Fear is my substance and probably the best of me


It is not about burying the anonymous dead, much less denying reality, but about finding our phobias, a way of facing life. To be free, even within the horror.

Francisco Serratos

Bestiaries, in their origins, were illuminated manuscripts that compiled detailed images of animals, both real and imaginary, along with allegorical descriptions. One of the most well-known bestiaries is the “Physiologus,” a Greek text from the 2nd century that served as a model for many later works. 

They proliferated in Europe during the Middle Ages and reflected the worldview of the time, merging religious, mythological, and scientific elements. The symbolic interpretation of animals in bestiaries was rooted in the medieval worldview, where nature and the divine were closely intertwined. Each creature had a moral lesson, and readers were supposed to learn values such as humility, virtue, or wisdom by studying these representations. Fiction and reality merged, creating a magical universe that went beyond mere naturalistic observation.

During the Renaissance, the perspective shifted towards a more scientific view of the world. Bestiaries emerged that attempted to classify and describe animals more accurately, departing from allegorical interpretations.

But medieval bestiaries stand as silent witnesses to the depths of the human soul. These ancient manuscripts, adorned with images of fantastic and mythological creatures, not only document the richness of the natural world but also reveal humanity’s most intimate concerns and fears.

Alongside the creatures inhabiting bestiaries, personal fears lurk in the shadows of the human mind, taking on grotesque and terrifying forms. From the fear of the unknown to the anguish over one’s own mortality, these internal monsters are distorted reflections of our deepest anxieties.

However, just like the heroes who defy the beasts of the bestiaries, we too have the power to confront our personal fears with courage and determination. By looking into the eyes of our own internal creatures, we discover that they are not invincible; they are creations of our own imagination, fueled by fear and uncertainty.

Just as medieval bestiaries served as guides to understanding and confronting the dangers of the natural world, we can also turn to them in our quest for understanding and accepting our own personal fears. By recognizing the truth behind the fantastic images and mythological tales, we embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth, armed with the knowledge that, at the end of the day, we are stronger than the beasts that lurk in the shadows of our minds.

At the intersection between imagination and reality, between medieval bestiaries and personal fears, we find fertile ground for exploration and growth. May this journey take us beyond the walls of our own fears, towards a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world we inhabit.