Nataraj Express

Journey to the Self

Seahorses

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Seahorses are extraordinary creatures. The only animal in the world whose male counterpart gives birth. They have always been associated with good fortune, and even sailors since immemorial times have used their symbol as a lucky charm to wear or decorate their vessels.

The Greeks called this creature Hippocampus (horse-sea-monster). They were the companions of the God Neptune, they pulled his chariot. They also accompanied Poseidon for the Romans, and were said to be the fastest animals in the ocean. Mythical creatures, half horse, half fish, that accompanied the Great Sea Gods.

Seahorses mate for life, so they are also a symbol of companionship, loyalty and honour.

The name Hippocampus is also how we call the part of our brains that store memory, therefore, seahorses have long been associated with History, as keepers of the past, of the mysteries, of the knowledge of all times.

Some of the oldest myths tell the stories of sailors being saved by seahorses, mermaids and other submarine creatures. This gives them symbolically the meaning of guides and also, they represent the intuition that lets us navigate the deep waters of our subconscious minds.

Seahorses are able to move each eye independently, they are able to see clearly in every direction and that’s why we also relate them to the symbology of foresight and wisdom. Intuition, perspective, seeing all sides of a situation are other symbolic meanings of seahorses. 

In the Far East, they carry the same meaning as sea dragons. For Chinese and Eastern mythology, they symbolise power, fortitude, regeneration.

In Scandinavian folklore they mention the Havhest (sea-horse), a giant Sea Serpent with the head of a horse and a double lobe tail of a fish. It was known to breathe fire and get into battles with other sea-creatures, giving it a strong meaning of protection and fighting for one’s own truth.

These small animals move very slowly. Using only their tail both as a navigation tool and as an anchor, they must be careful and patient while navigating the vastness of the ocean. Patience, persistence and calmness are also other symbolic meanings associated with them.

Seahorses are mysterious, beautiful creatures. To be able to see one in the wild is one of the greatest experiences one could ever have; face to face with Nature and how perfectly everything exists for a reason.

Image: National Geographic

Author: Danah Blanco (Nataraj Express)

Yoga Teacher~Dive Master~Art Historian

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