Symbolic Snail Meaning
My friend Mederi Corvus is jazzed about snails. We were discussing snails over a cup of coffee, and I inquired why she was so taken with these little creatures. "Well," she began intelligently, "for starters, they have two different kinds of slime." Huh? Yep.
Mederi went on to explain snails have a special slime for moving about, and another slime for protection. Apparently the motion-slime allows snails to move from point A to point B in smooth, slick fashion. This slime lets them move over challenging surfaces, like sticky stuff or grit. Symbolically, this begs the question, "What facilitates our mobility?". Most of us might not want to be covered in a literal slime to get us moving in the right direction. But, metaphorically, we can focus on things that motivate us to move. We might call it "motivational" or "inspirational" slime. Lol. My inspirational slime is creating stuff that makes a difference. When I'm in a slump, unmotivated or just plain tired...thinking of the end result of a job done well...something I can create that pops with goodness...that's my inspirational slime. What's yours? What lubricates your ability to get up and do something? Do as the snail does...get slickered up and move forward in a positive direction.
The second kind of snail slime is protective. They excrete a specialized goo that keeps their tender bodies insulated from harm. This slime helps snails avoid injury while they're on the move. The slime also has healing qualities too, so if they do get a boo-boo, their slime gets them on the mend in double time. Symbolically, this links snail meaning with healing. Perhaps you're going through a challenging time with your health. I'd like to encourage you to envision yourself covered in a protective, nurturing, healing slime. Make your slime pretty. -Make your slime sparkly, or rainbow colored if you like. You get my point. Translate the power of healing snail slime to yourself and create an aura of well-being.
My friend Mederi educated me further about snail meaning by telling me about their unique reproductive systems. Snails are both male and female' essentially they're hermaphrodites. Depending upon need and environment they can utilize whichever sex organ needed for the job of reproduction. How cool is that? What do we do with something like that on a symbolic level? To me, it speaks of gender roles. It's about balancing yin (female) and yang (male) energies in elegant, smart ways. All women have a little masculine energy in them, and all men have a little feminine in them too. Snail meaning reminds us we are all the best of both worlds (or gender's, in this case). Guys...it's okay to be soft, vulnerable, tender and sensitive sometimes. Nurture that within you when the occasion calls. And ladies...it's alright to go "Rosie the Riveter" and flex your masculine muscles sometimes. Most of us already know this stuff. Gender roles are more flexible in this day and age than in previous eras.
Another very cool aspect of snail meaning is found in its shell. Do you have a little free-roaming gypsy in you? The snail is a great guide for you. It carries its home upon its back. It can wander anywhere, and still be home. Not only that - the snail excretes a substance (calcium carbonate) that actually creates its own shell (unlike hermit crabs, who find shells already made to move into). This is hugely symbolic. It implies anywhere we go - that's home. Are you the kind of person who feels at home where ever you are? The snail salutes you for that! What's key to feeling at home is being okay with ourselves. Home is in the heart. We can make our own comfort from within. We can auger a sense of content just by being satisfied with who we are from the inside out. The snail reminds us of this vital aspect of living a whole life.
Snail meaning offers us a world of symbolism and insight. Here are just a few key attributes that are exclusively symbolic to the snail. Check it:
So other than the symbolic observations already made, how did the snail earn all these great features? -Mostly from cultural observations.
Myth and legend offer lots of cool tidbits about the snail and symbolic snail meaning. Here are a few tidbits about the snail's mythological importance around the world:
Tecciztecatl is an Aztec moon god (Mexico). He was depicted snuggled up in a snail's shell in ancient relics and Aztec art. In this culture, the snail is symbolic of the moon, and its phases. The spiral of the snail's shell is also symbolic of the moon and its cycles. To the Aztecs, the snail is symbolic of time, transition, and even fertility.
The spiral is also featured in Egyptian hieroglyphics. The spiral is a common feature in nature. To the ancient Egyptians the spiral (and by association, the snail) was a symbol of the progress of life spiraling out and expanding. This concept deals with symbolism of: Consciousness, evolution and the expansion of life.
European Old Religions:
Old earth religions of Europe observed the snails horns peeking out after a good rain. They linked this with farming and agricultural cycles. They also attributed the snail's sassiness in rain as a symbol of fertility upon the earth.
I hope you have enjoyed this fun little article on symbolic snail meaning. If you're as jazzed about snails as Mederi and I are, you might want to take a look at the article I wrote on snail meaning for cool tattoo ideas. There you'll find more info about snails in myth and fable that might get your "inspirational slime" going. :
As always, thanks for reading, and may all your slime be divine. :
An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings
Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.
This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."
Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)
As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!