Eternal love is one of the most sought-after things in human existence, and there are many things that represent this concept.
From the human heart to precious gems, to ancient cultural symbols, here are some of the most common symbols of eternal love that can be found around the world.
Symbols of Eternal Love
1. Anahata Chakra
In Hinduism, there are seven chakras said to reside in the human body. The Anahata is the “heart” chakra, representing all matters of the heart. However, when our Anahata chakra is balanced, it is said to allow us to feel unconditional and eternal love, both for another, ourselves, and the universe. For this reason, the Anahata chakra is one of the ultimate symbols of love in Hinduism.
2. The Ankh
In ancient Egypt, this unique cross symbol was known as the ‘key of life” and considered to be the most important symbol of life and fertility. Some believe the latter was due to the shape of the ankh, which was said to represent a woman’s uterus. Over time it became a ubiquitous symbol of love, and an ankh was even given as a gift from one lover to another.
Though many have forgotten today, the apple has a long history as a symbol of love, desire, and fertility. This relates back to Greco-Roman culture and pagan religions. In ancient Greece, if a man threw an apple at a woman, it was thought to be a confession of love. There is also a Pagan wives tale that if you peel an apple while saying the alphabet, you will find the first letter of your true love’s name.
4. Celtic Love Knots
In Ireland, the Celtic love knot is the most potent symbol of the eternal love that can be shared between two people. The shape of two interlocking hearts is meant to represent the joining of two soulmates or ‘soul friends,’ a shape that cannot be broken, in the same way that an eternal love cannot be broken.
5. Claddagh Ring
The Celtic symbol of the Claddagh shows a heart held between two hands, with a crown perched above them. It represents both love and friendship, but is most associated with committed and eternal love, and is normally worn as a ring. It is said that the Claddagh can be worn to show whether the wearer is married or single, based on which direction the pointed end of the heart is facing.
6. Clasped Hands
While two hands clasped together can also represent friendship and unity, it is most associated with the union between two soulmates. Clasped hands are a symbol of eternal love and connection, and of the sanctity of matrimony, bringing up imagery of ‘taking one’s hand in marriage’. This symbolism is primarily Western, as in Eastern cultures two clasped hands are more likely to represent friendship.
7. Copper Symbol
This is a surprising one, but the copper symbol is also seen as an obscure symbol of love. That’s because its alchemical symbol is identical to the planetary symbol for Venus, which of course represents love, fertility, and beauty.
This cherubic boy with his bow and arrow is the reigning symbol of St. Valentine, and thus a perfect symbol of the power of love. He is another product of ancient Greco-Roman culture that lives on today – there he was known as Eros, a god of love and sex who would cause trouble by casting bonds of love between humans and mortals.
Why else would it be the traditional gem used for an engagement or wedding ring? This beautiful and valuable jewel has long been a symbol of love, union, and matrimony. The diamond’s strength and resilience are meant to represent the endurance of true love, and its appearance is a symbol of love’s purity and beauty.
These sweet-singing white birds have long been a symbol of peace and love in the west and were particular symbols of love and desire in Greco-Roman mythology. It was associated with both Venus and Aphrodite, the goddess of love in both cultures.
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The harp has long been associated with eternal love for a number of reasons. Due to its gentle notes, it made the perfect instrument to compose delicate love songs. In Celtic mythology it was known as ‘the bridge of love,’ and in Island and Norway the pattern of its strings were said to represent a stairway, or ascension through the early stages of love to its peak.
The most obvious symbol of eternal love is the heart. Or should we say – the shape of the heart? This shape has long been a symbol of eternal love across cultures, as the heart is said to be linked to all of our strongest emotions, with love being the foremost of those emotions. The heart is believed to be the place where all feelings of love flow from.
In many countries, particularly in Southeast Asian nations such as Indonesia and the Philippines, the Jasmine flower is seen as the flower of love. This is due to its visual beauty, and its sweet, delicate fragrance, both of which are reminiscent of the beauty of the natural world and frequently inspire poets and lovers. Read more about jasmine symbolism here.
For the Native American Hopi tribe, the Kokopelli is a hunchbacked spirit that carries a ‘flute of love’, which was once used by a man to attract his lover, and then destroyed the flute. Kokopelli is a fertility deity, who also represents true love, courtship, and marriage. His image is often used in Hopi marriage ceremonies.
