Fish Jewelry Symbolism as a Gift
This is a symbol closely tied to the accumulation of money or affluence. Aside from carp fish, there are other varieties that symbolize prosperity.
A fish symbolizes fertility, feelings, creativity, rebirth, good luck, transformation, health, abundance, serenity, intelligence, happiness, strength, and endurance. Connecting us with the water element, it represents the deeper awareness of the unconsciousness or higher self.
The fish symbol appears as an important symbol in many of the world’s major religions. The symbol dates back to the ancient far and near East, ancient Greece, the Roman empire, ancient Europe and Scandinavia
INTERPRETATIONS OF THE FISH
Universally the fish symbol has been found to represent fertility, success, good luck, harmony and emotions.
Another strength of the fish is its sense of community.
Fish are also considered to be connected with a sense of purposeful movement due to the rough currents that they encounter in their environment and that they overcome. This is a metaphor to life where very often rough currents and challenges can prevent or hinder people in reaching their goals. The symbol of the fish therefore reminds us of overcoming obstacles and stretching our own limits.
Another interpretation for the fish symbol is the connection with fertility. Due to the fact that fish tend to lay thousands of eggs at a time, the fish represents not only fertility, but also success, thought processes, intelligence and inventiveness!As with other symbols such as the Hamsa hand itself and the eye symbol, the symbolism of the fish has different variations from culture to culture, and in some cases the species of the fish itself hold unique interpretations.
In Judaism the fish are used in ceremonies and blessings are said for the fish, human beings and the Sabbath - as such the fish are considered sources of blessings.
The fish symbol is also connected to the Sabbath - the 7th day- as the numerical value of the word fish dag equals the number seven. As such, on the Sabbath it is traditional to eat fish.
On Rosh HaShana it is also customary to place or eat the head of the fish, symbolizing the wish to be at the "head" of the community as well as in righteousness.
Their symbolism with fertility and abundance can be seen in an example when Jacob blessed the two sons of Joseph, Jacob said: "Let them multiply in the midst of the earth" (Genesis 48:16)
In Hebrew, the word for "multiply" ve-yidgu derives from the word fish dagim.
In the sea the fish are covered by water and thus many rabbis note that the fish are more protected from the Evil eye - a glare which is cast with intentions to cause harm.
The Talmud tells us the “Evil Eye” has no effect on fish and therefore the symbols is popular among jewish people, and can be seen in many amulets against the “Evil Eye.” The fish symbol has also appeared at many entrances of private homes such as of the Jews in Djerba, North Africa and can still be seen there to some degree today.
The symbol of the fish has been used by the Greeks, Romans, and other pagans prior to its use among Christians.
It is considered to be one of the very first symbols in Christianity.
The Greek word for fish is "ichthys." During time of Roman persecutions in the the first centuries after Christ, the Christians created an acrostic or a word puzzle from the word:
Christians were also called Pisciculi. The root of the Latin word is "fish", and the Apostles were also often referred to as "fishers of men".
The fish symbol also plays a role in the gospels, some examples include:
- Mark 1:17: "Come after Me, and I will make you become fishers of men."
- Matthew 12:40: "...Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
In Arabic the letter 'N' (nun) is the word for fish and in Islam, according to the Quran the fish symbolizes eternal life.
In Arabic, the prophet Jonah is called Dhun-Nūn.
In Hebrew, in Aramaic and Phoenician the letter Nun is also related to a fish or great whale. Although the word "whale" is often used in English versions of the Jonah story, the Hebrew text actually uses the phrase dag gadol, which means "giant fish".
In Chinese culture the fish is considered a lucky symbol.
The Mandarin word for fish 鱼 (yu) shares a similar pronunciation as 余 which means surplus or abundance.
The fish also here represent fertility! As fish often swim in pairs, in China they also symbolize fidelity, unity and is therefore often given as a wedding present.
In Buddhism the fish symbol is one of the 8 Auspicious Symbols. The fish symbolizes the art of living in a state of fearlessness, without danger of drowning in sufferings, and freely migrating from place to place.
There are many more interpretations and stories about the fish symbolism and this article is therefore not a comprehensive list. The fish remains a powerful symbol across cultures to this day, and to many people the fish symbol still plays a significant part of their daily lives.