Whale (and Dragon) as your Spirit Animal–Plus another excerpt from my book!

whale 4. jpegLast week, I saw a humpback whale for the first time!  I went whale watching with my partner and his family on a tour billed as “Dolphins guaranteed…whales, maybe?” I went on the trip knowing I may not see a whale, but I was okay with that. The idea of being on a boat with my love on a beautiful summer afternoon was all I needed. A number of dragonflies came along for the ride and swirled around our heads as we took to the water. Dragonfly is one of my Spirit critters. She lets me know I’m in the right place, at the right time. I was.

whale 2

Lucky for us, we saw several whales! Spouting, breaching, eating, hanging out with their dolphin friends. The captain kept the boat out past the end of our ticketed time. It was such a lucky opportunity, even he knew we couldn’t let it go to waste by rushing back to the shore.

whale 3When a special moment with an animal arises, it may be a signify a Spirit Animal for you. The idea of a Spirits Animals is so very enticing, but few people know what to make of them. It seems as though every internet search for “Spirit Animal Meanings” makes every winged creature a sign of “Transformation” and “New perspective” and every milk-giving animal a sign of “Motherhood/nurture” or “Rebirth.” This is true for some, but I don’t think it’s true for all. I don’t think nurture or rebirth is automatically the meaning of humpback whale as a Spirit Animal. I think there’s more to it.

When I look for the meaning in a Spirit Animal, I look for what qualities about it are special. Perhaps those qualities have some sort of meaning for me. I did a little research about humpback whales and here is what I found:

They travel all over the friggin’ place. From Antarctica to Costa Rica, and then up to the far North. These creatures get around.

They are very independent. Although they hang around with other creatures (they like diversity) and periodically make friends with other humpbacks, they generally do their own thing and swim mostly solo.

They are wonderful communicators. Humpback whales are famous for their songs, sounds that truly sound like singing, which can allow them to communicate with other whales, even a mile away!

They like to dance. Breaching is the term for a whale jumping out of the water. Scientists don’t know if this is something that has to do with feeding, breeding, or just plain messing around. I like to think that whales just like to boogie.

They are generally peaceful creatures–unless you screw with the whale they mean to shack up with for the night or their babies. Then, it is YOU who are screwed.

They are curious. They are known to go right up to whale-watching boats and be all, “Whatcha doin’?”  For this reason, we had to stay aways back…so no curious whale would accidentally flip us over with a curious flop!

This one breached right off the coast of the Rockaways just a few days ago!

This one breached right off the coast of the Rockaways just a few days ago!

What does this mean for me? I don’t know, yet. I do know that I received confirmation that doing my own thing, on my own time, is more than an “okay” choice–it’s a natural one! So is dancing. (By the way, did you see the Matthew Silver video I posted, yesterday? Go watch it!)It is also a reminder to me that going about my business peacefully is the way to go–unless something crosses that which I love. Then I am going to get ALL HUMPBACK BULL WHALE ON THAT AND FLIP THAT SHIT OVER. Time will tell! I do believe I will be taking a few notes from the whales as I continue my journey into the Dark time of the year.

In my book, I include a section on Brigid Spirit Animals. When we are working extensively with a God or Goddess, their own myths become alive. If you are working with Brigid and you happen to come across one of the animals, how they are described in her myths may provide additional clues to messages from the Spirit World. The following section is about Dragon as a Spirit Animal. I’m including it here as alternate versions depict a whale rather than a dragon.

Dragon

St. Brendon came to visit Brigid to share a strange encounter with sea dragons on his most recent voyage. He had been standing on rock and saw below him, two dragons attempting to drown one another. Suddenly, one cried out in a human voice, “I beseech you in the name of St. Brigid! Let me be!” The other dragon withdrew at once and swam to the depths of the sea. St. Brendon wondered why the dragon had referred to Brigid, despite the fact that he himself was present. Puzzled herself, Brigid suggested they each make a statement of their beliefs. St. Brendon said, “I declare I have never crossed seven waves without turning my mind to God!” Brigid then said, “I confess that since I first fixed my mind upon God, I have never taken it off and never will until the end of time.” Sensing Brendon’s continued confusion, Brigid explained that because he was a voyager of the sea and therefore constantly exposing himself to danger, it was natural that he concentrate on his safety rather than God at all times. She herself lived with less danger and could devote more time to her God. He certainly had not forgotten his faith as he praised his God after every seventh wave. Brendon found consolation in the explanation.

St. Brendon, who was also referred to as “The Navigator” was supposedly a contemporary of the historical St. Brigid, and is believed to have originally told this story, himself. While St. Brendon probably did not come across a physical dragon, the term might be to describe a weathered seaman or even a pirate of sorts. (Then again, who knows? Maybe he did!) Another version has St. Brendon witnessing this same exchange between two whales, the description of dragon may simply be a label for a great sea creature. He may have marveled at how far St. Brigid’s renown had taken her and maybe felt inferior that other seafarers would call upon her before himself. Brigid’s kindness and compassion was able to comfort Brendon, without denigrating her own self.

If you see a dragon in dreams or meditations while working with Brigid, it may mean that your sphere of influence has extended further than you might imagine. It might also be a call to set ego aside and perhaps show compassion for a competitor. It also might be a sign to call for Brigid’s help if facing something threatening.

If you see a dragon in real life, email me immediately and let me know where so that I can plan a visit.

“Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess” is coming out in May of 2015. Please follow me on Facebook or Twitter so I can spam and harass let you know when it’s available! 

2 Comments

  • Courtney, thanks for the lovely article. I enjoyed it.

    In my dreams and shamanic journeys, I regularly encounter whales, and I feel like one of them is calling to me as a companion, but, because I have seen and touched so many kinds—orca, humpback, sperm, blue whale—I’m still trying to discover which one is seeking me out. I’ve learned a lot over the years about whales, from documentaries and books, but still nothing jumps out. I think it may have something to do with the fact that their environment is so much more foreign than the air a bird flies through or the den a bear spends its winters in. Diving down into the dark depths can be scary, but I’ll keep looking for their swirling motions and haunting songs.

    Blessings.

    • panpanbrid says:

      Thank you for reading! I love your descriptions of diving into the dark depths. They really are extraordinary creatures.

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