Why is the heart a symbol of love? 

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by Morgan Collins

For all those keeping up with the dates, February 14th is Valentine’s Day. For many, this means a day full of love and showing affection to that special someone in your life. From early childhood we have all come to know that the symbol for love is the heart. However, many people do not know why this organ became the symbol for love or why it has been changed to not resemble the bodily organ. Today that’s exactly what we are going to find out.

Currently, the symbol of the heart is everywhere. From cards, clothes, and now even an emoji, hearts come in a variety of forms and colors. No matter where you see the heart it all symbolizes the same thing – – love. From the Egyptians, to the Greeks, to the Romans, they held the view that the heart was synonymous with love.  Dating all the way back to ancient Egypt, they believed that the heart held the essence of the soul and was a way to tell the purity of a person. They would use this during their burial rituals to determine who would go to heaven. In ancient Greece, the citizens thought that the heart did the work that our brain does today: of our brain today, controlling all reason, emotion, and thought. This is where the slogan “think from the heart” comes from that is so popular today. The Romans had their own theory called the circulatory system theory. They claimed that each organ had a different sentimental function. They believed that all emotions took place in the heart, thoughts took place in the brain, and passion took place in the liver. Over time, all of these theories spread and the great artists of the world circulated songs and poems all professing that love takes place in the heart. 

Finally, one burning question for many is how the internal organ of the heart turned into the cartoon image we know today. This question is fairly simple to answer and is based on the basic principles of love. When people think of love they think of two hearts together or a strong unbreakable bond. It is for this reason that the cartoon symbol of the heart is simply two heart organs placed together. As seen in the picture below, by placing two hearts together, it resembles the symbol we have all come to know. It is roughly placed that people have been using this symbol since the 11th century. 

With all this extra heart knowledge you can be sure to impress your special someone this Valentine’s Day. My advice, maybe stick to the cartoon hearts instead of the organ.