Heart Shaped Confusion?

As it draws closer to the month of February, the reminders of the swiftly approaching Valentine’s Day become more and more apparent, such as the change in our shop window, departed are the sale signs and arrived have the pink and red hearts dedicated to the day of love. When changing our shop window I was left wondering as to why we associate the heart with love? An organ that pumps blood around our body (which in reality looks nothing like the heart shaped earrings you either bought or received last Valentines) that any human anywhere on this planet would be able to recognise, is known worldwide as the symbol of love.

Upon my confusion I proposed the question to a trusty search engine, which of course gave me copious amounts of answers, but nevertheless I persevered on my search. The origin of the heart as a romantic symbol dates back to the Ancient Greeks where it was believed that the heart was the centre of all thought processes, Aristotle deemed that the heart controlled all reason and emotion. The love association remained due to the scientific explanation that the heart races in response to adrenaline or a state of excitement. This rapid heartbeat is what has forever associated the heart as the organ of love.

As my knowledge was furthered, I became more inquisitive as to where the heart symbol originated from. Some say it was derived from the shape of Cupid’s arrow head whilst others believe the heart shape was born when artists and scientists began to draw representations of Galen and Aristotle who description of the heart having three chambers with a small dent in the middle. In the 14th century, Italian physicist – Guido da Vigevano made a series of anatomical drawings featuring a heart that was co-opted as a symbol of romance.

So my queries as to why we sell hundreds of pendants, bracelets, earrings and much more in that particular shape in the lead up to February 14th were answered. And now it is about time that time when the Valentine’s rush will begin again…


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