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Sharks: Mythology, Spiritual Importance and More

Sharks have been an essential part of native cultures along the coasts across the world for 1000s of years. You can find them in tales as being human hybrids, Gods, monsters with superpower like abilities and more. Since I was a young kid I have had a special love and connection to the oceans and Sharks have always been special to me. In fact the Hammerhead shark is one of my spirit animals. I even have two tattooed as a part of my left sleeve who swim around my matron goddess Rán. I even had my own personal spiritual experience with a school of Hammerheads in the U.S. Virgin Islands. So today I want to dive deep into the world of Sharks in folklore, spirituality and more.

Once Upon a Time in St. Croix

It is a long story so I will try to be brief with this personal experience of mine. During my U.S. Coast Guard career I spent a tour in the U.S. Virgin Islands, specifically on the beautiful island of St. Croix. With two friends of mine we decided to go dive a shallow water shipwreck right off the coast in about 50 feet of clear blue Caribbean water. My two friends were geared up with SCUBA and I was free diving with my snorkel and fins.

My two friends dove down to go inside the shipwreck as I was swimming along a reef nearby when suddenly a school of Yellowfin Tuna swam by me at such a fast speed I was surrounded by bubbles. I was maintaining neutral buoyancy when suddenly out of the distance appeared a school of Great Hammerhead sharks! It was incredible to say the least. This species of Hammerhead can reach up to 20 feet in length and one swam by me that I would guess was between 12 to 15 feet. I was surrounded by at least two dozen. It probably lasted for 30 seconds but felt like a lifetime. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

Sharks in Global Mythology

  • Greek

The Myth of Lamia: Lamia was the daughter of the sea god Poseidon. She had an affair with the king of the gods, Zeus. When Hera, Zeus’ wife found out about the affair she stole and murdered Lamia’s children, which drove Lamia mad. To help her get revenge, Zeus turned Lamia into a giant shark monster so she could devour the innocent children of others as revenge.

The Myth of Cetus: After Andromeda, the princess of Aethiopia’s mother Cassiopeia, was bragging that her daughter was more beautiful than the sea god Poseidon’s daughters. Poseidon decided to take revenge by sending a giant shark/whale monster name Cetus after her. Luckily for Aethiopia, the legendary hero Perseus was able to save the day and kill Cetus.

Akheilos: Akheilos is the son of Zeus and Lamia and was a lesser known sea god with a shark head and a fiery fish body. Akheilos was turned into a shark as punishment after boasting that he was more attractive than the god of beauty Aphrodite.

  • Hawaiian

Kamohoali’i: Kamohoali’i was the king of the sharks gods and guardian of the Hawaiian Islands. He could transform into both a human and a variety of different sea creatures to help people.

Ka-moho-ali’i swam in the area around the islands of Maui and Kahoolawe.

Ka’ahupahau: A shark goddess that was born a human. After being transformed into a shark god, she dedicated her life to protecting people from shark attacks.

Kane’apua: Was the trickster shark god, who could perform magical feats to entertain and delight all.

Keali’ikau ‘o Ka’u: Keali’ikau ‘o Ka’u fell in love with a human and gave birth to a green shark that would help people trapped at sea.

Kuhaimoana: Was a massive shark god that protected the Ka’ula islet and ensured fisherman had a bountiful catch.

Kane’i’kokala: Was a shark god that would save shipwreck victims.

  • Fijian

Dakuwaqa: was a major god of the Fuji islands. Dakuwaqa was half shark, half man. He would help fishermen avoid danger at sea, protect people from ferocious sea monsters, and would help ensure a bountiful catch. In the Cook Islands, Dakuwaqa was known as Avatea, and was also the god of the sun and the moon. In Tonga, he was known as Takuaka and was a warrior god that would protect people from other vicious gods.

  • Bahamian

Lascu: is a half-shark, half-octopus sea monster with a bad temper from Bahamian mythology. Lascu is responsible for sinking ships, drowning swimmers, and causing whirlpools. Lascu is said to be responsible for the blue holes, or sinkholes found along the island. It is said she will make a sinkhole whenever the residents of an island have angered her.

  • South American

The native tribal people of Brazil and Guyana, believed that the constellation Orion’s belt was actually the leg of a hunter named Nohi Abassi. After tiring of his mother-in-law, Nohi abassi trained a shark to eat her. What he did not know is his mother-in-law found out and disguised her other daughter as the shark. Instead of attacking the mother-in-law, his sister-in-law attacked him and sawed off his leg. That leg became the constellation.

  • Maori

Kawariki: was a princess who fell in love with a simple peasant boy Tutira. Her father, a sorcerer king was not happy and so he cursed Tutira, turning him into a shark. Rather than be defeated, the two still met in secret and would swim together at night. One day, there was a huge tsunami that destroyed the village and swept all the villagers out to sea. Tutira, as a shark, saved the villagers and brought them back to shore. Once Kawariki’s father realized the shark that had saved them was Tutira, he was so impressed with this heroic act, he turned Tutira back to a human and apologized by letting him marry Kawariki.

  • Zanzibar

The myth of the monkey and the shark is a simple fable about how a monkey living in a fruit tree and a shark became friends. The monkey would help the shark eat fruit from the tree and the two would talk. To repay the monkey, the shark offered to take him on his back to his home for a big feast. Turns out the shark only befriended the monkey because his king was sick and needed a monkey heart to cure him. When the monkey found out the shark’s goals, he tricked the shark into thinking he had left his heart back at the tree. The shark took him back to the tree where the monkey climbed up and mocked the shark for being stupid. The moral of the story, never trust a shark or a monkey. SOURCE

In #fijian #mythology, the deity of the sea known as Dakuwaqa is regarded as a shark-god. He was very popular with the fishermen because he would protect them from sharks and other dangerous creatures at sea. When Dakuwaqa was going to Kadavu Island to conquer it, he was attacked by an octopus. After a great battle, the octopus managed to pull out its teeth and restraining him with its 8 arms to prevent the massive attack by the demon. He was a helper during sea disasters but  was also a killer. Today, many parts of Fiji claim to have remnants of his former home and that he once lived among them. The village of Rukua in Beqa for instance has a cave where Dakuwaqa once lived with his two daughters. He is often described as a muscular man with an upper torso that’s usually associated with a great white shark but he can also alter his appearance due to his abilities of shape shifting. According to other legends, he can grow to 60 feet long and has the head and tail of a whale with a brown spotted or mottled back.
The Tiburones  are said to be flying sharks, with razor sharp teeth, crushing jaws, and able to circle their prey from the air. ‘Tiburon’ is Spanish for ‘shark’, most English translations of the Ibalon use this name for the creature (Triburon). In Bikol, these creatures are known as Pating na Pakpakan. In the Ibalon epic, they were tamed by the warrior-hero Handyong. SOURCE

The Cook Islands

From the Cook Islands comes the popular legend of Tekea the Great, the king of all sharks.

