What The Jesus Fish And Your Vagina Have In Common

This is not a drill.

Origin Of The Jesus Fish Symbol

If you live on planet Earth and you have ever seen a car, then you have probably seen what is colloquially known as "the Jesus Fish."


This relatively rudimentary symbol of a fish is ancient in origin and is meant to symbolize that the person inside of this car (or otherwise in possession of the fish) is a practicing Christian. 

You've probably also seen people cracking-wise against Christians with their own "Darwin Fish," a modified version of the Jesus Fish with a pair of legs. 


While we call it the Jesus Fish, it actually has a more much legit ancient Greek name: ichthys, the Greek word for "fish." And, by the middle of the 2nd century, it was already much in use by Christians. 

Back in the day if you were a Christian, you could be arrested or even killed for practicing your religion. So some Christians marked locations where they would meet to celebrate and pray with the ichthys. It's like The DaVinci Code, only even less interesting.

The thing most people don't know about the ichthys is that while Jesus is known a "fisher of men," he wasn't the first guy to earn that moniker! In fact, the legendary mythical Greek poet Orpheus was also called the fisher of men, and the Syrian goddess Atargatis is often associated with fish. 


It's not exactly shocking to discover that a symbol used by Christians was originally used by other ancients. What is a little bit shock about the ichthys if you dig a little deeper is that this symbol?

It originally represented a vagina. 


You heard me.

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One of the earliest names of the ichthys is vesica piscis, a phrase which translate into English to mean "vessel of fish". In ancient Greek and Syrian cultures the words for "fish" and "womb" were basically synonyms. It goes to follow that an interpretation of a vagina as a fish would be a symbol used to represent the power of the female goddesses and the woman in general. 


Until Christians adopted the symbol, the vesica pisces was associated strictly with female goddesses associated with sex and fertility. This symbol was used to represent the power of those female goddesses's vulvas. 

Maybe this will help you visualize it a little better:


In fact, the vesica pisces was such a common symbol back in ancient times, that's a huge part of why the Christians selected it as their symbol to begin with: people would recognize that there were religious connotations. 

Most modern Christians don't know about the origins of their favorite fish, but plenty of Christian scholars are quick to state that the fish's origins are very much all about the power of a woman's body and the power of her fertility. 

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Three cheers for the continuing power of the vagina in symbology and in life! 

That's right, when you're driving behind that one soccer mom at school who totally ignores the pick-up/drop-off time policy, just look at her Jesus Fish and take solace in the fact that she has no idea she has proudly slapped an ancient symbol for vaginas on the back of her mini-van. 

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a sex, humor and lifestyle writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. She hosts the sex, love, and dating advice show Becca After Dark on YourTango's Facebook Page every Tuesday and Thursday. For more of her work, click here