

Stones and crystals are more than glam and sparkle.
The ancients attributed them with divine energy, spirituality, and healing.
Here’s a quick reference guide for those who need a little extra oomph in the mystical  accessory department!

So forget power dressing, try power gem-ing!

healingstones3

Healing stones word doc.

Related links: gems & jewels; gems & jewels 2: Chakra Quick Guide; Click  Amazon link to novels.

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Body Art

H mPiercings. Tattoos. Body Adornments. Body art goes waaaaay back.

Otzi, a 5300 yr-old mummy found in the Alps, had 59 tattoos! And stretched earlobes!   And don’t forget those Easter Island Heads! They have stretched lobes too!

I wouldn’t be surprised if Eve had her belly button pierced–that is–if she had a navel.

Much of the significance and symbolism behind body art has been forgotten. Rites of passage, spiritual protection, clan identification, religious/social leadership status, and scare tactics were a few reasons  why the ancients indulged.

Here’s the ‘skin’ny  on body art.

Scarifcation: In Africa, decorative scarring was done for beautification. Patterns often identified clans or rites of passage.

Eyeliner: The kohl used in ancient Egypt cut down the glare of the desert sun ( think football players). Egyptian women painted their upper lids with black, and lower lids with green malachite, which symbolized joy, youth, and rebirth.

Henna: The beautifully elaborate designs are applied for occasions like weddings and other important festivities. The stain comes from the Lawsonia inermis plant.

Stretched earlobes: Practiced by many ancient cultures, the elongated lobe signified royaleaster island head or spiritual authoriy. The Huaoranii, a remote tribe in Amazonian Ecuador, use balsa wood to stretch their lobes. Note: More detail about this tribe is found in The Merkabah Deception, when the heroine must brave the jungles of the rain forest to solve a paranormal crime.

Lip plugs: A beautification or indicator of status for a few Amazonian and African tribes.

Nose rings: Hindu brides in India perform puha–a ritual to bring health and prosperity to their husband. During the ritual, her nose is pierced, signifying her new married status.

Tattoos: Perhaps, the oldest form of body art. The earliest tattoos protected the wearer from evil–a sort of lifetime talisman. They also marked social status, tribal affiliation, rites of passage, and were considered sexy. Not much has changed.

War paint: Paint, feathers, shells, and animal teeth ( remember the gal-gone-bad in The Things We Carried who wore a necklace of human teeth) were worn to intimidate and frighten enemies. War paint also invoked powerful spirits that granted the warrior courage, strength, and cunning. ( movie flashback: Mel Gibson looking pretty damn sexy in Braveheart.)

Piercings: Ancients believed that evil spirits entered through a body’s orifices—the ear being a readily available entrance point. Ears were pierced with symbolic jewelry to ward off evil. Ancient slaves were often identified by their pierced ears. But kings and nobility had pierced ears as well. There’s probably several books on the history and significance of piercings.

So, next time you see an adult with lots of piercings and tattoos you can say, “That’s so 5300 years ago.”

Related Links: Engaging Enigmas

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Sumerian Magic & Sorcery

  The perfect day for MAGIC!  We love it! And remain enthralled by its mystery, mysticism, and supernatural power!

mesopotamia

mesopotamia

You know you believe—or you really, really want to–because everyone wants a little magic in their lives!

Ancient Mesopotamians were no different! In fact, magic and sorcery were a very normal part of their everyday lives.

They believed the world was often threatened by a host of demons–the supernatural kind– and  sorcerers–the human kind. Note: sorcerers–or more accuracately, sorceresses brought bad magic.

The Black magic of the demons and sorcerers resulted in mental illness, physical ailments, disease, lack of libido, colicky babes, and any number of ailments, and were thought to derive from an individual’s sin or engaging in some social taboo.

White magic was used to  counteract the bad with incense, amulets, potions, enemas, incantations, and other rituals ( ritual sex being one of them).

Medical treatments and divination, therefore, were often performed in tandem.

The asu or physician was summoned, along with the asipu– a sort of shaman–part medicine, part diviner. The asipu’s task was to fight the bad magic with white healing magic.

The earliest incantations date from 2400 BC, but stone tablets in the Early Dynastic period are a wee bit difficult to read, so no clear records of the complete rituals exist–but who knows what future digs will unearth!

But we do know that there were about 4 types of incantations.

1. Speaking directly to the demons, the magician, in an effort to protect himself from the demons, announced his associations with the good white magic gods Enki, Damkina, and Asarluhi. “Be conjured by heaven! Be conjured by the Underworld!” was a typical refrain. ( Don’t try this at home.)

2. The next was an incantation of protection for all the innocent bystanders. This was followed by…

3.  a very detailed description of each demon and the result of their evilness.

4. The final incantation was directed at the objects used in the white magic ritual, thereby enchanting them with white magic. Onions, dates, branches, salt, cedar, wool, flour, incense, sea water, matting, wool, are all examples of objects that would have been imbued with sacred healing power.

What if an ancient Mesopotamian gal or guy had NO IDEA what they did wrong to warrant such an illness! Don’t worry! They had a ritual for that! It was called Surpu (burning).

The ritual included naming all the possible sins the afflicted might have committed ( that had to be a long ritual) before the patient was given a onion to peel into the fire–or reed mat to unravel or dates to pick from a branch— thereby stripping away The Bad.  While the patient was performing this ritualistic undoing, the magician recited incantations. Afterwards, the magician extinguished the fire, thus symbolically extinguishing the patient’s sin.

Another magic ritual was the Akkadian namburbu, which counteracted an evil  portent of the future. Magic circles, sacrificed goats, purification, copper bells, and drums were just a few of the rituals involved.

Magicians and diviners weren’t cheap! Kings and wealthy citizens probably were the beneficiaries of the most elaborate ritual magic.

Fun fact: Female witches were feared because they were  considered more powerful than male wizards.

My blog readers often ask me where I get my information from, so I’ll start citing my research! The photo at the top of the blog shows the cover of the book I used for today’s topic ( as well as ongoing research for my Merkabah series).

Related Links: Engaging Enigmas

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Wild & Tame #3

a summer of symbolism continues…

rhinoAuthors, film directors, and marketing experts all know the power of animal symbolism. It’s ingrained in our collective conscious–manifests over time, shared among cultures–a testament to our innate understanding of the world. But remember, symbols are ambiguous and changeable.

Animal symbolism K thru Z:

Kangaroo: The leaping marsupial is symbolic of progress in Australia. The creature is associated with speed, and since the kangaroo can go months without water, it  represents endurance.

Lamb: The iconic symbol for  innocence, kindness, and passivity. The Christian symbol for Christ and sacrifice.