One of the most popular tales is that of Ina and the Shark. Though there are many versions of this story, it basically says that Ina was a beautiful, young maiden in love with the god of the Ocean, Tinirau. Tinirau lived on a floating island and asked Ina to come and see him. But she needed transportation across the waters and an unnamed shark offered to help her. She hopped on his back and they were off.

Afterwards, she became hungry and she wanted to break open one of the coconuts she had carried along. She hit it against the shark’s head to open it, denting his head in the process. The angry shark threw her off and she would have drowned (or he would have eaten her). Luckily, Tekea the Great came to her rescue and carried her to meet Tinirau.

Anyway, the islanders believe the knock on the head was how sharks got the indentations on their heads. SOURCE

I own a copy of this amazing book and one chapter covers the story of Nanaue, the Shark-Man of Hawai’i folklore and it is a book I highly recommend. You can purchase a copy HERE.

The Shark as a Spirit Animal SOURCE

Shark teeth have long been a symbol of strength and manhood.

Sailors and surfers often wear them for good luck and protection from drowning. In the Middle Ages people donned a shark tooth to protect them from poison in foods and beverages, which could easily translate into safeguarding us from toxic situations.

In Hawaii a story tells us that a young, brave warrior fought the God of the Sea. He won, and for his reward he received a necklace of shark teeth. So again we see them symbolic value of safety.

In this part of the world people consider the Shark spirit as a type of Ancestor or Deity known by the name Aumakua.

In Polynesia people wear a row of dots around their ankle to protect from Shark bites (or in this case whatever’s nipping at your heels). Shark as a Spirit Animal could be letting you know to watch for those who would try to bring you down by “cutting your legs out from under you”.

In the animal kingdom, males are often presumed to be the most dominant, but in the ocean, does this presumption hold water? Scientists search for answers to understand if the biggest and baddest sharks of them all are female. From the great white sharks of South Africa to the tiger sharks in the Maldives, scientist teams seek to uncover the ultimate rulers of the waves.

People born with a Shark Totem have amazing energy and deep emotions. Now, this may sound odd considering Sharks pretty much have only one facial expression that we are aware of. But, with Water as their element, of course they are creatures of the dreamscape and the real of psychic awareness.

In this, Sharks are not void of emotion but, rather, complete masters of it. They do not wear their emotions on their fins but you may rest assured they “feel” a great deal.

Wherever Shark people swim it seems like opportunity is only a cresting wave away. Shark people have intense drive and enthusiasm. You come by it naturally. Remember, Sharks never stop moving.

You may find yourself wanting to travel and find challenging adventures. In the pursuit of your goals, those with Shark as a Totem Animal will torpedo fearlessly forward until they’ve caught the bait.

Symbolic Meanings of the Shark

  • Comprehension
  • Family Safety
  • Sure Movement & Action
  • Personal Power
  • Leadership
  • Work Ethic
  • Advancement
  • Past Life Awareness
  • Transformation
  • Shape Shifting
  • Productivity
  • Independence
  • Bravery
A team of shark scientists from Florida International University, are on an expedition to try and find the world’s biggest great hammerhead.

So as you can see there is a LOT regarding the world of Sharks in worldwide coastal culture and I could have kept going on but instead I feel it can conclude here but with some further resources I looked into that I highly recommend checking out. Sharks are given such negative representation by Hollywood and even in media yet Sharks are one of the most important species regarding the ecosystem of the oceans of the world and must be respected and protected. I can only hope that doing my part with this blog post will help others realize how essential they are not just in the balance of nature but in our spiritual lives as well.

Further Resources

Hawaiian Shark Mythology

Sharks in Hawaiian mythology

Sharks in Mythology

Unveiling the Mystical Connections: Sharks and Indigenous Mythology

Sharks, Sawfishes, and Rays: Their Folklore

Takuaka – The Myth of the Shark God

Shark Folklore Around The World: Myths And Legends

Fiji’s Shark Legends

In Photos: How Ancient Sharks and ‘Sea Monsters’ Inspired Mayan Myths

The Shark spirit animal : Symbolism and meaning

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Amphitrite: Greek Goddess-Queen of the Sea

For those who know me well know that I have a deep connection and fascination with the Gods, Goddesses and all spirits of the sea. I feel like most of the deities of the sea are not talked about enough and today’s blog post is honor and share with my readers all about the amazing Greek sea goddess Amphitrite.

AMPHITRITE was the goddess-queen of the sea, wife of Poseidon, and eldest of the fifty Nereides. She was the female personification of the sea–the loud-moaning mother of fish, seals and dolphins.

When Poseidon first sought Amphitrite’s hand in marriage, she fled his advances, and hid herself away near Atlas in the Ocean stream at the far ends of the earth. The dolphin-god Delphin eventually tracked her down and persuaded her to return to wed the sea-king.

Amphitrite was depicted in Greek vase painting as a young woman, often raising her hand in a pinching gesture. Sometimes she was shown holding a fish. In mosaic art the goddess usually rides beside her husband in a chariot drawn by fish-tailed horses or hippokampoi. Sometimes her hair is enclosed with a net and her brow adorned with a pair of crab-claw “horns”.

Her name is probably derived from the Greek words amphis and tris, “the surrounding third.” Her son Tritôn was similarly named “of the third.” Clearly “the third” is the sea, although the reason for the term is obscure. Amphitrite was essentially the same as the primordial sea-goddess Thalassa. Her Roman equivalent was Salacia whose name means “the salty one.” SOURCE

Amphitrite (1866), by François Théodore Devaulx (1808-1870). North façade of the Cour Carrée in the Louvre palace, Paris.

