Whenever we hear or see the word heart, one of the first things that comes to our mind is either love or romance. This is because it is seen as the universal language of love. And yes, symbols are considered to be a language. Symbols are said to be a language as it communicates meanings based on its association.
Nonetheless, other common associations with a heart could be soulmate, soulfulness, nature, desire, life, and even passion.
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What comes to mind where you see an arrow?
I am not sure what comes to mind when you see an arrow as it is a weapon and a very abstract symbol.
Despite this, here are some of the associations or what comes to mind when an arrow is seen: direction, a journey, projectile, piercing, or a signifier.
What does it mean when a heart and an arrow become a symbol?
Both hearts and arrows are symbols and most times you either see them separately or together.
For instance, when both symbols are seen together, they form a new symbol which takes on a new or different meaning entirely.
For example, it is symbolic or representative of pain or brokenness. This is because the arrow goes through the heart and it is pierced as a result.
What is a symbol or symbolism?
You have been seeing the word symbol being used several times and wondering where is the definition or what does that mean?
Well, here is the meaning of a symbol or symbolism.
A symbol is an object, situation, or an action which represents or suggests something else by reason of association, relationship, or convention.
Quick symbolism test
Before we begin with the first point, we will have a quick question and answer segment. Here, you are required to decipher if the statement below speaks of the literal heart or if it is used as a symbol.
Here is the statement: “Absence makes the heart grow fond or fonder.”
So which is it? If you have chosen heart as a symbol, then you are correct. Give yourself a clap or better yet pop your collar.
What do hearts refer to?
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There are a plethora of reasons or references where a heart could be literal or symbolic. These are the meanings the article will focus on: the organ (literal), love, romance, or passion.
The heart as an organ
One of the first references is the human heart. It is a fine muscular instrument or organ that serves the entire body. It is almost the size of a closed fists and is nestled in the chest, somewhat to the left of centre.
The heart pumps blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system. The pumped blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the body, while carrying metabolic waste such as carbon dioxide to the lungs.
In other words, it is the organ that beats and signals or tells us that we are alive. Without that heart, we are literally nothing- only mere dust.
Heart referring to love
The heart is considered the seat of many emotions and one of these emotions is love.
“Love is patience; love is kind; love is true” is a psalm that epitomizes the beliefs of love. But without saying all of that, you could easily send or add a heart which is synonymous with, “I love you and you love me.”
Nonetheless, traditionally, the heart is symbolic of love and this is a feeling that everyone wants to experience at least once in a lifetime.
Though the heart is associated with love and romance, there are different types of love and the heart is symbolic of each.
The difference between romantic love and platonic love when referring to a heart
For example, if a friend or a family member who has sent or gifted you with a heart, then this person is saying “I love you” but not in a romantic way. This is called platonic love.
However, if it is an intimate partner who has sent or gifted you with a heart, then this person is saying, “I love you” but in a romantic way.
So as you see, the meaning of the heart is dependent on the context in which it is used. However, both suggest that the person cares and loves you dearly.
Heart referring to passion
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The heart is a vessel for our passions or desires. Passion is associated with strong liking, love, or desire for someone or even something.
For instance, when you hear expressions or terms like, “My heart is in dancing,” “ I left my heart in San Francisco”, “Follow your heart” or “From the bottom of my heart,” it is talking about the immense passion or drive that someone has for dancing or whatever their passion is.
When you are passionate about anything, your heart generates the energy to do your absolute best. You continue despite how difficult it may feel.
Does heart really refer to desire?
How can a heart be synonymous with desire? Isn’t it only associated with love?
The heart is used to express our desire and acts as a physical support for our emotions.
With that said, desire is a type of emotion and this emotion is linked to the heart. This is so as the heart is the centre of our emotions and thoughts.
Basically, the heart acts as our consciousness and subconsciousness. In other words, the heart acts as our brain in terms of desire.
This has been the narrative and purpose from the creation of man. And if you are still in doubt, here is a modern example. The female Pop Star Selena Gomez said in her song, “The heart wants what it wants.” Here, she presents the heart with a desire and basically with a mind of its own.
So basically, the heart knows what she desires as her desire is equivalent to her wants.
When referring to a heart, does the colour really matter?
Colours add to the overall meaning of a heart. The common one that will be looked at are red, black, and white.
For instance, if the heart is red, it shows the person’s immense desire and love. The intention is visible as a red heart is symbolic of love, mostly romantic.
For example, a black heart is associated with sorrow or sadness, but in the same breath, it is still associated with love and affection.
A white heart is associated with innocent love. It is commonly used to represent love, support, close bonds, and admiration. For example, familial love.
Do arrows refer to anything?
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The arrow marks the spot or better yet pierces it.
You might be thinking what arrows even represent. Well, here are a few things: direction, marksmanship, protection, god like supremacy, love, and a sex symbol.
- Arrow: Direction
Firstly, an arrow is a stick with a triangle at one end to indicate direction. So with that said, an arrow is used to indicate direction.
For example, an arrow, whether hung on a signpost, painted on a wall, or marked on a street, stands insistently for direction: left, right, straight ahead, or reverse. Additionally, the sizes of arrows and their intervals collaboratively imply a sense of speed.
- Arrow: Marksmanship and Protection
An arrow refers to marksmanship and protection. So based on one’s use of an arrow, it shows how crafty and detailed this person is when trying to hit or pierce a target. This target can be someone or something posing harm or danger.
- Arrow: God like Power, Love, and Sex Symbol
While those are the literal meaning for an arrow, the symbolic meanings are as follows. An arrow represents the hunt, the sun’s rays or the might of the supreme. For example, Apollo’s arrow is symbolic of his supreme god-like power.
However, Cupid’s arrow is the complete opposite. It is symbolic of love or the lack, therefore.
From the point of gender and psychology, the arrow is said to be a male sex symbol since it pierces and penetrates all actions synonymous with the male’s phallic.
Final Note: we are at the end of the article. Your knowledge base has truly been improved after reading. Here is a quick reminder of what hearts and arrows refer to.
For hearts, it refers to the organ, love or romance, desire, passion, and the respective colours red, black, and white hearts connote romance, sorrow and innocence all in the name of love.
While for arrows, it refers to direction, marksmanship, protection, god like supremacy, love, and a sex symbol.