Who do you think mermaids are?
Some stories or concepts we call myths are more widespread than others. I’ve always been fascinated by the widespread stories about the sighting of mermaids. In one form or another they show up in an amazing array of cultures. Which led me to ask why? If mermaids are real, why do they exist? And if they are pure myth, what is the true meaning of the myth? Since I’m inclined to speculation I would speculate.
I should also note that mermen are nowhere nearly as prevalent. And I can’t recall being especially intrigued when they do appear. It seems that this myth has something special to say about women. For one thing they are pretty routinely not evil although they may be powerful or at least lovely and endearing. They tend to enrapture men. And naturally these women appear in water. Water bears on the meaning of the myth.
Mermaid Meaning and Power
I don’t know of a really good way to research the true meaning of a myth so I’m going to throw out some thoughts. These women of the waters are generally benign or very positive. They may be love objects with endearing powers. And often they are innocent. I think of the status of the mermaid sitting on the rock in Copenhagen harbor.
But they do not just come to us lovingly. Power seems implicit. And to me the water theme suggests generative powers and birth. After all it would seem that life came from the waters. I think we are seeing a powerful theme which touches upon an inherent positive view of women and it suggests considerable power of various kinds.
The nature of the mermaids in the myths begs for involvement. On occasions these women may be threatening but generally they are not threatening. There is surely a deep feeling, a conveyance of what might be. In the water they do not often challenge men and in these myths we see caring and loving possibilities along with all the special creative and endearing parts of women.
It Could Happen to You
There is a song in which the singer tells us, “It could happen to you.” The listener (most likely a man) is instructed to run when church bells ring and the meaning is that the woman will surely draw him into marriage. But why should a man run? Is it so bad to have it happen to you? But the involvement indicates change and there is an inherent power which the woman has. And men don’t like to give up power.
It was these perceptions which led me to see women of the sea as being not just powerful but possibly representing a route to a fulfillment of a transformation of humankind. Women are rising across the world and holding out to us the possibility of deep and fulfilling partnership on a broader level. The prospects are truly intriguing and exciting. I could not resist building a mythologically based trilogy to portray wonderful stories of women rising for this transformation for humankind and in true partnership with men at last.
What of this have you experienced?