Porpoises and dolphins are different on a certain level, but to most of us they’re just one and the same. That goes the same for their symbolism, too — one of play and happiness, of compassion and self-love.
Is there, after all, a different emotion that fills one’s heart after seeing the a porpoise playing by the side of a ship or boat? Its peaceful play is not far from that of a child in a play pen, of a person in his favorite place. But just a little beyond this content exterior is a deeper meaning that we can carry in our daily lives.
Porpoise Symbolism Facts & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal
Porpoise Symbolism & Meaning
One curious thing with porpoises is the fact that they seem to be in perfect peace with everyone around them. Sure, they are carnivorous by nature, and they are also prey to other creatures such as sharks, but they are not the type to inspire fear or to threaten anyone, either on land or water. Their intelligence is well-known, and they are natural diplomats.
Porpoises may be water creatures, but they have the inherent element of air. Air is tied to intelligence, while water is tied to emotion. This is a very powerful lesson for us — that in order to achieve the same lightness of being as a porpoise we must rely not on the bliss that ignorance brings, but the bliss that a healthy balance between the mind and the heart.
Porpoise Spirit Animal
The porpoise is also known for being articulate, with some alleging that they actually speak a language that is more complicated than that of humans. While this may be a stretch, there’s no denying that they are articulate creatures. Thus, the spirit animal usually comes to the aid of those in need of finding their voice in life.
There are those who feel a different side of this communicative aspect, finding instead the ability to communicate with the long-lost child deep within us. This is the child that tends to hide away, letting us forget the pureness of the time when we followed just our hearts and our minds, without giving a thought as to the rules society has made up for us. This allows us to see our true selves, unencumbered by artificial constructs.
Porpoise Power Animal
Despite living in the water, the porpoise is a mammal. That means it needs to surface every now and then for air, and that is something we need to learn as well. When the waves of our problems seem to throw us down and drown us, it takes special strength to leap up from the tide and take in some air before diving back in. This is a strength that the porpoise so easily conveys.
Porpoise Totem Animal
People born under the porpoise totem animal are especially fun-loving, always able to find the fun things in life. That does not mean they are happy-go-lucky, though. You would find them always taking care of the people closest to them. They are especially important parts of the community, lending their talents to help make everyone stronger.
The porpoise is also someone who is comfortable in his environment, regardless of where he is. His adaptiveness is an asset, especially in today’s ever-shifting world.
Porpoise Native American Symbolism
To the Native American tribes who lived by the ocean, porpoises were once people who now guard the tribe against harm. They are selfless sentinels, for whom giving their lives to protect the tribe is something that’s not too far-fetched. They are also spirits of intuition, and are capable of sparking joy. They are also symbolic of spiritualism, and the natural human inclination to chase after the things that make one happy.
Porpoise Celtic Symbolism
The porpoise, to the ancient Celts, is a guardian of the world’s waters. He is a healer, and imbibes the traits of the water — the ability to present rejuvenation and renewal to those who invoke its power.
That latter meaning gains special importance in the meaning of porpoises in tattoos, signifying the rebirth into something better and higher. Take note, however, that this always comes at the cost of ending the current.
Porpoise Far Eastern Symbolism
Stories of porpoises rescuing seafarers are prevalent in many parts of the world, including Asia. This may be why porpoises have been the harbinger of luck in the seas. Seeing a porpoise means having fair weather and reaching the harbor safely. On the other hand, harming a porpoise in whatever way is a cause for bad luck.
Porpoise in Dreams
When you see porpoises in your dreams, it means there is an imbalance between your mind and your heart, and this is something that is bleeding into your daily life. You need to take a step back and keep your feelings in check so you don’t fall into a rut.
Porpoise Encounters / Porpoise Omens
When you see a porpoise in real life, it is most likely asking you to imitate it! You might not be completely sure which aspect it is you’re in need of — whether it’s the ability to have fun, or the ability to leap up from problems and take a breath — but whichever it is, it won’t hurt to try everything. After all, you can’t go wrong with a porpoise as your guide.
Porpoise Mythology and Folklore
A story starts with the creator of the world and everything. After hanging the sun on the sky, the sun was ordered to go round the world following a long golden track. The job takes the sun a length of time to do the job, zooming across the elements, this made it the length of the day. A porpoise who was hanging around heard what was told to the sun and planned of other ideas in mind. The eavesdropping porpoise wanted to do better in swimming around the world himself. Looking up the sky with the sun going along, the porpoise went faster that he was able to beat the sun by one hour and three minutes. This made the creator disappointed to learn that there is someone faster than the sun. After chasing the porpoise for three days, it was finally caught. The creator then transformed the tail crossways to make the porpoise slower. The story tells of how the porpoise achieved a crossway tail.
Indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America has a folklore about porpoise people living in underwater villages. These people have great control of the food supply according to the Haida culture. Legend says that two Quinault brothers in ancient times were trying to spear a porpoise which instead dragged them into a mystical village. After meeting the villagers and agreeing to stop hunting them, they were transformed into the marine mammal and introduced to different types of salmon as food sources. Totem poles in these Northwestern cultures sometimes feature a carve representation of the porpoise.
Perhaps an interesting character in Micronesian mythology is the porpoise-girl, a mermaid-like creature. She only came to land either to enjoy the view of people dancing or wants to steal stuffs. One day while on land, a man found and hidden her tail. Being unable to swim back to the sea, the porpoise girl ended up marrying a man and had children. However, her life was spent looking for her tail. As she grew old many years later, the porpoise girl was finally able to reconcile with the lost tail and decided to return to the sea with a parting message to her family to never eat porpoise.
According to Greek myth, porpoises and dolphins are responsible for carrying the souls of the dead into the next life. This ties in remarkably with the Celtic tradition of seeing the dolphin as a guide out of this life and into a better one. Generally, the dolphin has been associated with a transformative energy, which can help a person move on from a particularly difficult time.
We are used to seeing the porpoise as a symbol of happiness, but it’s also important to see their hidden powers. One does not need to be fierce or cunning to get through the hurdles of life — sometimes all that’s needed is the ability to smile and strike the fine balance between one’s thoughts and emotions.
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