Dolphins in Mythology : Dolphins are small marine animals with exceptional hydrodynamic properties. It has been known for a long time that dolphins have intelligence, love to play, and are friendly towards humans. This has been described more than once in the writings of Aesop, Herodotus, Aristophanes, Pliny the Elder, and many others. In the art of antique sculpting and general art, the image of a dolphin has become one of the most beloved. And although the dolphin was never interpreted as a kind of “king” of the sea, it was he who became the generally accepted emblem of the sea.
The dolphin, as the fastest, according to the ancients, a sea animal, also becomes a symbol of speed.
The dolphin wrapping around the anchor symbolized the stopping of the ship’s movement, the reliability of the anchor; and also foresight. The sympathy shown by dolphins for humans is also far from uninteresting. For a long time, fishermen met with manifestations of this sympathy, when dolphins drove fish into their nets and called it “reciprocity” because some part of the caught fish was usually given to voluntary “helpers”. There is a curious Kashubian proverb: “If the dolphin were not too gluttonous, it would have complete freedom.”
The presence of such properties as the speed of movement, cunning, and caution became the reason to make the dolphin a symbol of navigation, navigation (after all, this is much simpler and more specific than the image of Poseidon with a trident and an anchor). The dolphin symbolized the water element. So the dolphin became the patron saint of shipping, the mythical carrier of the gods.
Before the weather changes for the worse, to the approach of the period of storms, dolphins go into the depths of the sea, hiding from the weather. Therefore, ancient sailors endowed the dolphin with the property of a seer. Moreover, not only meteorological but also anticipating other types of dangers. Dante in The Divine Comedy (Hell) wrote: “A dolphin, emerging from the sea wave, gives the swimmers a sign to keep themselves.” By the way, it was the constellation Dolphin that helped sailors in those distant times to determine their voyage. Among other things, dolphins are credited with an ear for music, a love of music.
The image of a dolphin is associated with a holiday, joy. From the 4th century until the late Middle Ages, it was customary to make oil lamps in the shape of a dolphin. This shape is also dictated by its practicality – after all, ancient Chinese and ancient Egyptian lamps were made in the form of a kind of gravy boat with a long nose, from which the tip of the wick protruded.
Savior and psychopomp, guide of souls in the underworld, savior of shipwrecked people, king of fish. The dolphin’s symbolism stems directly from the natural friendliness, playfulness, and intelligence of this marine mammal.
An intelligent and dedicated marine mammal that has long attracted attention in the Mediterranean. The dolphin can be seen in many allegories and emblems; sometimes it is paired. When two dolphins or some kind of fish point in the same direction, the paired image may obey the law of bilateral symmetry purely as decoration, or serve as a symbol of balance. But the reverse order of arrangement, that is, with one dolphin pointing up and the other down, always symbolizes the dual cosmic currents of involution and evolution; this is what the 17th-century Spanish writer Saavedra Fajardo meant by “either up or down.” The dolphin itself is an allegory of salvation, inspired by ancient legends that portray him as a friend of man. The dolphin image is associated with an anchor (another symbol of salvation), with pagan, erotic deities, and other symbols.
Basic meanings: the sea, its constant restlessness, turbulence; love, pleasantness, gentleness, and tenderness of character, generosity; freedom, resurrection from the dead, liberation, deliverance; quickness, speed; weather predictions. Symbolizes maritime power, safety, and speed. Two dolphins looking in different directions represent the duality of nature. An anchored dolphin means speed and slowness, two dolphins together – the middle between the extremes (“hurry slowly”). Salvation, transformation, speed, power of the sea, love.
In Sumerian-Semitic mythology, the dolphin was used in place of the fish in Ea-Oannes’s presentations. It is an attribute of Ishtar and is dedicated to Atargatis. Among the Egyptians, it is an attribute of Isis.
