Floating, treading water, a long swim off the shore from my favorite beach. I'm in the Pacific, but in an area calmed by a massive barrier made of a multitude of Islands. I'm out deeper than usual. Very deep. The water is dark green, liquid jade. Smooth and endless it looks to me when I open my eyes underwater. Light from the sky shines through from the surface in its mysterious way.
I tread water, profoundly enjoying the strength of my body against the resistance of the living entity of ocean. I spread my arms out and pull more water, turning my arms into wings almost. While feeling so empowered and calm in my aquatic experience I see and feel and witness her swimming up from the deep. Large and elegant. Breathlessly graceful. Her size and brightness make her no mystery to me. This majestic entity, this beautiful and intelligent being, ... I would have been so frightened if she were dark. We call this friend a Beluga Whale, however thats not what she calls herself. Her name is a song. A most beautiful song that makes me cry. My tears become my honest communication. My heart is on my sleeve and she appreciates who I am.
She comes right up to me with her mouth wide open. We touch each other. I can't think of any honor more meaningful. She keeps her mouth open... not straining or stressing, just open in a loving and gentle way. We connect.
I don't remember the dream going further, but we are now connected. I know this dream was not a complex compilation of mental images, but a meaningful communication between her and I.
I will go to the closest place I can recreate this physically, which is an Aquarium where a 21 year old female Beluga Whale who has been named Aurora lives. She and I will meditate, and maybe she will sing me her name.
In Egyptian hieroglyphs, the symbol for water is a wavy line with
small sharp crests, representing the water’s surface. The same sign, when tripled,
symbolizes a volume of water, that is, the primaeval ocean and prime matter.
According to hermetic tradition, the god Nu was the substance from which the
gods of the first ennead emerged (19). The Chinese consider water as the specific
abode of the dragon, because all life comes from the waters (13). In the Vedas,
water is referred to as mâtritamâh (the most maternal) because, in the beginning,
everything was like a sea without light. In India, this element is generally regarded
as the preserver of life, circulating throughout the whole of nature, in the form of
rain, sap, milk and blood. Limitless and immortal, the waters are the beginning and
the end of all things on earth (60). Although water is, in appearance, formless,
ancient cultures made a distinction between ‘upper waters’ and ‘lower waters’.
The former correspond to the potential or what is still possible, the latter to what
is actual or already created (26). In a general sense, the concept of ‘water’ stands,
of course, for all liquid matter. Moreover, the primaeval waters, the image of
prime matter, also contained all solid bodies before they acquired form and rigidity. For this reason, the alchemists gave the name of ‘water’ to quicksilver in its
first stage of transmutation and, by analogy, also to the ‘fluid body’ of Man (57).
This ‘fluid body’ is interpreted by modern psychology as a symbol of the unconscious, that is, of the non-formal, dynamic, motivating, female side of the personality. The projection of the mother-imago into the waters endows them with
various numinous properties characteristic of the mother (31). A secondary meaning of this symbolism is found in the identification of water with intuitive wisdom. In the cosmogony of the Mesopotamian peoples, the abyss of water was
regarded as a symbol of the unfathomable, impersonal Wisdom. An ancient Irish
god was called Domnu, which means ‘marine depth’. In prehistoric times the
word for abyss seems to have been used exclusively to denote that which was
unfathomable and mysterious (4). The waters, in short, symbolize the universal
congress of potentialities, the fons et origo, which precedes all form and all
creation. Immersion in water signifies a return to the preformal state, with a sense
of death and annihilation on the one hand, but of rebirth and regeneration on the
other, since immersion intensifies the life-force. The symbolism of baptism,
which is closely linked to that of water, has been expounded by St. John
Chrysostom (Homil. in Joh., XXV, 2): ‘It represents death and interment, life and
resurrection. . . . When we plunge our head beneath water, as in a sepulchre, the
old man becomes completely immersed and buried. When we leave the water, the
new man suddenly appears’ (18). The ambiguity of this quotation is only on the
surface: in this particular aspect of the general symbolism of water, death affects
only Man-in-nature while the rebirth is that of spiritual man. On the cosmic level,
the equivalent of immersion is the flood, which causes all forms to dissolve and
return to a fluid state, thus liberating the elements which will later be recombined
in new cosmic patterns. The qualities of transparency and depth, often associated with water, go far towards explaining the veneration of the ancients for this
element which, like earth, was a female principle. The Babylonians called it ‘the
home of wisdom’. Oannes, the mythical being who brings culture to mankind, is
portrayed as half man and half fish (17). Moreover, in dreams, birth is usually
expressed through water-imagery (v. Freud, Introduction to Psycho-Analysis).
