The Whale

“Enter the place you originated from.” ~ Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha


Once I dreamed of standing on the shore of the Petawawa River where it forms a small bay of water that nudges against the land that has been in the care of my father’s family for generations.  At the most northerly point of the bay one’s perspective is exposed to a high set of white water rapids strewn with gigantic boulders and marked by the frothing turbulence of tumbling water.  Downriver it runs with the clean swiftness of a youthful warrior, strong and lean.

Both shorelines, to the east and the west are guarded by ancient windblown cedar and red pine.  The trees step away from the shore where formations of granite worn smooth by time and glaciers sit with immovable steadfastness.  The place has the feeling of something ancient and if one were to listen carefully, beyond the sound of the wind rushing through the pines, one could hear the low murmur of the “Old Ones’” singsong voices.

In the dream I stood waiting at the northern end of the bay on granite that slopes toward the water eventually giving way to the sand of the narrow beach.  Soon, a young, blonde-headed man garbed in the soft-brown tunic and leggings of medieval times appeared beside me.  His smile was princely and gentle. Though I did not recognize him, he was familiar.

Without a word he formed his hands in an open-ended cup and placed them to his mouth and began to blow as if through a horn.  The sound that came was haunting and melodious.  I intuitively understood him to be teaching me to call forth a whale.  I copied his method and was able to create the sound.

The sound I was making through the instrument of my hands began somewhere at the back of my throat.  After several repetitions I felt a light pressure that pushed down into my chest cavity.  The area of my heart tingled.  At that moment my hands fell away from my mouth and a sweet song slipped from my heart in a strange and beautiful language.  I sang as if overtaken by the chant and a great blue whale emerged from the depths just below the rapids to the north. She was enticed to make her way through the water toward me.

In the distance the whale had posed no threat but as she glided closer, like some gargantuan barge I was shaken by her size.  I saw the outline of her tremendous broad back, the power of her thundering tail fin and the roar of spray expelled from her blowhole.

Behind me I felt my teacher urging me to step forward and greet this Sacred Being.  I hesitated until his suggestion grew more forceful and I knew I had no choice.  I had called her.

whale-eyeSuddenly the whale was upon me, her dark shape filling my peaceful bay with a looming, ominous shadow.  Before I knew it I was propelled halfway across the bay to the place directly above the submerged whale.  I stood ankle deep in the water, yet did not sink. I gazed down into the depths and watched the great whale turn with a graceful curve to confront me, eye to eye.

I could see clearly through the water, the long line of her smiling mouth and the intensity of her right eye which held me transfixed.  In her eye I read an invitation.  I could dare look further into that eye or not.  If not, she would be on her way without regret.

I focused my attention on the darkness that lay behind the gleaming surface of the eye.  I fell into the soul of the great blue whale and knew she was an Ancient One, as old as Creation itself.

Her usual ocean of travel was the universe and all the parallel universes.  She took me on a voyage into the stars and beyond.  She was the Ancient Keeper of records, whose purpose to record the events of the cosmos. She held within her soul the patterns of original wisdom. She showed me the formula of my own soul and then I knew what I must do in my life.

The whale bade me return to the place she had joined me in the river.  As suddenly as she had appeared she was gone. I awoke to the first rays of sunrise streaming across my face through the east window.  Gathering the image of the whale and the cosmic mysteries she revealed as reflective companions, I embarked upon the new day, my new life.

~ Agi’sti Tis’stu