Father Time

Father Time also known as the Grim Reaper, the master of death and harvester of souls, symbolizes mortality. He is usually represented with a long beard and long hair carrying a scythe, and often with wings on his back. Hourglass symbols are also associated with him.

The scythe represents the Divine harvest and the hourglass denotes that the sands of time bring us closer to death. As the scythe cuts the harvest, so life is ended by Father Time.

The images above depict Father Time tipping the hourglass above an image of the deceased.

Time passes, memories last. – 1990

Ere sin could blight or sorrow fade
Death came with timely care
The opening bud to heaven conveyed
And bade it blossom there.

Advertisements

Heavenly Skies

Heaven is the abode of the sun, moon, planets and stars and is the reward of the resurrection.

Stars that pierce the darkness symbolize the spirit overcoming evil and rising to heaven.

A five-pointed also known as a pentagram star was believed to have protective powers against evil. This symbol has been adopted throughout the world with different meanings. The five-pointed pentagram star represents the five senses.

Star 5 point

To Christians, it represents the Star of Bethlehem and is symbolic of the life of Jesus. It may also represent the five wounds of Christ.

To the Jews, it represents the five mosaic books.

This symbol has also been adopted by Masonic organizations (e.g., the Eastern Star).

A six-pointed star represents creation and divine protection as epitomized by the alchemistic signs for fire and water which are an upward and downward apex triangle. It is also called the Creator’s Star with each point representing the days of the week and the hexagram representing the Sabbath.

The interlocking triangles represent the union of opposites.

The six-pointed star or Magen David (Hebrew for Shield of David) is recognized as the emblem of international Judaism. This star comprised of an overlapping upright and an inverted triangle, is associated with David because he carried a hexagram shield against Goliath.

6 star

The sun is a symbol of light and warmth illuminating the world. Its brightness represents everlasting life.

On occasion the sun is shown as a disc with wings.

A rising sun represents the Resurrection whereas a setting sun represents death.

A cross crowned by the rising sun symbolizes Christ’s victory over death and is known as the Easter cross.

cross disc

The Moon which appears in the darkness is symbolic of death; rebirth and Victory.

A crescent moon represents a virgin.

A crescent moon and star symbol denotes that the deceased was a Muslim in life.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

ALPHA & OMEGA

Alpha (A) and Omega (Ω) are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. These letters are often reproduced on gravestones, and when displayed separately Alpha is depicted on the left and Omega on the right.

Frequently the letters are combined to create a recognized Christian symbol derived from the book of Revelation in which they are mentioned in separate verses.
1:8: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
22:13: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

They are commonly used in conjunction with a cross, a crown or the Chi-Rho (a monogram of chi (Χ) and rho (Ρ) which are the first two letters of the Greek word Khristos.

chi-rho

On a side note, there is a cemetery in Henderson, Vance County, North Carolina, USA which bears the name Alpha Omega Cemetery.

Tree Symbolism

The tree as a symbol of life; regeneration, regrowth and renewal also reflects human fruition or frailty. A common symbol on gravestones a tree can also represent man’s sin with reference to the Garden of Eden. It is also representative of knowledge, life, and time.

A sprouting tree represents a new beginning in the afterlife.

If a tree is felled it reflects death and mortality. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
A severed or broken branch symbolizes a life cut short.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A tree trunk denotes the brevity of life, and the number of broken branches can indicate deceased family members buried at the site.

tombstone_tree-58b9e6cb5f9b58af5ccaa1d2

Sometimes the gravestone may be replaced with a ‘tree stone’ in the shape of a tree stump or log sculptured to resemble wood. This symbol is mostly used by the Woodsmen of the World Fraternity. When the trunk is leaning it represents mourning. Sometimes a tree stump will be shown with an ivy plant which often relates to a premature death but can also represent immortality.

Each species of tree has a symbolic meaning:

  • CEDAR TREE: Consecration; Length of days; Strong faith; Success
  • CYPRESS: Death; Eternal life; Hope; Mourning; Sorrow; Roman symbol for mourning
  • DOGWOOD:  Christianity; Divine sacrifice; Resurrection; Triumph of eternal life
  • EVERGREENS: Immortality
  • HAWTHORN: Hope; Merriness; Spring
  • HOLLY: Foresight
  • MULBERRY: I will not survive you
  • OLIVE TREE: Healing faith; Peace
  • OLIVE BRANCH: Forgiveness; Humanity; Peace
  • PINE: Fertility; Fidelity; Regeneration,
  • YEW: Eternal life; Immortality; Sadness
  • WILLOW: Human life

 

Fog, Mist, Haar

Let your imagination run wild with these foggy, spooky images of graveyards.