15. Maple Leaf
While many tend to think of the maple leaf as a national symbol of Canada, it also has a separate and sweeter meaning in both Japanese and Canadian culture. It is seen as a symbol of love due to its sweetness. This sweetness is meant to represent the joy of love, as well as the wonder that can be found in day-to-day life.
16. Osram Ne Nsoromma
In West Africa, the Osram Ne Nsoromma is a symbol of eternal love, faithfulness, and harmony. It consists of a star nestled within a crescent moon, with the star representing the woman and the moon representing man. It is meant to show the harmony between the sexes, and the love between a man and woman.
17. Padme Lotus
The red lotus is the symbol of purity of the heart in Hinduism, as the color red is considered the color of purity. For this reason, it represents positive matters of the heart, particularly pure and eternal love and compassion.
18. Red Roses
A single red rose is another clear symbol of love and is considered a classic romantic gift to present to a partner or potential love interest. In ancient Greece, it was believed that the rose was created by Aphrodite, the goddess of love. In Hinduism and other Eastern cultures and religions, the red rose also has significant ties to themes of eternal love, passion, and romance.
19. Ribbon and Lace
For centuries, a woman gifting a man with a ribbon from her hair was said to be a declaration of love, and in medieval times knights would wear their partner’s ribbon as a testament to their eternal love. As such, ribbons and laces have had a strong connection to themes of love and romance. Just look at Valentine’s boxes and decorations which are often lined with ribbons, lace, and frills.
20. Rose Quartz
The unique rose quartz is held as a symbol of love and beauty by some, partially due to its soft, blushing-pink color. It is also believed to have a soothing, calming effect on the holder, and is said to help boost self-esteem and bring healing during emotional turmoil. All of which are traits of being in love.
In Hinduism, Native American culture, and ancient Rome, seashells have long been associated with love. Think of Botticelli’s Venus, where the goddess of love is painted standing in a scallop shell. For Hindus, a call of love could be made with a conch shell, which represented a full heart. See more information about seashell symbolism.
22. Serch Bythol
An ancient Celtic symbol, the Serch Bythol is made up of two Triquetras, or three-cornered knots. When these knots are joined together they represent the union between two lovers, and of course, eternal love. The fusion shapes symbolize the perfect unity and joining of body, mind, and spirit between two people.
These are some of the many symbols that have been used to represent and express feelings of eternal love across the centuries. Whether they are given as gifts, used to communicate romantic feelings, or merely act as an expression, they have all had a deep and abiding meaning for different peoples at one point or another.
23. Solomon’s Knot
Solomon’s knot is one of the few Celtic knots of its time that is still in use and is a motif representing eternal love and humanity’s connection to the divine. It has existed since the Stone Age and has been used in many cultures. Because it is a knot with no beginning or end, it is meant to represent the unbreakable, everlasting nature of true love.
There’s a reason one of the most classic love stories, Swan Lake, is based around the imagery of the swan. This sacred bird mates for life, and they accompany their partners everywhere, for the rest of their life. During the swan courtship ritual, their joined necks and heads create the shape of a heart. The very definition of a ‘lovebird’, it’s no wonder they are seen as an animal that symbolizes love.
For most of us, the triangle is simply that, a triangle. However, one of the most basic shapes also has a very different meaning – it is also a symbol of love! It has held this meaning in many cultures for different reasons. Think “love triangles” in western culture. In Hinduism it is seen as an element of “love energy,” and in ancient Egypt, the shape indicated intelligence and the ability to love others. It can also represent three parts of a loving family – mother, father, and child.
26. Twin Flames
There’s a reason that a single flame is often used to describe someone’s love interest, such as their “current flame” or “old flame.” These images represent passion, lust, and intense love, but they can be temporary. Twin flames, on the other hand, represent the strength of love between two connected people – soulmates. When two flames are paired together they feed each other and are stronger than ever, symbolizing eternal love.
The planet Venus has been a potent symbol of love since it was first discovered and named after the Roman goddess of love and desire, Venus. In astrology, your ‘venus sign’ (the sign aligned with the planet Venus) is what indicates your love style, including how you express love and your behavior and needs within a relationship.
Symbols of love are all around us. The above 27 love symbols are ones that have existed throughout the ages – from ancient Celtic conditions to the modern-day. While we may know of common ones today like the heart and doves, ancient symbols like the Claddagh ring remind us that love has been an important thing in the minds of humans throughout the millennia.
I’m Chris and I run this website – a resource about symbolism, metaphors, idioms, and a whole lot more! Thanks for dropping by.