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Symbol of Strength, Peace, Hope, Prosperity, Protection and Luck
Originated from Europe
Lucky Beliefs: It is believed that the image of a Dolphin will bring good luck and protect its owners.
Friend. Protector. Guide.
Dolphins are said to appear in times of need to provide protection, help and guidance. There have been many stories of Dolphins saving people out at sea since ancient times. Many of these stories have since become folktales, but news reports of dolphins rescuing people still surface from time to time in the modern world.
Here's one of the most ancient tales of Dolphin Heroes.
Arion of Methymna in Lesbos was a celebrated lyric poet and player on the cithara. His talents led him to become a favored court musician at the palace of King Periander, ruler of Corinth, and also helped him amass a fortune after winning first place in a rich and prestigious musical talent competition in Sicily.
Unfortunately, on his way home from travels, his wealth caused the crew of his ship to conspire against him. Threatened with death, Arion asked to be granted a last wish which the crew granted - he asked if he could be permitted to sing a song on the deck, accompanied by his cithara. This he did. And when the sound of the cithara and his voice were heard were heard, many song-loving dolphins came about the ship, and they frolicked along with it, rejoicing at the music. That was Arion's cue. At the sight of the friendly dolphins, Arion threw himself into the sea.
Just as Arion was sinking, one of the song-loving dolphins swam beneath him and saved him from certain death. It took Arion on his back and bore him safely from the Sicilian Sea to Taenarum. From there he found another ship and hired it to return him to Corinth.
Once home, Arion went to the King and told his story, and the evil sailors were caught immediately and sentenced to death. Out of gratitude, a large statue was made of the dolphins to honor them forevermore.
A friend in need is a friend indeed! (Image credit: Flickr user James Burchill)
In this second tale, the Dolphin proves to be a worthy friend and guide. Poseidon, God of the Sea, fell in love with a beautiful nymph - Amphitrite. She was the daughter of the gentle sea god Nereus, and granddaughter of the Greek Titan of the seas, Oceanus. Amphitrite was a beautiful and proud woman who loved her independence, so she did not want to marry Poseidon despite knowing of his importance, status and riches. In order to escape the marriage, she ran away to the farthest edge of the sea, where she hid among her fellow nymphs and other sea creatures.
But Poseidon was determined, and chose Delphinus, king of the dolphins, to find Amphitrite and get her to come back. Delphinus naturally obeyed, and so he set off on the long, difficult journey to find Poseidon's love. It took him many weeks, but at long last he found her and was able to persuade Amphitrite to accept Poseidon's wooing with his sweet songs and gentle pleading. Eventually, Poseidon married his bride, and they were happy together.
Out of gratitude the god placed the image of a dolphin among the stars
This is the constellation, can you spot it in the night sky?
Gods in Dolphin forms
Greek Sun God - Apollo
Apollo, the Greek god of the sun, music, healing and prophecy is very much connected to dolphins.
According to legend, Apollo was born on the Greek island of Delos and grew to adulthood in just four days. He changed himself into a dolphin to escape the island and made it safely to the mainland, where his adventures began.
Early Christian sailors likened Jesus Christ to the dolphin. Pastoral images of the lamb were remote from their experience. But they knew countless stories of dolphins as rescuers, guides, and friends. As the dolphins appeared in the ancient legends, so Jesus served in life: rescuer, guide, and friend.
Mosaic of a Dolphin twisted around an anchor
Dolphins appear frequently on the walls of the catacombs. As symbols of Christ, they bear the souls of the saints to glory. Sometimes they appear crushing the head of a sea monster or an octopus, representing Satan. Often, they are shown twisted around a trident or an anchor, suggesting Christ on the Cross. In underground Rome there is even an image of a dolphin with an exposed heart.
In some instances, however, the dolphin seems to represent not Christ, but Christians. Thus the dolphin, like the lamb, holds an ambiguous position for the ancients: the lamb can represent Christ as “Lamb of God” — or the Christian as member of the Good Shepherd’s “little flock.” These dolphin-Christians sometimes appear in pairs, both swimming toward a monogram or other symbol of Christ.
Friend, Protector or Guide. What does the Dolphin mean to you?