This amazing pillar is full of symbolic funerary images and was one of four that stood at the corners of a memorial in the Zorgflied cemetery in Amsterdam.
The inverted Torch is a purely funerary symbol and it comes in two forms. The first one, shows a torch that is alight, indicating that even in death, the soul ~ the flames of fire ~ continue to burn brightly in another realm of existence. The second inverted torch, that which bears no flame, simply shows a life that is extinguished.
At the top of the column, the winged hourglass reminds us that time is fleeting, as the sands of time ceaselessly ebb away from one sphere of life to another. The wings further remind us of 'how time flies'.
Inside the circular carvings on the scrolls, are Butterflies that relate to it's three stages of life. With the caterpillar representing 'life', the chrysalis is for 'death' and the butterfly is ultimately 'resurrection'.
The Ouroboros ~ a snake biting or eating it's own tail ~ is a symbol of eternity, immortality and rejuvenation.
The Scallop Shell symbolises a journey or pilgrimage and is also a symbol of baptism, specifically the Baptism of Christ.
The Shell's association with the element of water, is seen as a female/goddess energy in some cultures and because the shell many contain a pearl, is considered as lucky and a sign of prosperity.
I shall be featuring a blog on this splendid monument in the near future.