Birth & Family

According to Hesiod (c. 700 BCE) in his Theogony, Amphitrite was the daughter of Nereus, a sea god who was sometimes referred to as the ‘old man of the sea’, and Doris, an Oceanid who was the daughter of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys. Amphitrite was one of the 50 Nereids.

And Nereus and Doris, lovely-haired
Daughter of Oceanus circling stream,
Begot and bore, in the unfruitful sea,
Their children, most beloved of goddesses:
Protho, Eukrante, Sao, Amphitrite,
Eudore, Thetis, Galene, Glauce, and
Cymothoe, Speio, and quick Thalia,
And lovely Pasithea, Erato and
Eunike with her rosy arms, and fair
Melite, Eulimene, Agave,
Doto, Proto, Pherousa, Dynamene,
Nesaia, Aktaia, Protomedeia, and
Doris, Panope, and the beautiful
Galatea, and the lovely Hippothoe,
Rosy-armed Hipponoe, Cymodoce,
Who, acting with trim-ankled Amphitrite
And Cymatolege, easily can still
Waves on the misty sea, and calm the blasts
Of raging winds.


(Hesiod, Theogony, 241-259)

Nereids

The Nereids were beautiful sea nymphs, with the highest-regarded being Amphitrite and her sister Thetis. They are represented in Greek art as sitting on dolphins and holding either tridents or garlands of flowers. Their primary duty was to attend to Poseidon. After Amphitrite married Poseidon, the Nereids became part of their royal court.

They were worshiped by sailors and fishermen with altars dedicated to them located on the seashore. Offerings of oil, honey, and milk were made to them, and sailors invoked them so they may have a favorable voyage and safe return to shores. SOURCE

Amphitrite Wife of Poseidon, The Queen of the Sea Goddess.Amphitrite is commonly referred to as the Nereids, one of the 50 nymph daughters of the Greek sea god Nereus, and his wife, Oceanid Doris. This indeed, is descended from the Amphitrite given by Hesiod (Theogony).

Etymology

The etymology of the name “Amphitrite” (Greek Ἀμφιτρίτη, translit. Amphitrítē) is uncertain. Its first element seems to be the Greek prefix ἀμφί- (amphí-), meaning “around, on each side,” while the second element resembles the Greek adjective τρίτος (trítos), meaning “third,” but also the verb τιτραίνω (titraínō), meaning “to pierce.” 

Thus, Amphitrite’s name could possibly be interpreted as either “around the third” or, alternatively, as the only slightly less nonsensical “piercing on each side.” Which of these etymologies is correct—or whether the true etymology is entirely different—is impossible to know.

Titles and Epithets

As a daughter of Nereus, Amphitrite was a “Nereid” (Νηρηΐς, Nērēḯs); for sources that made her a daughter of Oceanus, of course, she was an “Oceanid” (Ὠκεανίς, Ōkeanís).

Amphitrite also had a number of colorful individual epithets in ancient literature. She could be described as εὔσφυρος (eúsphyros, “fair-ankled”), βοῶπις (boôpis, “ox-eyed”), or κυανῶπις (kyanôpis, “dark-eyed”), terms that highlighted her beauty; or by the more obscure χρυσηλάκατος (chrysēlákatos, “she of the golden spindle”); or even as Ποσειδωνία (Poseidōnía, “she who is Poseidon’s”), emphasizing her role as Poseidon’s queen. Amphitrite may have also shared the Homeric epithet ἁλοσύδνη (halosýdnē, “sea-born”) with her sister Thetis.[1] SOURCE

Poseidon and Amphitrite, Greco-Roman mosaic 4th A.D., Musée du Louvre. Poseidon (Roman Neptune) and Amphitrite ride across the sea in a chariot drawn by four Hippocamps (fish-tailed horses). The god holds a trident and the two are both crowned with shining aureoles. They are accompanied by a pair of winged Erotes (love-gods) who bear a billowing, rainbow-like sash.

More Facts About Amphitrite

  • The “Bibliotheca,” a collection of Greek myths and legends collected in the 1st or 2nd century, describes Amphitrite as a daughter of Oceanus and Tethys.
  • Amphitrite at first didn’t want to marry Poseidon and hid from him.
  • Another god, Delphin, talked Amphitrite into marrying Poseidon and earned a place in the sky.
  • Just as the Romans called Poseidon Neptune, they called Amphitrite Salacia.
  • The Romans considered Salacia to be the goddess of salt water.
    • Amphitrite is also believed to have given birth to a variety of sea-creatures including seals and dolphins.
  • Poseidon wasn’t a good husband and cheated on Amphitrite with other nymphs and goddesses.
  • On one occasion, Amphitrite got so angry that she tossed magical herbs in the nymph Scylla’s bath, and the herbs turned Scylla into a horrible monster.
  • Later Greeks viewed Amphitrite as a personification of the sea, which was also called Thalassa.
  • Many ships in both the US and British Royal Navies were named after this goddess.
  • There is also an asteroid called 29 Amphitrite.
  • The Louvre has a statue of Amphitrite that was carved by Jacques Prou in the early 18th century.
  • “The Triumph of Neptune and Amphitrite,” which was painted by Nicole (Nicolas) Poussin in 1634, depicts their marriage. SOURCE

Amphitrite is a sea goddess that is truly worthy of honoring and even to this day statues and paintings of her done over the centuries can be found across Europe and the US. It is said if you visit a statue of her and leave an offering of a coin or sea shell she will grant you good luck upon your way. I plan at some point to create something in her honor and will put it on display. She is certainly a sea goddess I have much respect for.

Further Resources

Greek mythology continues to appear in popular movies and books today but have you ever wondered about where these characters started out? Discover the origins of your favorite characters from Greek mythology with this collection of profiles to tell you who’s who in classical lore!

In Greek Mythology, you will discover the backstories of the heroes, villains, gods, and goddesses that enjoy popularity in today’s shows and films. With comprehensive entries that outline each character’s name, roles, related symbols, and foundational myths, you can get to know the roots of these personas and better understand the stories they inspire today. With this character-focused, handy reference, you will never be confused about Ancient Greece!