Antiquity. In ancient Greece and Rome, his image is carved on pillars — metahs in places where chariot races were held, as well as at both ends of the wall, which usually divided the race strip into two lines. Having reached the meta, the horses had to turn at full gallop. By the way, horses, like dolphins, according to myths, were the servants of the sea god Poseidon (Neptune), whose team was drawn in his images. Numerous spectators always crowded near the “meth”, and poor women from the common people were allowed here to read the palm, on the cup. After all, the dolphin was considered a magical creature, which means that everything connected with it had a “witchcraft” field.
He brought Aphrodite, born of seafoam, to the shore, and immediately was honored to become a symbol of love and fertility. The young god Dionysus, being the patron saint of all sailors, turned Tyrrhenian pirate robbers into dolphins who wanted to capture Dionysus. Repenting for their deeds, the criminals who became sea inhabitants began to help everyone who is in distress at sea. So the dolphin is also a symbol of atonement for past guilt. True, in one of Aesop’s fables, dolphins drown a monkey in the sea, which tried to impersonate a man …
Apollo, the god of arts, was nicknamed “Delphinios” for a reason, for he appeared more than once in the form of a dolphin, and also rode this sea animal, like Aphrodite. When the corsairs forced the divine artist Arion to sing for them, and after performing the last aria, they threw him overboard, the dolphins took the singer and took him safely to Corinth.
According to the Pythagorean theory, the soul of a deceased person passes into the body of a dolphin. There is also a legend that the souls of sailors who died in the sea are reborn in dolphins.
In Greek, Cretan and Etruscan mythologies, the gods themselves travel on dolphins. It was also believed that dolphins rescue drowning heroes or deliver souls to the Islands of Bliss (which later influenced their meaning in Christian symbolism). They were an attribute of Poseidon (in Roman mythology of Neptune), Aphrodite (Venus), Eros (Cupid), and Demeter (Cersei). Dionysus (Bacchus) turned drunken and wicked sailors into dolphins and himself turned into a dolphin to deliver the Cretan pilgrims to his sanctuary in Delphi.
For the Romans, it symbolizes the journey of the soul through the sea of death to the Isles of the Blessed.
Northern tradition. In the Celtic epic, the dolphin is associated with the worship of springs and with the powers of the waters.
Iran. Mithraism is associated with Mithra, a symbol of light.
Christianity. The emblem of Christ the Savior. As the emblem of Christ’s sacrifice, the dolphin was often depicted wounded with a trident or with a secret symbol of the cross – an anchor.
In early Christian art, the dolphin was depicted with a trident and an anchor – there was no cross yet, it was associated with an instrument of execution and martyrdom.
It was the image of a dolphin at that time – with an anchor and a boat, that became the symbol of the Christian church. The graphic anagram “Fish” likely played a role here, which was a kind of password among Christians (the Greek version of the Latin abbreviation “INRI” above the head of the crucified Jesus, that is, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” In Greek mythology, dolphins take the souls of the dead to the island In this aspect, the image of the dolphin in early Christianity was transformed into a symbol of Jesus Christ the Savior, the deliverer from Evil (lat. “Delphinus Salvator”).
In Christianity, this is Christ, the savior of souls, who carries them through the depths of death. A dolphin with an anchor or ship represents the church led by Christ. In Christianity, this symbol sometimes replaces the ark of salvation and rebirth. A dolphin pierced with a trident or chained to an anchor means the crucified Christ. A dolphin taking the place of a whale means resurrection.
In Christian art, the dolphin is much more common than other marine life. He became a symbol of resurrection and salvation. It was believed that the dolphin, the strongest and fastest of the sea creatures, transports the souls of the deceased across the sea to another world. A dolphin, depicted with an anchor or a boat, symbolizes the soul of a Christian or the Church, which Christ leads to salvation. In addition, in stories about the prophet Jonah, the dolphin is often depicted instead of a whale, which led to the use of the dolphin as a symbol of the Resurrection, and also, although much less often, as a symbol of Christ.