Monkey:They made an evil comeback as flying goons for the Wicked Witch, but the monkey creature is actually linked to deception and vanity. It’s considered one of the 3 senseless creatures–the other two are tigers ( for anger issues) and the deer ( for pining love).

Mouse: We say someone is mousy for a reason–they are associated with the meek and lowly. The little vermin is also a symbol of frugality.

Pig: A mixed bag of symbolism for this oinker. On the positive side, the pig is associated with fertility and abundance. On the negative, it’s linked to gluttony, ignorance, and selfishness. In Muslim and Jewish religions, this scavenger is considered unclean.

Ox: The beast of burden is symbolic of hard work, strength ,and prosperity.

Raccoon: With is Zorro-esque mask, the mischievous and  nimble raccoon is a trickster figure to Native Americans.

Rat: In Asia, the rat is a good luck symbol. In the West, quite the opposite. The vermin is associated  with plague,  death, and destruction.

Ram: The ram is associated with virility. ( Isn’t that your first thought when seeing a Dodge ram truck?}

Rhinoceros: The formidable beast is symbolic of vitality, boldness, courage and fertility ( all the alpha-male traits) It’s massive horn is used as an ingredient in aphrodisiacs.

stagStag: The stag is often depicted as heralding divine events. It’s also symbolic of hunting and fertility.

Wolf: Opposing symbolism for this fierce beast. Romans associated the animal with courage and victory. Modern beliefs associate it with greed, deviousness, and cruelty. Native Americans called upon the creature to counsel spirits in the afterlife. ( Think : Dances with Wolves)

 I teach literary analysis ( must pay the bills) and remind my students to look closely at the symbolism in a novel. Why did the author include that fruit? Or name the character Neil? Why is the protagonist sitting under a pear tree? Why is her dress blue? Before jumping to any symbolic conclusions however, we look at the symbol in context of setting, history, and culture.

Related Links: BugsFruit of the Gods; Tree of LifeSacred Spices; Foods of LifeBirds of a Feather #1; Birds of a Feather #2Gems & Jewels #1Gems & Jewels #2Lucky CharmsDemonic AnimalsWild & Tame; Wild & Tame #2

 

Wild & Tame #2

hyenaa summer of symbolism continues…

As you noticed in the previous Wild & Tame blog, the symbolism of animals  varies with culture–and often changes over  centuries. And yet some have stood the test of time.

Note: This is a down and dirty animal symbolism list—-blog-sized. If you’re reading or writing about a particular animal additional research is suggested.

Animal Symbolism: F-J

Fox: “Crafty like a fox.” No doubt the saying comes from the fox’s symbolic heritage. Sneaky, crafty, sly, treacherous–another Trickster figure. In both Native American and eastern cultures, the fox is a shape-shifter. In Japanese folklore, Kitsune can be either good or bad ( I go into a bit more detail in The Merkabah Recruit)

Gazelle: The fleet of foot creature is symbolic of grace, goodwill, and swiftness.

Goat: The  beast symbolizes fertility and lust—that’s where we get the saying “horny old goat.”  The goat is also associated with Bacchus (party sex god), Pan, and Zeus. In art, devils  or demons are  often depicted with hooves and/or horns.  But the goat has some positive aspects too–determination and nimbleness (climbing rocky mountains is difficult).

Hare: A trickster figure ( of The Tortoise  and the Hare  fame). The hare is also a symbol of fertility ( as my daughter might say “you think?”). Once a manifestation of the Buddha.

Hedgehog: Early Christians deemed the furry roll-up-in-ball critter evil. Irish lore contends that witches changed into a hedgehog so they could drink milk from cows. Native Americans saw the critter as a symbol for self-preservation.

Hippopotamus: To ancient Egyptians, the hippo was a symbol of rebirth and renewal. hippoTawaret, goddess of childbirth, was depicted as a pregnant hippo (well, if that ain’t the perfect metaphor).

Horse: Beauty, speed, nobility, freedom–the horse is associated with the sun and sky gods. The color of the horse is also symbolic. White horses are symbols of spiritual  rebirth ( Knight on White Horse). The winged-horse Pegasus is connected to the sun and represents spiritual aspects.

Hyena: Eater of dead flesh, scavenger–and, no doubt, with its weird laugh/bark—the hyena is associated with uncleanliness, avarice, and cowardice. It was once thought that the hyena could change sexes and so it became a symbol  for sexual abnormality.

jackalJackal: The desert scavenger is symbolic of evil and  destruction in India. The regal-looking creature, however, was worshiped as the god Anubis in Egypt. In the Bible, the jackal is associated with desolation.

Coming soon! Animal symbolism K-Z 

 I teach literary analysis ( must pay the bills) and remind my students to look closely at the symbolism in a novel. Why did the author include that fruit? Or name the character Neil? Why is the protagonist sitting under a pear tree? Why is her dress blue? Before jumping to any symbolic conclusions however, we look at the symbol in context of setting, history, and culture.

For more information on literary analysis click On Writing/For Teachers/ to see Elements of a novel. The Art of Fiction, and How to Read Like a Literature Professor.

Related LinksBugsFruit of the Gods; Tree of LifeSacred Spices; Foods of LifeBirds of a Feather #1; Birds of a Feather #2Gems & Jewels #1Gems & Jewels #2Lucky CharmsDemonic Animals; Wild & Tame;

 

Wild & Tame

bat

From feisty felines to kangaroos, animals amuse, captivate, intrigue, and frighten the hell out of us.

Animal symbolism is a mixed bag. For example, dogs are symbols for loyalty and friendship, and yet to call someone a dog indicates the person is mean, ugly, or displays animalistic lusts.

Shakespeare’s characters ( Macbeth and Julius Caesar come to mind)  equate dog’s temperaments and breeding with men’s. Then there’s that whole “Let slip the dogs of war” speech by Marc Anthony before all hell breaks loose in Rome after Caesar’s assassination.

Note: This is a blog so a quick glimpse of animal symbolism is all you’re getting!

