Shells, often washed ashore from the depths of the sea, symbolize the mysteries of the ocean and the interconnectedness of life. They are seen as protective vessels, guarding the delicate life within, much like a shield or armor. Shells, with their spiral patterns and labyrinth-like designs, also represent journey, growth, and evolution. Their natural beauty and varied forms speak to individuality, diversity, and the wonders of nature’s artistry.

Shell in Dreams

In dreams, shells can signify one’s inner self, the protective barriers we erect, and the masks we wear in our interactions. A shell might indicate that the dreamer is shielding themselves from external influences or hiding their true feelings. Conversely, finding a shell in a dream could suggest discovering hidden treasures within oneself or recognizing inner beauty and potential. The act of listening to a shell to hear the “ocean” might point to a need for introspection and tuning into one’s intuition.

Shell in Myths and Folklore

Throughout history, shells have held spiritual and cultural significance. In many ancient cultures, they were used as currency, amulets, and ceremonial objects. The conch shell, particularly, is associated with the divine in Hinduism, being linked to the god Vishnu, and is often blown as a ritual trumpet. In Polynesian mythologies, the god Maui is said to have pulled the islands from the sea using a fishhook made from his grandmother’s shell. In Western art and literature, the shell, especially the scallop, is associated with pilgrimage and is a symbol of the apostle James; it is often used to denote spiritual journey and transformation.

Olex Lys

Reviewed by Alexander Lys, M.L., a specialist in the field of symbolism research and dream psychology. A certified participant in numerous psychological seminars and courses, the author of hundreds of articles on psychology, including studies on symbolism in dreams and myths from a scientific perspective.


Encyclopedia of Symbols

About the Author

Symbolopedia is a comprehensive guide to the meanings of symbols. Our content is crafted by professionals in psychology and symbolism, striving to maintain a balance between scientifically proven data and insights derived from myths, legends, and folklore. While our approach leans towards scientific interpretations of symbols, we acknowledge the significant role of the subconscious in their understanding, allowing for a blend of rationality and creativity.

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