The Koi fish is basically colored carp. Much of its popularity is because they are considered one of the most auspicious fish. They are often referred to as living jewels and for good reason. Aside from being beautiful creatures, they offer a lot of positive symbolism and often have great news as spirit animals.
Koi Symbolism Facts & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal
Koi Symbolism & Meaning
The koi’s ability (and desire) to swim upstream symbolizes perseverance and a destiny fulfilled. It means that we can overcome hardships if we just keep going. They are compared to samurai warriors as both have characteristics of courage, power, and a sense of character.
Their colors actually give them distinct and specific meaning. If the koi is white with red spots, it usually means success with work or career. The black ones represent huge changes that could transform your life. They are also associated with masculinity.
Moreover, silver koi means success business-wise and gold koi means prosperity and financial stability.
Blue koi represents tranquility, and it is sometimes associated with the role of a son. Red, on the other hand, symbolizes strength and power. If the koi has distinct red marks around its lips, it’s considered a “Kuchibeni Koi” — a lipstick carp — symbolizing long-lasting romantic relationships.
These makes them great symbols of aspiration, be it for good fortune, a happy marriage or career success.
Koi Spirit Animal
Koi fish are considered messengers of change. So, if you’re approached by a koi spirit animal, you are in for a big transformation. Oftentimes, the koi is just encouraging you to finish some of your old forgotten projects and to bring to fruition to some ideas you’ve abandoned in the past.
Another thing the koi maybe telling you as your spirit animal could be that you’re being stagnant right now. The koi symbolizes movement and pushing through despite obstacles, and it is inspiring you to do the same.
Koi Power Animal
Koi are great power animals as they represent career advancement (read: promotion) and wealth. If you’re in need of a push, call upon the koi and it will provide you with the drive to work your way towards the top.
Since they represent courage and determination, they can guide you when you need help with big decisions that could impact your life as a whole. Koi fish can also lend you their tenacity when you are tempted to just break down.
Koi Totem Animal
Koi fish are considered unfavorable totem animals because they are stubborn and persistent. Being too headstrong can get you in trouble if you’re a Koi person. You sometimes refuse to move and to follow orders which causes either drama or you get stuck in an unpleasant situation in your life.
Of course, people with the Koi totem still have some great traits. They are great friends as they are really sociable and they almost always stand up for their friends. Aside from being independent, they are hard workers and almost nothing can faze them hence capable of controlling their emotions.
Koi Native American Symbolism
The Native American haven’t come upon the koi fish, so they did not give special significance to it.
Koi Celtic Symbolism
While the Celtics haven’t encountered much of the koi to give it any symbolism, they do consider fish as a symbol of determination.
Related symbolism for the koi fish can be found with the Greek’s zodiac sign: Pisces. In one of the Greek myths, it is said that the pair of fish in the Pisces symbol were koi.
Early Christian believers have associated fishes with Jesus Christ, as some of his traits fit the archetype of a person with the Pisces sign: compassionate, gentle, wise, and a martyr.
Koi Far Eastern Symbolism
For the Chinese, the koi is the emblem of abundance and fertility. As they often come in pairs, they are also linked to harmony, friendship and romance. They are linked to the yin yang symbol, referring to the balance of power.
It is believed that Confucius had considered the koi’s desire to attain enlightenment as a metaphor for our journey in life. He said that since enlightenment is always available, what people should focus on is the tenacity to go through life as the journey is where we will achieve answers.
Koi in Dreams
Koi dreams in general are about good things about to happen in your life. However, there is a duality with the koi’s meaning in dreams.
If you dreamt that you’ve successfully caught a koi fish, it means that your financial situation will improve.
Should your dream include a handful of koi, it means that you will be successful business-wise. Its size might also be a sign of blessing. If they were small, there will be a small reward that you might be receiving in the near future. If it they were medium-sized, it is possibly a sign that your blessing might have something to do with children.
On the other hand, you have to be cautious if your dream was eating a koi. Any financial transaction may go south — especially if you were to lend money. You might not get paid immediately, if at all.
There is a possibility that you will encounter difficulties with your finances, if you are actively seeking a koi in your dream, with the intention of eating it. A dead koi is a bad sign, as it symbolizes loss and grief.
Koi Encounters / Koi Omens
If you see koi in real life, it is a friendly reminder that you will find people that will be able to assist you in whatever you’re dealing with currently. It also means that things will get easier and better soon enough.
If the koi you saw is distinctly swimming away from you in the opposite direction, it means that you are being prideful and the koi is reminding you that you might lose people if you continue to put your pride first.
Additionally, if the koi was swimming — crossing your path — it is a reminder to leave your fears aside for now.
Koi Mythology and Folklore
There was a Chinese legend that if a koi makes it to the top of the Yellow River to a place called Dragon Gate, it will transform into a dragon. However, the moral of the story can be found on the arduous journey rather than the transformation after.