The scheduled book event turned into a walk to join in on a memorial for the 50-ton Sperm Whale that beached itself at Sharp Park Beach in Pacifica. I thought this would be a good opportunity for us to practice principles and practices of a modern day mystic. A few of us gathered at Florey’s Book Co. and spoke briefly about the paths that had brought us together today. Then we headed toward the promenade into the blustery, cold wind. The first order of spirit was our physical comfort. It was cold! “Watch where your mind/attention goes,” I suggested. As mine went straight to Hawaii, I shared how that is my tendency to go into a flight reaction when confronted with adversity. We either fight – resist coming into the present moment wishing it was somehow different or else flee – try to escape into flights of fantasy.
What can you do besides fight or flight? We decided to use “presence” as our mantra as we persevered through flocks of seagulls squawking all around us seemingly upset and in disarray. Once we arrived I set up an alter at a distance from the whale carcass. Some children helped create a cornmeal circle of protection. Conferring with others about the sequence of events, we decided to call in the seven directions, drop into meditation with drumming, and share our discoveries before walking over to smudge the whale. We were honored to have Patty, a Navaho representative, joining us, so I offered to let her call in the directions. She said that I should go ahead since I was the elder.
Patty and I huddled close to the rock embankment trying to light the sage and managed to get a few leaves burning. As she nursed the sage, I lit the candle in the middle of the altar even though I had little hope of it staying lit. I introduced some ideas about whale medicine to add to the mix. Whale medicine people are able to understand sound frequencies and are usually clairaudient, psychic and telepathic. They are able to tap into the universal mind of Great Spirit with no idea how or why they know what they know. They use their keen sense of feeling, sound and vibration to get answers to what they need to survive and grow. If Whale has beached itself on your sands, it implies that you are NOT following your sonar. Lots of mind chatter may be interfering with your intuition. Use sounds – drum, rattle, flute or nature sounds to access your truth and your personal knowing.
The sharing was profound, and we closed that part of the circle omming three times. Next we worked our way over to Whale with drum, rattle, flute and bell sounds keeping the (heart) beat. As we circled the whale, the energy was much different. Neutrality and compassion had pierced the cloud of sadness and fear.
Like it had been choreographed, we again formed a circle to complete the ceremony with a poem and a call to action. As we said our goodbyes, the mood had noticeably changed. There was a proliferation of warm embraces all around. I hugged some people several times I was so filled with love to share.
We were forever joined in the sweet soup of Whale Medicine.
Back at the altar I was pleasantly surprised to see that the candle had stayed lit the whole time. Thank you Spirit for keeping our little light shining. As I was leaving, a friend said, “Well, I guess we have a new shaman in town.”
“Oh, no. Not shaman. Modern day mystic,” I corrected.