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The symbol of love through the ages

- Categories : All about symbols

When we speak of love, we inevitably associate it with the heart, which is the organ associated with it.

Men and women place unlimited trust in the outside world and therefore forget the treasure hidden in their own hearts. Yet it is in the heart, in the inner life, that the truth lies.

We go back in time to our Egyptian ancestors, who understood that the heart was the home of the soul.

While researching for this article, I discovered 2 fascinating sites that are referenced at the bottom of the page.

Why does the heart symbol have this shape today?

Why does the heart have the shape we know today?

It is surprising indeed, since the heart organ looks nothing like it.

We must go back to antiquity to understand the origins of the heart symbol, which is very different from the organ it is supposed to represent.

It is actually the ivy leaf that is responsible for this shape, born in ancient Greece. At that time, ivy was often represented mixed with vine on vases and pottery. Linked to Dionysus, god of wine and good food, the ivy was known for its longevity and evoked a lasting love. With time, its shape became the one we know.

However, it was in the Middle Ages that it was more clearly associated with the symbolic image of our heart. A representation popularized by the great Italian painters, who gave this shape the color red, in reference to our blood.

The sign of infinity: symbol of eternal love

Represented by an elongated 8, often used for jewelry, the infinity symbol represents eternal love, unfailing.

The symbol of the heart in ancient Egypt

The Egyptian civilization, which lasted for more than 3000 years, was one of the cradles of humanity in the social, technical and scientific fields, especially in medicine. The heart was considered by the Egyptians both as an anatomical organ, with an important vital function, and as a spiritual symbol and religious symbol.

It was one of the eight components of the human being. It is the only viscera that embalmers had to leave in place after death.

The Egyptian concept of the heart encompassed three concepts: the heart-haty, or cardiac muscle, the heart-ib or inner-ib, corresponding to the rest of the body, and the spiritual heart, the center of character, thought and memory. From the first dynasty, the Egyptians produced representations of the heart with remarkable anatomical precision. They laid the foundations of a completely innovative cardiovascular physiopathology that lasted for more than thirty centuries.

To understand the Egyptian conception of the heart, it is important to understand the way man was situated in the cosmogony of ancient Egypt. As a recipient of the vital forces of the universe, he had to maintain his body in harmony with the cosmos

His organism could be subject to the harmful influence of demons or hostile deities, and the symptoms of a disease were the result of a rupture in this harmony. The role of the physician was then to restore this balance by fighting the causes of the disorders observed with the means at his disposal: medicine and magic, closely intertwined with religion.

Man was considered a complex being, made up of eight closely intertwined components, each with a specific role. The Egyptians distinguished four entities in the imaginary and four in the real, closely linked during life and whose dissociation occurred at the time of death. The four elements in the imaginary plane included the Sahu, the Ka, the Ba and the Akh. The four components in the real plane were the body-shet, the name, the shadow and the heart.

Exit of the soul-Ba and the Shadow out of the Tomb. Papyrus of Neferoubenef

Representation of the heart in hieroglyphs

The various hieroglyphs representing the heart are remarkable in their anatomical precision. Indeed, one sees the heart giving birth to eight vessels, whose number and arrangement evoke the aorta, the pulmonary artery, the superior and inferior vena cava and the four pulmonary veins.

This representation of the heart is particularly surprising, as it dates from the first dynasty, around 3,000 BC. To our knowledge, there is no document representing the aspect of the heart with as much precision in the other civilizations contemporary to Pharaonic Egypt.

The weighing of the heart in Egypt

In fact this fresco is better known as the "weighing of the heart during the judgment of the soul".

This weighing took place before a divine tribunal presided over by Osiris, Isis and Nephthys. In the middle of the room was a scale. On one of the trays was placed the heart of the deceased, the seat of the memory of all his actions during his life. On the other, Anubis placed a feather, symbol of Ma'at, goddess of truth and justice.

If the heart and the pen were balanced, the deceased was called "righteous of voice," and his akh acceded to eternal life where he was welcomed by all the "justified" living who had preceded him on earth. If the heart was too heavy, "Ammit the eater" devoured it, and the deceased was doomed to eternal wandering.

