A Mermaid's tale

A new painting is finished - Mermaid and Fishes

The fishes started to come in to the last painting and the Flower Fairy looked like a mermaid at times, but I decided to create their own space with their own colours.  I love it, so expect more mermaids.

The image of the mermaid is enduring and very popular.  I once posted a status on Facebook saying I was going to the seaside to look for mermaids.  I had more 'likes' for that post than almost any other I've done before or since!

I love mermaids and the sea (I want to live by the sea - I have my little cottage out there in the ether just waiting!) but why is the image or symbol of the mermaid so appealing?

She speaks to me and to so many of us because she is an archetype; a symbol of the Divine Feminine. And whether we realise this or not, the image resonates with us on a deep, deep level.  Ancient cultures worshipped the Goddess in the form of a mermaid by wells, rivers, streams and the ocean.  Her power comes from her connection to the earth's waters, the symbol of the Great Mother and the source of all life.  She is a symbol of feminine power, beauty, sexuality and knowledge but also creativity, transformation and fertility.

The mermaid is at home in the watery depths and invites us to explore our own depths; the sea is a symbol for the unconscious, the emotions and the unknown.  If you work with her, she can help you listen to your own inner depths and wisdom to nourish your life.  Tapping into the depths and facing the unknown and (for me) the fear that lives there provides us with vital energy we need in our every day lives.  When the mermaid has to give up her tail in order to walk on the land, she cuts off from her Self, denying her wholeness and her energy.  I think we can often feel cut off from parts of ourselves - it's not easy to face our fears, we might hate parts of our bodies, we live in our heads and are not connected to our whole selves etc etc. We can work to restore our own wholeness through tapping into our inner self through journalling, dream work, meditation and ritual.   These activities put us back together again and make us whole once more.  For me, it is art journalling that is my way to put myself back together; what's yours?

The idea that the mermaid can help us to do this is one I especially like.  The mermaid as muse, and a playful one at that, is my favourite version of her; inner work connects us with our intuition and lets our wild side out to play.  The mermaid invites us to dive into the waters of self expression,  she asks us to plunge deep into our feelings and creativity, she says to ME 'swim freely and play with the fishes'.

So, what are you waiting for?

Jump in! Dive in! Plunge in and start swimming!  Get in your creative flow!

Ask the mermaid to inspire you.  Dip your toes in the sea either for real or figuratively, collect some seashells to put on your work table a la Julie Gibbons, who recently packed up Scottish seashells to ship off to Instagram friends in the States, or go beachcombing and bring home some driftwood. 

I'm off to the beach... I'll see you there...

From my mermaid heart to yours

Rachel xxx




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Reader Comments (7)

It worked out beautifully. Lovely writing and painting, very evocative.

I do agree, journalling and inner work do so very much help support our every day lives and bring us down into our bodies.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie maddison

Thank you Melanie, yes it all worked out, inspite of losing most of the post half way through writing it! And journalling is essential for me for feeling whole and being myself xx

August 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterRachel Ellen Andrews

Love. Love. Love!

Your mermaid is very beautiful, Rachel and I love the explanation of the sea representing our unconscious - I don't think I'd thought of that before.

I do hope you find your cottage by the sea and catch glimpses of mermaids before too long :) xoxo

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Gibbons

I found this post from Julie and Teresa's facebook posts! I love it! I'm completely in love with mermaids and I am especially lucky to have lived on the coast my whole life (yet i don't know how to swim). I really love the concept of the sea representing our unconscious. I always get so overwhelmed by the vastness of the ocean and that same feeling arises whenever I think about the vastness of the unconscious.

(Art journaling, yoga, and hooping are how I slowly put myself back together)

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShelby

Thank you Julie, I think the idea of the sea as the unconscious is Jungian but as a symbol it may go back further than that. Yes, I will find my cottage one day - I hope in the not too far distant future - the mermaids are on the case for me...

Hi Shelby - thanks for sharing what works for you - me too, I get that overwhelmed, feeling small type feeling when I stand by the ocean and you're right - it's the same when I think of the unconscious and the knowledge held there.

Rachel xxx

August 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterRachel Ellen Andrews

This is beautiful!! Love how her hair just flows in the water, and the colorful bodies of the fish and mermaid. So dreamy!

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichele

Michele, just catching up with these comments - so sorry I haven't responded!! Thanks for stopping by and taking a look, glad you like the mermaid!!

October 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrachel

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