The focal point of my living room is a large salt water fish tank. Somebody tells me its too full for only one fish. I suddenly realize that Tobias, my real life beta fish, is of freshwater breed, and is probably dying in the salt. I look at him and he has doubled absurdly in size, like one of those "grow your own dinosaur" kits from childhood. He moves with great difficulty.
In broad terms, the fish is a psychic being, or a ‘penetrative motion’
endowed with a ‘heightening’ power concerning base matters—that is, in the
unconscious. Because of the close symbolic relationship between the sea and the
Magna Mater, some peoples have held the fish to be sacred. There were some
Asiatic rites that embraced fish-worship, and priests were forbidden to eat it. As
Jung has pointed out, the son of Atargatis (Ashtart or Astarte) was named Ichthys
(31). Schneider notes that the fish is the mystic Ship of Life, sometimes a whale,
sometimes a bird, and at other times simply a fish or a flying fish, ‘but at all times
it is the spindle spinning out the cycle of life after the pattern of the lunar zodiac’
(50). That is to say, the fish incorporates a variety of meanings, reflecting the many essential facets of its nature. Schneider also mentions that for some people
the fish has a phallic meaning, whereas for others it has a purely spiritual symbolism. In essence, the character of the fish is twofold: by reason of its bobbin-like
shape, it becomes a kind of ‘bird of the nether regions’, symbolic of sacrifice and
of the relationship between heaven and earth. On the other hand, by virtue of the
extraordinary number of its eggs, it becomes a symbol of fecundity, imparting a
certain spiritual sense (50). In this last sense it is found among the Babylonians,
the Phoenicians, the Assyrians (4) and the Chinese (5). There are some fish that
have a secondary significance because of their peculiar characteristics: for instance, the sword-fish is associated with the unicorn (32). The Chaldaic peoples
used to portray the figure of a fish with the head of a swallow, as a harbinger of
cyclic regeneration, an idea directly related to the symbolism of Pisces, the last
sign of the Zodiac (40) (Plate IX). The fish became a primitive Christian symbol,
principally on the basis of the anagram drawn from the name for fish: ichthys, the
initials standing for ‘I-n6ov? X-pi6to? O-Eov Y-io? E-wtnp. Then it came to be
taken as a symbol of profound life, of the spiritual world that lies under the world
of appearances, the fish representing the life-force surging up.
To see fish swimming in your dream, signifies insights from your unconscious mind. Thus to catch a fish, represents insights which have been brought to the surface. Alternatively, a fish swimming in your dream may symbolize conception. Some women dream of swimming fish when they get pregnant. The fish is also an ancient symbol of Christianity and Christian beliefs. Consider the common phrases "like a cold fish", "fish out of water" or something that is "fishy" about a situation. It may also imply a slippery or elusive situation. Perhaps your dream could be telling you that "there are plenty of other fish in the sea", with regards to some relationship issue.
To dream that you are eating fish, symbolizes your beliefs, spirituality, luck, energy and nourishment. It is food for the soul.
To dream of cooking fish, indicates that you are incorporating your new realizations with your spiritual feelings and knowledge.
To dream that you are cleaning fish, suggests that you are altering your emotional expression in a way that will be presentable to others. You are censoring yourself and not expressing how you completely feel.
To dream that you see fish in clear-water streams, denotes that you will be favored by the rich and powerful.
Dead fish, signifies the loss of wealth and power through some dire calamity.
For a young woman to dream of seeing fish, portends that she will have a handsome and talented lover.
To dream of catching a catfish, denotes that you will be embarrassed by evil designs of enemies, but your luck and presence of mind will tide you safely over the trouble.
To wade in water, catching fish, denotes that you will possess wealth acquired by your own ability and enterprise.
To dream of fishing, denotes energy and economy; but if you do not succeed in catching any, your efforts to obtain honors and wealth will be futile.
Eating fish, denotes warm and lasting attachments.
Seeing fish swimming in your dream means insights from your unconscious mind. Thus to catch a fish, represents insights which have been brought to the surface. The fish is also an ancient symbol of Christianity and Christian beliefs. Consider also the common phrases "like a cold fish", "fish out of water" or something that is "fishy" about a situation. It may also imply a slippery or elusive situation. Dreaming that you are Seeing or eating fish, symbolizes your beliefs, spirituality, luck, energy and nourishment. It is food for the soul. Seeing a dead fish means disappointment and loss of power/wealth. Dreaming of cooking fish indicates that you are incorporating your new realizations with your spiritual feelings and knowledge. Dreaming that you are cleaning fish, suggests that you are altering your emotional expression in a way that will be presentable to others. You are censoring yourself and not expressing how you completely feel.