The expressions ‘risen from the waves’ and ‘saved from the waters’ symbolize
fertility, and are metaphorical images of childbirth. On the other hand, water is, of
all the elements, the most clearly transitional, between fire and air (the ethereal
elements) and earth (the solid element). By analogy, water stands as a mediator
between life and death, with a two-way positive and negative flow of creation and
destruction. The Charon and Ophelia myths symbolize the last voyage. Death
was the first mariner. ‘Transparent depth’, apart from other meanings, stands in
particular for the communicating link between the surface and the abyss. It can
therefore be said that water conjoins these two images (2). Gaston Bachelard
points to many different characteristics of water, and derives from them many
secondary symbolic meanings which enrich the fundamental meaning we have described. These secondary meanings are not so much a set of strict symbols, as
a kind of language expressing the transmutations of this ever-flowing element.
Bachelard enumerates clear water, spring water, running water, stagnant water,
dead water, fresh and salt water, reflecting water, purifying water, deep water,
stormy water. Whether we take water as a symbol of the collective or of the
personal unconscious, or else as an element of mediation and dissolution, it is
obvious that this symbolism is an expression of the vital potential of the psyche,
of the struggles of the psychic depths to find a way of formulating a clear message
comprehensible to the consciousness. On the other hand, secondary symbolisms
are derived from associated objects such as water-containers, and also from the
ways in which water is used: ablutions, baths, holy water, etc. There is also a
very important spatial symbolism connected with the ‘level’ of the waters, denoting a correlation between actual physical level and absolute moral level. It is
for this reason that the Buddha, in his Assapuram sermon, was able to regard the
mountain-lake—whose transparent waters reveal, at the bottom, sand, shells,
snails and fishes—as the path of redemption. This lake obviously corresponds to
a fundamental aspect of the ‘Upper Waters’. Clouds are another aspect of the
‘Upper Waters’. In Le Transformationi of Ludovico Dolce, we find a mystic
figure looking into the unruffled surface of a pond, in contrast with the accursed
hunter, always in restless pursuit of his prey, implying the symbolic contrast
between contemplative activity—the sattva state of Yoga—and blind outward
activity—the rajas state. Finally, the upper and lower waters communicate reciprocally through the process of rain (involution) and evaporation (evolution).
Here, fire intervenes to modify water: the sun (spirit) causes sea water to evaporate (i.e. it sublimates life). Water is condensed in clouds and returns to earth in
the form of life-giving rain, which is invested with twofold virtues: it is water, and
it comes from heaven (15). Lao-Tse paid considerable attention to this cyclic
process of meteorology, which is at one and the same time physical and spiritual,
observing that: ‘Water never rests, neither by day nor by night. When flowing
above, it causes rain and dew. When flowing below, it forms streams and rivers.
Water is outstanding in doing good. If a dam is raised against it, it stops. If way is
made for it, it flows along that path. Hence it is said that it does not struggle. And
yet it has no equal in destroying that which is strong and hard’ (13). When water
stands revealed in its destructive aspects, in the course of cataclysmic events, its
symbolism does not change, but is merely subordinated to the dominant symbolism of the storm. Similarly, in those contexts where the flowing nature of water is
emphasized, as in the contention of Heraclitus that ‘You cannot step twice into
the same river; for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you.’ Here the reference is not to water-symbolism as such, but to the idea of the irreversible flow along a
given path. To quote Evola, in La tradizione ermetica: ‘Without divine water,
nothing exists, according to Zosimus. On the other hand, among the symbols of
the female principle are included those which figure as origins of the waters
(mother, life), such as: Mother Earth, Mother of the Waters, Stone, Cave, House
of the Mother, Night, House of Depth, House of Force, House of Wisdom,
Forest, etc. One should not be misled by the word “divine”. Water symbolizes
terrestrial and natural life, never metaphysical life.’
