Dolphins – Meaning and Symbolism


Dolphins have helpful links to man since the olden times when they used to meet each other at sea. Often, the encounters turned out to be beneficial to both and so the dolphins became a friend of man and a source inspiration. The dolphin symbol represents a sign of good luck and friendship.

Many dolphin tales

On many instances, we see how shipwrecked sailors were rescued by dolphins. Of all the stories of the encounters only some are true. Others are just fable made by fishermen’s wives for entertainment. Nevertheless, people love dolphins because they are intelligent, graceful, and charming. They love to interact with people and this endears them to us.

Good luck talisman

It is not unusual to use the sculptures of dolphins at the beginning of any undertaking. They represent your safe journey and the dolphin souvenir helps them stay safe and on course toward their goal. The dolphin figurines and amulets represent guidance and hope. You can reach the shore, where you want to go, by following the dolphin. The only thing is that your intentions should be good.

Symbol of Christ

In the early days of Christianity, people used the dolphin as a symbol of being rescued by Christ. This symbol of salvation shows the dolphin pierced by a trident or having an anchor. This use of dolphin as a Christian symbol was a natural consequence following the history of friendship between the dolphin and man. People consider the dolphins that swam alongside their boats as the symbolism of Christ leading them to the shore.

Greek connection to dolphins

Greeks used frescoes to depict their bond with dolphins. On the island of Crete, we see the Palace of Knossos. In this palace, on one of the halls, we see the frescoes depicting the dolphins. This was around 1900 B.C. and dolphins have held a place of respect ever since. This was the centre of Minoan civilization.

Help for the priests

Apollo the Greek god of healing, prophesy, music, and the sun was involved with dolphins. Apollo laid the foundation for an oracle. It was supposed to represent the centre of the world. In all Ancient Greece, this oracle at Delphi was considered as the most important. The first priests were traveling from Crete. During their boat journey, Apollo turned into a dolphin and accompanied the boat until they reached Krisa, a harbour town. The priests from Crete travelled on their journey to the Delphi oracle from there.

Battle with the pirates

Dionysus is the Greek god of wine. In Roman mythology, his equivalent was Bacchus. His parents were Zeus and Semele. This is a story where he disguises himself as a handsome mortal and boards a ship sailing to Naxos.

The ship was full of pirates and they decided that they will capture this handsome stranger and sell him in the slave market in Asia. Soon, the ship changed direction and Dionysus caught on to the plan the pirates made. Of course, the pirates did not know that he was a god.

The wine god turned the oars of the ship into hissing snakes. Grapevines began to grow from the decks of the ship. He created strange looking monsters that made the pirates run in all directions screaming. The air was filled with sounds of the flute. Then, he turned into a lion.

The pirates were in shock at the madness they encountered. They tried to jump into the sea and escape. When the pirates hit the water, he transformed them into dolphins. Finally, the pirates understood what had happened and regretted their action. The dolphins swore that they will never again harm any human.

Wearing a dolphin amulet is lucky for those who venture out to the sea. The constellation of Delphinus is named after the dolphins.