Coats of Arms, Family Crests and Seals and The Sacred Truth Behind the Symbolism


Coats of arms, family crests, and seals, apart from genealogy, interior design, social and leadership etiquette draw on symbols far deeper than most realise…

Almost always, symbols related to life, in the sense of lifecycles of men, women, annual events, and to god (in some places and times, the gods). The arena of Jungian Psychology is the best approach for determining the inner aspects of symbols, and there is a significant cross-threading of ideology between myths and legends, alchemy, and our inner worlds – within heraldic art are many symbols that are important images of individuation; the noun that identifies the progressive awareness and maturing process of the deep and archetypal Self and inner structuring components; essentially you, at your core.

As we look at the key elements and drill down through the correlating symbol, words, and distinct inference, one ascertains the relationship between the outer and our inner worlds, thus:

Gold, the color of the sun and principle symbol of generative provider and order, and thus the principal symbol of kingship; as symbolized by the Mesopotamians with the winged sun-disk, God-given earthly-authority bestowed upon the king – with rod and golden ring, the symbols of the king’s reign. From both noble birth through dutiful service, the king leads through his health, generativity, and jurisprudence, and secures the prosperity of the land.

The Symbol & Archetype of The King – The Life Imparting Masculine Values at the Top of the Leadership Chain: Orderliness, manliness, imparting energy into the world by accessing sacred inner essence, divine energy, a locus of tremendous energy, nuclear power-plant center dissipating translated and regulated energies, creative power in eyes, world-building, consciousness raising, discerning and independent, hardworking, risk-taking, courage, endurance, protector, autonomy, provider, procreator, will, beholds true worth of others: a confirming face, mirrors and blesses, delivers meaningful contribution, integrity, commitment, quest for wholeness, regal calm, self-assurance, firm boundaries, creative, caring, wisdom, courage, insight, clarity, patience, benevolence and might, mature, strong, decisive, aggressive, masculine, potent, powerful enough to revoke the world, stewardship, fullness of being, relatedness, compassion, mercy, an enigmatic smile – a sign of supreme confidence, eyes pierce friend and foe alike, dynamic calm hallmark, defends others with great ferocity, authority, wealth, generous, bold in vision and voice, declaration, fructifying power, source of life and blessing, abundance, wrathful judge, light and fire, hands swift and movements sure, forceful agency, generativity, inspired, empowering, battlefield prowess, radiance, a producing structurer, admiration, success, respect, generous, productive, effective, attractive, economic weight, natural ability to ‘hold transference,’ loving stillness in eyes, and so on.

To evoke these values is to be masculine: to create and insert life-imparting values into the world is masculine. The immature often see and attempt to deliver kingship by force rather than to institute with a natural authority.

Symbol of the Queen – The Naked Truth of Sacred Femininity: Silver, the color of the moon, Luna and the symbol of femininity epitomized by the queen. The crescent moon, akin to the tusk of a wild boar, the animal chosen by the ancient Greeks to ‘fight’ at a time of initiation and rite-of-passage of their young men. The initiation is a time of translating the young man’s warrior energy into energy of greater value-producing purpose. Femininity, rather than a symbol of women and womanhood – albeit a woman’s ability to hold within her body a greater volume of feminine spirit tends to be greater – is a symbol of an ‘ability to receive’ – from the depths of the earth and the great mother. But also to receive unconscious repressed material, bringing its energies into positive service, less it lay latent or regress and manifest in life as undesired feelings, pride or depression. In the Greek initiate’s fight with the wild boar, his tusk pierces the thigh of the candidate, and he receives – with pain and truth – the coded information at a cellular level: the sacred information that heals historical transgressions, that unlocks a vault of new capability and authority, and drive to deliver positive purpose with the qualities and character of kingship identified in archetypal full expression above. The initiates fight with the boar is symbolic, of course.

The vault, replete with gold, lay in the shadow, in your unconscious – for the values of kingship to manifest you must explore the unknown quarters of your own life; the grief, the transgressions, the accountability, the under- or over-compensations, the fears, the guilt, the shame, and the anger; feeling it, naming it, asking it consciously and sometimes ritually for it come into service; by doing so, natural authority and positioning for leadership occurs. Thus only those who have begun the work of eating their shadow, carefully navigating the stories of the past, gather sufficient weight and presence of maturation and kingship. Priorities are always for bigger things, for the leader in terms of both a higher power or strong belief, and service to others for the good of the order. Complex lives, including work lives, navigated with great deft, with care of people involved and the process undertaken, also builds, quite honorably, healthy kings.

Thus femininity is the receiving of buried material, during the course of initiation, or through day-to-day conscious acknowledgment, of emotions and memories.

The Use of Symbols in Heraldry: on Coats of Arms, the Family Crest, and Seals: Individually, you can also look to the nature of the beast or device to determine at a more basic level symbols of character interpretation i.e. a fox being sagacity, wisdom or wit (according to Guillim interpretation), which is noted to the right: note, this is not an exhaustive list and the deeper layer is the more robust interpretation, identified by the discussion on character of the king – they all lead to the same place via differing encoded routes.

Indeed, it can be said at the age of coming into strong archetypal kingship, particularly aged in his 50’s, his drive shifts from warrior energies to lover energies, and the generative kingship cause, with the call to lead others for the good of the order, created from his inner womb – another symbol of the feminine. His fertility is the birthing of kingship, and an extra-ordinary level of value creation and abundance, for which the next generations are dependent upon for the health of the society.

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