articlemostwanted - Symbol of flight, penetration, and direction. As a weapon, the arrow is a symbol of the power of the person who carries it, along with the bow. As a sacred symbol, it is the attribute of the Goddess of the Hunt, Artemis/Diana, as well as of Eros, who uses his arrows to pierce the people’s hearts with love. Here, the arrow also serves as a phallic symbol and an emblem of masculine power. The symbol of the heart pierced with an arrow, popular on Valentine’s Day cards, is a covert symbol of sexual union.
The arrow as a symbol of direction works on a physical level and a metaphorical level. The arrow that shoots high up into the sky is an emblem of the link between Earth and Heaven, a symbol of an idea, or of a message being carried directly to the Gods.
The arrow is used, too, as an analogy for swiftness and sureness, since the arrow travels in the direction in which it is shot. The astrological sign of Sagittarius, the hybrid creature that is always depicted in the process of shooting an arrow from his bow, has a Latin root, sagitta; this means “arrow” and is derived from a verb, sagire, that means “to perceive keenly or quickly.” Therefore, the arrow is symbolic of quick-wittedness and intuition.
Arrows were used by the ancient Arabians, Chaldeans, Greeks, and Tibetans in a form of divination called Belomancy. This was practiced by shooting arrows in the air and reading a meaning from the direction of the arrows or their positions in relation to each other. For example, crossed or touching arrows meant “no.” Later, the arrows had words written on them to make any answers even more definitive.