Snails in culture
If one imagines galaxy, what can he see? Are there numerous stars, which are spirally arranged and move in the defined direction? Let’s imagine the snail shell as the spiral movement. Don’t you seem that this depiction s a parallel of the all living beings on the Earth? Let’s figure out why these small animals are associated with the beginning of life on the Earth.
There are several versions of the world creation, in which snails play crucial role. For instance, altay mythology has a version that the God of underground Erlika created the human beings, when he was in the body of snail. Nauru citizens believed that Areop-Enap was born from the snail shell. The ancient cultural center of Mayans has a beautiful stone building in the form of cylinder. This is an observatory for observing the Venus. The title of the observatory is ElCaracol, which is translated as “snail”. These animals appeared in the period, when the primitive human were engaged in gathering, so the first contacts were exclusively gastronomic. Nowadays, the mollusks were awarded the right to be on the personal emblems. For example, the snail can be found on the coat of arms of Antim Iversky, the theologian, bishop, Metropolitan of Wallachia; and in the heraldry of the genus d’Alesso; several French villages; cities of Central and Eastern Europe, Switzerland, Italy.
In the medieval Europe, before the Enlightenment, this small animal was accused in laziness, as it was born on the ground, lived there, ate the particles fund in the soil and died there. Calling a person a snail was an offense, since laziness is a sin. The Indian people of Mexico, known as the Aztecs, revered the Old God of the Moon or Toccystecatl, portraying him in the image of an old man with a snail shell on his back. It symbolized the lunar phases, as moon was hiding and appearing in the sky.
Ancient Egyptians asked philosophical questions. They asked how to manage time, why we are dependent on time, how it affects us. It was believed that a person must undergo tests to know the time and learn how to manage it. The snail has become a symbol of it, as it carries its house. Its spirals contain the sense of time: from small round to bigger, until one goes out of the frames of knowledge.
What does the snail symbolize?
As soon as Ancient Civilizations reached certain boundaries of knowledge, it was high time to reflect on the meaning and origin of life. With the development of religion and symbolism, ancient thinkers began to notice the similarity and regularity of events. First, they reflected at a primitive level, and subsequently their conclusions became more meaningful. So, the symbol of this mollusk occupied a fully explicable place in the human description of the world:
- These gastropods know much about cyclicism. When severe climatic conditions occur, this mollusk simply hides in its house and waits for the right moment. These observations led to conclusions about the constant rebirth, aligning this process with the resurrection of the Lord.
- The symbol of eternity. The Sumerians and Babylonians considered the snails immortal, making them a symbol of eternity, because this little inhabitant of a large planet has been existing for several million years.
The symbol of fertility
In ancient Japanese civilization, the snail was considered the god of water. It was asked to send rain, believing that the god of water lives in a pond in the form of a huge snail.
- The symbol of tolerance and perseverance. One has only to see how this helpless animal overcomes the distance and it becomes clear why the mollusks are a symbol of perseverance, perseverance, zeal for Buddhism and practice of Feng Shui.
- The duality symbol. Mollusks are hermaphrodites. In the process of mating, they reveal their sexual nature, male and female.
When one sees the snail under the gapes leave, it is necessary to remember that it used to be the symbol of divinity, eternity, patience, modesty and time.