Most of the time, a seashell is linked to love and fertility, but the meaning of a seashell can change depending on where it comes from and what kind of seashell it is. For example, a Christian tradition from the Middle Ages says that the seashell is a symbol of a pilgrim. Artists and art movements, like those who follow Feng Shui, also have different ideas about what seashells mean.
In Christian tradition, scalloped seashells are linked to the Way of St. James, which is a pilgrimage route that goes through Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
In Polynesian culture, turtle shells are more valuable than other shells because they stand for long life, peace, and fertility.
In New Age spirituality, seashells represent the feelings and movements of the unconscious, which are the sources of peace and harmony. This is because seashells are often found near water. Because of this, they are sometimes used as a way to tell the future.
The conch shell is used as a musical instrument and a way to carry water for rituals in both Buddhism and Hinduism. Hindu traditions go so far as to give the conch shell a gender based on whether it looks thin or round. In these traditions, conch shells are also thought to be more holy if the spiral pattern goes to the right instead of the left.
People think that a conch shell with a spiral that goes to the right follows the path of the sun. In Buddhist and Hindu art, all of Buddha’s curls and the spiral of his navel also go to the right.