Bats:
  • Synonymous with vampires. Bram Stoker’s Dracula claimed vampires could control and morph into the creature of the night.
  • The bat’s 1/2 bird 1/2 rat appearance makes it the perfect symbol of duplicity.
  • Art depicts demons with bat-like wings.
  • Bats = evil???
Fruit bat
  • In Samoan folklore, the bat is a forest guardian (NOT evil).
  • But in New Guinea it’s likeness is carved on war shields and symbolizes head hunting.
Bear
  • Giant, brave, powerful, and fierce, the bear is a symbol of many war gods.
  • Linked to healing, wisdom, and medicine in shamanistic religions.
Black Sheep
  • A nonconformist, a renegade, does not ft in with the others.
  • In need of direction, spiritual or otherwise.
Boar
  • Fierce, feral beasts who attack with little provocation, the wild boar is symbolic of strength and courage since ancient times.
  • It’s a shape shifter in Druid culture.
  • Celts believed it a sacred animal with mystical powers.
  • The boar was very symbolic in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies ( since you read all about Bug Symbolism in an earlier post, you remember that Satan was also known as the The Lord of the Flies–makes you wanna read the classic novel again, yes?)
Camel
  • The kneeling posture made it a symbol of prayer and devotion.
  • The camel is the quintessential beast of the desert, and symbolizes restraint, forbearance, endurance, and humility.
  • The humped creature is also symbolic of wealth–the Mercedes of the desert so to speak.
Cat
  • God or Demon? The cat—small, medium, or lion-sized—has been worshiped for thousands of years.
  • Linked to both solar and lunar aspects.
  • Respected as fierce hunters.
  • Symbol for speed, power, and grace, and beauty.
  • Symbolic of nobility.
Quick cat facts
  • Ancient Egyptian goddess Bastet takes the form of a cat.
  • Hindu goddess Durga rides a tiger.
  • Shiva dons a tiger skin.
  • The jaguar is the incarnation of Tezcatlipoca, The Aztec god.
  • South American shamans become jaguars after death.
  • Emblematic of Egyptian God of the Underworld , Osiris.
 Cow
  • Emblematic of Mother Earth and maternal care.
  • Sacred to Hindus.
  • Sad, huh? How calling someone a cow means they are fat, dull, and lazy.
Coyote  
  • A trickster figure in Native American cultures.
  • Symbolic of both common sense and stupidity, it’s dualism makes it a creature who transforms and edifies.
Dog
  • Dogs were used for hunting and companionship. They symbolize loyalty, protection, and hunting
  • Cerberus, the 3-headed dog in Hades, represents the entrance to the underworld and all of its secrets.
Donkey
  • Take your symbolic pick. The donkey is symbolic of indecency and stubbornness or  humility and endurance.
Elephant
  • An almost universal symbol for power, strength, wisdom, and steadfastness.
  • Hannibal ‘s choice of beast to cross the Alps displayed his might.

jaguar

Fox: “Crafty like a fox.” No doubt the saying comes from the fox’s symbolic heritage. Sneaky, crafty, sly, treacherous–another Trickster figure. In both Native American and eastern cultures, the fox is a shape-shifter. In Japanese folklore, Kitsune can be either good or bad ( I go into a bit more detail in The Merkabah Recruit)

Gazelle: The fleet of foot creature is symbolic of grace, goodwill, and swiftness.

Goat: The  beast symbolizes fertility and lust—that’s where we get the saying “horny old goat.”  The goat is also associated with Bacchus (party sex god), Pan, and Zeus. In art, devils  or demons are  often depicted with hooves and/or horns.  But the goat has some positive aspects too–determination and nimbleness (climbing rocky mountains is difficult).

Hare: A trickster figure ( of The Tortoise  and the Hare  fame). The hare is also a symbol of fertility ( as my daughter might say “you think?”). Once a manifestation of the Buddha.

Hedgehog: Early Christians deemed the furry roll-up-in-ball critter evil. Irish lore contends that witches changed into a hedgehog so they could drink milk from cows. Native Americans saw the critter as a symbol for self-preservation.

Hippopotamus: To ancient Egyptians, the hippo was a symbol of rebirth and renewal. hippoTawaret, goddess of childbirth, was depicted as a pregnant hippo (well, if that ain’t the perfect metaphor).

Horse: Beauty, speed, nobility, freedom–the horse is associated with the sun and sky gods. The color of the horse is also symbolic. White horses are symbols of spiritual  rebirth ( Knight on White Horse). The winged-horse Pegasus is connected to the sun and represents spiritual aspects.

Hyena: Eater of dead flesh, scavenger–and, no doubt, with its weird laugh/bark—the hyena is associated with uncleanliness, avarice, and cowardice. It was once thought that the hyena could change sexes and so it became a symbol  for sexual abnormality.

jackalJackal: The desert scavenger is symbolic of evil and  destruction in India. The regal-looking creature, however, was worshiped as the god Anubis in Egypt. In the Bible, the jackal is associated with desolation.

Kangaroo: The leaping marsupial is symbolic of progress in Australia. The creature is associated with speed, and since the kangaroo can go months without water, it  represents endurance.

Lamb: The iconic symbol for  innocence, kindness, and passivity. The Christian symbol for Christ and sacrifice.

Monkey:They made an evil comeback as flying goons for the Wicked Witch, but the monkey creature is actually linked to deception and vanity. It’s considered one of the 3 senseless creatures–the other two are tigers ( for anger issues) and the deer ( for pining love).

Mouse: We say someone is mousy for a reason–they are associated with the meek and lowly. The little vermin is also a symbol of frugality.

Pig: A mixed bag of symbolism for this oinker. On the positive side, the pig is associated with fertility and abundance. On the negative, it’s linked to gluttony, ignorance, and selfishness. In Muslim and Jewish religions, this scavenger is considered unclean.

Ox: The beast of burden is symbolic of hard work, strength ,and prosperity.

Raccoon: With is Zorro-esque mask, the mischievous and  nimble raccoon is a trickster figure to Native Americans.

Rat: In Asia, the rat is a good luck symbol. In the West, quite the opposite. The vermin is associated  with plague,  death, and destruction.

Ram: The ram is associated with virility. ( Isn’t that your first thought when seeing a Dodge ram truck?}

Rhinoceros: The formidable beast is symbolic of vitality, boldness, courage and fertility ( all the alpha-male traits) It’s massive horn is used as an ingredient in aphrodisiacs.

stag

Stag: The stag is often depicted as heralding divine events. It’s also symbolic of hunting and fertility.

Wolf: Opposing symbolism for this fierce beast. Romans associated the animal with courage and victory. Modern beliefs associate it with greed, deviousness, and cruelty. Native Americans called upon the creature to counsel spirits in the afterlife. ( Think : Dances with Wolves)

 I teach literary analysis ( must pay the bills) and remind my students to look closely at the symbolism in a novel. Why did the author include that fruit? Or name the character Neil? Why is the protagonist sitting under a pear tree? Why is her dress blue? Before jumping to any symbolic conclusions however, we look at the symbol in context of setting, history, and culture.

Related Links:  Rock Your WritingSymbolism & more symbols;

 

Gems & Jewels #2


gemsMore gems….more jewels…
intriguing women and men since the beginning of time.

Did you know there are 23 different stones mentioned in the Bible?

The enchantment lay NOT in the bling and flash, but in the elemental, spiritual, protective, and divine power of the stone.

So before matching those baubles to your outfit, figure out which extra power you need for an interview, date, meeting etc, and wear the corresponding gem. Forget power dressing—-try power gem-ing!

