Eight Koi fish swimming in a pond in Hong Mei Gong Yuan caught my eye on a recent trip to that park. In my travels through many parts of China, I have found these golden colored fish swimming in ponds and canals and aquariums. I don’t think there is a park in China that doesn’t set up a pond for the Koi fish. The Koi is a symbol of good luck, of prosperity and of happiness. In this small school of Koi which caught me eye, the number of fish, eight, also has a symbolic meaning in Chinese terms, a symbol of luck. I guess that you could say that I stumbled upon “Double Good Luck” with this image.
The fish has a wealth of symbolism in psychology as well as in all cultures. In my culture, the fish symbolizes the peace of Jesus. In Jungian psychology, the fish is representative of the archetype of the “Self,” an archetype of wholeness that is often synonymous with “God.” The fish is a denizen of the water, symbol of the unconscious and as such is often symbolic of the unconscious movements in one’s dreams which point to libido, and to personal growth, a fertility of consciousness.
The number eight is also significant as it symbolizes “infinity” or that which is without end or beginning including all that is – present, past and future – all that yet isn’t. Eight is about balance, about the recycling of time and the process of continual rebirth. The cycling evokes a rising into consciousness and a descent into the unconscious only to again rise into consciousness. In a way, one could take the symbols of fish and the number eight to represent the process of individuation – personal growth through a journey embracing both the dark and the light, consciousness and the unconscious.
As I was visiting the park with my wife, she noticed my interest and looked at the scene and decided it was time for a rare photo of myself, thinking.