This indicates birth (of some person).
To dream of clear water, foretells that you will joyfully realize prosperity and pleasure.
If the water is muddy, you will be in danger and gloom will occupy Pleasure's seat.
If you see it rise up in your house, denotes that you will struggle to resist evil, but unless you see it subside, you will succumb to dangerous influences.
If you find yourself baling it out, but with feet growing wet, foreshadows trouble, sickness, and misery will work you a hard task, but you will forestall them by your watchfulness. The same may be applied to muddy water rising in vessels.
To fall into muddy water, is a sign that you will make many bitter mistakes, and will suffer poignant grief therefrom.
To drink muddy water, portends sickness, but drinking it clear and refreshing brings favorable consummation of fair hopes.
To sport with water, denotes a sudden awakening to love and passion.
To have it sprayed on your head, denotes that your passionate awakening to love will meet reciprocal consummation.
The following dream and its allegorical occurrence in actual life is related by a young woman student of dreams:
``Without knowing how, I was (in my dream) on a boat, I waded through clear blue water to a wharfboat, which I found to be snow white, but rough and splintry. The next evening I had a delightful male caller, but he remained beyond the time prescribed by mothers and I was severely censured for it.'' The blue water and fairy white boat were the disappointing prospects in the symbol.
To see water in your dream, symbolizes your unconscious and your emotional state of mind. Water is the living essence of the psyche and the flow of life energy. It is also symbolic of spirituality, knowledge, healing and refreshment. To dream that water is boiling, suggests that you are expressing some emotional turmoil. Feelings from your unconscious are surfacing and ready to be acknowledged. You need to let out some steam.
To see calm, clear water in your dream, means that you are in tune with your spirituality. It denotes serenity, peace of mind, and rejuvenation.
To see muddy or dirty water in your dream, indicates that you are wallowing in your negative emotions. You may need to take some time to cleanse your mind and find internal peace. Alternatively, the dream suggests that your thinking/judgment is unclear and clouded. If you are immersed in muddy water, then it indicates that you are in over your head in a situation and are overwhelmed by your emotions.
To dream that water is rising up in your house, suggests that you are becoming overwhelmed by your emotions.
To hear running water in your dream, denotes meditation and reflection. You are reflecting on your thoughts and emotions.
To dream that you are walking on water, indicates that you have total control over your emotions. It also suggests that you need to "stay on top" of your emotions and not let them explode out of hand. Alternatively, the dream is symbolic of faith in yourself.
Seeing water in your dream, symbolizes your unconscious and your emotional state of mind. Water is the living essence of the psyche and the flow of life energy. It is also symbolic of spirituality, knowledge, healing and refreshment. Seeing calm, clear water in your dream means that you are in tune with your spirituality. It indicates serenity, peace of mind, and rejuvenation. Seeing muddy or dirty water in your dream indicates that you are wallowing in your negative emotions. You may need to devote some time to clarify your mind and find internal peace. Alternatively, it suggests that your thinking/judgment is unclear and clouded. If you are immersed in muddy water, then it indicates that you are in over your head in a situation and are overwhelmed by your emotions. Dreaming that water is rising up in your house means your struggles and overwhelming emotions. Hearing running water in your dream indicates meditation, reflection and pondering of your thoughts and emotions. Dreaming that you are walking on water, suggests that you have supreme and ultimate control over your emotions. It may also suggest that you need to "stay on top" of your emotions and not let them explode out of hand. Alternatively, it is symbolic of faith in yourself.
To dream of darkness overtaking you on a journey, augurs ill for any work you may attempt, unless the sun breaks through before the journey ends, then faults will be overcome.
To lose your friend, or child, in the darkness, portends many provocations to wrath. Try to remain under control after dreaming of darkness, for trials in business and love will beset you.
