Light My Fire: Symbolism of the Salamander

Salamander Symbolism
Salamander Symbolism

Some prevelant symbolism of the salamander include:

  • Energy 
  • Courage
  • Renewal
  • Determination
  • Resurrection
  • Balance
  • Adaptation
  • Spirituality 

The salamander gets it solar animal status from several sources. Primarily, we see this aspect in ancient alchemical illustrations where the salamander is depicted in flames. Alchemists held the salamander to be a fire-eater and able to quench fire with its cool, moist body. In the alchemical philosophy, anything that had the power to transform something into something else was hugely important.

If salamanders are considered water creatures and why are they considered  solar animals? Mostly because of its bright colors, ranging from fire reds, amber oranges and glowy yellows.

Another source for solar symbolism: salamanders live in moist logs and ancient peoples may have observed that throwing a log on the fire causes salamanders to scurry out from the logs. Some of our more naive ancestors may have attributed the fire as giving birth to this amazing creature (instead of running to save their sweet little skins!).

Furthermore, early Christianity held the salamander as a symbol of spiritual integrity, chastity, and righteousness. The sign of the salamander indicated true faith, and the ability to survive the “fire of temptation.”

Medieval and heraldic art depicted the salamander as a symbol for bravery. It was often painted in the background of heroic portraits to indicate the mark of courage.

More on the symbolism of the salamander can be found here.

Post script: Thanks Kachine for catching this sally for me!

5 Comments on “Light My Fire: Symbolism of the Salamander”

  1. I had a small glass of water sitting on my stove near a cooking pot of rice. When I looked up a little later there was a small black salamander floating in the glass with it’s nose just above the water. I rarely see these here in Kansas, but to just appear like this was bazaar! The only 2 possibilities I could think of for it’s entrance were the vent above the stove, and my leaky basement.

  2. We do not have a lot of salamanders in this area- I might see one very 2 – 3 years & I’m outside a LOT. But on Saturday I was working around our remote summer cabin and i saw 4 salamanders in less than 2 hrs!!
    What is the animal kingdom trying to communicate with me?

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