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Spiritual Significance of Shells (+ Their Spiritual Use)

Most of us remember collecting seashells on the beach as children. However, seashells are much more than attractive ornaments. Seashells have long been a symbol of life, death and rebirth, dating back to ancient Egyptian times. Read on to learn about the deeper meaning of seashells and how you can use them in your own life.

Spiritual meaning of seashells

Seashells are revered in cultures around the world, from Christianity to Buddhism. Their beliefs are very similar in that seashells generally symbolize our souls’ safe passage from this world. Shells are the remnants of a life once lived and symbolize the journey a creature has taken. When a shell is found on a beach, it evokes the “shell” that remains after the soul has left the body. They also symbolize the beauty of life and its many aspects.

The following are all that seashells symbolize:

1. Protection

Mussels are protective vessels that protect vulnerable mollusks from danger. They also contain the protective energy of the ocean. They are the perfect totems to carry around to inspire confidence and help you find your inner strength. You can also put seashells on your windowsill to protect your home from negative energy.

2. Let go

When shells are found, they are often either lightly chipped, broken, or the color has been worn away by the salt in the sea. Seashells remind us that life is never perfect, but it is our persistence that gets us through the challenges we face. The gentle yet intense healing energy of seashells will help you see beyond your current predicament and move on with life with courage and determination.

3. Beauty

Shells are formed in the ocean; a place that has both mystified and empowered people for centuries. Because of how it is made, each shell is unique, which helps us see the unique beauty within ourselves. Simply holding a seashell and admiring its distinctive shape, color and pattern is enough to increase acceptance of ourselves and all our flaws.

4. Change

Shells represent the journey of life. Molluscs have to go through several hardships and challenges in the deep sea. Still, they adapt to change and figure out how to survive in the harshest of environments.

5. Simplicity

Famed architect and writer Frank Lloyd Wright once described seashells as “greatness with simplicity“. Against all odds, tiny mollusks create their own protective dwellings and survive the rough raging seas, which is an incredible feat when you think about it.

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People can often overthink things; am i doing this right? What if this goes wrong? Sometimes we need to get back to basics and remember the simple joys in life that we really care about.

6. Eternity/Immortality

Shells represent the beauty that remains after death. They are an everlasting reminder of life’s journey and the soul’s journey thereafter. For those who believe in reincarnation, seashells can also represent the resurrection of a new life. Senegalese funeral rituals often included white shells, as they were believed to guide the soul on its journey to the afterlife.

7. Independence/Autonomy

Mussels are the solid exoskeletons of mollusks. These vulnerable creatures live their entire lives in a shell made of minerals from their own bodies. Therefore, seashells are a strong symbol of independence. Mollusks make their own lives and create their own protective shields to survive, humans can do the same.

8. Feminine Energy

Seashells have long been associated with the divine feminine, especially feminine, beauty. When performing spells with the goddess Aphrodite, it is traditional to honor her with shells. Scallops are associated with this goddess as they are strongly associated with beauty, fertility and love, as well as pearls and oyster shells which are said to represent the hidden beauty of women.

9. Prosperity/Abundance

Seashells have been a religious symbol for coastal dwellers since the dawn of history as they represent the sustenance and abundance that comes from the sea. They were even used as a means of payment by numerous cultures, especially cowrie shells.

In feng shui, flowing water symbolizes money flowing into the house. Placing seashells around a water fountain is said to protect that money. Likewise, keeping seashells in a basket in your home is believed to bring good luck and prosperity in your life.

Spiritual uses of seashells

Seashells are deeply spiritual objects. Let’s take a look at some of the many spiritual uses of seashells.

1. Blowing conch shells to attract positive energy

The conch shell, also known as a shankha, is an integral part of Hindu traditions. A conch shell is blown before any religious ceremony as it is believed to rid a room of negative energies and evil spirits. Due to the unique shape of conch shells, the earth’s natural vibrations are amplified as they enter the curved surface, giving them their power.

To blow a conch shell properly, you must stand with your back erect or the conch shell will not produce the correct sound.

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2. The use of shells in altars for protection

Shells are often used on pagan altars to represent the element of water. This is always placed on the west side of an altar, with earth on the north, air on the east, and fire on the south. Traditionally, witches invoke all four elements prior to any ritual as this helps protect your sacred space and also serves as the energy base for any spell cast.

The natural cupped shape of many clams makes them great containers for herbs and crystals. You can even keep your magic tools next to seashells to clear away negative energy.

3. Cowrie shells for third eye chakra opening and spiritual advice

These sacred shells are said to be the gateway to our ancestors as they work to open the third eye chakra (our connection with the divine). Because of this, cowrie shells are used in a variety of divination arts, including astral projection, tarot, and obi divination.

Cowrie divination has been used by West African cultures for thousands of years. A 16 cowrie shell setup is the most common form of divination (called Erindillogun), but can only be performed by initiated priests in the Orisa tradition. Other forms exist that can be performed by anyone.

Cowrie shells have a rounded side and a split side. To get advice from these shells, simply pick up an odd number of them in your left hand, ask your question, and then carefully toss them. If most shells land on the closed side, the answer is positive. If most of them end up split side up, the answer is negative.

4. Sea Snail for Grounding & Mental Clarity

Sea snails are important symbols in sacred geometry due to their logarithmic spirals. Unlike many other molluscs, the nautilus does not shed its shell. Instead, new chambers are added to the shell as the animal grows. Because of this, sea snails are often seen as symbols of growth and renewal.

They are excellent shells for meditation when you are feeling spiritually lost or overwhelmed as they can help you find your true purpose and guide you in a spiritual transition to overcome life’s challenges.

5. Scallop to Manifestation

As they are meant to represent travel and movement, scallops make excellent additions to your altar or as jewelry for protection on any journey.

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A scallop’s many grooves spread out at the rim but all connect at the bottom of the shell. This pattern represents the different spiritual paths that all lead to the same goal – the connection we have with the earth. These shells can help you stay focused on your goals even when you encounter obstacles on your way.

6. Male energy snail shell

Auger shells are shaped like a spear, making them perfect shells to represent masculine energy. These shells are meant to give you the strength and courage to face your problems head-on. They also have incredibly calming energy and can help you gain mental clarity and trust your intuition.

7. Abalone shell for incense rituals

Abalone shell is commonly used by pagans to represent the element of water due to its basin shape and stunning coloration. It is also often used to catch the ash from incense during incense rituals.

8. Lunar rituals with seashells

Due to their strong ties to the sea, mussels are often found in ‘pull down the moon‘ Rituals or full moon rituals. Surround your sacred circle with seashells and invoke the power of the moon to manifest your goals or to help you let go of something that no longer serves you.

What does it mean when you dream of seashells?

To dream of seashells is usually a positive sign as they represent good luck and growth. Especially if you have a dream about collecting seashells on a beach.

But they can also symbolize your desire for protection. Seashells are the protective shields used by vulnerable sea creatures to protect them from the harsh environment in which they live. So, dreaming about them can symbolize your insecurities. Perhaps you hide your true self out of fear of judgment, or you wear a false mask of perfection to please everyone around you.

To dream of breaking seashells is considered a warning that you will lose motivation and not progress in your life.

Conclusion

Seashells are nature’s gifts. They brave the rough sea and protect their inhabitants from harm. These beautiful creations remind us to constantly move forward in life with strength, courage and determination no matter what. In our busy modern lives, seashells can also show us the beauty found in simple things like family, laughter, and love.

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