Along the coastlines of the world, a great variety of shells can be found. Seashells are made by the animals that live inside them and all shells grow steadily outward. Shells are among the most remarkable designs found in nature. Examples are the chambered nautilus, the sundial shell, and the triton shell. Shells are usually perceived as feminine; a symbol of birth, good fortune, and resurrection. Bivalved mullusks represent the womb and fertility.
shell: life protector; in Tibetan Buddhism, symbolizes hearing; one of the eight emblems of good luck in Chinese Buddhism
conch shell: in Buddhism, symbolizes the voice of Buddha; deity summoner; emblem of Aphrodite, Saint Michael, Saint Sebald, and Triton; Vishnu’s trumpet used to awaken followers from ignorance; Navajo Indian jewel of the sea
cowrie shell: may be one of the first yonic symbols, its name derived from Kauri, a pre-Vedic Indian goddess; represents rebirth and the female Gate of Life; used throughout the Middle East, Egypt, the South Pacific, and the Mediterranean as a charm for healing, fertility, magical power, or good luck; Romans call the cowrie the matriculus, meaning little matrix or little womb; among the Greeks, the word kteis meant vulva, a cowrie shell, a scallop, or a comb (an attribute of mermaids and sirens); Gypsy women valued the cowrie, worn as an amulet, as a focus of their feminine powers
scallop shell: symbol of light; couch of sea deities; in Christianity, represents salvation; used to sprinkle baptismal waters, also worn by Christians to indicate completion of a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint James in Spain, originally the shrine of the Goddess Bridgette, the Celtic version of Aphrodite; the scallop shell is associated with the goddess Venus “born of the sea” as she was carried to shore on a scallop shell; scallop shells are a symbol of the Hindu version of Aphrodite, the goddess Lakshmi “born from the churning of the ocean”, consort of Vishnu and mother Kama, represented beauty and good fortune
coral: the ocean’s Tree of Life; throughout the Mediterranean, red coral necklaces for children were valued as magical; red coral also symbolizes life giving feminine blood; powdered red coral was used to increase fertility; coral was used as an apotropic (to avert evil) in rituals; in China, called shang-hu, emblem of longevity
pearl: pearl symbolism is closely associated with the shell and represents moonlight, purity, tears, wealth, the power of the waters, and wisdom; believed to be the result of lightning penetrating the oyster, and as such, regarded as the union of fire and water; Moslems use the pearl to symbolize paradise, believing the blessed lived in pearls; called tama, the third eye of Buddha and Siva, the symbol of spiritual enlightenment and transcendent wisdom; in the east, divine essence which controls the tides; the flaming pearl is the union of fire and water believed to be the pearl of perfection.
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