Poseidon and Amphitrite: The God and the Queen of the Seas – Greek Mythology – See U in History

Amphitrite Goddess

Amphitrite – an overlooked Greek goddess

Amphitrite

In ancient Greek mythology, Amphitrite was a sea goddess and wife of Poseidon and the queen of the sea.

Composed in a more intuitive than traditional way and dedicated to the Greek sea goddess known as Amphitrite. This track has a light, etheric feel to it. But there is also a slightly darker, more mysterious variation to this track called “Legacy of Amphitrite”. Can be used for listening, relaxing, studying or even for rituals. Enjoy!


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Water – In Depth

Water – In Depth by W1tchsbrew

Be sure to check her Etsy shop Wood ov Wyrd

Humans have always been deeply connected with water, which we are mostly comprised of and need to survive.

Being attracted to water isn’t just a survival mechanism – it reflects our body’s internal makeup. 60% of the human body is water. 

  • brain and heart – 73% water 
  • lungs – 83% water
  • the skin – 64% water
  • the muscles and kidneys – 79% water
  • the bones – 31% water

Next to air, water is literally the most important thing we need as humans to survive.

Water and biology:

What does water do in our bodies? It is essential for digestion, for forming the basis of saliva and absorbs nutrients from in the small intestine. Water helps the brain make hormones and neurotransmitters. You need water to keep your body at a safe temperature—if you get too hot, your body will make sweat to cool you down. Water keeps your body safe by cushioning your delicate brain and spinal cord and acting as a shock absorber. Your body carries oxygen to all of your vital organs using your blood, which is primarily made of water. Water greases your joints, helping them to move fluidly. Your body uses water to flush out waste and other impurities through the kidneys and bladder, and it also plays a vital role in your bowel movements. Your body’s cells cannot grow, replicate, heal or live without water.

If you’re thirsty, your body has already begun to dehydrate. Dehydration has many severely detrimental affects and can be fatal if not promptly resolved. If you’re one of those people who drinks just enough water to stay out of the hospital, but not as much as you should – congratulations, you’re still dehydrated.

Some of these “chronic dehydration” symptoms may include fatigue, confusion or memory issues, nausea or appetite changes, headaches, vertigo, blood pressure issues, constipation or digestive issues, lightheadedness, sleep issues including insomnia and night terrors, mood swings or general agitation, kidney or liver issues, heart palpitations, joint or muscle pain, and more. 

Think you need to see your doctor? Make sure you’re hydrated. 

Most people need about six cups of plain water each day to be even close to hydrated. Experts recommend drinking one full gallon of water a day to claim the “full” benefits of hydration.

Aside from consummation, how can we utilize our connection with this element?  

To better understand the answer, one must first “dive in” to the history and meaning of water, what it’s known for, and what potential it holds. 

Asthma, allergies, arthritis, hypertension, depression, headaches, diabetes, obesity, and MS. These are just some of the conditions and diseases that are caused by persistent dehydration. But there is a miracle solution that is readily available, all natural, and free: water. In WATER: FOR HEALTH, FOR HEALING, FOR LIFE, Dr. F. Batmanghelidj reveals how easy it is to obtain optimum health by drinking more water and supports his claims with over 20 years of clinical and scientific research. Thirsty readers will discover what they never knew, that water can actually:

Prevent and reverse aging
Cure asthma in a few days, naturally and forever
Eliminate pains, including heartburn, back pain, and migraine headaches
And much, much more.

Water Folklore, Culture & Religion:

Throughout history and across all cultures, water was revered, being associated with deities, spirits, souls, and the Otherworld. 

There are tales and myths involving water that are vastly scattered throughout folklore and spirituality. 

One of the most famous is of the River Styx, the river in Hades that separates the living world from that of the dead.

The Celts believed water to be sacred and viewed it as a liminal place, a place between our world and the Otherworld.

Across Europe, especially in the UK, there are several sacred wells and natural founts or springs riddled with folklore. While different in location and water type, it was generally believed that these sources of water were imbued with healing properties that could cure just about any ailment. 

Wells, in particular, had been revered not only for their curative and cursing properties but also for their connection with the Otherworld as a portal.

Apart from wells, rivers played a key role in many folktales that still survive to this day. As previously mentioned, several myths involving the Underworld include traveling across a river, such as the River Styx or Sildir from Norse mythology. 

Diverting from rivers, streams and wells and moving on to oceans – the norse sea goddess, Rán, is a perfect example of the personification of water. This deity is said to protect sailors who call upon her aid while at sea, while carrying any lost souls down into the ocean depths with her mighty net.

Many Norse cultures practiced water burials or incorporated water elements into their funeral rituals. Often the high ranking was honored in death by being laid to rest on a boat or ship, which was then launched out to sea. Other times they buried the dead in graves made to look like a ship made of stone.

Buddhists believe that when we die, we return to the four elements that make up life: water, air, earth, and fire. That just as water gives life, it takes life back to the earth at death. Some Tibetan Buddhists practice water burials, where the deceased is laid to rest in a flowing river.

The tradition of water burials is alive and well in modern Hawaii. Native Hawaiians have practiced water burials for thousands of years and they are still practiced, with some modifications today. In addition to more traditional burials on land, some ancient Hawaiians were buried at sea. Fishermen, in particular, were laid to rest this way. Fishermen who passed were clothed in red shrouds and buried at sea. These ancient Hawaiians believed that after sharks consumed the fisherman’s body, that would allow their spirit to live on in the ocean and protect their people from shark attacks.

A modern Hawaiian sea burial looks a little different. Guests wear aloha attire, scatter flowers from leis, and there is often music, prayers, and hula dancing. A variation of this ceremony has been adopted by surfers, who will paddle out on their boards to scatter the ashes of a fellow surfer onto the water. Other times mourners will take kayaks out instead of surfboards.

Water shapes our landscapes and makes our world unique. Only water can be found on earth in three states of aggregation – gaseous, liquid and solid. This is what makes the molecule so fascinating. No other substance has been so studied and yet still holds so many questions as water. Scientist try to unlock the secrets of Water. 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by liquid water. The documentary gives us insights into the fascinating landscapes created by water: Underwater worlds, interesting ice worlds and unknown caves. But it also shows us the importance of water for the forest ecosystem and for us as living beings.

While being associated with death and the Otherworld, rivers and oceans have long been associated with healing and life as well. 