Alderney_ccl Neil Howard
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/neilsingapore/32857021522

Remember men when thou pass by 
As you are now so once was I,
As we are now so you must be,
Remember men that all must die.    1821

deviant art_su58
Source: https://www.deviantart.com/su58/art/in-the-fog-493878780
thought catalog_Rona Vaselaar
Source: https://thoughtcatalog.com/rona-vaselaar/2015/07/i-found-out-why-there-are-little-holes-around-graves-in-our-towns-graveyard/
newz breaker
Source: http://www.newzbreaker.com/2016/05/04/the-worlds-most-haunted-cemeteries-part-i/
booksie
Source: https://www.booksie.com/posting/justinjay/the-grave-digger-330222

There is no death…

Professional creep show

500px_Ernest Fraiman
Source: https://500px.com/photo/57313262/foggy-graveyard-by-ernest-fraiman

Grieve not for me my life is past.
My life with you not long did last.

rebloggy
Source: https://78.media.tumblr.com/e15ff2ca46013fbec48b8e649e19d64f/tumblr_moh5iz6ysL1sno3p6o1_250.jpg
tumblr_nmss9w8L6K1qi99m9o1_540_derwandelndegeist
Source: Tumblr
tumblr_o5ul8yhdoP1v58v9so1_500_professional creep show
Source: Tumblr

Tread softly. Dreams sleep here.

graveyard_fog_cemetery_tomb_stones_cross-fiipinterest

The Mythical Sphinx

The sphinx is a mythical creature with the head of a human and the body of a lion, protector of the dead, it is historically connected to the pyramid, the ultimate in tombs.

There are two types of sphinx; most famously the Egyptian sphinx modeled after the Great Sphinx at Giza which represents a male. The head is dressed with a neme, the striped headcloth worn by pharaohs in ancient Egypt.

Occasionally a false beard is displayed. As beards were associated with the gods, Pharaohs wore false beards for ceremonies to express their importance and divine ranking.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In March 1865 Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dr. Jacob Bigelow proposed that the Mount Auburn Cemetery commission “a public monument in memory of the heroes who have fallen in the present war for the preservation of the Union.” When the trustees postponed making a decision he commissioned the Irish-born sculptor, Martin Milmore, to create a Sphinx to be cut from a single block of Hallowell granite, 15 feet long and about 8 feet high.

The Sphinx was chosen as it represented the strength of a lion and the beauty and benevolence of a woman. The inscription was composed by Dr. Bigelow “American Union Preserved; African Slavery Destroyed; By the Uprising of a Great People; By the Blood of Fallen Heroes.”

male_flickr

The Brunswig tomb in Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans, Louisiana was built to commemorate Lucien Napoleon Brunswig’s wife, Annie Mercer Brunswig and their son Lucien Mercer Brunswig (1882-1892) who died within a month of each other. His testament instructed his family to bury him inside the tomb with his wife and child. Brunswig is also interred with his two daughters, Henrietta Rosalie Brunswig (1879-1963), and Annie Brunswig Wellborn (1881-1982) and her husband.

Male_lacarmina
Source: http://www.lacarmina.com/blog/2015/04/metairie-cemetery-tombs-pyramid-statues/

In Greek tradition, the sphinx was in the form of a female who was often bare-breasted and is therefore associated with maternal love.

female_greek

Many neo-Egyptian designs in modern cemeteries feature the Greek variety which is often portrayed with the wings of a bird.

female winged_alter friedhof
Creative Commons License, Joachim S. Müller. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/74743437@N00/8695400390

Within the Hildburghausen Cemetery in Germany a winged Sphinx sits atop the headstone belonging to the 19th century Egyptologist, Doctor Friedrich Carl Ludwig Sickler.

A pyramid marks the Schoenhofen Tomb in the Graceland Cemetery, Chicago. The entry door with a snake coiled on the handle is flanked by a sphinx and an angel. It is the final resting place of Peter Schoenhofen, a Chicago brewer.

The Drake Mausoleum contains members of the family and extended relatives. Originally at Laurel Hill Cemetery it was moved to West Laurel Hill, Philadelphia where it is guarded by a winged Sphinx at each corner of the roof. Thomas Drake Martinez Cardeza and his mother Mrs. Charlotte Drake Martinez Cardeza were surviving passengers of the Titanic shipwreck in 1912. Charlotte was a rich philanthropist who donated millions of dollars to the poor.

female winged_Drake Mausoleum
Source: https://www.mausoleums.com/portfolio/drake-mausoleum/

Mors Ianua Vitae: Death is the gate of life