(continued from Fin, Fur, and Feather Part 1)
Fish are a potent symbol of Christianity. Their elongated shape also represents male fertility and lunar deities. Fish were sacred to the Assyrian god of the deep, Ea-Oannes. In Buddhism, fish represent freedom of the mind and faith as Buddha was a fisher of men. In Judaism, fish symbolize the faithful swimming in the waters of the Torah. Varuna and Vishnu, Hindu gods, assume the shape of fish, thus the fish is the symbol of wealth, fertility, and love.
Whales are a symbol of power and the regenerative energy of the cosmic waters. In its negative aspect, the whale is the devourer of Jonah, symbolizing death in the belly of hell. The Inuits view the whale as trickster.
Ancient Greeks and Romans considered the dolphin the king of sea creatures. The dolphin is both savior and psychopomp; a guide to souls in the underworld. Celtic tradition views the dolphin as a symbol of well worship and power over waters. The dolphin is the attribute of many gods and goddesses associated with the sea: Aphrodite (Venus); Eros; Poseidon (Neptune); Isis of Egypt; Dionysus; Thetis, the Greek ocean nymph; the Babylonian, Ishtar; and the Hittite sea-born goddess, Atargatis. In Native American cultures, the dolphin is both a divine messenger and a form of the Great Spirit.
Seals have been the steeds of sea deities. A sacred animal to the Eskimo, its bones are thrown back into the ocean so the seal might come to life for another hunt. Psychologically, the seal is the symbol of the conscious and the unconscious as it inhabits both the sea and the land.
View sea themed miniatures for sale at my Etsy shop. link is in upper right hand corner of my blog, above the dragonfly photo or use this link: http://mythsymbolsandplay.type