Note: Anyone can attest to the power of interesting jewelry. It’s a great conversation starter. Case in point: I don’t “work” writing conventions very well, but  found that if I wear an interesting necklace (art festivals treasures) people stop to talk to me! (Now , if only there was an agent-attracting gem.)

Gems from K to Z

lapisLapis lazuli: A divine stone  associated with  wisdom and spiritual strength,  it enhances psychic power. This is the Philosopher’s Stone of yore. It’s connected to the higher mind thinking of the brow chakra.

Moonstone: Aptly named for its color and luminescence, the stone is connected to the moon, moon cyles, and love.

Opal: Ancient Romans thought they fell from heaven during a lightning storm ( if that was the case, all woman would be lightning chasers). The opal is associated with religious commitment and faithfulness.

Peridot: Fame: Strength: Courage: All those traits we admire. The semiprecious gem boosts personal identity and increases self-confidence. It’s the gem of the heart chakra.peridot

Ruby: L-O-V-E and passion. The gem is also symbolic of bravery and personal energy. The precious stone is connected to the root chakra and is attributed to increasing one’s life force.

Sapphire: The celestial sparkler of Peace, Truth, and Harmony.  It’s  connected to self-control and has been known to ward away evil.

Topaz: Known as the empathetic gem, the topaz  rids the body of nervous energy and improves appetite. It symbolizes beneficence, friendship, and forgiveness. A stone of  the solar plexus chakra, it’s associated with innate understanding of life’s complex problems.

turquoiseTurquoise: To Tibetans, this ancient and powerful stone is considered holy. It wards off Evil, boosts self-confidence, and encourages success. Connected to the throat chakra, this stone increases creativity and makes the wearer want to tell the truth. (mmm…a great gift idea for a teenage daughter)

Note: I teach literary analysis ( must pay the bills) and remind my students to look closely at the symbolism in a novel. Why did the author include that fruit? Or name the character Neil? Why is the protagonist sitting under a pear tree? Why is her dress blue? Before jumping to any symbolic conclusions however, we look at the symbol in context of setting, history, and culture.

For more information on literary analysis click On Writing/For Teachers/ to see Elements of a novel. The Art of Fiction, and How to Read Like a Literature Professor.

Or click Blog Archive/Sassy Scholar

Related LinksBugsFruit of the Gods; Tree of LifeSacred Spices; Foods of LifeBirds of a Feather #1; Birds of a Feather #2Lucky Charms; Gems & Jewels

Gems & Jewels

diamondGals love jewels. Sparkly. Glittery. Shiny. Flashy indicators of wealth. Of marital status. Of culture. Of group affiliation.

And laden with symbolism!

So before you rush out and plunk down hard-earned cash for some gems, make sure you know their symbolic meanings. I’ve tried telling Hubby that my need for more  jewelry isn’t about flash but about healing! ( I think I almost have him convinced)

From A to J

Agate: Deemed the stone of invisibility in many ancient cultures (wonder how that worked out for them), this stone is symbolic of prosperity, long life, and a bountiful harvest.

Amethyst: Worn my Catholic bishops, the gem is linked to spiritual protection, clarity, andamethyst peace of mind. It is associated with the crown chakra.

Bloodstone: It’s the warrior stone because it imparts courage in the face of obstacles. The stone was used to reduce bleeding and heal those with blood disorders. Believed to possess a great magnetic field, it is associated with the root chakra.

Carnelian: The stone is linked to to healing, creativity, and spirituality. It’s the stone of the  sacral chakra and promotes well-being.

Cat’s Eye: The stone offers protection from evil and inspires clear thinking and insight.

cystal skullCrystal Quartz: Crystal balls. Crystal skulls. You know this gem is special! This is the magic stone. Their power to amass and transfer energy is the stuff of legends.  Clear quartz is a powerful tool for meditation and healing. It’s a sacral chakra stone.

Diamond: Truth. Purity. Faithfulness. Commitment. Divine love. No wonder its the ice of choice for engagement rings. Some believe the stone cleanses a person’s soul by absorbing emotions. A diamond is the stone of the heart chakra.

Emerald: The bright green stone is symbolic of springtime, fertility, and youth. Egyptians buried theiremerald dead with the stone. It is considered a healing stone.

Garnet:  This deep red stone fights off our negative energy and boosts courage. It’s linked to the root chakra.

Jade: In China, its the stone of heaven, of purity, and emblematic of yang. It also symbolizes moral purity and justice. The stone of  luck.

Gems from K to Z

lapisLapis lazuli: A divine stone  associated with  wisdom and spiritual strength,  it enhances psychic power. This is the Philosopher’s Stone of yore. It’s connected to the higher mind thinking of the brow chakra.

Moonstone: Aptly named for its color and luminescence, the stone is connected to the moon, moon cyles, and love.

Opal: Ancient Romans thought they fell from heaven during a lightning storm ( if that was the case, all woman would be lightning chasers). The opal is associated with religious commitment and faithfulness.

Peridot: Fame: Strength: Courage: All those traits we admire. The semiprecious gem boosts personal identity and increases self-confidence. It’s the gem of the heart chakra.peridot

Ruby: L-O-V-E and passion. The gem is also symbolic of bravery and personal energy. The precious stone is connected to the root chakra and is attributed to increasing one’s life force.

Sapphire: The celestial sparkler of Peace, Truth, and Harmony.  It’s  connected to self-control and has been known to ward away evil.

Topaz: Known as the empathetic gem, the topaz  rids the body of nervous energy and improves appetite. It symbolizes beneficence, friendship, and forgiveness. A stone of  the solar plexus chakra, it’s associated with innate understanding of life’s complex problems.

turquoiseTurquoise: To Tibetans, this ancient and powerful stone is considered holy. It wards off Evil, boosts self-confidence, and encourages success. Connected to the throat chakra, this stone increases creativity and makes the wearer want to tell the truth. (mmm…a great gift idea for a teenage daughter)

Note: I teach literary analysis ( must pay the bills) and remind my students to look closely at the symbolism in a novel. Why did the author include that fruit? Or name the character Neil? Why is the protagonist sitting under a pear tree? Why is her dress blue? Before jumping to any symbolic conclusions however, we look at the symbol in context of setting, history, and culture.

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Birds of a Feather 2

a summer of symbolism continues…

  • A little bird told me.
  • I wanna fly like an eagle.
  • The falcon cannot hear the falconer.
  • He’s a chicken.
  • He dresses like peacock.
  • They’re acting like vultures!
  • Twitter & tweets!!

Our language is rife with bird proverbs and metaphors.

Without further ado, here’s a continuation of Birds of a Feather: O thru W

peacockOstrich: To Babylonians this bird was considered evil incarnate. Zoroastrians deemed it divine. Its feather symbolized truth to Ancients Egyptians.
Owl: This night-flying bird of prey is associated with wisdom, witchcraft, and death.

