With Valentines fast approaching I thought I would write about some of the common symbols associated with love and affection. There are many reasons why these iconic symbols have been associated with St. Valentine’s Day and the expression of love, some of which I will cover shortly as an influence of my creativity and inspiration.
Love by design?
When creating my handmade valentine cards, a great deal of research and thought goes into each design and their meaning, as I aim to give you a unique token of love to present your loved one with. As such these moments of expression can be given at any time of the year and should not be exclusive just to St. Valentine’s Day. Why not tell your loved one just how much you love them; it will always be received with open arms. As my father always taught me, never go to bed on an argument and always tell someone how much you love and appreciate them.
From the tips of my toes, to the top of my head
These four iconic symbols are instantly identifiable and conjure an emotional response, even sub consciously. Almost as if they were inherent by design, throughout most of the nations around the world these symbols do not need words and one could argue, cannot be lost in translation. Though, we don’t all know some of the history behind the reasons why.
Throughout time, it was believed that all your emotions such as love and affection came from the heart. This was particularly true from the 16th Century onwards (but some earlier accounts have been noted) and has been used universally as a symbol to represent love. Even though in modern times, we know that emotions are created within the brain, we still use the heart metaphor. Especially in modern culture, as a symbol for romantic love.
Principally roses have represented a symbol of beauty and love throughout ancient history. Attributing meaning to flowers (known as Floriography) goes back to ancient times and became very popular in Victorian England when it would have been frowned upon to show open emotion. Meaning the presentation of flowers would have been the prefect way of letting someone know how you feel. In Western culture, the giving of a single red rose signifying ‘I Love You’, hence their traditional use for romantic gestures of love and their association to valentines.
Are another symbol of love, as they mate for life and have therefore been associated with love, peace and loyalty throughout many cultures in history. They have been associated symbols with both the Greek and roman goddess of love, Aphrodite and Venus. Due to their symbolism of love, many married couple choose to release doves at their wedding to signify their love and unity to each other.
A popular icon for Valentine’s Day. Cupid is the roman god of desire and attraction and portrayed as the son of the roman goddess Venus (in Greek mythology cupid is known as Eros the son of Aphrodite). It is said that if struck with one of cupid’s arrows they would feel deep desire. Hence the symbol of a heart with an arrow pieced through to represent ‘love struck’.
What would we be without love?
There you have it, a collection of different symbols some dating back thousands of years and throughout different cultures, almost all of which celebrate and express love. Which begs the question what would ‘we’ be without love? Answers and ideas welcome below ;-)