Fine Art | Divine Nature

This project is a series of images that represents the crossroad where woman meets the divine spirit of nature in the form of animals, and where she embraces it. There’s a long history in shamanic traditions and ancient cultures where humans have imbued themselves with the special qualities that animals have and their relationship to the world. Eating a part of the animal, or wearing a part of the animal, or using the animal as a totem deeply permeates us with their special powers. We want to come back to that state of grace where we are aligned with nature as animals are in the right relationship with their environment.

This series of images began on the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico. My husband and I were taking some time off from a couple of busy years working to relax and re-connect with nature and our bodies. We were also in an area of Oaxaca which is a sanctuary for turtles. I kept on coming across turtles and then one day came across a dead Olive Ridley. I decided to learn to clean the bones and also look behind the symbolism of this beautiful creature. The turtle symbolizes Mother Earth as well as being centered and well-grounded in life—a perfect starting point for a personal project exploring the spiritual connection between humans and animals. Leaving Oaxaca we stopped by an animal rehabilitation center in Oaxaca for Iguanas. I later learned that iguanas symbolize and teach the importance of respecting and remembering our dreams, facing our fears, and moving in the underworld. And so it was that this new series slowly started unfolding. I’ve photographed with different rehabilitation centers and people that are advocates of animals, allowing one place to lead to the next.

Prints are available for purchase.  If you are interested in a print from this series please email me at:

Musings: Holly Wilmeth’s Divine Nature on National Geographic