Blog Archives

Cemetery Symbols: T is for Torch

April 23, 2015
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(photo by Tui Snider)

What Do Upside Down Torches Mean on a Grave? UPSIDE DOWN TORCH: If you read my post for J (

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Cemetery Symbols: P is for Pitcher

April 18, 2015
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(photo by Tui Snider)

What does a pitcher signify on a headstone? PITCHER: Pitchers mean different things depending on where you are. If you are visiting a Jewish cemetery, then a pitcher at a grave site implies that the person descended from the tribe of Levi. (Levites washed the hands of their priests with water.) If you are in…

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Cemetery Symbols: O is for Obelisks

April 17, 2015
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Cemetery Symbols: O is for Obelisks

What do obelisks represent? OBELISKS:Despite its origins in worshiping the sun god, Ra, obelisks are a common sight in historic cemeteries. So how did this ancient Egyptian form work its way into Christian symbology? Although they’ve existed for thousands of years, obelisks gained popularity after Napoleon invaded Egypt in the late 1700’s. As the form…

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Cemetery Symbols: N is for Names

April 16, 2015
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(photo by Tui Snider)

What can I learn from names in a cemetery? NAMES: Historic cemeteries are full of interesting names. “Texana Underwood,” as you can see in the photo above, for example. What a great name, eh? Last year, I came across someone named “Dude Hunter.” Really? How does someone end up with the name “Dude”? Could he…

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Cemetery Symbols: M is Military (Confederate Camel & Thor’s Hammer)

April 15, 2015
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(photo by Tui Snider)

What’s the story behind military headstones? MILITARY: Headstones for fallen US soldiers are easy to spot since military specifications require them to be white marble slabs standing 42″ tall and 13″ wide. While combing through cemetery photos to include in this post, however, I came across the headstone for Douglas the Confederate camel, and since…

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Cemetery Symbols: L is for Lion

April 14, 2015
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(photo by Tui Snider)

What do lions signify at a gravesite? LION: If you’ve ever seen “The Wizard of Oz,” then it probably comes as no surprise that the king of the jungle often represents courage when seen in a graveyard. Lions also represent God’s power and the strength to combat evil. Here in north Texas, I don’t come…

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Cemetery Symbols: K is for Knights of Pythias

April 13, 2015
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(photo by Tui Snider)

What does a knight’s helmet surrounded by the letters F, C, and B mean? KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS: What started in 1864 as a secret society for government clerks, The Order of the Knights of Pythias eventually opened its doors to any man who believed in a higher being. At it’s height, this fraternal order grew…

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Cemetery Symbols: J is for Jesus …in Cowboy Boots!

April 12, 2015
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Jesus in Cowboy Boots in Paris, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)

Jesus in Cowboy Boots? I had such a hard time coming up with a good cemetery symbol for the letter J that I decided to re-post my entry for the 2013 A to Z blog challenge, in which my theme was Quirky Texas. That was my first year, and I didn’t yet realize that A…

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Cemetery Symbols: I is for Ivy

April 10, 2015
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(photo by Tui Snider)

What does ivy symbolize in a graveyard?

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Cemetery Symbols: H is for Handshake

April 9, 2015
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Cemetery Symbols: H is for Handshake

What does a handshake mean on a headstone? HANDSHAKE: When my field guide to graveyards is complete, it will certainly include an entire chapter on the meaning of hands in cemetery iconography. Hands appear frequently and are used to indicate many different things. For the purposes of this A to Z post, I have chosen…

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Cemetery Symbols: What is the Masonic G?

April 8, 2015
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(photo by Tui Snider)

Why is there a G in the Masonic symbol? THE MASONIC G: It seems like a simple question, “What does ‘G’ in the middle of the Masonic emblem mean?” Finding a simple answer, however, is not so easy. As a teen I joined the Rainbow Girls, which is the youth group associated with the Masonic…

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Cemetery Symbolism: F is for FATAL

April 7, 2015
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(photo by Tui Snider)

What does FATAL signify on a headstone? FATAL: When I first started visiting historic graveyards, I’d see the word “fatal” on headstones and think, “How macabre!” After doing a little research, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that “fatal” is actually an acronym for “fairest among thousands, altogether lovely.” FATAL is the motto used by…

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Cemetery Symbols: E is for Epitaph

April 6, 2015
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Cemetery Symbols: E is for Epitaph

What exactly is an epitaph? EPITAPHS: Words of remembrance inscribed on a headstone are called an epitaph. Epitaphs run the gamut from brief phrases, poems, song lyrics and scriptures, to a lengthy list of of the deceased’s attributes. (I recently came across one that read more like a Linked In profile than an epitaph!) What…

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Cemetery Symbols: D is for Dove

April 4, 2015
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Cemetery Symbols: D is for Dove

What does a dove signify on a headstone? DOVE: In general, doves represent innocence, peace, and/or the Holy Spirit. The meaning of a particular dove depends on what it is doing. A dove that appears to be swooping down from above symbolizes a loved one taking the deceased up to heaven. If the dove itself…

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Cemetery Symbols: C is for Cross

April 3, 2015
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Cemetery Symbols: C is for Cross

What does a Greek Orthodox cross signify? GREEK ORTHODOX CROSS: Crosses come in many different forms! In the interest of keeping this A to Z post short and sweet, I’ll only discuss one. Anyway… I recently visited a monastery where I was told why the bar at the bottom of the Greek Orthodox cross is…

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April 2, 2015
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Cemetery Symbols: B is for Books

April 2, 2015
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Cemetery Symbols: B is for Books

What do books signify on a headstone? BOOK:Books are a common feature in historic graveyards, but they rarely have actual words carved into them, as the one you see in the photo above. When books are open, it indicates that a person’s life was cut short, in mid-story, so to speak. A closed book acknowledges…

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Cemetery Symbols: A is for Anchor

April 1, 2015
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Cemetery Symbols: A is for Anchor

What does an anchor signify on a headstone? ANCHOR: Anchors often refer to St. Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors. As a symbol, anchors represent hope in troubled times. During the Roman persecution of Christians, the anchor served as a secret symbol, a covert referral to the cross. (How to comment: My blog comments are…

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My 2015 A to Z Theme Reveal!

March 23, 2015
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My 2015 A to Z Theme Reveal!

What is the April A to Z Blog Challenge? Each April, people from all over the world participate in the April A to Z blog challenge, and you can too. It’s a lot of fun and it’s a great way to meet other bloggers. To play along, all you do is make a blog post…

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Tui Snider: Interviews, Events, & Appearances

March 5, 2015
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Tui Snider: Interviews, Events, & Appearances

Tui Snider’s Interviews, Events, & Appearances Check out this page periodically to see what I’m up to, including interviews, speaking engagements, book signings, and other fun events! If you know of an upcoming paranormal, writing, or travel-themed events you think I should attend or speak at, drop me an email at TuiSnider [@] gmail [.]…

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