The trident is a well-recognized symbol, consisting of three prongs or teeth (tri- meaning “three” and -dent meaning “tooth”) projecting from a long shaft. It’s often associated with various sea gods in ancient mythologies, notably Poseidon in Greek mythology and Neptune in Roman tales. These gods were considered the rulers of the sea, storms and earthquakes, thus, associating the trident with power, control, and dominion over the sea. Additionally, the trident’s three prongs are often interpreted as representing the past, present, and future or birth, life, and death.

  • Symbolism: Power, control, dominion, past-present-future, birth-life-death.

Trident in Dreams

From a psychological perspective, dreaming of a trident could have significant implications. It might symbolize a need for control or dominance in a certain aspect of your life, given the trident’s association with power and control in mythology. The three prongs indicating past, present, and future could suggest your subconscious mind is wrestling with time-related issues or life transitions. The trident’s connection with the sea might also suggest unresolved emotions or feelings.

  • Symbolism: Need for control, dominion, life transitions, unresolved emotions.

See also our Free Dream Interpretation Tool

Trident in Myths and Folklore

In Greek mythology, the trident is the weapon of Poseidon, the god of the sea and storms, and it represents his power and authority. Similarly, in Roman mythology, Neptune wields a trident symbolizing his rule over the seas. In Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva, a principal deity, carries a trident known as ‘Trishula’, representing the three fundamental aspects of life: creation, preservation, and destruction. In these contexts, the trident is a symbol of power, authority, and the fundamental aspects of life.

In folklore and fairy tales, the trident often holds an association with magic and enchantment. This is seen in the story of the Little Mermaid, where the Sea Witch wields a trident with magical powers. Thus, it’s also a symbol of magic, enchantment, and transformation.

  • Symbolism: Power, authority, creation-preservation-destruction, magic, transformation.

Trident Spiritual Meanings

In a spiritual context, the trident is often seen as a symbol of balance and harmony, given its three prongs representing different triads like mind-body-spirit, past-present-future, or birth-life-death. It might also symbolize the ability to control or channel spiritual forces, due to its association with powerful gods in various mythologies. In many pagan traditions, the trident is seen as a symbol of the Goddess, signifying fertility and the life-giving aspects of water.

  • Symbolism: Balance, harmony, spiritual control, fertility, life-giving.

Trident Tattoo Meaning

In tattoo art, a trident design is usually chosen for its symbolism. It might signify power and control, particularly over one’s life or destiny, drawing from the trident’s association with sea gods. The triadic nature of the trident could represent important triads in the wearer’s life, such as past-present-future or mind-body-spirit. A trident tattoo might also symbolize a love for the sea, or a connection with pagan traditions or spirituality.

  • Symbolism: Power, control, triadic symbolism, sea connection, pagan traditions.
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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