Dolphin in heraldry: this is valor, courage, constant readiness for battle. The reason for this opinion was the formidable grin of the dolphin’s mouth, the strong tail. Therefore, the image of a dolphin appears in the coats of arms of many port cities, in ship emblems, denoting freedom of trade and the safety of sea routes. In 1150, the dolphin became part of the coat of arms of the rulers of lower Burgundy, which because of this became known as the Dolphin (French “Dauphine”); after the death of the last Burgundian prince, who had no offspring, the principality came under the rule of the king. From 1349 to 1830, the firstborn son of French kings, therefore, began to bear the title of Dolphin (Dauphin). The heirs to the French throne were called dauphins (dolphins), but without any relation to the symbolism of dolphins – this was a personal name that became the title of the rulers of the province of Dauphin and passed to the French kings in the XIV century. In heraldry, the dolphin is depicted as a scaled “porpoise”, for example on the coat of arms of Dauphin, a historic province in southeastern France. The heirs to the throne in France, who had dolphins painted on their personal coat of arms, were called “dauphins” (French “dolphins” means dauphins).
Emblems. In the interweaving with an anchor, the dolphin is a symbol of caution (speed limit). The ancients also believed that the dolphin was the fastest marine animal; and, therefore, when, among the emblems of Francesco Colonna, two dolphins are depicted around the anchor, this means deceleration of speed, that is, prudence.
Along with Pisces, the image of a dolphin, symbolizing the sea, sea power [dolphin is one of the hypostases of Poseidon (Neptune), Triton, the emblem of Nereids], freedom, nobility, love, pleasure appears in mythopoetic representations. The Dolphin is regarded as a regal Fish that is benevolent to people. He comes to the aid of drowning people (in Greek myth, the dolphin saves Arion), warns sailors of danger, etc. Apollo turns into a dolphin, Python is also sometimes called a dolphin. To injure a dolphin is a sin and a sign of misfortune. The dolphin often acts as a bearer of the souls of the dead on the islands of the blessed. In Hinduism, the dolphin is the horse of Kama. In Christian symbolism, the dolphin is associated with Jesus Christ as the creator and savior, with resurrection and salvation. The astral image of the dolphin is represented by the constellation of the same name. Dolphin images are often found on talismans and are widely used in heraldry.
The person who has manifested this totem, with all his intellect, is gullible and rather naive. It’s all about his natural love of peace, he is a humanist and pacifist, it is difficult for him to demonstrate aggression or deal with it in the outside world. Poorly tolerates pressure on himself and the rigid rules that the outside world sets him. Dolphins are special and it is important for them to remember, feel and be aware of this. And try not to get into rude and cruel places and to similar people, where it is not clean enough, in an informational and energetic sense.
He always believes in the best, looks to the future, outwardly he is often smiling and moves rapidly. Its speed and intensity of life are also above average. We can say that such a person retains his childhood qualities, the ability to enjoy life, play, and have fun. He is able to selflessly help others, both morally, investing his soul and spending energy, and materially. Feels especially happy in a group of friends, in a team of like-minded people, united by one idea, theme.
Dolphin is a very gentle and reverent partner who is often attached to one love for life. At the same time, he has high sexuality, loves subtle play, is receptive to new things, to experiments. A woman is a very caring mother, and a man is more interested in children when they become older and you can be friends and interlocutors with them.
Dolphin professions are often informational, related to human communication and knowledge. Pedagogy of any level suits them well. Playing and team sports attract dolphins, first at the athlete’s level and then at the coach’s level. They are also very fond of working in the field of tourism and travel, especially exotic ones. They find themselves in the field of research – social, humanitarian, in the field of human rights protection.
These people are artistic, therefore the stage and related professions attract them with the additional opportunity to play and experience. They work great with deep and complex information, they know how to analyze, at the same time, they tend to present material easily and colorfully, which makes them wonderful lecturers. They themselves love to speak to an intelligent and young audience, conduct seminars, participate in conferences.
Trade and power professions are contraindicated for them, this is not their habitat. Conversely, esotericism is easy for them and can become their field of activity, both amateur and professional.
There is such a theory that the civilization of whales and dolphins came to our earth from other, more advanced planets to look after us, to help in our development. And people who have a dolphin for their animal powers, at the highest level, realize this destiny.