botticelli-birth-of-venusThe myth tells us that the goddess of love Venus was born out of sea foam and carried on a conch-shell to Cyprus. In Christian culture the seashell represents man’s grave before resurrection. In Renaissance paintings the shell is pictured as an attribute of Mary, John the Baptist uses it for Christ’s baptism as a possible allusion of Christ’s future Resurrection.It is also an attribute of the Saint James, the patron of pilgrims.

As related to Water element, the seashell is a symbol of fertility, the Moon and the Woman.