South-flowing rivers are believed to be healing rivers in Scottish folklore while other Celtic traditions believe water traveling toward the Sun is gifted with healing properties. 

In the case of the Egyptians, the Nile River was viewed as a life-bringer as its annual flooding brought life-giving water to the valleys so crops would flourish.

Water deities of mythology:

Celtic: Belisama, goddess of lakes and rivers, fire, crafts, and light. 

Damona is a water goddess associated with healing and rivers.

Irish: Sinann, goddess of the River Shannon. 

Lir a god of the sea.

Roman: Juturna, goddess of fountains, wells, and springs.

Neptune, the god-king of the sea.

Salacia, goddess of saltwater. Neptune’s consort.

India: Varuna is the God of oceans and aquatic life; the water deities of the seven sacred rivers.

Indra, King of the Gods, God of weather, and bringer of rain, thunderstorms and clouds. 

Saptasindhu, the seven holy rivers of India, namely: Ganga, the Goddess of the Ganges River.

Greek: Poseidon is the God of seas and Peneus is God of rivers.

African: The Yoruba river is presided over by Goddess Oshun.

Egyptian: Anuket, goddess of the Nile.

Osiris, god of the dead and afterlife; originally a god of water and vegetation.

Sobek, god of the Nile river, depicted as a crocodile or a man with the head of a crocodile.

Hapi, god of the annual flooding of the Nile.

Germanic: Njord was the god of the sea and the wind.

Rán is sea goddess of death who collects the drowned in a net, wife of Ægir, a Jotünn – together they have nine daughters who all are named after the waves of the sea.

Slavic: Moktosh, moistness, lady of waters, goddess of moisture.

Vodyanoi, a water demon who lived in lakes and rivers.

Dodola, goddess of rain.

Chinese: Shuimu, goddess of water. 

Tam Kung is a sea deity with the ability to forecast weather.

Hawaiian: Kamohoalii, shark god.

Ukupanipo, a god who controls the amount of fish close enough for the fisherman to catch.

Nãmaka, sea goddess.

Native Americas: Alignak, a lunar deity and god of weather, water, tides, eclipses, and earthquakes.

Sedna is a goddess of the sea and its creatures.

Read the sea like a Viking and interpret ponds like a Polynesian—with a little help from expert navigator Tristan Gooley, New York Times-bestselling author of How to Read a Tree and The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs

In his eye-opening books The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs and The Natural Navigator, Tristan Gooley helped readers reconnect with nature by finding direction from the trees, stars, clouds, and more. Now, he turns his attention to our most abundant—yet perhaps least understood—resource.
 
Distilled from his far-flung adventures—sailing solo across the Atlantic, navigating with Omani tribespeople, canoeing in Borneo, and walking in his own backyard—Gooley shares hundreds of techniques in How to Read Water. Readers will: Find north using puddles
Forecast the weather from waves
Decode the colors of ponds
Spot dangerous water in the dark
Decipher wave patterns on beaches, and more!

Water Magic:

Also called:

  • Blue Magic
  • Hydromancy/Aquamancy
  • Water Commands/Spells
  • Water Witchcraft/Wizardry 

Water Magic draws on the depths of the oceans and tides, as well as the rivers and lakes that flow back to it. 

This energy source is at its strongest during high tide and inside bodies of water, and is also strengthened during rainfall.

Water has been used in countless sacred ways since ancient times through religious and spiritual blessings, for cultural cleansing rituals, and personal healing as a therapeutic tool.

It has been viewed among many cultures and spiritualities as an element of emotions, healing, purification, and renewal. Water is the perfect element to work with during the winter months because it is during this period that we’re encouraged to spend time reflecting and setting goals for the future.

Each body of water, whether it’s the ocean, a river or mountain stream, has a different energy or ‘presence’. For sensitives (those of us who are sensitive to energy), this change in essence is palpable and every water source very much alive. 

Sit at the water’s edge and listen. Ask for insight to a question or problem and then simply wait for your answer. Like a slow breeze, the answer may come in a hushed whisper or an internal “knowing”.

*Simple Water Rituals

Cup ritual:

Pour yourself a cup of water and hold it between your hands. Channel the intention of what it is that you would like to see in your life. Imagine that your intention is being transferred into each atom of the water. When you feel like the intention is set into your water, take a deep breath in and take your first drink. Allow yourself to feel the message of your intention being carried into your body. When you’re ready, take your second sip and repeat this process until you feel you’re finished.

Overnight ritual:

Bless your water before bed and allow that intention to sit overnight. You can infuse your drinking water with a written prayer. To do this, write down your prayer of affirmation on a piece of paper and then wrap it around your water bottle (glass bottle preferable) before you sleep. Envision a healing light in the water when setting your intention for your bottle. When you wake up, utter the words of affirmation you wrote on the paper out loud and then drink your water with the intention in mind.

Cooking with water:

Say a prayer over the water you would use for cooking. Express gratitude and pray that it will cleanse and heal the bodies of those who are going to consume it.

Shower ritual:

Take a shower to wash away negativity energy and stress. Turn on the water, and then state out loud “This shower will wash away anything that is not serving me”.  Next, express gratitude for the water for taking away any negative energy. While in the shower, close your eyes and imagine that the water is made from pure, glowing, white light and allow it to cleanse your body.  This is an excellent method for those of us that are highly sensitive “emotional absorbers”, or empaths, to do regularly. 

You can do this same thing in a bath, if preferred. 

Moon water:

Water and the moon are inextricably linked. Just as the moon has power on the tide – it has an effect on the human body, as we are mostly made of water. The power of the moon can be harnessed in many ways but one practical way is to create moon water. Simply fill a clean mason jar with water (spring water is preferred) and leave it to “charge” under the moon for up to three nights. You may also speak a prayer to the water or recite a specific intention over it.

Depending on what cycle the moon is in will reflect the energy your water is charged with. For example, a full moon vs a new moon.

Honoring Water Deities: 

When making offerings to water deities, be aware of the signs that they send you. If your offering is not substantial, you may feel some slight anxiety or discomfort while you’re setting your offering or before you leave. Trust your intuition, reset your intentions if needed, or come back at a later time when you feel compelled to continue.

