Guardian of the Soul

Sci fi/Fantasy image by

Caroline Berg

The Guardian of the Soul is older than time.  She has watched and waited through the centuries, guarding and guiding that which is most precious, but rarely noticed: the soul.  She is there to help when you transition from life to death and from death to life.  While some shy back in fear when they first see her, there really is nothing to worry about.  If you look beyond the surface you can see that she is calm, patient, and caring.  She brings peace wherever she goes. The Guardian of the Soul is purely my creation.  While the symbolism behind the picture does exist in many countries, there is no butterfly-winged guardian that I have read about... yet. As for the symbolism... there is a lot.  The most obvious symbolic element is the butterflies.  Butterflies in many different ancient cultures represent the soul.  To the ancient Mayans, butterflies were how the spirits of the dead disguised themselves as they returned to earth.  To the Celts, butterflies were the symbol of transformation and rebirth.  In Ancient Greece, Psyche (who's name means soul), was compared to a butterfly, and souls were represented as humans with butterfly wings.  And that's not even going into all the other cultural/religious meanings! I took the symbolism a step further.  The wings on the Guardian (and the butterflies above her) are the same style and color as the Papilio ulysses butterfly.  I thought it was fitting.  Since Papilio means "butterfly" and ulysses is the Latin name for Odysseus.  Now, in Odysseus spent most of his life traveling, much like a soul.  He also journeyed to the Land of the Dead.  So, I figured it was a fitting type of butterfly to use.  I have the butterflies flying away from the arch to show that, while the Guardian can try to guard and guide souls, they really just do their own thing most of the time. I wanted mainly blues for her dress.  Not just to match her wings: I wanted the colors of the picture to be soothing and cool.  Blue also stands for eternity and heaven, so it was an even more fitting choice.  Her dress is also supposed to spill out like water, soothing and drawing the person in.  The purple behind her represents the afterlife (beyond the 7th chakra, which is purple.)  The pillars and arch are supposed to look like black Italian marble, which is expensive and rich looking.  I figured it would make a fitting gateway to the afterlife.  (Even if it doesn't quite look how it was supposed to...)  The green rippling out from the arch represents life and how life is disrupted by death. Lots of symbolism, huh?  I hope it wasn't too boring to read through...  But I do like to explain why I decided to make a picture they way I did. Colored and drawn in May 2007.  Believe it or not, drawing her took almost no time at all (to me, which is 3-5 hours, which flies by when I am drawing).  Then I inked the pencil  (then photocopied it) and finally I colored the duplicate.  I don't know how long the inking/coloring took.  Probably my usual week (which is to say about 4-6 hours a day for a week). Black ink outlines and colored pencils.  Yes, glorious colored pencils!


Published More than a year ago

Category Mythology



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