Love Symbols and Their Meaning
Mary Calderone said it best when she said: “There are as many ways of loving as there are people in the world.” Same is true for love symbols. There are as many symbolic expressions of love as there are people to love.
Love symbols profoundly assist us in describing the often elusive emotion that consumes us when considering love itself. When we think of love, we can easily become overwhelmed by its vastness
Love symbols help us capture a small portion of what love means so that as we grow, our comprehension of love may also grow.
Rather than define love, love symbols take us on a journey of expression. In identifying these various symbols, we are able to see more clearly into the varying depths of the emotion. When we focus on a particular symbol, we then gain deeper knowledge and are able to express ourselves in the arena of love more clearly.
Tips for Incorporating Love Symbols in Your Life
- Choose a love symbol that resonates with you.
- Put this image in a prominent place where you are apt to often see it.
- Meditate with this symbol – contemplate every detail and feel the energy of love linking you to it.
- Invoke this symbol just before sleeping, and again upon waking.
- Make a love journal. Write of all the feelings/images your love symbol conjures up in your mind and heart. Paste the image of your love symbol in your journal.
- Most importantly, keep your symbol foremost in your thoughts. Never waiver from its beauty and purity. Always remain positively focused on your highest idea of love.
Make all these activities a daily ritual. Eventually, you will begin to see amazing changes in your life. Most assuredly, love will begin to make a more prominent appearance in your life.
When used in meditation, or dream therapy, love symbols can open up new heights of exploration, expression and enlightenment.
Of all the attributes felt by the heart, love is most certainly the noblest. As you begin to familiarize yourself with these symbols you will become more intimately aware of the incredible power love holds.
To be sure, love is a pervasive energy. Meaning, it’s everywhere. Love is also responsive to us. When we align ourselves with love energy, love responds by showing itself in our lives. Perhaps this is best said by Arthur Rubinstein: “If you love life, life will love you back.”
Common Love Symbols and Their Meanings
A symbol of ecstasy, fertility and abundance as well as love, the apple is a testimony to the adage “big things (or meanings in this case) come in small packages.” At her wedding to Zeus, Gaia supplied Apples to Hera signifying long love and union. Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, offered apples to woo Aphrodite and win her love. The apple signifies feminine love and beauty. In China, the Apples stand for peace and apple blossoms represent adoration. See my full article on apples and Apple Tree symbolism (Celtic).
Cupid or Eros means desire in Greek. According to Hesiod, Eros was the deity who came from Chaos (“The Yawning Void”) and represented the primal forces of desire. Eros is said to have been born from the union of Aphrodite and Ares. Cupid is also known as Amor, which means love. In art, especially Roman paintings, the Cupid was often shown blindfolded. This was to symbolize how ‘love is blind’. Cupid has a reputation for being a little crazy and random in shooting its arrows of love. By design, this is symbolic of how love can strike in the most unexpected, unlikely ways. Also see my blog post on the Symbolic Meaning of Angels.
The harp is a symbol of love in the form of lyrical art, poetry, and music. The harp shares mythical connections to the Celts representing the bridge of love connecting heaven and earth. Also in the green isles, the Irish observed that playing the harp required the instrument to be cradled close to the heart. This reinforced the Harp as a symbol of love. In Norway and Iceland, Harpstrings formed a ladder symbolizing the ascent to higher states of love and pathways leading to paradise. King David played the harp to the Lord to express his devotion and spiritual love.
Likely the most common symbol for love and certainly the most recognizable is the heart symbol. Magicians and Alchemists used heart symbols for incantations pertaining to matters related to love and romance. They were also used in rituals with a goal to strengthen relationships. The heart has long been recognized across cultures as being a symbol for charity, joy and compassion. Also an emblem of truth, the “Sacred Heart” of Christ is also the focus of Roman Catholic worship as a symbol of the Lord’s love. As a graphic representation of an inverted triangle, this symbolizes a vessel in which love is poured or carried. On a more mundane level, the heart symbol mimics the curvy bits of the female, which is often considered to be an object of love and affection. Click here for more on the heart symbol.
In China and Japan, the maple leaf is an emblem of lovers. North American settlers used to place the maple leaves at the foot of their beds to ward off demons and encourage sexual pleasure as well as peaceful sleep. Also in the North American region, the stork can be observed weaving maple branches in nests – as such, the maple became a symbol of the love found in welcoming a new child in the home. Just as the sweet rich sap produces maple syrup, same goes for maple leaves as they serve as love symbols depicting the sweetness and wonder of love in everyday life.
The perfect love symbol because they represent all things sensual, sacred, pure and romantic. In ancient Greece and Rome, the rose was sacred to Aphrodite (Venus) and was her emblem of beauty – it was said to grow from the blood of Adonis. In Western traditions, the rose is a symbol of passion, desire, voluptuousness, and physical perfection. The rose is also a common symbol of eternal life and resurrection. The Rose is also connected to the goddess Hecate, Dionysus and the three Graces. Also see my page on Rose Symbolism here.
Because of its hard casing, the shell is a protective image – protecting life (sheltering pearls) and also symbolizes the protective quality love sometimes takes. In Roman mythology, Venus, the goddess of love, was said to be created from the foam carried ashore atop a scallop shell. The Hindu goddess Lakshmi was said to also be created from the grit and pearls within the shell. Also in Hinduism, the conch shell is symbolic because it awakens the heart of the faithful and calls to those who live with heart-filled love.
In Ancient Egypt, the triangle was seen as a symbol of intelligence and indicated the capacity for love. The triangle is a prime element of the Buddhist Shri Yantra mandala that encourages the invocation of love energy to achieve ascended states of consciousness and union with the divine. The triangle also deals with the love represented in the mother, father, child union as well as the holy trinity. As mentioned earlier, as a graphic representation of an inverted triangle, it symbolizes a vessel in which love is poured or carried. Also see my page on Symbolic Triangle Meaning.
I hope you have found these love symbols meaningful and helpful. Be sure to check out the links at the end of this page for more symbolic meanings associated with love. Thanks for reading!
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