Beach ritual:

Collect a few shells and natural ornaments that you find at the water’s edge. Place them in front of you and light a small white candle. If you brought additional offerings with you, place them alongside the candle. Create a sacred circle by calling upon the elements (earth, wind, fire, water), your ancestors, or spirits for protection as draw a circle around you in the sand. Sit in the space you’ve created and write out a petition or spell on a very small piece of paper. Meditate on the intention of the spell and try to envision its positive effects in your life and others around you. When you’re ready, burn the paper and say “So mote it be” or “So it is”. Collect everything you brought with you as you leave but leave the natural shells and ornaments. Continue to light the same candle at home over the next few days until it’s completely burned out. Once you feel your prayer or spell has been answered, follow it up with a separate gratitude ritual to give thanks.

Ocean Magic:

Also called:

  • Maritime Magic
  • Oceanic Magic
  • Pelagic Magic
  • Sea Magic
  • Ocean Sorcery
  • Thalassomancy

For millennia, the ocean has been appreciated as a source of healing and divinity. It is a place of respite, rituals, and deep transformation. Constant yet ever-changing, this vast and beautiful expanse of water sustains us all, providing much of the air that we breathe.

Ocean covers more than 70% of our blue planet, yet still holds untold mysteries. Within it lies another world and a deep wisdom that can shift our perspective of life on land.

In key moments of transition, like the start of a new year, the sea offers us an opportunity to connect with its deepest gifts.

Whether through meditation or reflection, leaving offerings to sea deities, grounding your energy, casting spells or manifesting wishes, the ocean is widely known for its powerful reciprocity when utilized in spiritual workings and rituals.

It’s nature’s elixir–so powerful it can carve our landscape, yet so nurturing it can spawn life and support its intricate matrix. And it’s the only substance on Earth that can exist in three separate forms.

What now? :

Drink your water, fill your moon water jar, meditate during a recharging shower –  whatever makes you feel personally connected in your water practices, and in life, is exactly what you should pursue to further your own journey towards your higher self. 

Water is simply one of the countless tools we’ve been given to further aid our evolvement, not only physically but spiritually and emotionally as well. 

Further Resources:

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Blue Whales: The Elusive Leviathans of the Deep

After getting a blog post request from a friend I decided it would be interesting to see what I might find regarding one of the most elusive mammals of the ocean depths. It turned out to be quite a challenge and to be honest I found far less than I had hoped for. You see this request was a post regarding the Blue Whale, their part in folklore, mythology and spiritual significance. So I did dive deep into looking to see what I might find which is what I will be sharing with you in today’s blog post regarding the Blue Whale.

Introduction

Blue whale, (Balaenoptera musculus), also called sulfur-bottom whale, the most massive animal ever to have lived, a species of baleen whale that weighs approximately 150 tons and may attain a length of more than 30 metres (98 feet). The largest accurately measured blue whale was a 29.5-metre female that weighed 180 metric tons (nearly 200 short [U.S.] tons), but there are reports of 33-metre catches that may have reached 200 metric tons. The heart of one blue whale was recorded at nearly 700 kg (about 1,500 pounds).

The blue whale is found alone or in small groups in all oceans, but populations in the Southern Hemisphere are much larger. In the Northern Hemisphere, blue whales can be seen regularly in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and off the coasts of Monterey, California, and Baja California, Mexico. They spend the summer in polar waters, feeding on shrimp-like crustaceans called krill. During a dive, the blue whale may engage in a series of turns and 360° rolls to locate prey and rapidly reorient its body to sweep up large concentrations of krill in a single open-mouthed lunge. A single adult blue may consume as much as eight tons of krill per day. In the winter blue whales move toward the Equator to breed. After a gestation of about 12 months, one calf about 8 metres (about 26 feet) long is born in temperate waters. While nursing, calves gain up to 90 kg (about 198 pounds) per day on the rich milk of their mothers. Young are weaned after seven to eight months, when they have reached a length of about 15 metres (about 49 feet). SOURCE

Blue whales are the largest animals to have ever existed. Learn why they’re larger than any land animal and why they were hunted for years, making them endangered.

Somewhere in the midst of the mammoth ocean; there exists the preposterously huge whale.

– Nikhil Parekh

Spiritual Significance

When Blue Whale symbolism appears to you, there are always big things happening in your life right now. However, this creature is reassuring you that although things feel overwhelming right now, these changes are necessary. Thus, you need to stay focused and connected to yourself so you can wok your way through to resolution. In other words, Blue Whale symbolism reminds you to have faith in your abilities and allow yourself to be still enough to see the way. SOURCE

Blue Whales are associated with the Virgo sign (August 23rd – September 22nd) and attributed to reliability, intelligence, being analytical, clever, liking to please and leadership.

When we take on the attitudes relevant to the symbolism of the blue whale, we are able to navigate safely through and back out of our emotional depths. This in turn allows for more perceptive both inward with our emotions/thoughts and outward in the world.

By deeply navigating our inner experiences we can develop a better understanding of what we are feeling; emotional clarity. With this clarity, we can develop more emotional creativity; more sensitivity to the nuances of our inner world.

For example, if we had a pattern that we wanted to change, we could make more lasting behavioral change by digging into the emotions around that unwanted pattern. With a clarity of what those emotions are and why we feel them, we can begin to step away from reactions and into responsibility.

Go to the depths of our selves. Dive deeper than the surface emotions to get to the root. Through that work we will develop a deeper understanding of the world as well.

The metaphor of the ocean as our emotions works well because emotions can be fluid, deeper than they appear, and holding many mysteries about our true selves.

This is why the blue whale symbolizes navigating our inner experience and moving through emotional depths. Embrace the unknown of our selves and dive through it. Continue reading HERE.

This provocative book of photography offers bold new insight into the lives of the world’s largest mammals, along with their complex societies. In these pages, we learn that whales share an amazing ability to learn and adapt to opportunities, from specialized feeding strategies to parenting techniques. There is also evidence of deeper, cultural elements of whale identity, from unique dialects to matrilineal societies to organized social customs like singing contests. Featuring the arresting underwater images of Brian Skerry, who has explored and documented oceans for over four decades, this book will document these alluring creatures in all their glory–and demonstrate how these majestic creatures can teach us about ourselves and our planet.

The size compassion of Blue Whales really puts it into perspective on how massive they truly are.

