Writers and artists revived the genre of the illustrated bestiary in the late 19th and 20th centuries. A notable example is Le Bestiaire ou Cortège d’Orphée by the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire. Apollinaire was a bibliophile and a specialist in medieval bestiaries. In 1906, Picasso, a friend of Apollinaire’s, had made some experimental woodcuts of animals. Apollinaire published eighteen poems figuring all kinds of semi-mythical animals in 1908 in La phalange, an experimental journal and promised his readers an illustrated edition. Picasso was not willing to cooperate and the poet persuaded Raoul Dufy, an engraver, to provide the woodcuts. La Bestiaire is one of the chief masterpieces of twentieth–century French poetry, graphic art, and book production.
For the Native Americans, a bat is a symbol of intuition, vision, and dreams. The reason is that this magnificent animal is sensitive to its surrounding. In the Chinese language, the word bat is pronounced as fu, which is the same pronunciation for the word good luck. A group of five bats known as Wu Fu or Five Blessings, symbolising long life, health, wealth, love of virtue, and peaceful death. In Central America, bats are associated with other realms like the underworld. These creatures are known for their ability to find their way around in the dark.
Generically speaking, the bear is known for hibernating during winter and re-emerging in the spring. As a result, they’re regarded as the symbol of resurrection and coming of new life. Aside from physical strength and raw power, a bear also possesses confidence and a sense of self-assurance. Because of these qualities, this mighty creature can symbolise strength, power, courage, and confidence.
Among the Native American tribes, bears are very common and respected figures with medical powers and spiritual guide, thus, bear is seen as an emblem of wisdom, courage, and strength. These creatures are known for being fiercely protective of their young, associating them with motherhood.
Viking warriors invoked the bear spirit to give them fury and strength. The term berserk is derived from the word bear-coat, referring to a Norse warrior who transforms into a furious bear. The bear is also thought to symbolise standing up for your beliefs and facing your deepest fears.
More than that, the bear is thought to be connected to the earliest forms of known worship. The Helvetian Swiss people worshiped the bear goddess Artio. In ancient Greece and Rome, these creatures were sacred to Artemis and Diana.
In the Japanese folktale Tsukina Waguma, a single hair from the “crescent moon black bear” who lived in the mountain, was the main ingredient to healing one’s inner anger.
As you know, a caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly. Because of this process, butterfly is emblematic of transformation and significant change. On the change front, this other animal symbolism at play is death and rebirth. In Chinese culture, butterflies symbolise good fortune and long life. It’s likely because the pronunciation of the word butterfly is similar to the sounds of the Chinese characters for good fortune and the elders.
Agne Obel: Bee Dance
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass: Lonley Bull
Jazztronik: Butterfly Dance
Bonobo: El Toro
Pharrell Williams: Lost Queen
Massive Attack: Butterfly Caught
Lana Del Rey: Happiness is a Butterfly
City Of Prague Philharmonic: Batman (The Batman Theme)
Community radio midnight show Through the Bohemian Looking Glass is aired every night at midnight (GMT). A new episode is aired every Friday midnight on Wirral Wave radio or AirTime. Later on SoundCloud for some time.