Flower, Fruit, Vegetables and Insect Meanings

I wanted to put a bit more thought into the specific imagery that I use within the print and how they relate to the Vanitas theme. I don’t simply want to portray them as rotting, decaying or otherwise, I think it would add an extra layer of depth for the objects themselves to have a meaning.


In Floristry, specific flowers and colours can have different meanings. I know this because my mother used to be a florist herself.
Begonia – deep thoughts
Carnation (white) –  remembrance
Forget-me-not – remember me forever
Chrysanthemum (red) – sharing
Geranium – comfort
Pansy – loving thoughts
Peony – healing
Poppy – consolation
Tulip (pink) – caring
(About Flowers)
Red and white flowers represent ‘blood and bandages’ (Source)


Fruit and Vegetables
“The pomegranate was popular in antiquity. The fruit and its seeds were often associated with female fertility, and was considered sacred to Juno and Venus. Contrastingly, the overwhelming symbolism often and still attached to the pomegranate would be its reputation as “the fruit of the dead”. One of the most famous myths including the pomegranate is the story of Proserpina and Pluto. After seeing Proserpina, Pluto stole her away to the underworld and from her mother Ceres. Ceres’ distress of losing her daughter caused the land to wither and grow cold. It was a rule of the Fates that if one would eat in the underworld they would be kept there for eternity. ” (Source)
“Egyptian mummies set out for the afterlife with a stock of onions carefully wrapped in bandages, looking like another little mummy. Ancient Egyptian leaders took an oath of office with their right hand on an onion. In ancient Egypt, the onion symbolized eternity because of its circle-within-a-circle structure. Paintings of onions appear on the inner walls of the pyramids and in the tombs of both the Old Kingdom and the New Kingdom.” (Source)
Apple (苹果; píngguǒ) – wisdom, peace
Lychee (荔枝; lìzhī) – close family ties (Source)



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“Beetles aid in transformation, metamorphosis, resurrection and rebirth – rebirth of the soul to a new spiritual ideal and renewed devotion. This animal teaches harmony in the coming changes by utilizing your intuitive abilities and teaches discernment where you need it the most. Beetles have a protective quality that will aid in the ability to socialize and communicate effectively by illuminating problems and situations in the correct perspective. Are you eating correctly? Now is the time to examine eating habits. Can you identify which stage of development are you in egg/larva/pupa/adult?. Is it time to fly or walk in life? Beetle will teach persistence with charm, trust in the process, proper movement and actions which allows the regeneration of your spirit to prosper.”
“Cicadas aid in your emergence of You and understanding who you are by uncovering hidden truths and secrets that have been long forgotten. Usually this knowledge is just below the surface so listen to Cicada for he will teach where and how to look. Cicadas will help in the phase of birth, death and rebirth. Which part of the 13-17 year phase are you in? Cicadas will also teach the art of the communication using song or the written word. He will aid in transforming your own voice into an amplification of your heart and your desires to sing your own light. Are you living each moment in the “Now”? Are you to ready emerge from the illusion into the light of truth and understanding? Cicada will teach much if you are patient.”
“Moth teaches sensitivity to touch, smell, taste, intuition and physical/spiritual awareness, along with heightening sound and vibrations in this world and in others. Moth aids in the metamorphosis of your being. Which stage are you currently in; egg, larva, chrysalis or flight? Moth will help in each transition and show how to adapt to the new surroundings. He will teach you to find your own light as a beacon in the direction you should go. It is time to pay attention to your feelings to clarify your movement and discern what is real and not. Are you listening carefully to verbal and non-verbal cues,to what is and is not being said? Are you sensing the world around you? or sensing too much? Moth will teach how to be still, rest and listen and balance your being. In finding your own light clarity in the moment of darkness will be found and your sensitivity to Spirit increases.”

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