According to Wikipedia (see references at the bottom of the page), in the afterlife, the heart allows the dead person to retain his or her individuality and to remember his or her earthly life. During his or her passage through the court of Osiris, the deceased is judged for his or her actions by an assembly of forty-two judges

While his heart is placed on a scale in front of a representation of Ma'at, the goddess of justice and harmony, the deceased enumerates two lists of forty-two faults that he proclaims not to have committed. According to chapters 30A and 30B of the Book of the Dead, the greatest risk for the deceased is to have his heart disassociated from him, like a witness against him. What the deceased proclaims, the heart must confirm, otherwise it is accused of lying

The dissociation of the heart is a fatal blow because the deceased is condemned to damnation by being devoured by the monstrous Ammit, a hybrid being mixing aspects of the crocodile, the lion and the hippopotamus. In the scene of the weighing of the heart in the Ani papyrus, the deceased and his wife, dressed in white, stand respectfully before the scales, which consist of a column and a flail.

On the right, Anubis inspects the regularity of the weighing.

On the left are various components of the personality of the deceased. The heart is placed on the weighing pan. The god Shai personifies the life span of the deceased while the goddesses Renet and Meskhenet symbolize his fate and birth.

Above them stands the "soul-Ba" of Ani, in the form of a human-headed bird perched on a shrine. The last symbol is the meskhen or "birth brick", a black rectangle with a female head, another representation of the goddess Meskhenet and a representation of the innate dispositions attributed to the deceased.

Formula to prevent the heart of N from opposing him in the empire of the dead. "O my mother's heart, O my mother's heart, O viscera of my heart of my earthly existence, do not rise up against me in testimony in the presence of the masters of the goods! do not say about me: 'He has done this in truth!', with regard to what I have done; do not make it occur against me before the great god, master of the west."

- Book of the Dead, extract from chapter 30A. Translation by Paul Barguet

The path of the pure and true heart

What does the Egyptian civilization teach us?

It teaches us that the heart belongs to God and only to God (or whatever you want to call it).

It teaches us that we must be vigilant because when the veil of death passes, everything is revealed and you can no longer be in appearances.

Today, the heart is asleep

To succeed in awakening the heart would be a tremendous liberating revolution the likes of which the world has rarely seen. Humans often live a lie (consciously or unconsciously), pretending to be what they are not, then getting caught up in the game and ending up not knowing who they are: they lose their sense of reality

The truth is that the life force within you is the same life force within all beings, it is the same source and you are one with it

To know who you really are, you must not look at the separate parts, but rise to the vision of the whole, to the creative source. By centering himself in the heart, man abandons for a moment his multiple outer personality to be what he is in his pure essence

The way of the heart can then be heard, the inner consciousness can be revealed and man awakens, he understands the meaning of life and the beauty of thecosmic order. It is a true inner revolution.

Today's society does everything in its power to prevent this inner revolution from taking place, so that the call of the heart remains unheard.

It is afraid of losing control and it is ready to give everything to the one who accepts to sacrifice his freedom, his conscience, his real identity to conform to its robotizing, mechanical, codified system

The mass seeks to annihilate the one who detaches himself from it, who rises up and history has shown us enough not to dwell on this question. The person who stands out from the crowd represents a question, a grain of sand in the well-oiled system.

To take the path of the heart is to become an outsider to the world, but it is also to find the true light of man, the one that leads him to his full development.

A life without heart is lost.

You have to know how to open your heart but also to protect it

We tend to want to protect ourselves from the outside world, but if we are honest with ourselves, the real enemies are within us! And unfortunately those are the ones we don't see.

What is the symbol of love?

The Love Mandala: symbol of life

The Mandala of Love invites us to become aware that when a being gives you his love, it is God who loves you through him and when you love, it is God who loves through you.

Love is the language that can unite man with the greatest. So let it not be an abstraction, a vision, a hope, but let it be a real and true part of your life.

The one who has really understood that the supreme law that governs life and the cosmos is love, which wishes to lead all beings to happiness, no longer has the same attitude towards existence

For example, he is no longer discontent, he no longer revolts against the negative circumstances of life and he no longer tries to run away from his responsibilities, because he knows that it is the cosmic intelligence which places him in the best conditions to evolve, to perfect himself, to settle his karma..

The goal of all this being love, he seeks to overcome all the trials to reach it.

It is obvious that sometimes we need to rebel, but we must not mistake the target: our real enemies are inside us and it is those that we do not see.

To live with the heart is to live with your soul.

If you wish to work with the Love Mandala, I invite you to read my article " practices and rituals to attract love ".

And to connect you to this beautiful energy, we offer you several supports on the store.

We arrive at the end of this article. I hope you liked it.

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Sources :

Wilkipedia: composition of the being in ancient Egypt
Open your heart and invite love Ed Essenia

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