Some people believe that when you dream about fish you will soon find out that you or someone you know is pregnant (water of the womb). Others believe that if you see fish in your dreams, it is a forecast for sickness and poor health. In Christianity, Christ is at times represented by the fish symbol (spirituality). These water dwelling animals may represent messages from our unconscious and indicate to us how well we navigate through our emotional waters. They could symbolize body and soul nourishment and navigation through the unknown depths of our selves.
To fully appreciate the symbolic meanings of fish, we must first consider their watery domain.
Water holds ancient symbolic meanings dealing with the subconscious and depth of knowledge. Water contains all the mysteriousness of the unknown.
Consider the murky depths of the ocean – we never know quite what to expect there. Even seasoned oceanic explorers are still awed by their findings from the deep.
Water holds endless mystery to us – it represents that which is certainly there, but cannot be seen.
Water has also been known to be a womb symbol and as such, an emblem of birth, fertility and woman-ness. This association comes from many ancient flood myths, and the “from water springs life” concept.
Given the wonder that its domain holds, the fish too has similar symbolic meaning. There are numerous species of fish, but the creature in general holds some prime symbolic meanings:
The fish was sacred to the Greco-Roman mythology, where it held symbolic meaning of change and transformation. We see this in the myth of Aphrodite and Heros when they turned themselves into fish in order to escape from the ferocious Typhon.
In Christianity, the fish is a symbol of abundance and faith as observed in the Biblical story of fishes and loaves. There are also several Biblical references as Christ and his disciples being “fishers of men.” Here, man is represented as the transformational fish and the ocean is a symbol of the abyss of sin in which man finds himself.
Pagan traditions recognized the fish as a feminine symbol of fertility and an attribute of the Goddess. Water is a natural emblem of the flow of the Divine Mother principal, and as such, all creatures of the water (including fish) are aspects of the fertility and power of the female deity.
As an ancient Celtic symbol, the symbolic meaning of fish (salmon, specifically) dealt with knowledge, wisdom, inspiration and prophecy. Ancient Celts believed the salmon derived its wisdom from consuming the sacred hazel nuts from the well of knowledge (Segais). Further, they believed to eat the salmon would mean gaining the wisdom of the well too.
In ancient Eastern Indian mythology, the fish is a symbol of transformation and creation. This is observed in the ancient flood myth in which Vishnu transformed himself into a fish (Matsya) to save the world from a great flood. In this form, he guided king Manu’s boat (which contained the select few survivors & seeds of life to re-create the world after the flood subsided) to safety.
Ancient African creation myths tell of Mangala, the creator, planting seeds in the cosmic womb. From these seeds two fish erupted, and were set forth into the cosmos upon the waters of creation. We see from this myth the symbolic meaning of fish yet again deals with fertility and creativity by embodying a new phase of initial life. ( click here for other twin symbols).
In China, the fish is symbolic of unity and fidelity as it is noted that fish (particularly koi) often swim together in pairs. With this in mind, fish are often given as wedding gifts in the form of charms or figurines to present the newly-wed couple with an auspicious sign of fidelity and perfect union. They also represent fertility and abundance due to their ability to reproduce in speed and volume.
Furthermore, in Buddhism, the fish symbolizes happiness and freedom. Also the fish makes an appearance as one of the eight sacred symbols of the Buddha: 1) Conch, 2) Lotus, 3) Parasol, 4) Wheel, 5) Knot, 6) Pair of Golden Fish, 7) Banner of Victory, 8) Vase.
Lastly, in Norse and ancient European cultures, the fish had symbolic meanings of adaptability, determination, and the flow of life. It was observed by these cultures that fish often display enormous attributes of adaptability in the wild, and they adopted these characteristics for themselves. Salmon were commonly revered for their determination in their annual pilgrimage to their spawning grounds – the entire journey swum against the current.
The fish is generally symbolic of decision and grace. The message of this graceful creature that dwells within water energy (emotions) is open-mindedness and decisiveness. Fish people are deeply psychic and heed their intuition (emotions and feelings) when making decisions, which may cause them to swim away from a situation until clear. The fish asks us to be sure that it is not fear holding us back from something that may be of great benefit to our lives. Peace is resumed when a decision is made, however you may change your mind guilt free, at any stage in your life.
