The Meaning of Dolphin
• Along with speed, diligence and intelligence the Dolpin is also a messenger of love. This is partly due to its association with Delphi, which signifies the love embodied within the womb. Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, was said to take the form of the dolphin and was also known as the Woman of the Sea. When depicted on an anchor or pierced with a trident the Dolphin is a symbol of the church being guided by the love of Christ.
Christian symbolism conveys the dolphin as an aspect of Christ. Dolphins seen in Christian art are symbolic of resurrection. Some artists utilize the protective, stabilizing, compassionate demeanor of the dolphin as a message of wellbeing to the pure of heart. Some artistic renditions speak of dolphins transporting the spirits of the faithful to Christ’s side upon leaving their physical bodies.
This dolphin meaning is mimicked in ancient Greece where legend tells us the dolphin was responsible for carrying the souls of the dead to the Islands of the Blessed.
Also in Greece, the dolphin is a compatriot of both the god Apollo (sun) and the goddess Aphrodite (moon). Both lunar symbolism and solar symbolism are represented in the dolphin.
• Sun Dolphin meanings: Active, Life, Vibrant, Health, Renewal, Intelligence
• Moon Dolphin meaning: Hidden power, Intuition, Dreams, Conception, Feminine
This is a key understanding because the dolphin meaning is connected with themes of duality. It has to do with the dolphin being both fish and mammal. It is both of the water, and an air breather. Ergo, dolphin symbolism talks to us about “being in two worlds at once.” Indeed, the dolphin is a great conveyor of the concept of yin and yang.
Along with the divine Apollo sun and Aphrodite moon associations, other deities associated with the dolphin include:
• Poseidon (Greek), Neptune (Roman)
Themes of kingship, rulership, authority, strength, dominion, freedom, intelligence, compassion and fatherly protection over the entire kingdom (sea).
• Eros (Greek), Cupid (Roman)
These gods contribute dolphin meaning of: Love, friendliness, playfulness, sensuality, desire, exploration, curiosity, attraction and joy.
• Dionysus (Greek), Bacchus (Roman)
These deities underscore the dolphins ability to uplift, and carries themes of joviality, freedom, wildness, abandon, creative self-expression.
Greek myth indicates Dionysus was known to turn himself into a dolphin and transported the shrine at Delphi where the cult of dolphin worshippers convened.
The term delphi is noteworthy as the Greek word for dolphin is delphis and its derivative, delphys means womb. This incorporates more lunar and feminine attributes to the dolphin scene.
In Celtic animal symbolism, the dolphin as a highly honored creature as it was seen as the protector of sacred wells and sacred water. The dolphin, to the Celtic mind, is the watcher of the waters, and the guardians of all things water-associated.
Pirate lore also hails the dolphin as a symbol of protection. Indeed, legend admits dolphin sightings were often exaggerated into incredibly fantasies of mermaids. Sailors often understood the spirit of mermaids lived in the heart of the dolphin, and ancient stories of the sea refer to dolphins metamorphosing into beautify sea maidens (and mermaids) if seen under just the right conditions.
Whether this is true or not remains to be confirmed. What is true is countless tales of dolphins interacting with humans in friendly, even protective ways. This colors the dolphin meaning in hues of compassion, caring, community and generous spirit in reaching out to connect with another species.