The origin of women wearing jewelry

According to theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, the custom of women wearing jewelry has its roots in spiritual symbolism. In other words, the wearing of jewelry was more than a means to enhance one’s physical appearance and attractiveness, it symbolized the inner beauty of a woman’s heart.

Swedenborg also maintained that this spiritual symbolism is contained within the literal meanings of biblical verses, such as:

I decked thee with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain upon thy throat; and I put a jewel upon thy nose. (Ezekiel, 11, 12)

Wearing a jewel on the nose represented spiritual goodness because the nose brings life through respiration and detects fragrance (pleasantness). Therefore a jewel on the nose symbolizes the special quality of a woman’s life and love.

Wearing an earring symbolizes the goodness of love put into action. The ear and its ability to hear, symbolizes listening, that is, obedience to God’s spiritual truths and acting according to divine tenets.

Of course, in today’s society, many people bypass this deeper heavenly meaning and simply ornament themselves and get “decked-out” in spite of their true inner qualities. Few men wearing big diamond earrings strike me as being of a particularly spiritual bent. And women usually prefer that their bling comes from an admirer rather than having to buy it for themselves.

So jewelry can sometimes symbolize something opposite to spiritual love—like love of self and the promoting of one’s self-importance.

In fact, body jewelry can symbolize quite opposite qualities no matter which body part is decorated. For instance, jewelry on the genitals would have represented the goodness of the love for children in former times. But now this custom is most often used to enhance lust and titillation of sacred body parts.

The spiritual symbolism behind the custom of men giving jewelry to women is that it is for men to discern and recognize the inner beauty of a woman’s heart. This serves as a validation of a woman’s inner spiritual quality and a man’s judgment in seeking a suitable bride and eternal heavenly partner.

To explore this symbolism further, the marriage of a man and a woman is an effigy of the union between the human heart and mind, and deeper still, effigies the combining of God’s spiritual truth with spiritual love—which represents the underlying creative process in the universe. That is why the marriage between a man and a woman can create children—it has its origins in the prolific principle of heavenly ideals.


About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at
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3 Responses to The origin of women wearing jewelry

  1. Roland Amos says:

    The above description is not biblical, is it ?

    • thegodguy says:

      Dear Roland,

      The concept is inherent to the truth about heavenly life. It is implied by the biblical statement “Judge them by their fruits.” If heaven involved a non-productive reality it would not be heaven. The human mind and soul stays glued and finds spiritual fulfillment according to challenges and utility. Thanks for the question.

      Sipiritually yours,

      • thegodguy says:

        Sorry Roland, I thought you were responding to a different blog. Your question concerning earrings is difficult to address with a few paragraphs. It is important to consider that God is the Word (John 1:1-3). Since the Lord God is Infinite Holy Scripture must contain infinite wisdom. This unending wisdom is “housed” within the limited pages of Scripture through multi-levels of meaning (that is why Jesus spoke only in parables). One must understand these deeper levels of meaning in order to derive evidence of more complex topics being discussed within the literal Bible narratives. See my book “Proving God” for an explanation of the multi-level architecture of biblical interpretation (exegesis).

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