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From the time I was a child, I remember holding a seashell to my ear to listen to the sound of the sea. The mystical sounds that came out of the shell were magical to me. It was as if the entire sea was held within the swirls of the shell.
The human fascination with seashells can be traced back to prehistoric times. In fact, seashells are the oldest form of jewelry, dating back over 100,000 years.
Not only are seashells beautiful and mysterious, but over time, they’ve acquired various spiritual meanings. Here are seven of the most well-known.
1. Symbol of Protection
Many cultures and traditions use seashells in spiritual practices to ward off negative energy and promote positivity because shells serve as a protective barrier for mollusks. Another reason is that the ocean is a powerful force that is capable of cleansing and purifying negative energy, and so, many people see seashells as powerful symbols of protection against evil spirits.
One common practice is to hang strings of shells over windows and doors to protect the home. Similarly, necklaces made of strung shells are often worn by children as a form of protection, keeping them close to home and safe from harm while also acting as a talisman that shields them from danger.
2. Symbol of Resilience
Seashells are often seen as symbols of resilience because of their tough and durable nature. Despite being exposed to harsh and changing environments, such as ocean waves and storms, they remain intact and continue to protect the mollusk inside. This serves as a reminder that resilience involves adapting to change and overcoming challenges while maintaining your core essence.
Aside from this, the multi-layered structure of seashells suggests that strength and power can come from multiple sources and build upon each other over time as long as you don’t give up and keep doing what needs to be done. Carrying a seashell with you as a totem can serve as a reminder of your own inner resilience and help boost your self-confidence.
3. Symbol of Healing and Serenity
The ocean is often associated with healing properties, and seashells are seen as a physical connection to the sea. This is why they are believed to carry the same healing and calming properties. They are even used for medical purposes in countries like China, India, and other Eastern countries to treat fever, inflammation, digestive disorders, respiratory ailments, and skin conditions.
Additionally, meditation practitioners believe that the sound of a shell or the feel of its surface can help focus the mind and promote relaxation. Some seashells also have soothing colors and shapes, such as the smooth curves of a conch shell or the iridescent shimmer of an abalone shell, which can be visually calming and evoke a sense of serenity. If you want to create a serene, safe, and harmonious environment for your home, you can incorporate seashells in your home décor.
4. Symbol of Immortality or Connection to the Spiritual Realm
Some cultures see seashells as representative of the journey of life and the afterlife, while others feel that shells represent the resurrection of a new life for those who believe in reincarnation. For example, Senegalese burial grounds are decorated with white seashells and pebbles to guide the soul’s journey to the underworld.
Shells are also seen as a connection to the ancestors and the divine, helping to open the third eye chakra and connect with the spiritual realm. In divination practices, cowrie shells are often used to gain insight into the future, receive guidance from ancestors and spirits, and make critical decisions. They are also used in rituals and ceremonies to honor ancestors and seek their protection and guidance.
5. Symbol of Feminine Energy
In many cultures, seashells are associated with the divine feminine and feminine beauty. The Greek goddess Aphrodite and the Roman goddess Venus, both associated with love, beauty, and fertility, are particularly linked with seashells. Venus is often depicted in art and mythology as rising from the sea on a clamshell, while shellfish were a symbol of Aphrodite and were aphrodisiacs.
So, seashells can be used in various ways to connect with the divine feminine and harness its power. For example, they can be used in rituals or offerings to honor the goddesses or to promote beauty, love, and fertility. They can also be incorporated into jewelry or other decorative items to tap into their energy and provide a constant reminder of the power of the divine feminine.
6. Symbol of Beauty, Grace, and Charm
One of the fascinating things about seashells is that each one is unique, which is why they are also highly valued for their aesthetic qualities. Their distinct shapes, colors, and spiral patterns are a testament to the world’s natural beauty and can help you appreciate your uniqueness and that of other people around you.
Their beauty, grace, and charm make them popular decorations for special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, and other celebrations. Seashell jewelry is also highly sought after for its elegance and gracefulness, and wearing a pair of earrings or a necklace made from real shells can add a touch of natural beauty to any outfit.
7. Symbol of Prosperity and Abundance
In certain cultures, seeing a seashell is believed to be a positive omen, signifying the arrival of wealth and prosperity, and their powerful energy can be used in various magical practices, including money spells. One popular way to use them in money spells is to place a small seashell in your wallet or purse so it can continually attract money and prosperity to it.
Another way is by creating a small pouch filled with seashells, a silver coin, and mint, a known herb for drawing money and prosperity. Hang the pouch in the area where you conduct your business, such as your office or store, or you can carry the pouch with you and rub it when you desire prosperity and abundance.
What Are Seashells?
Seashells are the hard outer coverings, or exoskeletons, of marine mollusks such as clams, snails, and oysters, which are soft-bodied animals lacking internal skeletons and need to depend on their shells to protect their delicate bodies.
The shells are produced by a mollusk’s mantle, a muscular organ that absorbs elements from its surroundings and transforms them into calcium carbonate, the primary building block of seashells.
Shell formation is very similar to the growth of human hair, which is why even though the shell is produced by the mollusk’s body, it is not alive. However, abandoned shells are very useful and can even supply vital nutrients for other animals to construct their own protective casings.
Aside from this, these shells are often collected for their beauty and are used in jewelry making, crafts, and as decorative items. Some cultures also use seashells as currency or for religious and spiritual purposes.
However, not all shells are safe to take home with you. Take note as well that certain countries and states have regulations in place to protect their natural resources. Some places may prohibit the collection of seashells from protected areas, while others limit the number of shells that can be collected.
It’s essential to respect these regulations and to avoid purchasing certain seashell products that may be sourced from unsustainable or illegal practices. It is also not recommended to take any live creatures away that you see on the beach. By doing so, you can help to preserve the natural beauty of beaches and protect the diverse ecosystems that rely on seashells for survival.
Seashells are a popular symbol of healing, serenity, beauty, and grace, which is why they are ideal for your home as decorations or can be incorporated into your spiritual life. The shells also represent the divine feminine, so they are powerful tools for those who practice magic and want to connect to the goddesses.
Aside from these, seashells are believed to symbolize the safe passage of the soul from this world and the journey of life. They also represent eternity, strength, relaxation, and the connection between humans and spirits. This is why they have long been used in divination and other spiritual practices as a medium through which the spiritual realm can communicate with the physical world.