No, it isn't a crystal or a stone we're talking about today...but a shell worthy of a spot in Rock Talk for its myriad healing and transformative uses!
The unassuming appearance of the Conch shell has a colorful and amazing history in cultures across the globe since ancient times.
The Conch shell has been used throughout time and all around the world for ceremony and spiritual practices. Played as an instrument, the Conch has been employed to call upon higher energies, to create sacred space, even to announce battle or victory.
An important symbol in Hinduism, the Conch shell belongs to Lord Vishnu and is still used as a sacred trumpet today in religious ceremonies like the puja.
As a representation of all life, the Conch is connected with the five elements: water, fire, air, earth and ether. When the Conch is blown, it is said to the make sacred syllable AUM, the first sound of creation.
Buddhism has also incorporated the Conch shell as one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols.
Right-handed Conch shells are believed to bring wealth and prosperity, while left-handed shells symbolize the journey to overcome darkness or limitations.
Called a Pū in Hawaii, the Conch shell has long been considered a gift from the Ocean, coming out of the life giving waters with a sound that flows across the 'Aina ( land ). To blow the Pū is a call to the divine.
The blowing of the Pu, a deep part of the Hawaiian culture, has multiple uses and communicates various meanings in both Religious and secular traditions. The meanings associated with the number of blows is specific to intention, used for giving thanks (Mahalo) at the end of the day prior to sunset, in wedding ceremonies, and for countless other sacred purposes.
The Moche people of ancient Peru worshiped the sea and often depicted Conch shells in their art.
The Aztecs named the Conch shell trumpet quiquiztli, the instrument that Quetzalcoatl played to defeat the devious challenge of Mictlantecuhtli, the Lord of the Dead, and reclaim the ancestral bones of humanity at the start of the Fifth Sun.
The spiraling of the Conch shell has long been revered as symbolic of our journeys through this world—the infinite cycle of life, death, and rebirth that spirals through and beyond time or space.