Shopping & Style

Amy Zerner’s Fashion Sense: Skull Symbolism

The skull was often used by ancient cultures to ward off any type of evil influence or illness. The skull symbolizes spiritual regeneration, as well as protection, strength, power, transformation, transcendence and mystery.

It is a symbol of survival. Its philosophically viewed as the seat of intelligence, spirit and the spark of human life. Many primitive cultures believed wearing or displaying skulls would ensure protection and well-being. The skull is one of the main symbols or images seen during the Day of the Dead festivities in Mexico.

Skulls are often used as a sign of rebellion, nonconformity and freedom, as evidenced by their abundant use in rock, heavy metal, punk and alternative music imagery. This is probably why it is also popular in biker culture. In the rock world, many attribute the popularity of skull jewelry to Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones who has sported a skull ring since way back. It comes from the image of the pirate, the black flag (Jolly Roger), and that’s been around for centuries. It’s an image of being a rebel, someone who lives life by different rules.

A skull crowned by a wreath of roses is referred to as a “carpe diem,” a reference to the Latin phrase in a poem by Horace, which is generally translated as “seize the day.” For Horace, mindfulness of our own mortality is key in making us realize the importance of the moment:

“Remember that you are mortal, so seize the day.”

From this point of view, the skull is no longer symbolic of anything dark or negative, but instead becomes a positive symbol that encourages us to live life to its fullest.

Check out Amy’s designs in her new Enchanted World Emporium in East Hampton (8 Main Street), 631-324-7695.

Amy Zerner is the Hamptons’ number one fashion blogger and designer.

Crystal Skull Necklace by Amy Zerner
Crystal Skull Necklace by Amy Zerner, Photo: Courtesy Amy Zerner
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