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An Unusual Question

January 14th, 2006, 05:30 PM
I am finalizing the design for a marker (cemetery)... and am now ready to go ahead. I only have one area that I am still a bit unsure of - one of the symbols to be used.
I've really taken my time with this, want to be sure of every detail.

The question is on these three images:

I have already researched the religious/cultural meanings of each one, but I am wondering what they reflect 'generally" to others.
All 3 have a general common thread... freedom, peace, flight...etc.. but
I am interested if you find any of these to have gender connations?
If the dove might considered neutral, and the eagle more masculine - do you see the butterfly as perhaps more of a feminine symbol due to its delicacy?

Or do you think all of these are not gender-related at all, used for this purpose?

Thanks for any feedback.:)

January 14th, 2006, 05:38 PM
I would have to say it depends on who it is for and which one represents them best. If it is not too personal, why have you chosen these images over others.

January 14th, 2006, 05:54 PM
Have you also researched the Dragonfly? It's symbolizes a parent's loss of a child. There is a story behind it if you search on the net.

Of the three you mention, I think Eagle represents Power, Freedom and Flight to me.

Butterly, delicate but endures long distances during winter migration.

Dove only means peace to me.

January 14th, 2006, 06:18 PM
I do think the eagle is a bit more male than the dove and the butterfly, but not so that it would matter.

The dove would definitely suit a peace-loving personality of any gender.

The eagle to me is strong, noble, courageous, and also brings to mind the democratic ideals that the bird has come to symbolize in America.

The butterfly is beautiful but short-lived and I would expect to see it applied to one who has died too soon.

I hope that helps you in your decision.

January 14th, 2006, 10:41 PM
Thanks for your thoughts on this - I appreciate it!

BMDLuver, I havent researched the Dragonfly at all- but I will. Its sounds very interesting. Actually, a lot of this symbolism is very fascinating in its origins.. and of course means different things to different cultures and regions.

Stacey,. I also have 2 other emblems chosen... but wanted to include something along this line, and these were three choices.
I'd selected the butterfly,for several reasons, but began having second thoughts on whether it was too delicate an image to represent a male.

My husband and adult daughter both thought it was fine, but its nice to get "impartial' views as well.
I have some time before the final sketches come back to me... and can change anything I wish before finalizing.

Thanks again!

January 14th, 2006, 11:54 PM
I'm not the best one to ask about this sort of thing, but I feel the eagle has a much harder, more masculine edge to it, IMO, and being American, it conjures up all sorts of political connotations.

The dove is the no-brainer symbol, everyone will get some sort of symbolic concept from it, perhaps a bit trite. The butterfly...certainly not over done, but I'm not sure it would really speak to me either.

The dragonfly---very interesting, it's like a more masculine variation of the butterfly. I really like the idea. But I always see them and think "AHHH, it's gonna sting me!" On the other hand, I'm a bug-phobic, and I think the same thing when I see a butterfly (shoulda seen me at the butterfly conservatory at the falls :rolleyes: )

Whatever the image, you're definitely the best one to determine which one says what you're trying to say--and phooey on anyone else. Your sentiment with come through.

January 15th, 2006, 12:15 AM
I agree with Shannon's description of the eagle. I find it very hard and a little threatening.

The dove and butterfly, to me are very soft. The butterfly is too delicate and the dove is too cliché. (Just my opinion...:o )

But then I'm a dragonfly lover so I'm biased... (I used to nurse them back to life after they hit windshields when I was little.) They eat biting bugs (that helps everybody- a very noble sacrifice :D ). They have armor to keep them strong and safe, but delicate wings, because you can't have everything and life isn't perfect. They land on some people often but not all people (they're selective of who they love). And they come in a wide variety of bright colors, or just black with beautiful colors that you can only see if you look close enough. The noise they make is distinct. It's like a low hum, not like the painful high pitched annoyance of other bugs. They're just great. :)

January 15th, 2006, 01:04 AM
Shamrock, I think whatever you chose will be the right symbol. While I know the eagle is seen as political esp. for Americans, the day after my dad died, a beautiful bald eagle cirlcled around our property for an hour. We don't get many bald eagles here, and I took this as my sign that my dad was still with me in some way. We've seen the eagle a few times this year as well. To me, it symbolizes the ability to soar above the earth, with joy and strength and beauty and above all, freedom. If the eagle is portrayed as flying, I think it would be a wonderful symbol to have.

January 15th, 2006, 03:01 PM
Prin, yes the dove is a beautful symbol for all it represents, but somewhat over-used. I see it frequently out at the cemetery - why I wanted something else.
Jazz and Cricket, I had a similiar experience to yours with an eagle which I will always remember. It really captured my imagination, saw it perhaps as a "sign".
Though I'd not thought of the political connations with the eagle , they also symbolize to me the soaring majesty of flight and freedom, and this is what i was trying to convey.
They "are" a predatory bird though, and a very strong image overall.

Thanks for your input! I'll continue considering these, and might even go to something else entirely different.

January 15th, 2006, 04:17 PM
Veering a little off the subject at hand,I love all birds,but especially the Robin,a sign of regrowth(spring)and wonderful times ahead.
I told hubby I'll come back as a Robin and I know whenever he sees a Robin he'll think of me.:love:

January 15th, 2006, 05:23 PM
How about just a feather?

Like the owner of the feather has moved on but the feather floats down to remind us he was there. It is a very peacful image and can belong to an eagle or dove.

January 15th, 2006, 10:18 PM
How about just a feather?

Like the owner of the feather has moved on but the feather floats down to remind us he was there. It is a very peacful image and can belong to an eagle or dove.

Tenderfoot, yes I'd consider a feather, and as you say it could represent any bird. I was leaning more toward the soaring up rather that the reverse..but both images are very nice.

I have quite a few bookmarks on this subject of symbolism - here's one that pertains to animals.
Interesting how the dog has only good attributes linked with it's symbol... while the cat has a couple that might be considered negative.. lust, vanity,.;)

January 15th, 2006, 10:43 PM
Looking at that list, I like the dragonfly or the deer... :o