Symbols - What does heaven look like

Collars and ruffs

Like the Dish and Plate, the collar and the Elizabethan ruff are all symbols of beheading

The symbolism can mean that the person has managed to master their bodily sensations, as the Elizabethans claimed to have done and Elizabeth I the ‘virgin queen’, and/or that by doing so they had achieved spiritual experiences and were thus in touch with their Higher spirit.  It thus becomes by extension a symbol of ‘enlightenment’ – see Types of spiritual experience.

The Puritans’ wide collar was just a more simplified ruff. 

Very few people seem aware these days of the origins of the collar they wear every day on their shirt.  After all, why have a collar on a shirt – what purpose does it serve?  This is the origin.  It also provided a useful holder for a necktie – simply a belt moved up – another symbol – this time representing spiritual obedience…. Or a bit more.

This wonderful painting of Elizabeth I is full of symbolism and incorporates not only the ruff, but the halo and pearls.

Her white face and curly [curls]  red hair also have their own symbolic meaning.


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