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The heartline is found on Zuni fetish drawings of animals; it represents the breath as the life force of the animal.


Amulets containing heart line drawings are considered powerful talismans.

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The Camargue Cross is the emblem of the church of Saints Maries-des-la-mer* in Camargue, in the South of France. This unusual cross is composed of three emblems, an anchor, a cross, and a heart, traditional emblems of the three cardinal virtues of hope, faith, and charity, respectively.

The unusual shape of the upper cross is representative of the trident-shaped tool used by the Gardians, the ubiquitous bull-herders (cowboys) who make up a large part of Camargue’s cultural legacy. The anchor does double duty, symbolizing the fishermen of the region.

*Literally, “Marys of the Sea.” The local tradition is a holdover from twelfth century legends of the voyages of the three Marys of the New Testament- Mary, mother of Jesus, Mary, sister of Lazarus, and Mary Magdalen.

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Anchor Fish

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The Immaculate Heart of Mary represents the Virgin Mary as “Mother of Sorrows,’ the grieving mother, regarded as a symbol of deep compassion for humanity.

The heart of Mary is a very old form of Catholic devotion, with many layers of symbolism. Much of the present symbolism of the heart and its attendant devotions are derived from Marian apparitions- appearances of the Virgin in the visions of Saints and devotees. The devotions are traced to St.s Anselm and Bernard of Clairvaux in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and popularised in the seventeenth century by Saint Jean Eudes.

A common devotional image of the Immaculate Heart

The Immaculate Heart is almost invariably pictured aflame, ringed with roses or lilies (symbolizing heavenly joy and purity, respectively) The sword piercing the heart illustrates a verse from the Gospel of Luke: “And a sword will go through your heart; so that the secret thoughts of men may come to light”

A heart pierced by seven swords, which represent the “seven sorrows” of the Virgin, symbolize seven sorrowful events described in the New Testament. The seven swords are the emblem of Mater Dolorosa, or the Lady of Sorrows.

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