The Symbol Of A Heart As Love

Each year I create a new heart. I have always been drawn to it’s delightfully feminine shape but more importantly I like the meaning behind it and that is to view the world through a lense of heart centered living. Reasoning and logic come from the mind yet at the end of the day, the heart knows what the heart knows. Once we are able to step away from charged emotions a process emerges where the heart is a wise and neutral voice.  The Buddhist’s call it Metta a wish for universal happiness for ourselves and others. There is no greater love.

It is fascinating that there’s very little information on the origins of the symbol of a heart. It doesn’t even anatomically resemble a human heart so what’s up with that?

The first known heart shaped symbol was found on a Greek coin dating back to 600 BC. It was a casting of a seed from the Silphium plant that was ground up and used as an oral contraceptive and exported throughout the ancient world. Guess you could call it it early marketing.

The early Romans and Greeks recognized the heart to be an expression of romantic love. The Goddess of love Venus and her archer son Cupid helped lovers hookup. If his arrow hit the mark on your heart - you were smitten!

Fast forward to 13th century Europe. The shape of a heart was popularized in a book, called “The Romance of Alexander” where a woman is holding a curious heart shaped object in her hand. After that publication the iconic double mounded heart with it’s pointed bottom went viral. It lasted the test of time as a never ending symbol - the home of love.