Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Contemplating the Ocean

I find the ocean to be a curious reflection of our own make-up as humans. The largest proportion of the earth’s surface comprises oceans, much like our bodies predominantly consist of water. The ocean’s water is salty, and so is human blood. Tides are ruled by the moon, as is the female menstrual cycle. The ocean affects climate and weather cycles, which also impact our sources of food and shelter. Oceans can be a means of transport, but they aren’t free from danger. Despite the destructive power of the ocean, it has a calming effect on my mind.

One of the fascinating aspects of the ocean is its depth. Even those humans who venture into the ocean can barely skim the surface. The seas have shaped our collective history as humans and yet the average person knows little about it. When chunks of the ocean become frozen, only the tip of the iceberg is visible above water. At deep levels there is very little light, and the magnitude of life at those depths evades our understanding. Where land meets sea, the waves that crash on the shores have been travelling for miles on end.

In mystical and psychological terms the ocean is symbolic of the unconscious mind. To me this portrays how much of what we experience in our daily lives is influenced by a hidden realm where there are multitudes of unknown life forms. As humans we grow in the water of the womb before we are born as individuals. Our corporeal incubation in water cannot be remembered, and I think the same applies to our consciousness. The vastness of the ocean can only be felt through contemplation. The waters of the seas are all connected to one another. When we touch the waters we have access to, we interact with the depths and the life forms residing in them.

In astrology and Roman mythology two major archetypes are associated with the ocean: Venus and Neptune. In astrology both are linked with love and artistic inspiration. Water is also the realm of emotion, and to me this illustrates how inspiration springs from unknown places in ourselves, mediated by emotion. The uncontrollable aspect of water tells me something about the nature of love. Very little is known about the depths that move us, but few actions are worthwhile unless inspired by the power of love.