Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sacred Scorpion

Scorpion symbolism always spiked my interest. These symbols could be found everywhere throughout time and space, ranging from modern tattoos and military insignia to deep and dark corners of human history. There is always something menacing and at the same time exciting about depictions of these infamous arachnids. I always wanted to play with the “scorpion” theme, envisioning how one would look if given my M-LETT 3D treatment. This, however, would call for an entirely new arsenal of tools and textures – a bio-organic one. Finally, I have assembled my bio-organic toolbox, and was ready to put it into action. The project code-named “Critters” was about to launch, for now in conjunction with my “Sacred Symbols 3D” collection.  You probably already guessed which design was the first one in a series…

Scorpions are predatory arthropod animals of the order Scorpiones within the class Arachnida. They have eight legs and are easily recognized by the pair of grasping claws and the narrow, segmented tail, often carried in a characteristic forward curve over the back, ending with a venomous stinger. Scorpions range in size from 9 mm (Typhlochactas mitchelli) to 21 cm (Hadogenes troglodytes). Scorpions are found widely distributed over all continents, except Antarctica, in a variety of terrestrial habitats except the high latitude tundra. Scorpions number about 1,752 described species, with 13 extant families recognized to date. The taxonomy has undergone changes and is likely to change further, as a number of genetic studies are bringing forth new information. Though the scorpion has a fearsome reputation as venomous, only about 25 species are known to have venom capable of killing a human being.
One of earliest occurrences of the scorpion in culture is its inclusion, as Scorpio, in the twelve signs of the series of constellations known as the Zodiac by Babylonian astronomers during the Chaldean period. In North Africa and South Asia, the scorpion is a significant animal culturally which appears as a motif in art, especially in Islamic art in the Middle East. It is perceived both as an embodiment of evil as well as a protective force which counters evil, such as a dervish's powers to combat evil. In another context, the scorpion portrays human sexuality. Scorpions are used in folk medicine in South Asia especially in antidotes for scorpion stings. In ancient Egypt the goddess Serket was often depicted as a scorpion, one of several goddesses who protected the Pharaoh. In Samaria, the Scorpion is associated with the Sun, and ancient writings depict Scorpion-men guarding (protecting) sacred gateways leading to ascension, pleasure and enlightenment. Death symbolism comes into play in Greco-Roman mythology where Artemis (Diana) used the Scorpion to sting Orion's foot, which caused his death. Afterwards, Zeus (Jupiter) made the Scorpion a zodiac sign among the stars. There are some species where the venom is actually the antidote for its sting (like cobras). In Egypt and Tibet this is seen as an omen, and the Scorpion is made into an amulet - signifying protection and warding off evil. In Africa, the Scorpion is also seen as a healing sign - its venomous oil used for medicinal purposes. In African aboriginal lore, the scorpion is associated with life and so-called death too. The sting of a scorpion is said to have intense healing qualities and so this creature was greatly honored. It was both highly respected because one sting could also prove lethal.

As always, the above designs are available on a limited number of selected quality products via my “Sacred Symbols” galleries at Zazzle. You may simply follow the direct links in the article to navigate to the corresponding galleries. I will also make my designs available free of charge for non-commercial and personal use, such as school projects, presentations, forum avatars, etc.