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Top 10 Symbols of Caring With Meanings

Top 10 Symbols of Caring With Meanings

Symbols have held utmost importance throughout the course of history. They have helped humans better understand the world around them. Different civilizations, cultures, and eras have concocted symbols according to their understanding of the world around them. 

Many symbols represent the positive attributes of human nature, such as caring and compassion. These symbols are derived from nature, animals, colors, flowers, and religious philosophy. 

In this article, we will discuss the top 10 symbols of caring:

1. Cow

Cow sitting on a grass field.
Cow sitting on a grass field
Kim Hansen, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The cow is a profound symbol of caring and nurturing. As a result, they represent the continuing nature of life and motherhood. They are also considered sacred in many communities and cultures, such as in India. Cows also represent fertility, as they are also sources of milk and food. 

Sometimes, cows also represent the love of the divine that is present for all creation. For example, when a calf is separated from its mother, it cries for her and often stops eating food. This represents a strong connection between the mother and calf and represents the nature of divine love. (1)

2. Garden

A Garden with a Swing.
A Garden with a Swing
Image by Rene Asmussen from pixnio

A Garden is symbolic of caring and kindness. This is because nature itself is widely used as a poignant symbol of relationships and human emotions. Some of these human emotions include beauty, life, death, and decay. Gardens metaphorically represent human nature. Humans care for their gardens similarly as they would care for each other. 

They plant seeds, care for the young plants, nurture and feed them and witness their growth. Essentially, what defines us as humans is based on how much we care for one another and other living things. Caring is central to human existence. Without the element of care, life would be ugly, hopeless, and short. (2) 

Gardens are wonderful and peaceful places where one can relax and rejuvenate. Humans have been gardening and farming for thousands of years. Initially, it was done as a food source, but today, many people maintain gardens as a hobby.

Gardening also represents strength and energy. Just like you work hard to maintain your garden similarly, you need to work hard to create the future you want. 

3. The Heart

A drawn heart.
A drawn heart
Image by kaboompics from Pixabay

The heart symbol denotes love, caring, and compassion. The heart symbol has a deep, historical meaning. During the time of the ancient Greeks, love was linked to the heart and expressed through lyrical poetry. Greek philosophers such as Aristotle identified the human heart as the center of all emotion and feeling. 

The connection between the human heart and the concept of love was profound. The oldest heart shape (comprising of the two lobes and the V shape) was found in the city of Cyrene, which is in present-day Libya).

 Ancient Cyrene was commonly known for its Silphium trade. Silphium was a type of giant fennel that grew in that region. The Greeks and Romans used it for medicinal purposes and food flavoring. It was also most commonly used for its contraceptive properties. 

Silphium became so popular that it was cultivated to extinction by the first century AD. (3)

4. Deer

A Deer is quite rare to see. They usually shy away from humans; hence, encountering a deer can be special. A Deer also holds strong symbolism. Deers represent gentleness, caring, gracefulness, tranquility, self-awareness, and inner peace

A deer also has a strong spiritual connection. A deer can represent a deep connection to people close to you, such as your family and friends. A deer also represents unconditional love and belonging. It also brings community to the limelight. (4)

 Within Christianity, the deer is also symbolic of piety and devotion and also represents God taking care of his children (men). (5)

Within Christianity, the deer is also symbolic of the beauty of married life. Many artistic images have been discovered in early Christianity of a male and female deer representing the bride and groom. The concept is that together, the bride and groom believe in the same faith, and together they pray for their happiness to God. (6)

5. Green Color

Green grass.
Green grass
Image Courtesy: pixahive.com

The green color represents harmony, good health, vitality, and caring nature. The color green is found in abundance in nature. It embodies lush greenery, foliage, and endless lush landscapes. Hence, the color green is linked to Mother Nature. 

This is the primary reason green color is considered calming, relaxing, peaceful, and gentle. Green is known to suppress chaos and to heal. Green also denotes well-being. Pharmaceutical companies sometimes use it to imply the effectiveness of the product and well-being. 

The green color is also known to balance the head and the heart. It reminds us to think logically and have a healthy relationship with our feelings. It reminds us to be sentimental and caring and show emotion and love where necessary. (7)

6. Dove

Flying white dove.
Flying white dove
Image courtesy: uihere.com

Doves have been symbolic of love, good luck, fidelity, prosperity, and caring. The symbolism of the dove began with the Egyptians, who saw the dove as representing quiet innocence. The Chinese thought the dove represented long life and peace. 

The early Greeks and Romans interpreted the dove as representing care for family, devotion, and love. Many other cultures of the world see the dove as representing a peaceful soul. (8) Doves also represent purity, faith, beauty, femininity, and gentleness. 

