Mermaids and Mermen

Who do you think mermaids are?

Fundamental Myth

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.

Being Endearing

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.

Going Deeper

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?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

The Women of the Andromeda



What are your views about women and power?

Powerful Women

In the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy women are prominent. Especially prominent are the women who compose the defense force of the Tethyan people. The term Andromeda has several meanings, with one of them being Ruler of Men. I operate intuitively and seized on the name. Primarily my attraction to it had to do with power, not my belief that either men or women should rule the other.

The story is about the future of humankind and preservation of our precious Earth. That meant that I did not see the women as floating around looking beautiful. They had to be strong and willing to do what was necessary. And I realize that some people will take exception to how they are characterized especially at the beginning. But I recognized this is a thousand page trilogy and they had to be how they had to be and develop as needed.

The Reality of Men Behaving Badly

The bad guys were set up with specific general characteristics. Terrorists and out of control strong men were the most obvious choices but I chose a different type. One comment was that they are just too obviously bad. They were never meant to be complex. They are foils for the story. But these characters were people typical of many many business people who work within established societies and behind the scene exploit humankind. Little time was spent to make them complex because they were very much not to the point. We see these men everywhere in the day to day machinations of our societies. They take elevated positions but many of them prove ruinous for society and for a time at least they stand as gods until they are unmasked. One obvious way to deal with them was to have powerful women monitoring their activities from the inside. Yes, that often meant in bed at times. With the information they had, these women could provide valuable intelligence and, in the end, could bring the men down. No, women are not powerless and they don’t have to be obviously confrontational in many circumstances.

The Dawn of Diversity

That does not put these women up as paragons of virtue but, at the same time we have to be realistic that the simplistic days are over. We are accepting more powerful women and they are not cloaking themselves the way they have been formally. They are speaking their mind, showing their power, often to the intense dislike of many men and some women.

So I designed the women of the Andromeda to be reality figures in the world as it is now. Later they would assume more complex identities and powers just as the story develops and evolves. My interest was in showing the diversity of women, their strength and their talents. And that means they may go outside the ordinary bounds of how “women are supposed to be”.

Revising Our Judgements

In fact these women grew on me. As I wrote about them, inside my head, their background and history was developing. At some point I’m going to do a novella for each one of these interesting women, each in their own special way. They are not uncomplicated goddesses. They are real people who serve using their special talents and they lead us toward our future. Value judgements of many kinds need to be laid aside because we are exploring not just the future of humankind but also the talent and future of womankind.

What do you see ahead for women?

Gaia’s Majesty: Discovery Amazon page

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page