A dark place, such as a cave, in a dream can symbolize negative emotions. In your dream, are you able to find your way out of the dark place?
A dream about being in darkness can also mean that you believe you are being "kept in the dark" about something - that someone else is keeping a secret from you.
If you dream that you are afraid of the dark you could be unwilling to deal with obstacles that you expect to face in the future.
Symbolic of the world, the body and the grave (20), and also regarded
as an essential symbol of containing (and concealing). Rabanus Maurus (Operum,
III, Allegoriae in Sacram Scripturam) lays particular stress on this aspect (46).
Nowadays, however, the whale seems to have acquired more independence as a
symbolic equivalent of the mystic mandorla, or the area of intersection of the
circles of heaven and earth, comprising and embracing the opposites of existence
To dream of seeing a whale approaching a ship, denotes that you will have a struggle between duties, and will be threatened with loss of property.
If the whale is demolished, you will happily decide between right and inclination, and will encounter pleasing successes.
If you see a whale overturn a ship, you will be thrown into a whirlpool of disasters.
To see a whale in your dream, represents your intuition and awareness. You are in tuned with your sense of spirituality. Alternatively, a whale symbolizes a relationship or business project that may be too big to handle. You are feeling overwhelmed. The dream may also be a pun on "wailing" and a desire to cry out about something.
Seeing a whale in your dream, represents your intuition and awareness. You are in tuned to your sense of spirituality. Alternatively, it indicates a relationship or business project that is too enormous to handle.
For most people, dreaming about whales is a pleasant experience. These huge water dwelling mammals may be symbolic of the connection that exists between the unconscious and conscious mind. They may represent the dreamer's level of awareness, perceptiveness, and intuition. Some think that they represent our emotional power or are messengers from the spiritual realms. If the waters are rough and the whale was unpredictable or on the attack, think about the emotional environment in your everyday life. Under such unpleasant dream circumstances, these large animals may represent overwhelming emotional or psychological issue and problem.
Whale Totem Meaning
Where the edge of land ends and the fringe of vast oceans begins is a threshold of mammoth proportions. To garner in-depth understanding of symbolic whale meaning, we've got to pay homage to its environment, the oceans of our planet.
The oceans, and water in general holds age-old symbolism of emotional depth (I've written about potential water symbolism here, if you're interested). As humans, we all experience an array of emotions. Some are on the surface; we can experience these emotions easily because they float on top of our life-experience as driftwood on the surface of the water. We can observe these top-layer emotions clearly, they are familiar and we deal with them daily. Other emotions, however, run very deep within us. Some emotions we burry beneath the fathoms of our consciousness; these emotions are the leviathans of our being - the lumbering beasts we dare not let surface.
From this perspective, we can easily relate to the depth and breadth of water with the essence of emotions. Given its habitat is the water realms, the totem meaning of the whale largely deals with emotions too. The whale symbolizes emotional creativity, well-being, nurturing as well as emotional depth.
Those who are magnetized by whale energy will tend to be incredibly deep in sensitivity. The depth of feeling whale-totem-people endure can be overwhelming. Whale people are super-perceptive about the feelings of those around them, and this can manifest into an internal pressure that can be quite crushing. The whale can help with overwhelment of feelings and even temper the onslaught of emotions picked up from other people too. If you are extraordinarily affected by the emotions of others, or your own emotions are so intense as to cause discomfort, your whale totem can help.
Why? Because whales are masters of:
Navigation: Moving through emotional depths
Communication: Effectively expressing emotional experiences
Conservation: Using emotional energy for fuel and not being consumed by emotional floods
I love poking through old myths and parables, especially when exploring totem meaning and the whale has plenty legends to its name. From Native American to Islam, the whale is featured prominently in ancient lore. Take the prophet Jonah. It's a classic passage in the Bible. I'm fortunate to know a several Biblical scholars, and I've talked to these folks (thanks to Robert, Jim and Diane!) about the deeper symbolic meaning of Jonah's three days and three nights in the bellies of the mega ketos ("great fish" in Greek), dag gadul ("big fish" in Hebrew), and the nun in Arabic - all terms describing the huge fish-whale who swallowed Jonah in the Biblical account. My Bible-savvy pals relate the story as an allegory of deliverance of the Jews from Babylonian capture. The great mother of Babylon's first queen (Semiramis) was Derceto, and the Babylonian sea goddess Derceto (a behemoth being of the sea) is the very same 'great fish' who swallowed Jonah. This perspective illustrates the Jews' liberation from Babylonian captivity with Jonah being expelled from Derceto's belly.
