The Semen motif similar to the Latin “seed”, represents spring and growth, and were used by royalty for special occassions. It comprises Mount Meru (the abode of gods), the Tree of Life and the Sawat Garuda (a double winged representation of a legendary bird symbolising birth and heaven). The main symbols are surrounded by flora and fauna of the land.
The most traditional variation of the Semen motif is the Semen Rama where tongues of fire, deer, birds, a temple and a throne are drawn in addition to the three symbols stated above. These were used to describe the eight guiding principles of leadership as detailed in the famous Ramayana Sanskrit epic, which include generosity, courage, compassion and brilliance in the face of adversity.
Semen represents an ancient Javanese philosophy, where humans are connected to the natural world and the worlds above us. Through this unity, we become compassionate and gain appreciation for life. From there, we begin to grow.