Growing up by the sea, I spent much of my childhood playing by the shore in summertime. Collecting sea shells and looking at the different sea creatures held endless fascination. It was the sea that taught me the validity of different perspectives.
The world looked different to the sea urchins – because it really was different. In this way, the sea taught me to that differences aren’t good or bad, they just are.
The sea, or water, is unpredictable, changeable and vast.
The sea gives us food, and takes lives – the cycle of life is explicitly visible in the sea. We humans live on land, but our bodies are made up of mostly water. Women’s bodies hold more water than men’s, and the amount of water we hold varies with our menstrual cycles and pregnancy. Women have a special affinity with the sea, both with the ebb and flow of the tide and the moon, with the river of menstruation and with giving birth.
The sea is a place of introspection for women.
The water helps to process thoughts, but also emotions and impressions that have no words. The sea gives a focus for meditation, and helps to process experiences. There is solitude there, and there is healing and recovery, there is sacred space. The sea swallows the salt tears of the grieving or distraught woman, and gives a quiet comfort in return. Nurturing the soul, being alone with the sea, his is a place for a woman to grow and blossom into her true self.
The sea is also a place of extroversion, of recognising that all is one.
This aspect of the sea is sacred too, and magical. Somehow, the sea expresses our human emotions. It is as if we can take our emotions and hold them outside of ourselves, looking at them, examining them and learning about ourselves. Learning to really listen to the sea, and to open your soul to the sea, is a wonderful experience. Take part in the exuberance of the sea birds, or the little fish that swim under the jetty.
The sea, or the element of water, is also a magical mirror.
In some cultures, wise women use water for scrying, just like others use a crystal ball, a pendulum or cards. So the next time you go down to the sea, whisper your thoughts and wishes on the air and listen for the reply. It might not be what you expected, but with practice you will learn to understand.
Is it not also a humbling thought, that water is one thing that connects everything, absolutely everything that lives on our planet? The water is recycled again and again, through human and animal bodies, mountain ranges and deserts, clouds and forests. A favourite meditation of mine is to rest my hand in water and tune in to the timelessness, the absolute agelessness of it. Water is ageless because it has always been, it is so old that time does not apply. Many creation stories begin with water, illustrating our innate connection with it.
The sea is also the place to go in order to learn to let go, to unlearn being a ‘nice girl’ and to access raw emotions.
Learning to roar with a winter storm, to absolutely let rip, can be done by the sea. Why? Well, it’s all about balance. If we suppress some of our aspects, they will devour us from within. Instead we need to find appropriate outlets, and balance with be restored. Just like the sea will settle once the storm has passed.
Vild Prestegard is an anthropologist, holistic therapist, Reiki master and public speaker based in Norway. She is a regular blogger for Cycle Harmony. You’re welcome to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and comments.