What intrigued me further was discussions deeper emotional allegory associated with Jonah's account. Imagine the emotional duress Jonah endured. Charged with the task (from God, no less) to travel to Ninevah and speak to the people about the righteous path of God. Now, at the time, Ninevah was quite inhospitable, and it was highly unlikely they would be keen to hear what Jonah had to say. Knowing this, Jonah retreated from his responsibility, essentially hiding from his soul-purpose (God) and that's when the mammoth beast of the sea swallows him whole.
We've all been in Jonah's sandals. We've all had a scary task to set before us, a heavy task with potentially frightening responsibilities placed on our shoulders. When we turn away from these responsibilities (knowing what we should do, yet refusing) it churns up massive emotional upheaval. We become swallowed ourselves in an emotional quagmire. We stew in our emotional soup, until we reach a boiling point. We all struggle with emotional buildup over choices we need to make, or even those choices we cannot bear to execute. Some of us, after days and nights of stewing within the womb of the soul, finally emerge (spit from the whale, so to speak) with renewed determination and a rekindling of faith. Others of us return to the emotional abyss until we can process our fears and indecision into a more refined state of being.
This kind of emotional swallowing, digesting and processing is key to whale totem meaning. Luckily, the whale can facilitate emotional clarity, and help us navigate through the often ambiguous and confusing seas of emotion. Whales themselves are incredibly nurturing; we see this in how they raise their young as well as their close-knit connection to others in their community herds or pods. Whales, and those with whale totems have a natural affinity for helping, especially promoting well-being within their community. People who are attracted to the whale often feel devoted to a greater cause, and although they may struggle with their own personal emotions, they tend to naturally conjure healing powers towards others in emotional trauma. Does this sound familiar to you? If you have these tendencies, I encourage you to swim deeply with the whale in your meditations and prayers. Navigating the emotional waters with the whale by your side will afford guidance and clarity.
Whales ask us to embrace the unknown, and that's precisely why they are so connected to the emotional depths of the oceans. To be sure, our current circumstances are born from an emotional womb. In other words, our reality is intrinsically connected to our thought and our emotional choices. It can be frustrating and confusing to track down the emotional origin of the stuff that's manifested in our lives, and the whale can help us understand, on a deeper level, the actions that have caused unrest in our daily life.
In many sects of Native wisdom, the whale is symbolic of the beginning, the creation of all life on earth as we know it. They aren't the only ones. Countless cultures around the globe associate themes of creation, birth and rebirth with the whale. Other symbolic suggestions to add to whale totem meaning include:
Emotional Rebirth and Understanding
Nurturing and Devotion to Community
Appreciation for Beauty, (especially song and dance)
The Importance of Balance (emotional and otherwise)
I hope these philosophical ponderings about whale symbolism and whale totem meaning has inspired you to dive more deeply into the cetacean realms. Perhaps these insights might inspire you to meditate and soulfully contemplate the presence of the whale in your own life. To be sure, joining with whale energy in your devotionals will eventually lead you to a cohesive view - an expansive clarity into the deeper fathoms of your emotional worlds.
The whale is the keeper of the Earth's history and secrets. It keeps alive the memories of the legendary motherland of Mu, which was once located in the west of America and to which all Native American tribes trace back their origins. The whale was once the witness of the great disaster to which the motherland fell victim. People who own the power of the whale are often very perceptive and can, with the help of this gift, access all the information that exists in the universe. They often have telepathic powers, but the source of their knowledge frequently remains unknown to them. It is only with time that they realize how to utilize their powers. The whale teaches one to find and blend with one's own original sound, because it carries the history of all living beings. It shows that the right frequency can heal and, with the help of the whale, you can learn to connect with the ancient language that was used for communication before language in its current form was developed. The whale always guides the way to discovering the meaning of your own life.