Transformation of the spirit, the type of fish reveals certain strengths and traits, fish in general show how to swim the currents of life, use of intuition to navigate effectively, aids in attuning to the world of emotions, the un/subconscious and other-worlds, heightened senses including visions, dreams and related psychic abilities. Do you currently feel stuck? The river says its time flow. Fish can show how to ride the tide to new adventures.
To see or taste saltwater in your dream, symbolizes tears and heartache. It may also indicate some emotional outburst or suffering.
To see or taste salt in your dream, represents a new found flare in your waking life. You are experiencing increased worth and a higher sense of zest and vigor. Alternatively, salt symbolizes dependability, truth, and dedication. Also consider the phrase of throwing salt on an open wound. The dream may thus elude to some painful or difficult memory.
To dream that you are salting meat, symbolizes longevity. There is something that you want to hold on to and preserve.
To dream that you are throwing salt over your shoulder, represents protection or luck.
Salt is an omen of discordant surroundings when seen in dreams. You will usually find after dreaming of salt that everything goes awry, and quarrels and dissatisfaction show themselves in the family circle.
To salt meat, portends that debts and mortgages will harass you.
For a young woman to eat salt, she will be deserted by her lover for a more beautiful and attractive girl, thus causing her deep chagrin.
Seeing salt in your dream, represents added flavor and a new found flare in the experience of life. You may be experiencing and elevated sense of individual worthiness and increased zest and vigor in your life. Your efforts are paying off. Alternatively, salt also symbolizes dependability, truth, dedication and longevity. Dreaming that you are salting meat means piling debt and as a result you will be constantly harassed by bill collectors.
Salt is one of the most abundant chemicals on Earth. Dreaming about it suggests that you may be thinking about or desiring those things that are dependable and, at the same time, exciting. If you associate an individual with the salt in your dreams you may be giving that person these attributes.
To see a dinosaur in your dream, symbolizes an outdated attitude. You may need to discard your old ways of thinking and habits.
To dream that you are being chased by a dinosaur, indicates your fears of no longer being needed or useful. Alternatively, being chased by a dinosaur, may reflect old issues that are still coming back to haunt you.
Seeing a dinosaur in your dream, symbolizes an outdated attitude. You may need to discard your old ways of thinking and habits. Dreaming that you are being chased by a dinosaur indicates your fears of no longer being needed or useful. Alternatively, being chased by a dinosaur, may reflect old issues that are still coming back to haunt you.
To dream about the size of something, represents the importance or lack of importance that you attach to certain objects or persons. The larger something is, the more important it is. Conversely, the smaller something is, the more trivial it is. Size also relates the degree of power you are exerting and the power others have on you. Perhaps the dream indicates that you are "sizing" someone up. According to Freudian school of thought, the size of an object, signifies the size of someone's penis, perhaps your own or your lover.
Dreaming about the size of something, represents the importance we attach to objects and person. It also relates to the degree of power you are exerting and the power others have on you. According to Freudian school of thought, the size of an object means the size of someone's penis, perhaps your own or your lover.
To dream of dying, foretells that you are threatened with evil from a source that has contributed to your former advancement and enjoyment.
To see others dying, forebodes general ill luck to you and to your friends.
To dream that you are going to die, denotes that unfortunate inattention to your affairs will depreciate their value. Illness threatens to damage you also.
To see animals in the throes of death, denotes escape from evil influences if the animal be wild or savage.
It is an unlucky dream to see domestic animals dying or in agony.
[As these events of good or ill approach you they naturally assume these forms of agonizing death, to impress you more fully with the joyfulness or the gravity of the situation you are about to enter on awakening to material responsibilities, to aid you in the mastery of self which is essential to meeting all conditions with calmness and determination.]
All things that flow and grow were regarded in early religions as a symbol
of life: fire represented the vital craving for nourishment, water was chosen for its
fertilizing powers, plants because of their verdure in spring-time. Now, all—or
very nearly all—symbols of life are also symbolic of death. Media vita in morte
sumus, observed the mediaeval monk, to which modern science has replied La vie
c’est la mort (Claude Bernard). Thus, fire is the destroyer, while water in its
various forms signifies dissolution, as suggested in the Psalms. In legend and
folklore, the Origin of life—or the source of the renewal of the life forces—takes
the form of caves and caverns where wondrous torrents and springs well up (38).