Rings: origins and symbolism

The origin of the ring is very ancient and dates back to the Bronze Age (if not earlier), and already in the Cretan-Mycenaean civilization it became a precious and carefully worked object. Around 1800 BC the use of the seal-ring , of Mesopotamian derivation, spread as a form of seal for documents, from which the symbolic meaning of authority that still today those worn by high prelates would derive. In the Old Testament (Genesis 41, 41-42) a ring sanctioned the official transfer of power: ” The Pharaoh took the ring from his hand and placed it on Joseph’s hand “.

Its round shape reminiscent of the ‘ Ouroboros does often identified as a symbol of eternity.

Sentimental unions with the ring were already sanctioned in ancient Rome. The annulus pronubus was used for engagements, the cingulum (or vinculum) was instead the wedding ring to be inserted into the left ring finger.

Since Roman times it has been used in engagements and weddings as a wish for stability, with the name of vinculum and anulus pronubus, a meaning that is preserved intact even in later times until today. The same value of stability and honor is attributed to the rings used in heraldry. Breaking a ring, consequently, has the symbolic value of breaking some oath or an announcement of disgrace.

In a more limited sense, the ring is also the symbol of material and earthly life, which is why the Pope’s Fisherman’s ring, starting with the introduction of Clement IV in 1265, was broken upon his death, and once upon a time death of a relative, it was customary to remove the rings to allow his detachment from the earth. The identification between ring and life is also found in the ancient Carthaginian custom of delivering as many rings to their commanders as there were victims inflicted on the enemy.

The Archaic Magic of the Rings
The science of lapidaries from the classical Renaissance world
Claudio Lanzi

Buy it on the Garden of Books

The earliest recorded example of the traditional wedding ring is found in ancient Egypt, dating back over 3,000 years. According to the hieroglyphs on the scrolls of the time, couples began making rings for each other out of hemp, reed, leather or ivory. The more expensive the materials, the stronger the love for the partner was believed to be. The circular shape of the ring also symbolized eternal and unwavering love, a meaning we still attach to rings today.

Over time, other cultures have adopted the tradition of wedding rings. In ancient Rome, spouses gave their brides an iron ring. The latter brought a new meaning to the tradition of wedding rings: it now represented not only eternal love, but a strong and lasting love. The Romans were also among the first to personalize their rings, often engraving the faces of the spouses on the band.

It is said that the Egyptians saw the ring, as a circle, as a powerful symbol. An endless band that represents eternal life and love, and its opening represents a door to unknown worlds.

The left hand is the hand of feelings and intuition, of art and all that is contained in the emotional sphere, while the right hand is the hand of action, rationality and logic.

If you carry more rings in your left hand you are a sensitive, receptive person, gifted with imagination and sweetness; if, on the other hand, it is in the right hand that you love to wear rings, you demonstrate that you have a dominant, active character, which always achieves its goals because it has constructive logic and personality.

The Lord of the Rings – Illustrated Edition Illustrated
by Alan Lee
J.RR Tolkien

Buy it on the Garden of Books

The thumb finger is, due to its shape, the most solid and strong finger and also a symbol of power. Adorning it with a ring is a provocative way to show self-confidence.

The index is instead a symbol of the direction to take and enhancing it with a ring means demonstrating determination and ambition to others.

The middle finger indicates a sense of responsibility and making it precious with a ring reveals a desire for balance, while the ring finger has always been considered the finger of love on which to wear the engagement ring and wedding band. If you like to make it stand out with a ring, it means that you love living in harmony, gathered by a family that will protect and welcome you.

But if you wear only one ring and on your ring finger, you are sending a very specific message: you are already busy / or sentimentally and you are not looking for a new love.

Finally, the little finger, small and aristocratic, is the one that works less than the other fingers of the hand. If you like to ring it, you are probably a little vain but also creative and intuitive.

We must first ask ourselves why the fourth finger of the hand is called ring finger: its name derives from the Latin annulus that is ring, so even in ancient times the ring was worn on the fourth finger of the hand.

The Egyptians thought that a vein passed inside that finger that went directly to the heart; Christians, on the other hand, indicated the trinity with their thumb, index and middle fingers and reached the ring finger after touching those three fingers, that’s why the wedding ring goes there.

The choice of the left hand is related to the fact that the right hand was used much more in everyday work, so the faith would have bothered and would have been damaged more.

White Quartz Crystal Bell
White Quartz Crystal Bell
Available in different sizes and notes

Ananda Inner Life


Inserisci i tuoi dati qui sotto o clicca su un'icona per effettuare l'accesso:

Logo di WordPress.com

Stai commentando usando il tuo account WordPress.com. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Google photo

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Google. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Foto Twitter

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Twitter. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Foto di Facebook

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Facebook. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Connessione a %s...

%d blogger hanno fatto clic su Mi Piace per questo: