Cone Shell

Cone Shell – Relief

Cone Shell illustrated by Ravenari


Relief. Finding solutions to illness. Toxic situations. Toxic memories. Inability to escape the past. Confronting past issues to find relief. Numbness. Feeling flat or detached. Being forced to reconnect. Finding your way back to spirit. Pay attention. Don’t forget. Don’t ignore what hurts you. Feeling pain to relieve pain.

General Description:

The cone shell is a mollusk that has a very attractive shell that is often collected by shell collectors and occasionally used in ornaments and jewellery. The cone shell tends to live in coastal shallows. When threatened or attacked, they possess a harpoon which they use to inject venom into their attackers. Cone shells also use this neurotoxin to immobilise their prey which consists of fish, mollusks and worms depending on the species.

Cone shells can be quite aggressive, actively seeking something to sting. Their venom causes extreme agony and can be fatal if not treated immediately. However research into the venom is showing that cone shell venom might be able to provide a non-addictive, extremely effective pain killer. Painkillers derived from the cone shell venom have already been approved for use. The cone shell is now subject to a great deal of research and scientific / medical interest.

Lessons and Challenges:

Sometimes the only way to deal with something toxic, is to confront it. Cone shell teaches us that we absolutely must confront past issues in order to find some sense of relief. This is a very difficult lesson, and one that isn’t pleasant to experience. The presence of cone shell suggests that we have toxic memories in our lives that we have not yet dealt with, examined, explored or even felt yet. If we do not confront those memories in safe situations, they will continue to haunt us, and cause pain and even harm.

Chances are, you have been trying to avoid or escape some aspects of your past for some time. It may be specific memories, specific people, or even specific knowledges or regrets that you may have that others may not even know about. Cone shell tells you firmly that your way is not working, so how about a new approach? If you have an inability to escape your past, despite trying, try to face it head on.

Cone shell reminds us that one of the consequences of trying to avoid painful memories or past situations is that it can affect the personality now and create current toxic situations. A person who has never learnt how to release regret, or envy for example, may find that they spread their own toxicity around to others and create situations that remind them that one day they will have to confront their problems with regret and envy. Likewise, if you have certain memories that you are running from, you may go to great lengths to avoid reminders of that memory, or spread the hurt you feel around to others in order to try and ameliorate your own hurt.

Another consequence of avoidance and not dealing with problematic situations internally or externally, is a feeling of numbness, flatness or detachment. Cone shell comes into your life to remind you to wake up! It is only through facing what you have been avoiding, will you find true relief and contentment; as opposed to numbness and a disconnection from life and emotion.

Cone shell, if you haven’t gathered by now, teaches you to pay attention. Don’t forget what has shaped you, even if you didn’t enjoy it. Don’t ignore what hurts you. Don’t turn your back on your past, or unhealthy or dangerous situations in your present. Be aware and alert, although chances are that if cone shell has wandered into your life, you’re not getting much of a choice at the moment! Cone shell suggests that one of the reasons you’re feeling so uncomfortable is because you are trying to turn your back on something that will simply harm you the longer you ignore it.

Hard lessons are the domain of cone shell, but one of the profound lessons of cone shell is relief. Cone shell teaches us to go the hard yards in order to find actual relief, as opposed to numbness. By confronting what hurts and harms us that comes from within, we are able to be proactive and find solutions to illness (both mental and physical). We empower ourselves on our own journey, and on the way we learn how to bleach toxicity out of the very memories, emotions and situations we have been avoiding so that they no longer harm us and we no longer have to turn our back on them. Cone shell’s forcible attempts to reconnect you to what you avoid are not enjoyable, but they put us in a greater position of power and pain relief than ever before.

When we avoid something for a long time, we lose parts of our connection (and sometimes all of our connection) to spirit, nature, or even to our inner selves. Cone shell shows us a clear path back to the way of spirit, and gently reminds us that sometimes we must feel pain, in order to relieve pain.

The Shadow Aspects:

The shadow aspect of cone shell speaks of a time where we are experiencing pain and toxic situations without any relief coming on the horizon. This will be for varying reasons, but one might be that we are refusing to remove ourselves from hurtful influence and self-harm through negative thoughts or actions. Cone shell will lend us the strength to get through this trying time as long as we promise not to simply ignore the hurt or write it off as ‘the way it is.’ Write down your feelings about physical pain and emotional pain, or whatever you experience as ‘hurt.’ Examine how you feel towards the hurt itself. Changing your attitudes about traumatic experiences or unhealthy circumstance will be the first step we can take towards relief of that pain and trauma.

Cone shell confronts those who are not honest with themselves. The greatest lies we can tell, are those we tell ourselves to hide from our own inner darkness and hurt. These lies and deceptions leave the hurt and darkness inside of us, which can fester into illness, long term mental depression and anxiety, and poor relationships with friends, partners and family. If you are not honest with yourself, cone shell will find more abrupt and noticeable ways to force you into confronting what you have been hiding from yourself.


Like all animal helpers, this animal will only appear when right and appropriate, and cannot be forced to visit you, commune with you, or share messages with you. Cone shell does not tend to give people much of a choice. As an energy, it asks you to reconnect, and then will often force reconnection by bringing up internal toxic situations again and again. As a guide energy it can be relentless, but it is a great catalyst for change and does bring about extreme transformation. It is a difficult teacher, demanding great expenditure of energy in order to create change, but does get results.

Cone shell is a particularly valuable guide for those who have been avoiding phobias, who have budding irrational fears, or who are avoiding emotions and memories. Because cone shell can be quite a harsh teacher though, it is worth engaging with a gentle or nurturing animal guide alongside cone shell to make sure you have a soothing place to retreat to when confrontation gets to be too much. Cone shell can be quite communicative, and is generally quite straight-forward about what it wants from you. Offerings to it come more in the form of actually applying yourself to what it demands, but you can also offer cone shells, and other shells, as well as a vessel of sea water.