Print this page

Symbols - What does heaven look like

Arrow

See also bow.

An arrow can be synonymous with a lightning bolt – see Thunder and lightning and Spiritual Input.

But arrows normally travel from someone to heaven, thus most arrows are symbolic of spiritual output

The arrow as a symbol of spiritual output is an extremely apt choice.  The arrow goes unbelievable fast especially if shot from a crossbow.  The arrow can also symbolise, by extension the Higher spirit’s ability to travel in the spiritual world at ‘high speed’.  In fact to all intents and purposes, travel from one ‘place’ to another, or communication with other composers happens instantaneously.  The bow in its turn looks like one of the arcs of the Levels and Layers in the Egg.  Thus one is symbolically shooting through the levels and layers at very high speed.

Hans Peter Duerr - Dreamtime

Aristeas flew to foreign lands ‘like a bird’, while his body lay, ‘as if dead’, according to the testimony of a Sophist, Maximos of Tyros.  Similar journeys were carried out by the Hyperborean Abaris, who would mount the arrow of Apollo or assume the shape of a raven.

We see the arrow symbol used in the sign of Sagittarius – the horse also a symbol of travel.  Cupid has a bow and arrows…….

The goddesses Artemis and Diana had bows and arrows, most of the Nymphs and Neriads had bows and arrows.  In effect symbolically, to be a god you had to be capable of flying or communicating in the spiritual world as fast as an arrow across the rainbow

Hans Peter Duerr – Dreamtime

In this vein a medieval mystic reported ‘It seemed to me that I was picked up with my entire body and carried away so fast, not even an arrow could fly that fast off a crossbow; later I asked whether my body had been gone.  But they told me afterwards my body was not gone’.  Upon the question, in what manner she had been carried away she answered ‘It seems as if in truth it was as if in flight; I do not know of any more appropriate comparison’.

In this vein a medieval mystic reported ‘It seemed to me that I was picked up with my entire body and carried away so fast, not even an arrow could fly that fast off a crossbow; later I asked whether my body had been gone.  But they told me afterwards my body was not gone’.  Upon the question, in what manner she had been carried away she answered ‘It seems as if in truth it was as if in flight; I do not know of any more appropriate comparison’

The use of arrows as a symbol of speed is extremely widespread across cultures worldwide, for example, Black Elk falls seriously ill when he is nine years old, and is confined to bed in his tipi. While lying there, he has a vision in which he is approached by two men who come from the clouds…

Black Elk Speaks – as told through John Neihardt

………headfirst, like arrows slanting down… Each [carrying] a long spear, and from the points of these a jagged lightning flashed.

These two ‘Arrow Men’ hurry Black Elk to a small cloud which carries him into the sky.

Mircea Eliade – Shamanism Archaic techniques of ecstasy

Carrying in his hand the golden arrow, the proof of his Apolline origin and mission, [Abaris] passed through many lands dispelling sickness and pestilence by sacrifices of a magic kind, giving warning of earthquakes and other disasters.  A later legend shows him flying through the air on his arrow, like Musaeus. 

The arrow, which plays a certain role in Scythian mythology and religion, is a symbol of magical flight. 

The occurrence of the arrow in many Siberian shamanic ceremonies will be recalled in this connection

Even now we tend to name things that are extremely fast and fly with the epithet ‘arrow’ – so for example the Red Arrows are a very talented flying team in the RAF who perform aerial aerobatic manoeuvres. 

Officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, they were formed in late 1964.  The Red Arrows badge shows the aircraft in their trademark diamond nine formation, with the motto Éclat, meaning "brilliance" or "excellence".  I am not sure whether the founders were aware of the symbolic significance of either the name or the use of the diamond.

There is one more symbolic meaning of the arrow when used in the context of sexual stimulation methods. The bow is the pelvis and the arrow is the penis.

Observations

For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.