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Recently, Dolphin swam out of the animal oracle and into my awareness, joining me to the nearing prospect of a break by the sea.

Only a few miles away from our Cornish destination I drew a card for my week’s holiday – Whale! The aquatic synchronicity felt right. Then we turned a corner and the sea swung into view, filling so much of the panorama I was reminded that this isn’t a sea, it’s an ocean – the Atlantic. As we approached the reality of a vastness only the edge of which we could touch, dolphin’s friendly proportions transformed into something deeper and more mysterious, Whale.

During the night I let my imagination dive in amongst all the whales I could remember and swim up to their immense soulful, knowing eyes. I felt the woe of our crimes against them, which I will not list here. Something drifted towards me through the currents of Spirit from the next ocean along: Ho’Oponopono, the Hawaiian prayer for harmony and reconciliation with all life. A powerful “mantra” as all-embracing as the Pacific Rim: I am sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you. I repeated this silently, imagining my own voice echo through the oceans, touching every whale and aquatic life-form. If I am to take my healing and inspiration from Whale this week, I must give Whale something in return.

Aligning with the energy of Ho’oponopono had an amazing effect, seeming to resolve a difference between my partner and I that had flared up in fractious tiredness the night before. Prompted spontaneously by the whales I had turned my silent chanting towards him too.

Whale is the keeper of sound medicine and in their sonorous calls and native clicks, who knows what ancient knowledge is encoded, perhaps the spiral vibration of DNA itself. Such sounds confound the literal mind and touch a wordless truth within.
Water amplifies sound and so communication is made across great distances and picked up by other members of the whale clan. Sound can be used for good and ill, it can be healing and harmonising or deranging and destructive. Some theories regarding mass whale beachings refer to neglectful, polluting sonic interference by human activity.
We often took in the rain-smudged view of St Ives Harbour from the wide panoramic windows of a favourite bar. The holiday turned out to be watery in more ways than one. I looked down to the beach below.
There I saw three lads clamber over the back of a granite outcrop that projected from the cliff, long and low for 50 to 100 feet. The granite mass, submarine-shaped, encrusted with limpets and ending in a steep blunt “forehead”, reminded me of a sperm whale and those lads were probably in correct scale to my imaginary rock-whale. Granite: the tough ancient stuff of the Earth that has recorded every upheaval of heat and cooling, flow and solidification in its mineral constitution. In Native American mythology whale is “Record-keeper”, the archivist of Earth’s tumult. Whale remembers what form the land and the waters took before the great changes that lead to its current arrangement. Whale took this knowledge with it back into the deep.
For me, there is an additional way of interpreting whale’s deep hiddenness and occasional disclosure above the surface, or up onto the beach. To my shamanic imagination, Whale is a vehicle for the lost fragments of the self that reside deep within the subconscious. These can be fragmented trauma memories that emerge when it is time to heal and integrate them. They can also be the re-surfacing of ancient wisdom that initiates us into our true being and soul nature. In both cases, when they surface, we have the chance to breathe and live anew, more complete and coherent than before.

When they “beach” helplessly we may be in need of support to either release the trauma safely or convert the rediscovered wisdom into something useful and practical. It seems to me that beachings happen more and more frequently in the world and I do wonder if the Whale mission to help us acknowledge the glitches and the gifts of the subconscious is reaching “critical”.
Sitting in front of the surf on a sunny day, I asked Whale to give me just one word to ponder and the ocean washed back an idea of “limitlessness”. Given the space to grow, the soul will gain its true proportions, more vast and expansive than we initially know. I recall how it is said that Whale once lived on land and moved back to the waters. Whale tells me now that only in the weightless-giving properties of salt water could it assume the magnitude required to carry such vast wisdom with graceful, serene and harmonious purpose.

Something nameless in me bursts its levees. A sudden feeling of loss. The desire to be with the sea and live there too flooded me from a time long past: perhaps from idyllic childhood holidays spent on the Gower peninsula; or even further back, amniotic, floating, safe, nutrients and oxygen reaching me on the maternal tides.
Whale re-membered me as I discovered Whale, a whole species that somehow managed to return to the element that would most support its true mission. What a stupendous undertaking. Please show me how.
Rosemary Taylor 2/10/16

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Rosemary runs Shamanic Healing Retreats at Healing Waters Sanctuary.

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