Did you know that the first recorded story of a mermaid claims that she lived in a lake, not the ocean? I was shocked when I first heard this. Legend has it that over 3000 years ago in ancient Assyria there lived a goddess by the name of Atargatis or Ataratheh (which I think sounds more flowing). She was a beautiful well loved goddess by her people. However, she fell in love with a mortal man and accidentally killed him while making passionate love. She was devastated and stricken by grief. Nine months later she gave birth to a baby girl, Semiramis, who later would become queen. The baby looked so much like her dead beloved that she couldn’t bare the grief and she dove into a lake to drown herself but instead she was turned into a mermaid.
A more modern mermaid story can be found in the coastal English town of Cornwall. There is a church that has a mermaid carved onto one of its benches. It’s referred to as the mermaid of Zennor. Legend says that an unearthly beautiful woman with a heavenly singing voice used to attend church service. There were many men interested in her but one in particular, Mathew, was determined to find out more about her. One day, he followed her toward the ocean cliffs and was never seen again. The whole town was in mourning.
Many years later, a ship off the coast put down its anchor. Shortly after, a gorgeous mermaid came up out of the ocean and asked if he could kindly raise his anchor as he had dropped it over the doorway of her house, and she wanted to be with her beloved husband Mathew and their children. The captain raised the anchor and told everyone in town what had happened.
The symbol of the mermaid is so much deeper than a surface fascination. It speaks to a deep part of our mythos as a humanity and a longing to connect with something magical. We are over 99% water at the molecular level. We are mermaids in our mothers womb before we are born into the air.
The mermaid symbolizes the ability to dive beneath the surface of reality to the realm of spirit, where breath is suspended and life takes on a special depth. To glean the wisdom that can’t be spoken with the mouth, only shared through frequency of the heart. To bring this message to the surface. We do this every time we have the courage to dive deep into our internal waters and come up to share that insight with the world.
I’ve heard many say the word mermaid means servant of the sea, but I believe something a little deeper.
In Egyptian, the word mer is derived from Mry “beloved” or Mr “love”. Mer, Merry, Marry, Mary, Marie, Miriam, Meru (indian for yoni, navel, womb, center) are all closely related. Mar in many languages also means Sea.
So if the Mer aspect of Mermaid means beloved, love, or sea, what does maid mean? On the surface, maid means servant or in service to. However, another meaning is a virgin. By virgin I do not mean not having had sex. A virgin means a sovereign woman who is in an energetic state that feels pure.
So what does the name Mermaid mean to me?
A pure woman in service to the sea of love.
I cannot think of a more beautiful mission statement for my life.
We are in the time of the mermaids and the return of the Divine Feminine. Mermaids represent what we need to return to if we hope to evolve as a species instead of go extinct. They symbolize immersion in the elements, connection with the cosmic womb, deep alignment with the Divine Mother, beauty, grace, love.
Fun Ways Connect to your Inner Mermaid:
Brush your hair slowly, combing your intentions into it after anointing the strands with your favorite essential oil. I prefer rose, white lotus or jasmine.
Sing to the water. Not just in the shower, but intentionally going to a river or the ocean and offering the vibration of your voice.
Eat seaweed salad and spirulina smoothies.
Take a mermaid bath with 1/2 cup sea salt, 2 tbs spirulina & a few drops of your favorite essential oil.