Parrot: Polly wanna symbol? This tropical bird represents mimicry and love. Natives believes the bird carries prayers and delivers omens.
Peacock: The plumage of the male bird inspired an eyeful of symbolism. The strutting bird suggests beauty, love, vanity, and royalty.

.
Pelican: Myths contend that its young suckle blood from mama pelican’s breast–making the bird a symbol of charity and love.
Raven: Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.” Symbolic of dark and evil omens, the bird ( 2 of them, actually) hung out with Odin, the hunky Nordic god of war. Native Americans see this bird as a trickster.
Robin: Like most birds with red plumage, the robin is a symbol of the blood that flowed from Christ’s thorny crown.
Rooster: It’s too obvious, the fighting cock is symbolic of masculinity, dominance, androoster courage. Its image is ubiquitous on Shinto prayer drums. The rooster was a sacred bird to both  Greeks and Romans.
Quail: A bird of many symbols, a caged quail symbolizes a trapped soul. It is the bird of eroticism, and the courageous fighting bird of the Romans.
Sparrow: The bird of St. Francis, the sparrow represents one’s lowly station in life.
Stork: This is the sacred bird of the Greek goddess of childbirth, Hera. It’s no surprise then where the old “stork brought the baby” story got its start.
Swallow: It is the bird of death and resurrection, the bird that heralds springtime, the bird of departure and return (It’s a migratory thing).
swanSwan: Yes, the ancient relief is disturbing, but we all know the Greek myth. Zeus morphs into a swan and ravages the lovely Leda. Have no idea then why the swan symbolizes beauty and purity. The one-mate-for-life swan also symbolizes fidelity.
Vulture: A bird that feasts on carrion should symbolize death–and it does. But the scavenger also represents purification. Those in Tibet viewed the birds as transporters of the dead’s souls.
Wren: This wee tiny bird is symbolic of spirit, and known ironically as The King of Birds.

Note: I teach literary analysis ( must pay the bills) and remind my students to look closely at the symbolism in a novel. Why did the author include that fruit? Or name the character Neil? Why is the protagonist sitting under a pear tree? Why is her dress blue? Before jumping to any symbolic conclusions however, we look at the symbol in context of setting, history, and culture.

For more information on literary analysis click On Writing/For Teachers/ to see Elements of a novel. The Art of Fiction, and How to Read Like a Literature Professor.

Or click Blog Archive/Sassy Scholar

Related LinksBugsFruit of the Gods; Tree of LifeSacred Spices; Foods of Life; Birds of a Feather #1;Gems & Jewels #1Gems & Jewels #2

 

Birds of a Feather

 

albatrossBirds are messengers of the gods. Why? What other earthly creature soars in the heavens? Here’s a quick glimpse of just some of the symbolism associated with our feathered friends.

Albatross: This great seabird is symbolic of lengthy ocean journeys. In western cultures, it is unlucky to kill on. The albatross is also considered to possess a dead sailor’s soul.
Blackbird: For some reason this bird represents sexual temptation in Christian religions.
Crane: A multi-symbolic bird! In Asian cultures, the bird is symbolic of diplomacy. Egyptian myths believe it heralds wealth.
Dodo: Missing in action since the 17th century, this extinct bird represents the obsoletedodo and dead.
Dove: All cultures are in agreement! The biblical bird found in Noah’s story symbolizes the Holy Spirit, peace, the soul, God’s forgiveness, baptism, and love

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Crow: Lots of different symbolism for the bird most believe represents bad luck and all things nasty. American Indians, however, see the bird as representing the creative.
Cuckoo: This bird lays its eggs in another bird’s nest ( which is where we get the word cuckold from), so it’s no surprise the bird is symbolic of infidelity and selfishness.
eagleEagle: A bird of power, authority, victory, high status, and prowess. A divine messenger. A double-headed eagle graced a Roman Emperor’s coat of arms to signify the sovereignty of both its eastern and western empires.
Falcon: This swift flyer is symbolic of masculinity and spiritual freedom. In Egypt it was a symbol of kings. The falcon is a messenger employed by the ancestors of Native Americans.
Flamingo: A symbol of illusion and shape-shifting, the flamingo was revered as the personification of Ra, the Egyptian sun god.
Goldfinch: With its red face and penchant for hanging out in the thorns, the little birdgoldfinch came to symbolize the passion of Christ. It also represented protection from the plague.

Goose: Geese are associated with family, loyalty, and gossip. Their migration is symbolic of personal freedom.
Hawk: A bird linked to prophesy and divination, the hawk symbolizes, power, royalty, and wisdom.
Hen: A thousand years have passed and the iconic image of the overly protective mother is still going strong. The hen is also symbolic of divine intervention.

Heron: Ancient Egyptians believed the bird was a symbol of regeneration.
Ibis: An avatar of Thoth, the god of writing & scribes, the bird was considered symbolic of wisdom.
Jay: This nest-stealing, mischievous loud mouth is connected to trickery and bad luck. On the good side, it is viewed as an enemy-warning guardian to Native Americans.

Kingfisher: Linked to sexual bliss, speed, and grace (um…that’s an interesting trio).
magpieMagpie:In Europe, If you see only one magpie, bad luck is coming. If you live in China, the bird denotes love and good fortune.
Nightingale: The melodic song of this bird has made it a symbol of yearning, love, and death.

  • A little bird told me.
  • I wanna fly like an eagle.
  • The falcon cannot hear the falconer.
  • He’s a chicken.
  • He dresses like peacock.
  • They’re acting like vultures!
  • Twitter & tweets!!

 

peacock

Ostrich: To Babylonians this bird was considered evil incarnate. Zoroastrians deemed it divine. Its feather symbolized truth to Ancients Egyptians.
Owl: This night-flying bird of prey is associated with wisdom, witchcraft, and death.

Parrot: Polly wanna symbol? This tropical bird represents mimicry and love. Natives believes the bird carries prayers and delivers omens.
Peacock: The plumage of the male bird inspired an eyeful of symbolism. The strutting bird suggests beauty, love, vanity, and royalty.

