Friday, January 05, 2007

Breathe Deep Sedna

On November 14th, 2003, Sedna, a trans-Neptunian object, was discovered by astronomers, Michael Brown (Caltech), Chad Trujillo (Gemini Observatory) and David Rabinowitz (Yale University) At the time of its discovery it was the most distant observed natural solar system body. This planetary object, called Sedna, for the Inuit Goddess of the Ocean, is 8 billion miles away, in the farthest reaches of the solar system. See the Wiki entry regarding Sedna’s discovery. The map below shows the relative size and distance of Sedna as compared to the Earth.

Every once in awhile myth, astrology, and science join together to produce a paradigm that really makes sense. If we can forge the connection through the confusion, there are magnificent realizations in store for us.

For example, what significance does the name “Sedna” hold? These names astronomers choose for new planetary objects are no accident, as language is often a metaphor for the world we live in. Thus, the discovery of Sedna is not only scientifically relevant, but also important when considering mythology as well. For a novice astrologer like myself myths and archetypes are the symbols/images I use in practice. Witness as the Great Goddess inhales through the waves:

The Legend of Sedna

Beside the arctic ocean, there once lived an old widower and his daughter, Sedna, a woman so beautiful that all the Eskimo men sought to live with her. But she found none to her liking and refused all offers. One day, a seabird came to her and promised her a soft life in a warm hut full of bearskins and fish. Sedna flew away with him.

The bird had lied. Sedna found her home a stinking nest. She sat, sadly regretting her rejection of the handsome human men. And that was what she told her father, when she listed her complaints when he visited her a year later.

Anguta ("man with something to cut") put his daughter in his kayak to bring her back to the human world. Perhaps he killed the bird husband first, perhaps he just stole the bird's wife, but in either case the vengeance of the bird people followed him. The rising sea threatened the escaping humans with death. On they struggled, until Anguta realized that flight was hopeless.

He shoved Sedna overboard to drown. Desperate for life, she grabbed the kayak with a fierce grip. Her father cut off her fingers. When Sedna's fingers fell into the water, the fingers became whales, seals and polar bears, her nails became whalebone.

Next, She flung her mutilated arms over the skin boat's sides. Anguta cut them off, shoving his oar into Sedna's eye before she sank into the icy water.

Sedna is Mother of the Oceans and ruler over all life in the Sea. The blessings of Sedna are still sought by the people of the North who know it is She who sustains them.At the bottom of the sea, she lived thereafter as queen of the deep, mistress of death and life, " the old food dish," who provided for the people.

Here is my own personal interpretation of this Goddess inspired by The Legend of Sedna:

When we find structure and safety in our lives we cling like children to the false hope that our parents or some other “authority” (the church, education, a certain philosophy) will save us. We ask them, plead with them, beg them to save us from the storm.

But behind the choices we’ve made lies the mask of fate. The father in this story realizes he cannot save his daughter, he can only save himself. This story touches on the victim/rescuer themes inherent in the Piscean personality and lends to the old saying, “what nourishes me destroys me.”

The Sedna myth teaches us to give what we don’t have, to breathe deep under water, to reconcile opposites, to live with the paradox, to love others even if it’s dangerous, and to let go of another’s hands while plummeting into the depth. This is what I like to call, “learning by throwing one’s self into the fire”, to warm up to life even though we’ve lived in the ice, to face with certainty our ultimate destiny.

These are the lessons Sedna imposes upon us. We can let go of the life raft ourselves or be forced to the bottom through what seems to be cruel fate. All these self-imposed abductions serve a purpose. They exist so that we may emerge strong with the fuel to feed others, to find abundance in the emptiness. It’s a journey each of us must make, in order to, “dig ourselves out of that hole”.

But first during the process, the ego must be dissolved so we can begin like babies do and start to crawl. After we learn our lesson on the floor (i.e. the ocean floor) we are free to surface. Our personalities grow strong as we’ve learned to live at an essential basic level.

In place of the arms that were once amputated we now sprout wings and raise ourselves out of the sea. And this friends, is transformation at its finest. The ocean calls each one of us down and we go, but from our frightened eyes, we are born into a new faith in life. We give birth to ourselves in that ocean, and in the end, we return to it like children to go home; it is the pattern we adhere to.

Sedna, The Bone Woman: Another Interpretation of the Myth

One writer talks about her experience in relation to the Sedna Goddess archetype in the paragraph below:

“Sedna evolved through sacrifice and suffering. She created of Her very being, her hands and her fingers, what was needed by the community - the food to sustain the lives of her people. For myself, lifting veils of denial provided me with the self-acceptance that grants new freedom. Sedna's double-sided mask, half-skeleton and half-human, gives her the aspect of resurrection.” Sedna did not lose Her capacity to participate in life. Instead, She transformed.”

This is a very Christ-like attitude and finds its imagery in the Christian myth. Oddly enough, the traditional “Christan” qualities of suffering for the greater whole, feeding/nourishing others, grace through servitude ect.. are all attributes commonly associated with women in our society, which may explain why the “Mary” influence is in many traditional Christian churches is so prevalent. For example, Notre Dame (a church located in Paris) means “Our Lady” in English. When visiting Notre Dame, I felt this vibe strongly firsthand. The feminine face of God is alive and well here.

Obviously, I first discovered the Sedna myth through astrology. However, the other day I heard this hauntingly beautiful song and realized it was an invocation, a celebration of the goddess who inhales with waves. Readers, if you are able to download music, I would recommend it, it’s a great song.

16 Bit Lolitas vs. Motorcycle - Deep Breath Sedna (Dave Dresden Mashup)

One by one a soul searches for a connection
It's a just heartbeat between love and rejection
Can you taste it in the air, how I want to be there
Take a deep breath love, and dive in

Do you remember once in a while what makes you smile
Cause nothing has to be the same
Let me take the pain out of your veins
Let me hear your soul
Let me take control
It's always darkest before the dawn

Sometimes I feel I want to run all night
Run all night until the morning light
All I know is that I want to run with you

Sometimes I feel I want to run all night
Run all night until the morning light
All I know is that I want to run with you

Take a deep breath love
Take a deep breath love
Take a deep breath love

And dive in

"To love, we touch the not-so-lovely bony woman, untangling the sense of this (life/death/life) nature for ourselves…It is not enough to haul the unconcious to the surface, not even enough to accidentally drag her home. Untangling the mystery of the Skeleton Woman begins to break the spell — that is, the fear that one will be consumed, made dead forever." Clarissa Pinkola Estes

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