My favourite topic ever. Mermaids!
I freaking love mermaids. I even am a mermaid for a job. See?
Mermaids have always been a huge inspiration in my life, and I’ve been a mermaid nut since I first saw The Little Mermaid at 6 years old. Spiritually, I’ve come to think of them as a guiding light, a way to remind myself of my power and beauty, kind of in a what-would-mermaids-do sort of way. (The answer is usually whatever the hell they want.) I see them as a really vibrant aspect of the Divine Feminine, and an example of the ultimate Sovereign Goddess.
I feel that you can often tell a lot about yourself by your reaction to mermaid stories and aspects. If their overt sexuality repels you, there might be some issues there. On the same lines, if your favourite bits are when they drown men, there’s probably an equal amount of issues. I get really uncomfortable when mermaids give up who they are for love, like in the original Little Mermaid story, because it’s something I recognise from my own life story. Shudder.
Mermaids to me are the ultimate divine feminine, bridging the grey area between the light and the shadow. Half ocean, half female, they embody everything that has historically scared the crap out of people about women, and everything that the patriarchy has wanted to change about us (ie. literally, everything).
Mermaids are incredibly sexual beings, beautiful and unknowable and alluring. They make no apologies for their sexuality and express it any way they choose, with anyone they like. This is of course terrifying for a culture which is still trying to control women’s sexuality and scapegoat women for male sexual desire. (Hello to slut shaming, twerking, it-doesn’t-count-if-she-was-in-a-miniskirt, women-don’t-like-sex, Cosmo magazine and bitching about Miley Cyrus.)
Mermaids are intensely in touch with their emotions, which are free and powerful like the sea, and just as changeable – stormy one minute, calm the next. Mermaids feel deeply and can love like no other. They get totally swept away with the tides of their emotions and this can sometimes get them into shitty situations – this is one of their shadow sides, and totally something women are particularly prone to experiencing.
They love themselves and their bodies – how much do mermaids love combing Spiritualtheir hair and checking themselves out in the mirror? – and they are in love with in the body experiences. They are women who are truly, utterly present in their bodies.
Mermaids do whatever the fuck they want, and never apologise for it. They follow their desires and their own destiny, and never doubt themselves as they know they are powerful and can manifest anything they want. A mermaid will never believe someone telling her she can’t do something, and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks of her. If she wants to be with some crummy sailor, then by gods she’s gonna do it.
They are every aspect of woman – demure, demanding, beautiful, fierce, gentle, powerful – rolled into one. They are are nothing but themselves and they would have it no other way, and if you don’t like it, well, they don’t actually care what you think.
What are they? Real or unreal?
Take your pick, really. Mermaids were believed in as recently as 1830, when a mermaid apparently washed up on the coast of Scotland and was buried, and all sorts of famous explorers pinky swore that they saw mermaids on their adventures. They’ve popped up in mythology all around the world for thousands of years, with mermaid deities in places from Syria to Australia to Africa. Some think that they are remnants of our Atlantean and Lemurian past, though that depends on your views on the whole Atlantis thing.
Perhaps they are energetic beings that live in a different level of reality, or they are energetic spirits of the ocean. Perhaps they are another kind of faery and exist in whatever way you believe fairies exist.
Perhaps they are just an awesome symbol for wild, raw feminine power, using the changeable nature of the sea as a way to create an powerful archetype for women, where everything taboo and hidden could be put right out there.
I don’t have an answer for you here – it’s up to you to decide. I don’t think there are mermaids physically hiding out in the ocean, and I am personally rooting for Option 3 and for them being an aspect of the Divine Feminine rather than a Lemurian ancestor or a faery spirit.
But just because you can’t pop down to the beach and physically shake hands with a mermaid (unless you meet me there of course!) doesn’t mean that they can’t influence and enhance your life. Myths, stories, archetypes and energies have been inspiring and motivating humans for thousands of years to create better lives, beautiful works of art and a deeper understanding of the world.