The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is a marine mammal belonging to the baleen whales. At up to 29.9 metres (98 ft) in length and with a maximum recorded weight of 173 tonnes (191 short tons) and probably reaching over 181 tonnes (200 short tons), it is the largest animal known to have ever existed.

So as you can see, unlike some other species of Whales, the Blue Whale is so elusive and in a sense rare that they have little involvement in human folklore or mythology but I did find a few snippets here and there which I will include below for you to explore. Being a man of the sea I have always considered Whales a favorite of mine and have been honored to see several species in the oceans including a few close encounters but yet to have experienced with my own eyes the Blue Whale, Hopefully someday I get the spiritual privilege.

Further Resources

Leviathan; or, Whale Theology

Blue Whale Mythology and Mystery

The Blue Whale

Blue Whale Songs

Whale Symbolism & Meaning

Whale Myths and Legends

Whales In Mythology | History and Interesting Facts

Icelandic Myths and Tales of Whales

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All About Seaweed

All About Seaweed by W1tchsbrew

Be sure to check her Etsy shop Wood ov Wyrd

Seaweed – What Is It?:

As a long-standing earth dweller of millions of years, Seaweed has a primitive history of thriving within oceans, rivers, and lakes as part of the marine algae family. 

Exceptionally diverse, there are over 10,000 species, with three main types: 

brown (Phaeophyceae), 

green (Chlorophyta), 

and red (Rhodophyta).

Ancient usage of Seaweed has extended across food, medicine and even land fertilizer.

Seaweed – On the Menu:

Considered by many to be a “superfood” due to its wide variety of nutrients, Seaweed has been a staple of several Asian cultures for centuries. 

While its popularity in the western world is a more recent event, as more people discover the many benefits this vegetable has to offer, it’s quickly becoming part of a healthy, balanced diet for a large number of Americans as well.

Many species of Seaweed are well-known for their digestive health properties. 

Seaweed prompts the release of enzymes that promote nutrient absorption. These enzymes also promote fat metabolism. Seaweed also enhances the work of good gut bacteria while guarding against the effects of harmful bacteria.

This film shows fascinating seaweed aquacultures and their potential to provide sustainable marine food. We experienced seaweed farming and processing in northern Europe and Asia.

Seaweed – Physical Healing Properties:

Algae have been used as medication in China and Japan for hundreds of years, and seaweed was (and is) a substantial part of the daily diet and traditional herbal medicine in these countries. 

Seaweed is regarded in those regions as a treatment for tuberculosis, rheumatism, colds, open wounds and intestinal worms. 

Today, some skin care companies will use Seaweed in their product as it is highly regarded for its skin health benefits. 

Seaweed grows in shallow water and deep, in rivers and lakes as well – though the Seaweed  popular in skin care always comes from the sea. 

Seaweed is also an important part of Ayurvedic medicine (a Hindu healing system from India), thalassotherapy (saltwater therapy), phytotherapy (herbal medicine), and macrobiotic cuisine. 

Sustainable Pacific Northwest-based seaweed harvester Amanda Swinimer describes the ecology, culinary uses, evidence-based health benefits and climate change-resisting potential of seaweed and shares highlights from her remarkable life beneath the waves.

Seaweed Metaphysical Properties:

Element: Water

Alchemical Planet: Moon

Astrology signs: Cancer, Pisces, Scorpio

Witches call Seaweed “Lady’s Tree”. In general, it is considered a carrier of good luck and abundance. 

Seaweed is also believed to be an effective tool in summoning entities and energies which dwell in the sea such as:

  • Mermaids and Mermen to ask for their help. 
  • Undines – they are usually called the Elementals of the Water and the Sea.
  • Gods and Goddesses of the Sea like PoseidonAmphitriteRánNjord and Triton
  • Nymphs who dwell nearby.
  • Summoning the Winds. 

The Sea itself is believed to be pure and cannot be desecrated. Therefore, its salt is believed to possess unlimited banishing powers. 

As an ocean plant, Seaweeds are said to embody the banishing powers of the sea and are used commonly for repelling negativity.

Sea Witches gather Seaweed and place it outside their doors, on door knobs and beside doorsteps to change bad luck and drive away dark energies.

Seaweeds can even be kept in vases, usually on mantelpiece or over the hearth and fireplace, to protect the house against violence, destructive fire and physical harm. 

The healing energies of the ocean can be channeled through Seaweed in many ways and can be used in instances such as: 

  • Recovering from trauma
  • Balancing emotion
  • Reducing stress or
  • Cleansing one’s aura
Sir David Attenborough is supporting a campaign to help save an important marine habitat. Kelp forests off the West Sussex coast are among the most biodiverse environments on the planet, but they have been damaged by changing fishing habits and the dumping of sediment on the seafloor.

Seaweed – Symbolism and Spirituality:

Seaweed is a symbol of fertility as it is a plant that grows in the sea and reproduces quickly, producing many seeds or spores that drift on ocean currents and are eventually deposited on land.

Seaweed is also a symbol of nourishment and is associated with life, growth and the earth.

The meaning of this plant’s growth pattern suggests that an individual may be able to reach their goals quickly through hard work.

Seaweed is a common sight in many people’s dreams. It has various meanings, ranging from fertility to spirituality, depending on the context in which it was seen. 

In general, however, seeing seaweed in your dream can indicate that you are going through some type of life change or spiritual transformation. 

You may also see seaweed in your dream as a sign of prosperity and abundance. 

Further Resources:

Seaside societies have included seaweed in their diets for millennia. Today we are rediscovering what they have long known: seaweed provides a nutritional punch, a powerful mix of iodine, iron, vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, vitamin K, vitamin B12; minerals, fiber and protein. It is linked to lower rates of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity and it is believed to help in the prevention and treatment of cancer.
The Seaweed Cookbook covers all aspects of seaweed. It is for those who would like to incorporate this powerful food into their diet and it is for those who already enjoy it and want to discover new recipes. The book explains the benefits of eating seaweed, where to buy it, how to collect it (if you’re lucky enough to live seaside), and how to dry, store, soak and handle it as an ingredient. Most importantly, there are 50 easy and delicious recipes.

