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Heraldry, Chivalry & Renaissance

Comedy / Tragedy Tragedy and Comedy are classic symbols of theatre as well as for the duality of human emotional experience. In Greek sacred drama, actors did not show their faces. Instead, masks were held up to illustrate emotions for the course of the play
Queen Elizabeth The reign of Queen Elizabeth I is often referred to as The Golden Age of English history. She was dedicated to her country in a way few monarchs ever are. Her brilliant rule from 1558 to 1603 saw England rise from bankruptcy and civil rupture to prosperity and strength.
The Flaming Heart comes from Crests from Europe, which
would mean ‘burning passion, love, desire, ardent affection,
burning love. In Christianity the flaming heart is a symbol of
sacrifice, higher love, grace and mercy.
Sailing Ship Advances in shipbuilding techniques and in navigation allowed the European nations to sail and chart all the oceans
of the world during the Age of Discovery (ca. 1450 to 1600).
Great danger and great opportunity faced those who were willing
to face the sea.
Fleur De Lis The Flower of Light was adopted as an heraldic emblem by the Kings of France. This signifies the blessed Trinity and enlightenment. As a personal talisman, it continues to be associated with purity and nobility of purpose.
Saint George The cult of Saint George goes back to the 4th century. Venerated by the Byzantine Church as a soldier saint, the English Crusaders brought his stories back (including slaying a dragon to save a fair princess) and chose St. George as the Patron Saint of England. Appeared to Richard the Lionheart.
Jester In Heraldic times, it was the job of the Court Jester to keep the King amused, in good humor and in balance. The Wise Clown is found in all cultures and most pantheons, from England to Africa to Japan, reminding people not to take themselves too seriously
Scottish Thistle The prickly purple thistle was adopted as the emblem of Scotland during Alexander III’s reign (1249 -1286). According to legend, a Norse army, attacking Scotland at night, removed their shoes. One barefoot raider found a thistle and shrieked in pain, warning the Scotts just in time
Knight in Shining Armor The Saxon word for servant, “cniht,” gives us our English word knight. A knight was a mounted warrior in the service of his liege-lord. Loyalty, courtesy, honor, glory, courage — all this and more come to mind when we think of the knight in shining armor.
Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596) navigator and privateer, Sir Francis Drake is one of the greatest English sea-captains of all time. Hero of the fight against the Spanish Armada, captain of the first English ship to circumnavigate the globe, privateer and terror of the Spanish Main, Drake’s legendary status is well earned.
Knot of Love The design for the Lover’s Knot or Endless Knot of Love is a very popular one in American history. These love knots were primarily an expression of love; however, they were also used as proposals of marriage. Left on the sweetheart’s doorstep, she kept it or returned it as her answer.
Tudor Rose From 1455 to 1485, the War of The Roses raged in England between the Houses of York (white rose) and Lancaster (red rose). The war was ended by Henry VII (of Lancaster), who married Elizabeth of York. As emblem of his House (Tudor), he joined the white rose with the red.
Lion Rampant The symbol of a lion has been used as a heraldic device for many centuries by Scottish Kings. William I of Scotland (1165 - 1214) was known as ‘The Lion’, after he introduced the lion symbol into his coat of arms. Lesser Houses throughout Europe included it to symbolize majesty.

Ancient Symbols

Because of its importance in navigation, the anchor was regarded in ancient times as a symbol of safety. The Christians, adopted the anchor as a symbol of hope in future existence.
Labyrinth Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has only one path, winding but without divisions or branches; a path that moves inevitably toward the center of the labyrinth and then outwards again. Used to contemplate the descent into Mother Earth and reemergence by many spiritual traditions.
Ankh In Egypt Ankh meant “life” and “hand mirror”, derived from the Mirror of Hathor. Pharaohs and Egyptian deities were shown carrying the ankh as a symbol of the promise of eternal life. It also represented the union of Isis and Osiris, which mystically caused the Nile’s annual floods.
Laurel Wreath In the ancient Greek Olympics victors were crowned with a wreath made of laurel leaves. Associated with the Sun God, Apollo, the laurel tree is also known for its medicinal virtues. The laurel crown is identified with achieving victory, success and excellence.
A caduceus or wand of Hermes was an ancient astrological symbol of commerce. Many medical groups have adopted the twin serpent caduceus of Hermes or Mercury as a medical symbol during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Lightning The highly energetic eightfold path of enlightened effort. The inspirational quickening of the spirit
Claddagh One of Ireland’s unique treasures, the “Claddagh” is a symbol of Love, Friendship and loyalty. The Claddagh Ring belongs to a widespread group of finger rings called Fede or “Faith rings” which date from Roman times.
Maltese Cross Identified with the Knights of Malta, originally called the Order of Knights Hospitaller (white or silver on black background), and the Knights Templar (red on white), also called the “Rosy Cross”. Today it is used by Firemen, skateboarders, and motorcycle enthusiasts.
Death’s Head Death’s Head, the skull, has been given strong religious meaning for many cultures. Hindus wear it to remember that you must die’. In Mexico it symbolizes the Day of the Dead. To the Celts it was the seat of the soul. To Christians it symbolizes Golgotha, the place of the skull, where Christ was crucified.
Sword Dancing is usually regarded as a type of morris dance. Revived in England from more ancient traditions, the swords are interlinked into a woven knot, known as a lock or nut, which is strong enough to be held up by one of the dancers
Eye of Horus (Right and Left) In Egypt, the symbol of a sacred Eye of Horus protected against many evils. The two eyes were represented two ways of seeing by way of the sun (rt) and the moon(left).
The Vikings, also called Norsemen or Northmen, were members of the Scandinavian seafaring warriors who raided and colonized wide areas of Europe from the 9th to the 11th century. During the Viking period they sailed the seas in their longships and raided cities and towns along the coasts of Europe—earning them the name vikingr, meaning “pirate”.
Goddess This particular talisman is derived from one of the Western Neolithic sculptures and petroglyphs of the Great Mother. In many early cultures she was the prime deity. Associated with the cycles of the moon, she often had three aspects named independently as Maiden, Mother and Crone.
Om In the Hindu Upanishads, the sound of Ohm is the called the supreme syllable, the Mother Mantra, from which all the sounds that brought the universe into being arose. It is called the universal logos of oriental creation, the word that first brought forth the diversity of the material world.
Hand of Fatima The Hand of Fatima (also appearing in Jewish lore as the Hand of Miriam) serves as an ancient talisman to avert the evil eye, and appears in several stylized forms. In Muslim traditions, the Hand is associated with Fatima, the daughter of the prophet Muhammad.
Pentagram The pentacle or pentagram is a very ancient symbol whose meanings have been given as life and/or health. Alchemists used it as a symbol for the cosmos, with the figure of a man placed within a circle. They can still be found decorating older churches of Europe.