The heart symbol is one of the most iconic symbols known to human beings. It is used all over the world to represent love, affection, and romance. It has become an integral part of our culture, and it is easy to spot just about anywhere.
But why and how did the heart symbol become what it is today? And what is the significance of seeing hearts in our life journey? In this blog post, we will dive into the fascinating history of the heart symbol and explore its significance in our lives.
The history of the heart symbol
The origins of the heart symbol are somewhat murky, but it is most believed to have come from an ancient plant called silphium. Silphium was used as a natural contraceptive in ancient Greece and Rome, and it was so precious that it was worth its weight in gold. The plant had a heart-shaped seed pod that was used on coins and in artwork throughout the ancient world. Over time, the image of the heart-shaped seed pod became associated with love and fertility, and it began to be used to represent these concepts.
The use of the heart symbol in art and literature increased during the Middle Ages. It was commonly used as a symbol of devotion and love in religious texts, and it was also incorporated into the design of stained glass windows in churches. Around this time, the shape of the heart symbol began to resemble the modern-day heart shape, which we all know so well.
The heart also played a significant role in medieval courtly love literature. In these stories, lovers would often exchange heart-shaped gifts, such as rings or lockets, as a symbol of their undying love and devotion. These heart-shaped tokens became a popular motif in medieval art, particularly in illuminated manuscripts and tapestries.
During the Renaissance, the heart symbol became even more popular. It was used in works of art by famous painters like Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, and it began to be used in a variety of different contexts. For example, it was used to represent the heart of a saint or a loved one, and it was also used to represent the physical heart in medical texts.
One of the most famous examples of this is Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, which depicts a figure with outstretched arms and legs inside a circle and a square. The image is often interpreted as a representation of the perfect human form, with the circle representing the emotions and the square representing the intellect. The heart, located at the center of the circle, symbolizes the balance between the two.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the heart symbol took on a new significance. It began to be used to represent more than just love and romance.
It became associated with emotions like compassion and sympathy, and it was used as a symbol of solidarity and friendship. The heart symbol also began to be used in advertising, and it was used to sell everything from candy to jewelry.
The significance of seeing hearts on our life journey
Now that we have explored the history of the heart symbol, let's take a closer look at the significance of seeing hearts on our life journey. For many people, seeing a heart can be a powerful reminder of love, hope, and compassion. It can be a symbol of the love between two people, the love of a family, or the love of a community.
Seeing hearts can also be a sign of good luck or a positive omen. Many people believe that seeing a heart in nature, such as a heart-shaped leaf or rock, is a sign of good things to come. Others believe that seeing hearts in unexpected places, such as in the clouds or in the foam of a latte, is a sign that they are on the right path in life. I wrote a blog post called Sight! Unseen! about my good friend Billy Pillen and how he took a huge leap of faith to search out, buy and remodel his new home in Eureka before he even stepped foot on Eureka soil. He moved here sight unseen. Wow!
When I took this picture of him, this stunning heart cloud formed behind him right at the perfect moment as if to tell all the world - "Billy is on the right path."
For me, I often feel that seeing hearts can be a powerful tool for healing and self-discovery. Many people, including myself, believe that meditating on the heart symbol can help them connect with their emotions and tap into their inner wisdom. I use heart imagery in my daily affirmations and visualization practices.
The heart symbol has a fascinating history that spans thousands of years. It has evolved from a simple seed pod to become one of the most recognizable symbols in the world. I am so pleased to have this symbol as my logo for this blog and to represent the love I have for my home - Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
While the heart was primarily associated with physical and spiritual life during the Middle Ages, it came to symbolize the balance between reason and emotion during the Renaissance. Despite these different interpretations, the heart has remained an enduring symbol to represent love, compassion, and hope, and it is a powerful reminder of the things that matter most in life. Whether we see hearts in our daily lives or reflect on the symbol during our meditation practice, it can serve as a powerful reminder to live with an open heart and to connect with the love that surrounds us.❤️