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Pelican: Myths contend that its young suckle blood from mama pelican’s breast–making the bird a symbol of charity and love.
Raven: Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.” Symbolic of dark and evil omens, the bird ( 2 of them, actually) hung out with Odin, the hunky Nordic god of war. Native Americans see this bird as a trickster.
Robin: Like most birds with red plumage, the robin is a symbol of the blood that flowed from Christ’s thorny crown.
Rooster: It’s too obvious, the fighting cock is symbolic of masculinity, dominance, androoster courage. Its image is ubiquitous on Shinto prayer drums. The rooster was a sacred bird to both  Greeks and Romans.
Quail: A bird of many symbols, a caged quail symbolizes a trapped soul. It is the bird of eroticism, and the courageous fighting bird of the Romans.
Sparrow: The bird of St. Francis, the sparrow represents one’s lowly station in life.
Stork: This is the sacred bird of the Greek goddess of childbirth, Hera. It’s no surprise then where the old “stork brought the baby” story got its start.
Swallow: It is the bird of death and resurrection, the bird that heralds springtime, the bird of departure and return (It’s a migratory thing).
swanSwan: Yes, the ancient relief is disturbing, but we all know the Greek myth. Zeus morphs into a swan and ravages the lovely Leda. Have no idea then why the swan symbolizes beauty and purity. The one-mate-for-life swan also symbolizes fidelity.
Vulture: A bird that feasts on carrion should symbolize death–and it does. But the scavenger also represents purification. Those in Tibet viewed the birds as transporters of the dead’s souls.
Wren: This wee tiny bird is symbolic of spirit, and known ironically as The King of Birds.

Note: I teach literary analysis ( must pay the bills) and remind my students to look closely at the symbolism in a novel. Why did the author include that fruit? Or name the character Neil? Why is the protagonist sitting under a pear tree? Why is her dress blue? Before jumping to any symbolic conclusions however, we look at the symbol in context of setting, history, and culture.

Related Links:  Rock Your WritingSymbolism & more symbols;

 

Foods of Life

 

breadFood is comforting, nourishing, and healing. Food often replaces currency and continues to be used in many religious rituals. But you already know that!

Even the ancient tradition of “breaking bread” with guests indicated friendship and/or truce. Because if you were breaking bread, you weren’t breaking heads! Check Dining & Feasting for  the symbolism of mealtimes.

Bread: In Christianity, it represents the body of Christ. In Jewish traditions, unleavened bread is symbolic of sacrifice and humility.

Chocolate: Consumed as a drink during Mayan wedding ceremonies, chocolate was deemed sacred to both Mayans and Aztecs. It  was considered an aphrodisiac–thus chocolates on Valentine’s Day.

Coffee: A symbol of hospitality and hanging out with your friends. Things haven’t changecoffee beansd much.

Corn: Used in many Native American rituals, maize is a symbol of life, fertility, and abundance.

Egg: Every culture is in agreement. Egg= fertility. The cosmic egg is prevalent in many creation myths, and Buddhists contend that one must break through the eggshell of ignorance before one can achieve enlightenment.

Honey: The nectar of the gods, honey was considered both an aphrodisiac and symbol of fertility.

Leek: During Rosh Hashanah, leeks are eaten to “cut off” one’s enemies. Leeks are emblematic of victory to the  Welsh and soldiers wore them in battle.

Milk: A symbol of compassion, kindness, and spiritual nourishment, milk was used in many rites of initiation. And because of its source, milk is associated with fertility, nourishment, and motherhood.

onionOnion: The layers of an onion are symbolic of revelation; each peeled layer allows one to get closer to the authentic or the  “truth.”

Rice: A staple in many countries, rice is symbolic of both long life and prosperity. It is also linked to spiritual health, attainment of knowledge, and purity.

Salt: Amazing, most of us are salt-freaks, and yet historically, salt was very precious. Salt got its start as a meat preservative and was linked to spiritual purity ( not sure I see the connection there). In Christianity, salt is a symbol of divine wisdom. Somehow, folks decided throwing salt over your shoulder kept bad luck away.

Tea: In Eastern cultures, tea is linked to family, hospitality, and tranquility.  In Japan, the tea ceremony is a high art, symbolizing peace, self discipline, and respect.

Wheat: Ancient Egyptians associated wheat with immortality. In other parts of the world, wheat was associated with the harvest, abundance, and summer.

yamYam: In parts of Africa, yams is a staple food. The yam represents  abundance, wealth, and manliness.

 

If you have been following my symbolism posts, you might have noticed a common thread. Seems most symbolism is linked to  fertility, bravery, and immortality.

Imagine that! Thousands of years have passed and humans haven’t changed at all. Except now we use lab-created drugs to live longer, love longer, and  prevent anxiety.

Note: I teach literary analysis and remind my students to look closely at the symbolism in a novel. Why did the author include that fruit? Or name the character Neil? Why is the protagonist sitting under a pear tree? Why is her dress blue? Before jumping to any symbolic conclusions however, we look at the symbol in context of setting, history, and culture.

Related Links:  Rock Your WritingSymbolism & more symbols;
Click  Amazon link for novels.

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Sacred Spices

herb garden

It’s so sad!

Long ago, herbs and spices were sacred. They were used in religious ceremonies and for healing.  Now, they have been relegated to the tedious task of seasoning our food and beverages. Their mysterious, spiritual, and supernatural power has been all but lost.

Just to keep you on your symbolic toes, I’ve noted a few of our more mystical herbs and spices.

Basil: A multi-herb! Great as a charm against evil, used during funerals rites, and Greek antidote to the deadly venom of the dragon-reptile hybrid known as the basilisk. ( Doesn’t sound all that scary.)

Betel nut: Associated with hospitality, this chew—besides giving you stained teeth— makes your heart beat faster, your skin super sensitive, and generally gives you a “high.” Now that’s hospitality!  It also inhibits hunger pangs and is considered an aphrodisiac.

Cinnamon:  Myth contends that the Phoenix lights itself on fire atop a cinnamon-laden pyre. The spice is also used in purification rituals and is considered an aphrodisiac in China. You’re a renewed sex magnet! Think about that after sprinkling cinnamon on your coffee!

Cloves: In the old days, a clove tree was planted to mark the occasion of a child’s birth. If the tree failed to thrive, it was a bad sign. It’s also associated with love and protection.

Fennel: Symbolic of courage, Roman gladiators ate the seeds before entering the Colosseum.  It’s also used in purification rituals.

vampireGarlic: Yup–it keeps away the vamps, even a thousand years ago! It’s also symbolic of strength. In China, garlic is associated with fertility—which seems odd knowing how bad one’s breath is after eating it.

Ginger:  A symbol of royalty in Hawaii,  ginger has been associated with passion, success, wealth, and power. Ginger is also really great for  your digestion–when you have a tummy ache, drink some ginger tea.

Ginseng: Ancient medicine men used this root for promoting long life, masculinity, and all around macho-stud-ness. In fact, it means man-root. ( I will refrain from about the 20 nasty one-liners I’m thinking of.)

Mint: Used in mysterious rituals like prophesying and exorcism.Yikes—Scary when you think about  all the mint toothpaste, mouthwash, and candy we consume.  Also considered an aphrodisiac in some cultures.

Myrrh: In Arabic, it means bitter,  and it was used in religious rituals. It is symbolic of purity and praying. Egyptians used it during mummification.

