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User / brookeshaden / the souls of the dead
Brooke Shaden / 819 items
Some symbolism of beetles says that insects are representative of the souls of the dead. Beetles often visit me in my dreams and manifest in night terrors - giant bugs attacking me. Reframing what we fear can change the thing itself. What if the bugs that my subconscious dreams up are actually souls of the dead? What if my dreams are past lives, what if they are future lives? I don't particularly think any of that is true, but I do love the romantic notion of being chosen to transcend dimensions.

Here, the beetle makes up the vertebrae of my spine. My backbone. In doing so, I let the souls of the dead bolster me, hold me up. I let the thing I fear become me. What I love about this image - simplicity. The single bold braid runs parallel to the beetles. Beetles - a sign of the dead. Hair, one of the only things that keeps growing after death. Both a sign of transcendence between life and death.

I'm so glad I found some time to share this - I made it almost two weeks ago. Since then, I welcomed my third foster son into my home. We'll call him Eden. He's 2.5 and such a sweet natured person. It can be hard welcoming in a new little one. Jude and Coco are always on my mind, but Eden has his own place in my heart, just as others will, eventually. Life and death, loss and gain...it's all connected.

"The Souls of the Dead", self-portrait, August 2021

You can watch how this was made and learn about the symbolism behind it in my new video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFmve2nBJ7o
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  • Taken: Aug 1, 2021
  • Uploaded: Aug 1, 2021
  • Updated: Aug 19, 2021