Great white sharks are masters of survival. They may be one of the most feared creatures on the planet, and therefore, could be one of the most respected. Though many still maim sharks, taking their fins for food and medicine, the great white remains fierce and mysterious, strong and triumphant in the wild. Their survival is being threatened and only through awareness can this be halted. When great white sharks swim into the pages of your life, according to Native American tradition, they may be symbolizing wisdom in the art of mastering the waters of your own life.
Great whites have keen senses. These sharks can smell prey up to 3 miles away making them amazing hunters. Preferring seals and sea lions, it is thought that sharks only ever bite or eat humans out of culinary curiosity, not a taste for people. Recently, Northern Californian resident Micah Flansburg was out kayaking with a friend when a great white tried to take a nibble of his boat. After being tossed around a bit and given a good scare, he was left untouched by the shark.
Sharks may be fierce, but when they die nearly every part of them disappears because they have no bones – only cartilage. The only part left behind is the teeth. The shark tooth has long held symbolism of male strength and bravery. Wearing a shark tooth can signify unmoved resolve, stalwart action courage and territorialism.
The shark, though wild and often dangerous, is a very beautiful and majestic creature. Sadly, between 73 and 100 million sharks are fished for food and reward every year. This travesty must end. The shark represents the dichotomy of nature – both gloriously amazing and incredibly bold. We all have this spectrum of possibility living within us. By letting the sharks die and become extinct, we also somehow are letting the same fate come to ourselves.
Watch the beauty:
Great white sharks can mirror our own inner wisdom, depth of strength and courage to go after what we want – without deterrence. Children and adults alike are fascinated by these wild creatures. A study published in American Antiquity showed research of the spiritual and religious significance of the human-shark relationship throughout history by following the distribution of shark teeth in the Maritime peninsula. The traditional indigenous people of the area were known as Wabanaki, who carried with them the concept of buoin or ‘spiritual power.’ To these people, all animals, people an objects contained a certain amount of ‘buoin’, some more than others. “Buoin could harness the spiritual power necessary to access knowledge and realms of existence denied to normal beings.” These power objects were tools, not jewelry, and were largely shark teeth – signifying the great importance and belief that these teeth contained or could beneficially harness ‘other worldly power.’
No matter who you are or where you live, sharks represent something in the psyche of every human. The power of the great white shark can help draw wisdom to the surface from the depths of the human mind – for both survival of a species and the empowerment of one. Whether you are compelled to ‘save’ the sharks or save the self through deeper contemplation of what sharks mean to you – there is strength to be found.
Written by: Stasia Bliss