Nutmeg: It’s used as an aphrodisiac (Sprinkled Nutmeg + Pina Colada =  X-rated ). Long ago in Europe, the expensive spice was a status symbol.

Parsley:  Ancient Greeks believed it was a hellish herb that denoted death. Jewish tradition associates parsley with Passover. Most of us think mmm…delicious tabbouleh.rosemary

Rosemary: This herb used to be planted on graves, signifying immortality. It is also associated with faithfulness and included in the bride’s bouquet. Romans thought it promoted a keen mind while studying. No need for NoDoze.

sage

 

Sage: A healing herb. The word salvare means to save in Latin. It’s linked to wisdom and immortality. Sage is used as a ritual smoke in many Native American ceremonies. It is also used to  smudge or cleanse a house of toxic or evil spirits/ghosts.  Don’t laugh. It works!

Saffron: It’s a costly herb now, but is symbolic of magic and humility. Buddhists monks use it to dye their robes.

 

 

Thyme: An multi-purpose herb. Romans soldiers sprinkled thyme in their bath water  because it boosted bravery.  It’s also used for healing, to promote sleep, to purify, and to encourage love and psychic abilities.

If you have been following my symbolism posts, you might have noticed a common thread. Seems most symbolism is linked to  fertility, bravery, and immortality.

Imagine that! Thousands of years have passed and humans haven’t changed at all. Except now we use lab-created drugs to live longer, love longer, and  prevent anxiety.

Note: I teach literary analysis ( must pay the bills) and remind my students to look closely at the symbolism in a novel. Why did the author include that fruit? Or name the character Neil? Why is the protagonist sitting under a pear tree? Why is her dress blue? Before jumping to any symbolic conclusions however, we look at the symbol in context of setting, history, and culture.

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Tree of Life

tree

A Summer of Symbolism continues…

Will the real Tree of Life please wave your branches! Did you know that almost every culture has its own Tree of Life.

Trees are symbolic. They provide food for eating and wood for making life’s necessities ( shelter, weapons, bowls etc) So it’s no wonder trees have deep roots in humankind’s collective conscience.

Below is a brief look into some of our most symbolic trees.

Acacia: Its sacred wood was used to build the Ark of the Covenant. A few of its parts are used for incense.

Almond:  A Tree of Heaven in Persia, this tree represents divine grace and esoteric truth.

Banyan: This tree houses demons and naughty spirits in the Philippines, but graces Indonesia ‘s coat of arms. To Hindus, its wide canopy is symbolic of eternity, whereas the equally wide-spreading roots are linked to the spirit world.

Baobob: In many African cultures this is the Tree of Life because of its height, resilience, and long life.

Cherry: This tree is emblematic of the transitory nature of youth. Bossoming today and cherrgone tomorrow.

Cyprus: In western cultures, it’s symbolic of death and grief, and also associated with the gods of the underworld. In the east it is a phallic symbol, representative of virility and immortality.

 

 

fig treeFig: Lots of symbolism for this tree! As a bearer of fruit, it’s symbolic of abundance and prosperity. It is linked to moral instruction in Buddhism. The fig leaf covers up all the manly parts in many a chaste painting and sculpture. In Egypt or thereabouts, the tree was deemed the Tree of Life.

Holly: Symbolic of hope and and joy, the tree is linked to Holle, a german goddess. The red berries are representative of the blood required to bestow everlasting life.

Ginkgo:  Used by the Chinese for medicinal purposes, this tree is symbolic of love and hope.

Linden: Emblematic of happiness, beauty, and friendship, Europeans saw this supposedlinden lightning proof tree as a symbolic guardian.

Laurel: Victory and peace. The first crowns were made of laurel.

Mulberry: This tree wards off evil according to the Chinese, and because silkworms consume its leaves, the tree is associated with wealth and sensuality.

Oak: Symbolic of manliness and bravery, this tree is revered by the Celts and used for divining purposes.

Olive: Representative of glory, immortality, and peace, this tree is sacred in Judeo-Christian religions. Remember, It was an olive branch in the beak of a dove  ( a symbolic bird–but that’s the next blog) that signified the end of Noah’ s cruise.

Palm: Associated with fertility and victory, this tree was also dubbed the Tree of Life in Arab and Egyptian lands.

Peach: Believe to be a demon repellent, this tree is also is one of the 3 Blessed Fruits in Buddhism.

Pine: Evergreens are associated with immortality, and this tree is no exception. Add virility and strength of character, and you have a tree favored by Bacchus ( Roman party god).

Plum: It’s representative of happiness and good fortune by the Japanese, but a symbol of virginity and beauty for the Chinese.

Tamarisk: The Tree of Life in the Middle East, this has a sweet resin that some believe is the “manna” from the bible. It is symbolic of divine grace in the Jewish religion.

weeping willowWillow: In western cultures, the weeping willow is associated with mourning and the devil. Eastern cultures associate the tree with feminine grace and spring.

Yew: Immortality and magic! Celts crafted  their wands and bows from its wood.

 

 

Note: I teach literary analysis ( must pay the bills) and remind my students to look closely at the symbolism in a novel. Why did the author include that fruit? Or name the character Neil? Why is the protagonist sitting under a pear tree? Why is her dress blue? Before jumping to any symbolic conclusions however, we look at the symbol in context of setting, history, and culture.

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Fruit of the Gods

grapes

A Summer of Symbolism continues…

Sweet. Delicious. Symbolic? You know it.  Whether you’re enjoying a “fun” novel or slogging through a classic, it sure helps to know the symbolism behind the produce!

Fruit is laden with sin, sexuality and sensuality. Just look at that fruit salad! Damn! Put it away before the kids see it! Don’t believe me?  Here’s a fruit primer.

Apple: A symbol of love, fertility, and youth. Purported to be the forbidden fruit of the Tree apple eveof Knowledge ( no proof though), it is the quintessence of temptation. In China, this fruit symbolizes peace.

Date: The Arab Tree of Life, it is associated with endurance ( life is harsh in the desert).  In ancient Egypt it symbolises fertility.The date is linked to male fertility.

 

 

 

figFig: Yowza! A symbol of fertility: The leaf suggesting the male: the fruit, the female. See pic!  Also, it is the fruit of the Tree of Life. Hebrew traditions believe the fig represents peace and abundance, and Buddha found enlightenment under a fig tree.

Gourd: A multi-purpose hard-surfaced fruit. Used as a ceremonial mask, beverage container, music maker, and manly parts cover, it is linked to fertility. In some cultures, it has healing properties and supernatural powers.

Grape: The fruit of the vine is the favorite of Bacchus ( Roman god) known for fornication,bacchus parties, drunkenness, and all around fun times! It has quite the opposite meaning for Christians, where wine symbolizes the blood of Christ and Jesus’s first miracle. Grapes are usually associated with agriculture and the fall harvest.

