The fish symbol of the yonic Goddess was so revered throughout the Roman empire that Christian authorities insisted on taking it over, with extensive revision of myths to deny its earlier female-genital meanings. Some claimed the fish represented Christ because Greek ichthys, "fish," was an acronym for "Jesus Christ, Son of God." But the Christian fish-sign was the same as that of the Goddess's yoni or Pearly Gate: two crescent moons forming a vesica piscis. Sometimes the Christ child was portrayed inside the vesica, which was superimposed on Mary's belly and obviously represented her womb, just as in the ancient symbolism of the Goddess.
Fish and womb were synonymous in Greek; delphos meant both.
A world-wide symbol of the Great Mother was the pointed-oval sign of the yoni, known as vesica piscis, Vessel of the Fish. It was associated with the "Fishy Smell" that Hindus made a title of the yonic Goddess herself, because they said women's genitals smelled like fish. The Chinese Great Mother Kwan-yin ("Yoni of yonis") often appeared as a fish-goddess. As the swallower of Shiva's penis, Kali became Minaksi the "fish-eyed" one, just as in Egypt, Isis the swallower of Osiris's penis became Abtu, the Great Fish of the Abyss.
The fish has been used as an emblem of damnation; but among the Chinese it typified contentment and good fortune, and fishes appear on many of their coins. When Typhon, or Set, the Egyptian evil genius, had divided the body of the god Osiris into fourteen parts, he cast one part into the river Nile, where, according to Plutarch, it was devoured by three fishes--the lepidotus (probably the lepidosiren), the phagrus, and the oxyrynchus (a form of pike). For this reason the Egyptians would not eat the flesh of these fishes, believing that to do so would be to devour the body of their god. When used as a symbol of evil, the fish represented the earth (man's lower nature) and the tomb (the sepulcher of the Mysteries). Thus was Jonah three days in the belly of the "great fish," as Christ was three days in the tomb.
Fishes were sacred to the Greeks and Romans, being connected with the worship of Aphrodite (Venus). An interesting survival of pagan ritualism is found in the custom of eating fish on Friday. Freya, in whose honor the day was named, was the Scandinavian Venus, and this day was sacred among many nations to the goddess of beauty and fecundity. This analogy further links the fish with the procreative mystery. Friday is also sacred to the followers of the Prophet Mohammed.
The early philosophers and scientists, realizing that all life has its origin in water, chose the fish as the symbol of the life germ. The fact that fishes are most prolific makes the simile still more apt. While the early priests may not have possessed the instruments necessary to analyze the spermatozoon, they concluded by deduction that it resembled a fish.
[...] this intervention by a fish god is a coded account of evolution, common to mythologies all around the world.
The death and resurrection of Christ is said to be prefigured by Jonah, who remained three days int he belly of a great fish, even as Christ remained three days in the earth. In India, the first avatar of Vishnu is in the form of a fish swimming in the great ocean of space. The symbolism appears to be as follows: There are two seas - that which is below the firmament, called the sea of illusion in which dwell men represented as small fishes swimming in its depths; and that which is above the firmament, the SCHAMAYIM, the sea of the waters of life in which abides the great fish which, like the serpent of Aaron, eats up all the small fishes.
The fish is one of the most ancient symbols of the human soul, and it was the original symbol of Christianity. [...] Jesus as the fisher of men, or the fish man, appears to come from the Chaldean story of Dagon who came out of the sea and brought religion, philosophy, and science to his people.
The fish symbolizes the sign of Pisces and also the legendary King of Babylon, Nimrod, who was depicted as a fish.