by Bruce Johnson —
Bruce Johnson has over 30 years of study in the fields of Ancient Wisdom and occultism. He has taught classes on a wide range of topics, from Atlantis to mediums to Zoroaster. He is also a spiritualist minister, with a background in spiritual astrology. He lives in Colorado with his wife and their cat.
The history of the legendary fish-man or merman can be traced back to the Atlantean continent before it sank beneath the ocean. Scientists from the later races of Atlantis experimented extensively with creating human/animal hybrids. A blending of human and animal forms was achieved through the manipulation of certain creative forces in nature unknown to modern science. Both land creatures and sea creatures were combined with human forms. The mythical centaur, satyr, faun, merman, triton, mermaid, Nereid, siren, and other human/animal combinations all physically existed at one time long ago.
In addition to the historical and mythological significance shared with other human/animal hybrids, the fish-men in ancient cultures had an allegorical, esoteric meaning as well. Mythologies around the world speak of a fish-man that emerges from the sea as a Divine instructor and Messiah. The Divine fish-man is always amphibious, and able to live on land or in water. The dual nature of the fish- man symbolizes his ability to function on both spiritual and physical planes. Ancient fish-men taught both spiritual and temporal knowledge to the populace of the countries in which they appeared. Fish- men are also known as Dagons, and to esotericists, adepts and water dragons.
According to Hinduism, Vishnu, the second person of the Hindu trinity, first incarnated as Matsya Avatara, or the Fish Avatar. In this incarnation he is depicted in the form of a being with a human head and the body of a fish. Vishnu, as the Indian savior of humanity, instructed the people of India in many matters including Vedic Law, agriculture, science and geometry. He is often pictured in the water rescuing four children from a flood. The white, brown, yellow and black children represent child humanity being saved from destruction. After the deluge, the children begin a new human race. After spending the daytime instructing, Matsya Avatara would at sunset return to the water, where he spent the night. One day he plunged into the water and never returned.
The Babylonian fish-man Oannes or Oan appeared out of the Erythrean Sea on multiple occasions to instruct the lawless tribes that lived in that country. Oannes taught the Babylonians about letters, sciences, agriculture, philosophy, law, and architecture and ordered societies. Like Vishnu, Oannes educated the people by day, but retired to the sea every evening. Musarus Oannes was the first Babylonian fish-man or Dagon, and was followed by five subsequent Dagons whose teachings and physical forms were identical to those of Musarus Oannes. Among the fish-men of the America’s, we have Quetzalcoatl, the Initiate-king who rose from the waters to teach agriculture, magic, art and the ancient Wisdom-Religion to the Mayans. As he emerged from the waters, he held the Crux Ansata, the Cross of Life. When his work with the Mayans was done, Quetzalcoatl disappeared out to sea on a magical raft of serpents. The Quiche Mayan Book of Creation Popul Vuh uses the term Vinac-car to describe fish-men. It chronicles the lives of the hero twins reborn as boys, Xbalanque and Hunahpu, both of whom were fish-men. Xbalanque and Hunahpu liberated their people and instructed them in good magic, battled evil giants, and performed many miracles. North American Indian fish-men legends tell of holy men dressed in colorful bird feathers and wampum that arose out of the water teaching the people of spirit, nature crafts and art.