These gentle-looking birds are often seen snuggled close to their partners, making potent symbols of love and care. (9) 

7. Red Lotus

Red lotus flower.
Red lotus flower
Image by Couleur from Pixabay

The lotus flower represents a multitude of meanings. Spiritually the lotus implies resurrection and rebirth. In eastern cultures, the lotus is considered a sacred symbol depicting the way of life. The Buddha, who attained enlightenment, sits on a lotus flower, implying his rebirth. 

The Lotus flower also represents compassion, transformation, fertility, and enlightenment. Different colored lotus flowers have different meanings. The red lotus specifically implies care, love, and affection. It also implies open-heartedness, generosity of spirit, and selfless love. (10) (11)

8. Raven

Two Ravens.
Two Ravens
Image Courtesy: Pixabay

Ravens have made frequent appearances in different mythologies and cultures and have had mixed reputations. Some cultures interpret ravens as signifying cunningness, an ill omen, or witchcraft. 

In comparison, other cultures see ravens as messengers of the divine and symbols of protection and wisdom

Japanese culture views ravens as strong symbols of caring. They believe ravens are examples of familial affection. This is because grown offspring stick together with their parents. The children also often help their parents raise the newer hatchlings. 

The raven is also seen as very wise and clever. They can imitate human sounds and words with accuracy. In  Norse mythology, The king of all the gods, Odin, had two ravens as messengers; Huggin and Muggin represented ‘thought’ and ‘memory’  as Odin was known to be the all-wise. 

Even though most commonly, Ravens symbolize concepts like intelligence and cunning or survival and adaptability, they are also potent symbols of caring, which should not be forgotten. (12)(13)

9. Varada Mudra

Bodhisattva making varada mudra.
Bodhisattva making varada mudra. Pala period, 12th century.
G41rn8, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Varada Mudra is symbolic of compassion, caring, sincerity and charity. The gesture is symbolic of forgiveness and can often be seen on the Buddha’s or the Hindu Gods’ statues. Precisely, the Varada Mudra is a sacred hand gesture that implies something divine or a spiritual manifestation. 

The Varada Mudra also represents the connection between ‘giving’ and ‘forgiving.’ It is believed that someone who gives abundantly will be forgiven, while someone who forgives will be blessed abundantly. (14)

 10. Om Symbol

Om symbol painted on temple wall / Tibetan, Buddhism.
Om symbol painted on temple wall / Tibetan, Buddhism
Image courtesy: pxhere.com

The ‘Om’ symbol is packed with implicit meaning. This symbol is infinitely sacred within the realms of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. This symbol is linked to many spiritual aspects such as knowledge, divinity, the truth, and the essence of reality.

 In Hinduism, the Om symbol denotes unification. It brings together three parts of the human self: the mind, body, and spirit. 

Tibetan Buddhism uses the Om symbol as the very first syllable of a popular mantra – Om Mani Padme Hum. This mantra was created to denote Buddha’s association with all things compassionate. Hence, in Buddhist ideology, the Om symbol connects compassion and connection. (15)

Summary

Symbols of caring have been present in different cultures and through different eras. Compassion and caring are vital components of human nature. 

Without care, empathy, and compassion, the world would be empty, meaningless, cruel, and dark.

Which of these symbols of caring were you already aware of? Let us know in the comments below!

References

  1. https://whatismyspiritanimal.com/spirit-totem-power-animal-meanings/mammals/cow-symbolism-meaning/
  2. https://www.thegardencontinuum.com/blog/why-is-a-garden-a-symbol-of-caring#:~:text=Gardens%20engage%20all%20of%20the,perfect%20extension%20of%20human%20care.
  3. https://www.somatechnology.com/blog/fun-fact-friday/the-origin-of-the-heart-shaped-symbol-of-love/
  4. https://crystalclearintuition.com/deer-meaning/#:~:text=Those%20with%20a%20deer%20as,their%20soothing%20and%20calm%20demeanor.
  5. https://www.faena.com/aleph/notes-on-the-symbolism-of-deer
  6. https://worldbirds.com/deer-symbolism/
  7. https://www.color-meanings.com/green-color-meaning-the-color-green/
  8. http://www.adoveslove.com/symbolism.html#:~:text=The%20Chinese%20felt%20the%20dove,also%20seen%20as%20representing%20love.
  9. https://worldbirds.com/dove-symbolism/
  10. https://www.snapblooms.com/blog/lotus-flower-meaning/
  11. https://www.uniguide.com/lotus-flower-meaning-symbolism/
  12. https://www.symbols.com/symbol/raven
  13. https://www.uniguide.com/raven-meaning-symbolism-spirit-animal-guide/
  14. https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/11642/varada-mudra
  15. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/what-does-the-om-symbol-mean#:~:text=When%20said%20aloud%2C%20Om%20(or,body%2C%20and%20the%20spirit.%22