Charmed: Annina Vogel’s Arrows
Symbolically arrows have held significance for hundreds if not thousands of years. Greek mythology’s huntress Artemis is noted for racing through the woods, bow and arrow strapped to her back… and our feisty Eros (or Cupid) caused love and turmoil with his arrow’s prick. English folk hero Robin Hood saved Sherwood Forest with the help of his arrow and band of Merry Men. Even our tragic hero Hamlet debated suffering the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune’ during his famous soliloquy*.
Victorian symbolism, however, returned its focus to love and empowerment. Jewelry designer Annina Vogel breaks it down:
ARROW AS LOVE
The Victorians were highly romantic and sentimental, and from this we get the fantastic cupid’s arrow, which carries traditional and contemporary meaning. The original meaning of these arrows were as a love token, often to be pinned near the heart to denote that cupid’s arrow had shot and you were well and truly love-struck.
Arrows, like horseshoes, could have subtly different meanings when studded with various different stones. A diamond arrow for example would have meant a desire for a long-lasting love and was the strongest message of love a person could send as diamonds meant strength and longevity in love.
ARROW AS PERSONAL STRENGTH & EMOTIONAL ENDURANCE
Arrows, in contrast to the sentimental, also have a connection to strength and self-assurance. Wearing the arrow reminds us that, even when we feel like we are being pulled backward (much like the arrow’s bow), the act is made to propel forward. Simply put: hard times are merely the build up to the moment when we can truly fly.
Arrows are a symbol of personal strength whilst also representing romance to epitomize both love and luck – the two messages most important to the Victorians.
* William Shakespeare, Hamlet. Act 3, Scene 1.