Animal Symbolism in Mexican Silver Jewelry

We’re proud to sell pieces by the Molina family, who has been producing Mexican sterling silver jewelry for generations. All of their pieces are inspired by animals or nature. The Molinas’ designs are renowned for being highly detailed and intricate. Their most popular design by far is fish. Their jaguar and owl designs are very popular too. In this post, we’ll look at some Molina jewelry and what a few different animals symbolize.

Fish Symbolism

Fish are symbolic in various religions. They represent life and motion, as well as spiritual growth. In Mexican culture, one symbolic fish is the axolotl. This fish is actually a form of the tiger salamander that essentially refuses to grow up. As they mature, real salamanders lose their gills and then live on land.

fish symbolism in jewelryThe axolotl, on the other hand, keeps its gills and lives in water while attaining reproductive ability. As a result, it symbolizes creativity, independence, and not losing a youthful zest for life, according to The Toltec I Ching. Wear fish jewelry to symbolize your openness to life’s adventures, a refusal to become cynical and jaded, or your unconventional approach to life. Check out our Molina fish jewelry here.

Owl Symbolic Meaning

There’s just something mysterious about owls, isn’t there? These nocturnal animals symbolize intelligence and protection, watching over the underworld and those who have passed away. Some believe they carry messages between the living and the dead. Because owls can see well at night, people view them as having keen and unusual insight.

owl symbolism in mexican jewelryIn Mexico, the Lechuza is an ancient legend about witches turning into owls. If you hear the shriek of the Lechuza at home, a loved one will supposedly die. The Lechuzas are scary but not necessarily dangerous. Sometimes parents or guardians will scare a child by saying, “If you don’t behave, the Lechuza will get you!”

Wearing owl jewelry can symbolize protection and foresight. If your friend has a big test coming up, owl jewelry is an excellent gift. Check out our Molina owl jewelry here.

Jaguar Symbolism

Jaguars symbolize power, confidence, and sensuality. They’re closely related to black panthers and leopards. In the jungle, jaguars have exceptional beauty, perception, and planning abilities. It’s no wonder there’s a luxury car inspired by it. Notes Cartier, “It is a timeless icon that is both predatory and elegant, restrained yet always ready to pounce.”

jaguar symbolism mexican silver jewelry

The jaguar was the god of the Mayan underworld, first appearing in Mexican art around 1200 B.C. Jaguars have long been a part of ancient Mexican artwork and ritual. Jaguar jewelry is a thoughtful gift for someone in your life who is fighting a battle (either literally or metaphorically) or trying to face their fears. Or wear the jaguar yourself to inspire bravery, beauty, and leadership. Here is our Molina jaguar jewelry.

Hummingbird Meaning

The hummingbird’s symbolism is mostly positive, representing energy, hope, and love. (Its only darker nuance is that, like the owl, the hummingbird is seen as a messenger between the spirit world and our world.) If you’ve seen a hummingbird, you’ve probably been mesmerized by its ability to hover in one place while drinking nectar. So it makes sense that the bird stands for quickness and light. Lighten up and savor the “nectar” of life and love, the hummingbird seems to say.

hummingbird symbolism mexican silver jewelryHummingbirds are small but mighty and agile. The Aztec sun and war god, Huitzilopochtli, is often painted as a hummingbird. Many think his name means “left-handed hummingbird” as well. He was a resilient fighter, and so were the Aztecs. Fittingly, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, “Aztecs believed that dead warriors were reincarnated as hummingbirds.” Wear hummingbird jewelry to remind you to have a light spirit and open heart, or to symbolize delicate strength. Take a peek at our Molina hummingbird designs.

Porcupine Symbolism

“Ouch!” might be your mental association with porcupines. They look prickly, but porcupines are actually playful and happy. Porcupines don’t fire their quills in attack, as they mostly eat seeds, berries and nuts. Their quills are just for protection if they need to defend themselves. In fact, porcupine quills actually float in water. Symbolically, the porcupine can help someone grieving or depressed to find hope and regain their buoyancy and curiosity about the world.

porcupine symbolism mexican silver jewelryThe Mexican Hairy Dwarf Porcupine (Sphiggurus mexicanus), also called tree porcupine, is a gentle animal that mostly forages for forest food, especially at night. Porcupine jewelry can symbolize someone kind and big-hearted who is unafraid to defend themselves if attacked. This person may be sweet and innocent, but s/he will not be a doormat if someone is aggressive. Our Molina porcupine jewelry is here.

Frog Symbolic Meaning

Frogs symbolize transformation, among other things. This is likely because they go from egg to tadpole to frog, undergoing amazing changes in their lives. Female frogs also lay thousands of eggs, which is why the amphibian is a symbol of fertility and femininity as well. It’s generally associated with water, and by association, cleansing.

frog symbolismWearing frog jewelry can symbolize going through rites of passage or life-changing experiences. It would be a great gift for someone who is trying to have a baby or is a strong maternal influence in your life. Just don’t confuse frogs with toads — frogs don’t have warts! Here’s our sterling silver frog jewelry by the Molinas.

That’s just a quick overview of several of the Molina family’s silver jewelry designs. Whether you believe the mythology or not, it’s fascinating to learn about an animal’s significance. At least we think so!

Do you identify with any of these animals? Which one is your favorite?

Animal photos: The Meltons, Eric Kilby, Curt Hart, tontantravel, Dave Young

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