Saturday, December 26, 2009

Selkies, Metempsychosis, and Enlightenment

Two Selkies
mixed media digital art
by Eric Whollem
Copyright by the artist.


Among the Celtic peoples of Britain and Ireland, the legends of the Selkies abound.
The Selkie is a common designation of the mermaid or merman. The term properly
is translated as "Shifter" or "Shape Shifter."

Perhaps the fish tail of the mermaid represents on a symbolic level the Selkie's
penetration into the dimensions beyond.

The water above is consciousness, while the waters below are subconsciousness.
This arrangement is decidedly Jungian.

However Paul Foster Case, a metaphysical writer, says that silver is the metal of
subconsciousness, while gold is the metal of superconsciousness. From this we
could extrapolate that a mermaid with a silver tail is shifting into the realms below
memory, into the subconscious. On the other hand a mermaid with a golden tail
is shifting into the realms of enlightenment, initiation, and superconsciousness.

The mermaids in the image above have golden tails. The crown on the head of
one represents her higher awareness of the Sahasrara, or thousand petalled lotus.
Her sister mermaid is bedecked not with a crown, but a wreath of violet blossoms,
which also evoke the prominent color of the Crown Chakra.


Common in Celtic folklore are legends to the effect that the Selkies can take on the
bodies of deer, horses, fish, birds, even trees and rocks.  Many a story is told of
mermaids that shift from seal form into human bodies, shedding their skins.

This is the doctrine of transmigration, metempsychosis, or reincarnation. Similar beliefs
are held in Buddhist and Hindu countries.

Among the Celts the story of the Cauldrons of Rebirth tended by mermaids at the
bottom of the sea provides the imagery preferred in the lands of the west. The
cauldron is a womb symbol, usually associated with Goddesses.


I will gladly reply to questions concerning mermaids. Just leave a comment.

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