Forest in the Sea (1983)

7 Surprising Health Benefits of Eating Seaweed

Seaweeds of the Pacific Coast : common marine algae from Alaska to Baja California

Medicinal Uses of Seaweed

The Science of Seaweeds

The Seaweed Site: information on marine algae

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Seahorses: Folklore, Symbolism and More

Seahorses are certainly a unique aquatic animal of the oceans and has fascinating unique qualities that make them really stand out. I have always enjoyed watching these beautiful marine animals and even have one tattooed as a part of my left sleeve dedicated to the sea. What molts people may not know is that there are 57 species of Seahorses, including seadragons and pipefish. Also Seahorses can be found in mythology and folklore around the world anywhere there is land meeting the oceans. They also can be one’s spirit animal and have amazing symbolism which I will cover as well in this post.

Until you see one for yourself, it’s easy to believe that seahorses are pure make-believe. So curious, so magical, they seem to have wandered straight out of a book of fairy tales. Even a dead, dried seahorse washed up on a beach keeps its otherworldly shape, encased in its enduring bony armour, waiting for someone to come along, pick it up and wonder what it might be. A miniature dragon? An enchanted serpent? It’s no wonder seahorses have been puzzling people around the world for centuries, inspiring them to tell stories, pass on myths and legends, and find mystical uses for these most charming sea creatures.

Some of the oldest seahorse stories tell of the Greek sea god Poseidon galloping through the oceans on a golden chariot pulled by hippocampus, the beast that was half horse and half fish (today, the seahorses’ scientific name also happens to be Hippocampus). It’s thought ancient Greek fishermen believed the real seahorses they sometimes found tangled in their nets were the offspring of Poseidon’s mighty steeds.

All sorts of ancient Mediterranean art and objects depict the hippocampus. Phoenicians and Etruscans often painted these watery horses on the walls of burial chambers, accompanying the dead on their voyage across the seas and into the afterlife. There’s even a single hippocampus from ancient Egypt painted on a mummy’s coffin.

Many other legends tell stories of watery spirits that take the form of horses. Scottish lochs are said to be haunted by “kelpies”. They come onto dry land and graze with other, normal horses but if you mount and ride one you’ll be dragged underwater as your steed tries to drown and eat you. Similar malevolent beasts were called “tangies” in the Orkney Isles and “shoopiltrees” in the Shetlands. Scandinavian legends tell of the “havhest”, a huge sea serpent, half horse and half fish like hippocampus, that could breathe fire and sink ships. Continue reading HERE.

Absolutely captivating creatures, seahorses seem like a product of myth and imagination rather than of nature. They are small, elusive, and are named for their heads, which are shaped like miniature ponies with tiny snouts. They swim slowly upright by rapidly fanning their delicate dorsal fin, coil their tails to anchor themselves in a drift, and spend days in a dancing courtship. Afterward, it is the male who carries the female’s eggs in his pouch and hatches the young. Seahorses are found worldwide, and they are highly sensitive to environmental destruction and disturbance, making them the flagship species for shallow-water habitat conservation. They are as ecologically important as they are beautiful.

Seahorses celebrates the remarkable variety of seahorse species as well as their exquisiteness. 57 species, including seadragons and pipefish, are presented in lush, life-size photographs alongside descriptive drawings, and each entry includes detailed and up-to-date information on natural history and conservation. Sara Lourie, a foremost expert on seahorse taxonomy, presents captivating stories of species that range from less than an inch to over a foot in height, while highlighting recent discoveries and ecological concerns. Accessibly written, but comprehensive in scope, this book will be a stunning and invaluable reference on seahorse evolution, biology, habitat, and behavior.

Masters of camouflage and rarely seen, seahorses continue to be a fascinating subject of active research. This visually rich and informative book is certain to become the authoritative guide to these charming and unusual wonders of the sea, beloved at aquariums the world over.

In Roman mythology, seahorses were the steeds of Neptune, deity of the Upper Waters. As attributes of Neptune, they represented cosmic forces and the rhythm of the waves. They were also the steeds of Poseidon, a Greek sea god. Daily, Poseidon rode through the ocean on a chariot pulled by seahorses.

Seahorses represented the lunar and humid element of the sea and chaos. Seahorses also carried the dead safely to the underworld. Because of their unique form, the Chinese regarded seahorses as the lesser sons of dragons. In Norse myth, they symbolized the power of water. SOURCE

These animals aren’t like any other living creatures on Earth, they look like they came from some other planet. Biologically speaking, they are quite different from all other terrestrial beings, which has put them in the spotlight a long time ago. At the same time, they look very funny, especially when dancing in the water. The offspring of these creatures are born not by females, as usual, but by males, which sets them apart from all other terrestrial beings. The smallest species of these creatures are only 2 centimeters long, and the largest are up to 30. Their body is covered with spikes. They serve both as camouflage and protection from predators because they don’t know how to defend themselves.

Seahorse Spirit Animal

The Seahorse teaches balance in parenting, how to get in touch with the Masculine Divine, and to get through difficult periods with greater ease. Delve deeply in Seahorse symbolism and meaning to find out how this animal spirit guide can support, assist, and inspire you.

Many ancient cultures connected the Seahorse with various Divine beings.

In Rome and Greece, for example, the Seahorse was sacred to Poseidon and Neptune, potent sea gods. As a result, one of the keynote meanings for Seahorse is one of power and authority, particularly in matters of emotion and intuition because of the Water Element involved.

A rather lovely story from Greco-Roman times indicates that the Seahorse is a guide to drown sailors.

This creature safely guides them through the spiritual vortex until they reach their ordained fate in the afterlife (is it any wonder that sailors used seahorse images as luck charms?). SOURCE

Seahorse Symbolism

  • Water Elemental
  • The Afterlife
  • Power
  • Luck
  • Alchemy
  • Safety
  • Kindness
  • Perception
  • Kindness
  • Manners
  • Pacing
  • Tenacity
  • Progress
  • Ingenuity
  • Stealth
  • Authority
  • Fatherhood
  • Partnership
Frederick Stuart Church’s The Mermaid, 1887

Further Resources:

10 Seahorse Symbolism Facts & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal

Seahorses in Myth, Legend & Art

What are the links between seahorses, folklore and Newcastle upon Tyne?

Seahorse Symbolism & Meaning & the Seahorse Spirit Animal