Lemon:  Symbolic of bitterness and disappointment. Christians linked the fruit to fidelity. Because it was imported to some countries–and expensive–it became a symbol of wealth.

Mango: Food of the Gods! It is symbolic of love and fertility for Hindus, and is seen as a symbol of attainment when being held by Lord Ganesha.

Melon: Linked to gluttony, luxury, wealth, and creativity. Their sweet flavor and moisture are associated with sensuality.

Orange: A symbol of virginity and fertility. During the Chinese New Year, it is eaten on the 2nd day for good fortune.

virgin and peachPeach: Symbolic of virginity, this fuzzy fruit was sacred to Hymen, the  Roman God of marriage ceremonies ( don’t laugh)  Classical art often depicts the peach with the Virgin Mary and child, thus symbolizing salvation.

Pear: The swollen shape of the fruit is suggestive of sensuality. (Remember that when someone calls you pear-shaped).  Ancient Greeks believed Athena was the mother of pear trees.  In China, it is symbolic of a long life.

Persimmon: Another Fruit of the Gods. In China this fruit is used to regulate one’s ch’i (personal energy) and is symbolic of joy. To Japanese, it is a symbol of triumph.

Pineapple: Symbolizing hospitality in the US, the fruit also has opposing meanings in the West Indies of either restraint or welcome. Take your pick.

Pomegranate: Slice it open and you have lots of shiny, wet seeds, and –yup that can only mean one thing–the fruit is suggestive of the womb. Ancient Greeks believed the fruit had restorative properties.

Tomato: Dubbed the “love apple” in early European times, this fruit was deemed an aphrodisiac because of its numerous seeds. It was also the perfect Aztec side dish for a cannibalistic meat course.

Fruit tip of the day: Fruit contain seeds, thus equating it with fertility and the sensual, decadent, licentious, lusty acts that go with the act of fertilization.

Veggies just ain’t as sexy as fruit!

Note: I teach literary analysis ( must pay the bills) and remind my students to look closely at the symbolism in a novel. Why did the author include that fruit? Or name the character Neil? Why is the protagonist sitting under a pear tree? Why is her dress blue? Before jumping to any symbolic conclusions however, we look at the symbol in context of setting, history, and culture.

Related links: Symbols; Amazon novel link

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Bugs, Insects, & Crawlies

fly

I don’t want them in my house, on the dog, or anywhere near me. Flying, crawling or hopping, I was never much of an amateur Entomologist. However, as one who teaches literary analysis to pay the rent, I do have my students look into the symbolism of any creepy crawly found in any literary or expository text.

Bugs are symbolic!  Yup, that’s right! But you already knew that, right? I mean you don’t call someone a worm without reason! You refer to a person as a worm because a worm symbolizes a low creature who slithers through the dirt and feasts on decaying flesh.

Here are a few of my favorite bugs and just a wee bit of what they symbolize. For blog’s sake, I did not include a deeper understanding of the symbolism and myths surrounding these insects. I’m just providing a small symbolic glimpse!

Ant:
  •  Like ant behavior, the ant symbolises hard work, diligence, and orderly ( almost military behavior, ie; ants “march.”)
Bee:
  • Order, diligence, immortality, cooperation, teamwork–yup a no brainer.
  • The little stinger, its honey, and beeswax are prevalent symbols found in Christianity.
  • Also associated with royalty (especially the queen bee) and gods
  • The hive represents a church or immortality.
  • Kama, a Hindu god of love is portrayed with honey bees–aka the sweetness of love
  • Pope Urban VIII (1623-1644) had 3 gold bees on his coat of arms.
Beetle:
  • Ancient Egyptians believed the scarab beetle was sacred because it represents scarabregeneration, immortality, and divine wisdom. The bug is also associated with the God of the Rising Sun.
Butterfly:
  • Yep–the insect of spectacular metamorphosis is connected to the soul–specifically to its transformation and resurrection.
  • It also is symbolic of happiness and beauty.
  • The winged creature is the symbol of the geisha in Japan, but 2 butterflies signify a joyful marriage.
  • Mmmm..ties in nicely to the symbolism of releasing butterflies at a wedding.
  • butterfly
Dragonfly:
  • The flitting darting critter is connected to illusion and magic.
  • Western cultures believe it evil.
  • In China, its erratic flight pattern represents unpredictability.
  • In Japan, it is symbolic of joy, strength, and courage.
Fly: 
  • A symbol of corruption and evil ( remember that when you swat it –“Take that Evil!”)
  • Bringer of plague and disease.
  • Lord of the Flies ( Beezlebub is the Hebrew word ) is another name for Satan.
  • Remember reading the novel Lord of the Flies…remember all the religious symbolism?
  • For Native Americans, Dontso, the Big Fly, is a messenger spirit who is associated with healing.
Grasshopper:
  • Ancient Greeks decided the grasshopper’s fecundity ( abundance) made it the perfect critter to symbolize fertility.
  • Greek nobles wore golden grasshopper hair ornaments.
  • In China, the green hopper is symbolic of good luck.
  • In Asia, the song of the grasshopper represents chanting Buddhist monks.
Ladybug: 
  • Once linked to the Virgin Mary ( fertility and motherhood ), the black-spotted bug is a sign of good luck.
Locust:
  •  Destruction, devastation, punishment– Old Testament wrath of God symbolism.
  • In  medieval times, they symbolize the torment and ruin of the soul.
Praying Mantis: 
  • Divine & magical OR diabolic & devouring…take your symbolic pick!praying mantis
  • Mantis originates from the Greek “prophet.”
  • In Japan, Samurai use it to denote bravery and cunning.
Moth:
  • A creature of the night ( scary), the winged ugly’s being drawn to the light symbolizes the soul’s search for God.
  • Throw in some insanity symbolism and the belief that witches morphed into moths and you can understand how the Mothman myth got started.
Scorpion:
  • The astrological sign of Pluto ( Lord of the Underworld ), the lil’ stinger is associated with death and treachery.
snail
  • Snail:                                                        **Slow but reliable,the slimy trailer represents the lunar cycle and the feminine.                     **Its shell is equated with infinity and the labyrinth.
Spider:
  • The eensy, teensy spider is the weaver of destiny.
  • But it also symbolizes a predator.
  • Symbolism varies from culture to culture.
  • For example, to see a spider hanging from a thread is a sign of good luck in China.
Termite:
  •  Diligent and collaborative, the critter is symbolic of fertility and persistence.
  • Their mounds represent a door to the underworld in India.
Wasp:
  • Unlike the highly regarded bee, the wasp is considered evil.
Worm:
  • Earth, death, decay, mortality–fun stuff!

Hope you enjoyed learning a bit about the Symbolism of Bugs! Now, I have to shower…my skin is beginning to itch!

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