The whale gives you the ability to know the wisdom of the ages - from the time before time.
Inner awakening, creation, movement, strong sense of family, sprout in creative imagination, reaching within or outside to find inspiration, don't hold back your endeavors, be strong and move swiftly. Whale shows how to dive deep within to awaken your creativity, imagination and intuition. He teaches awakening inspiration so you can see your own beauty reflected into the world. It is time to create you own song, your own rhythm in which for creative imagining takes place. Are you using your true creativity? Whale will teach how to access the power and magic of the creative - emotional - passionate force.
Hearing or write songs in your dream indicates that you are looking at things from a spiritual viewpoint. Your future path is a happy one with good health and much wealth. Consider the words to the song that you are dreaming about for additional messages.
To dream that you have difficulties communicating, represents low self esteem and feelings of inadequacy.
In the symbolism pertaining to the body, the most elementary association is the one between the organ or member and its function. It is, then, selfevident that, in Egyptian hieroglyphs, the mouth should stand for the power of
speech and hence for the creative word. In this sense it stands for the pristine
emanation of creative power. Very closely connected with this hieroglyph is
another showing a mouth with a solar disk inside. This disk, primarily standing
for the sun, is connected, but not identical, with the eye. (In hieroglyphs which
are coloured, the eye is wholly blue, while the sign under discussion consists of a
blue mouth with a little red circle inside) (19). Guénon supports this interpretation of the sign (29), pointing to the example of the Mândûkya Upanishad where,
apropos the state of deep sleep, the mouth is said to represent integral consciousness (26). In the Old Testament, the concepts of mouth and fire are frequently
associated; epithets such as ‘devouring’ or ‘consuming’, frequently applied to the
latter, are descriptive of the functions of the former. Hence the fire-breathing
animals of legend. Jung explains these associations by synaesthesia and suggests
that they are connected with Apollo, the sun-god who is depicted with a lyre as
his characteristic attribute. The common link between the symbolisms of sounding, speaking, shining and burning finds a physiological parallel in the phenomenon known as ‘coloured hearing’ whereby some individuals experience sounds
as colours. Furthermore, it is hardly a coincidence that the two main characteristics that set Man apart from all other beings are the power of speech and the use
of fire. Both are, in fact, the product of mana (psychic energy) (31). In consequence, mouth-symbolism, like fire-symbolism, has two aspects: creative (as in
speech) and destructive (devouring). And, of course, the mouth is the point of
convergence between the external and the inner worlds. This explains the frequent
symbol of the ‘monster’s mouth’, with sets of upper and lower teeth that are
expressive of the ‘interlocking’ of the two worlds: heaven and earth or, more
often, hell and earth (50). There are, in mediaeval iconography, abundant examples of the mouths of dragons or large fishes affording access to the inner world
or to the underworld.
To see a mouth in your dream, signifies your need to express yourself or talk about an issue that's bothering you. Alternatively, the dream suggests that you have said too much and you need to keep your mouth shut.
Seeing a mouth in your dream means your need to express yourself or talk about an issue that's bothering you. On the other hand, perhaps you have said too much and you need to keep your mouth shut.
To dream that you are underwater, suggests that you are being overcome with emotions and are in over your head regarding some situation. You need to gain greater control of your life.
To dream that you are breathing underwater, represents a retreat back into the womb. You want to return to a state where you were dependent and free from responsibilities. Perhaps you are feeling helpless, unable to fulfill your own needs and to care for yourself. Alternatively, breathing underwater is analogous to being submerged in your own emotions.
Dreaming that you are underwater, suggests that you are feeling overcome with emotions and are in need of greater control in your life. You may be in over your head regarding some situation. Dreaming that you are breathing underwater, represents a retreat back into the womb. You want to return to a state where you were dependent and free from responsibilities. Perhaps you are feeling helpless, unable to fulfill your own needs and caring for yourself. Alternatively, you may be submerged in your emotions.