Teaching a Whale New Tricks ~ 7 September 2005

It’s not exactly ambergris, but it’s close. Ambergris (grey amber) comes from an intestinal excretion of sperm whales that washes onto beaches and ends up being used in perfumes and other such things. Charming. A killer whale at Marineland, Ontario, devised an ingenious quasi-ambergris system for supplementing his lunch. This clever beast urps up some of his fish dinner and lets it float to the surface of his pool as he drifts to the bottom and patiently waits. When a seagull lands on the water and samples what the whale repeated, the whale lunges upward and completes his feast by adding fowl to fish - a quite ingenious combo platter. It seems that his behavior spread among five other whales at Marineland, who also adopted the same stealth hunting modes.

This story popped up on line as Mars moved into direct alignment with the new quasi-planet, not really of our solar system, but it does orbit the Sun, Sedna. It’s amazing on a multitude of levels. On the most trivial level, the arctic shamans contend that Sedna doesn’t appreciate people mixing a meal of sea creatures and land animals - whether birds and seafood fall into the category of transgression remains undetermined. Ironically it was the bird people, though, that contributed to Sedna’s demise (which turned her into a shamanic deity). In the short cut story, they sought revenge for the killing of their bird leader - Sedna’s poorly selected spouse. As the birds sought their revenge, Sedna’s father, once on a mission to save her, plunked her into the cold sea to save himself and chopped off of her fingers as she sought to cling to his kayak. Ultimately, her misfortunes and hardships granted her dominion of the deep seas. In fact, it was her finger bits that transformed into seals, walruses and whales.

Literally, one could easily fantasize about the stories of lost grips between those struggling to survive Hurricane Katrina. Whether slipping away into raging waters or a more symbolic rendition, the questions become more fundamental: how long can people hold on? How long can people hold to a floating piece of debris, cling to life on a rooftop, contend with crowded substandard conditions in a poorly chosen shelter - assigned or otherwise? Where does the energy - as shown by Mars - originate and create the fight for life? How long does adrenalin, the power of fear and the will to survive persist?

Clearly for those in India, Asia’s flood torn lands, or the Gulf Coast of the United States, the imagery dramatically makes itself known. What about for the rest of humanity? There’s lots of places. Given the conjunction appears in Taurus, how long can the average person hold onto to a job forty-seven miles from home and still make money given rising gas prices? How long can people hold to a set of values if the results of life do not agree with the promise of those values? How long can anyone maintain their grip in any thing and still be fine?

Sedna’s North Node appears in Leo while it’s closest solar contact shows itself in Cancer. Issues of sustenance and need arise for resolution. What does it take to feed a person - from basic food requirements to those things that foster a healthy spirit? It would seem each person following the state of the world, especially now, must ask that question of and for herself/himself (and itself from those of you from the Pleiades, Andromeda, Cassiopeia and Cetus). It’s been noted that the will to live for all persons increases - at least in the US - following traumatic events as noted by a general reduction in suicide rates. Is this one of those times?

Yes, it is one of those times. Mars to Sedna insists upon feeding the soul. Mars propitiates to the lovely Sedna by rendering raw energy that seeks refined application into the deeper mysteries as symbolized by the cold, dark oceanic depths where the arctic shamans find knowing. When a mystery appears, feed it with vitality. Invest essence. Offer the willingness to surface the issues from the depths into the sunlight infused waters closer to the surface.

Add to this the lingering opposition of Jupiter to 2003 UB313, the new planet (No! It will not be named Lila, Lilith, Leyla, Leprechaun or Xena if the IAU has its way). Given the North Node in Taurus and the perihelion in Libra, both signs reaching out to Venus, more questions surface regarding what a person venerates in life - love or money. A reexamination of values unfolds right now and it would unfold no matter what the state of the world. It just so happens with two highly energetic planets, Mars and Jupiter, each making contact with recent discoveries beyond what we previously perceived to be the outer edge, each of us receives cosmic prompting (actually, it’s more like insistence) to stretch beyond all known limits, conditions, parameters and knowledge.

Being one who believes that going to the depths of the sea can offer insights into the vastness of our solar system (there’s a reason I worked in sonar while in the Navy), I consulted a whale at Sea World and watched the movie Whale Rider again (rent it if you haven’t seen it). The indications are very clear. You can teach an old whale new tricks - or he’ll teach himself. And seagull tastes like chicken. Finally, seagulls report predigested fish smells like perfume, at least that’s what I heard the last Gepetto-like squawk to mean.