Symbols - What does heaven look like
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.
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.
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.
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- Acteon and Artemis
- Aubrey de Vere - Sun god
- Bayard Taylor - Poems of the Orient – Kamadeva
- Black Elk - Native American Indians - The Arrow men visit
- Burne-Jones, Edward - Finding Psyche
- Caravaggio - Amor victorious
- Castren - Siberian shaman bells, spells and dancing
- Celtic - The gift of Awen
- Cirlot on snakes and serpents
- Crowley - 1 The Magician
- Crowley, Aleister - Book of Lies - The swan
- Dante - Paradiso - The second kingdom
- Desnos, Robert - Cascade
- Dürer, Albrecht - Religious works - Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
- Hyangga of Korea - Song of Ch'oyong
- Ibn El-Arabi - The Tarjuman al-Ashwaq - Greeting to Salmá and to those who dwell in the preserve
- Intelligences - PLANETS JUPITER Adad [or Hadad] and Šala
- Intelligences - PLANETS SATURN Nirig and Ugallu
- Jami - SALÁMÁN AND ABSÁL – from 05 The Story
- Khusrau, Amir - Ghazal 1772
- Khusrau, Amir - Ghazal 490 [extract]
- Khusrau, Amir - Ghazal 74
- M A Czaplicka - Siberian shamanism - Symbolism
- Maier, Michael - Atalanta fugiens 1618
- Maier, Michael - Atalanta fugiens 1618
- Malevich, Kazimir - Cosmos
- Michelangelo - 1534 Sistine Chapel - 03 Last Judgement
- Mircea Eliade - Crystals as the means of making a shaman
- Mircea Eliade - On Abaris
- Mircea Eliade - The Chain of arrows
- Mircea Eliade – The Turkic Rainbow bridge
- Misc. sources - Aztecs and Mexica - Xipe Totec
- Myths and legends - Mug Ruith
- Neruda, Pablo - The heavens unfastened and open
- Nietzsche - Thus spake Zarathustra - Thus did my wise longing
- Nizami – Makhzanol Asrar (The Treasury of Mysteries) – from On the Ascension
- Nizami – Makhzanol Asrar (The Treasury of Mysteries) – from The Second Seclusion 01
- Nizami – Makhzanol Asrar (The Treasury of Mysteries) – from The Second Seclusion 02
- Ogotommeli - Twins
- Ogotommeli - Weaving the universe
- Out of body like an arrow
- Ovid - Metamorphoses - The Song of the Muses
- Pauli, Wolfgang - Dreams of Rings, Circles, Eggs and Stars
- Picts – Type of experience - Z rod or Zigzag line [general]
- Poetic Edda - The Song of Rig [extract]
- Rossetti, Dante Gabriel - Venus Verticordia
- Saint Brendan - 07 The Voyage of Saint Brendan
- Samavedas – Book 07 Chapter 03, X Soma Pavamana
- Sir James Fraser – The Golden Bough - The mistletoe
- Surdas - Fatephur Sikri manuscript - NPS 1806
- Susa - Archers frieze from Darius' palace
- The Twelve Keys of Basil Valentine - Key 08
- Tibetan Book of the Dead - Achieving Buddhahood - Part 2
- Tibetan Book of the Dead - Achieving Buddhahood - Part 3
- Totem group – Picts – Sign of Zodiac - Archer
- Von Stuck, Franz - 1887 Amor imperator
- Von Stuck, Franz - Cupid at the Masked Ball
- Who Killed Cock Robin
- Yeats, W B - Anima Hominis - The Path of the Sun
- Zoroastrian - Symbols and concepts - Water 01