Lessons From the Sea Turtles

It’s been a few weeks since I had one of the most powerful experiences of my life, and it has taken me a while to even attempt to write about it. It’s weird, because writing is my main form of creative expression. Usually, if something magickal happens, I long to try and capture it in words. But not this time.

Have you ever had an experience that was so over-the-top special that you can’t even find the words for it? Yeah, that. It took a while to integrate.

I’ve given birth twice – once via an emergency c-section and then through natural birth (VBAC, for those who know the lingo). I’ve also been present for the birth of a friend’s child, which was top-level amazing, and different from being the portal. I was there when my dear friend Jenn died. I’ve gotten married, seen amazing concerts, been in powerful rituals and taken hikes deep into the heart of Mother Nature.

Alongside these awe-inspiring experiences lives this new one: I swam with wild sea turtles.

Some context for those who don’t know me: I’m a water priestess (Cancer rising) devoted to the Goddess Yemaya, I’m a lifelong (and strong) swimmer, I have mermaid swim certification (yes, that’s a thing), and I adore the ocean. 

My daughter and I describe ourselves as “quarter Mermaid.” She and I each have a tattoo of a sea turtle on our calves. My best friends and I call ourselves “the Mermaids.” You see the theme.

BlackLion and I went on vacation in April, to the U.S. Virgin Islands. We had a completely magickal time there. “Tropical vacations” have been on my vision board and wish list for many years, and recently we’ve been able to manifest more travel. In the Bahamas, we saw a sea turtle in the water down below us while we were hiking. In Mexico we saw other amazing sea life (like huge manta rays and starfish) while snorkeling.

This trip, we stayed on St. Thomas, but took the ferry to St. John, which has a huge national park, a couple of times. The second time, we’d met someone at a reggae bar who told us Maho Bay was the place to go to see the turtles. On the ferry over, a passenger we chatted with told us exactly where to look for them.

This was the final full day of an amazing trip. I was already feeling super high-vibe. White sand, hot sun, blue sky, ocean breeze, turquoise waters – the astounding beauty of where we were swimming put me into a state of pure bliss. BlackLion and I swam slowly, leisurely toward the area we’d been told about, using our goggles to peer at the sea floor, which was covered in long grasses.

Suddenly he nudged me and pointed. A huge sea turtle stirred from its resting place in the sand and began to swim slowly upward. My eyes went wide and my heart started to pound. I still can’t explain how this massive yet gentle creature made me feel. We all surfaced, and the sea turtle looked over at us, blinking slowly. Its gaze felt like recognition, and connection. 

It slowly swam off, accompanied by an eighteen inch fish called a remora, which like to hitch a ride and feed on the algae on the turtle’s shell. I had to focus to catch my breath. Seeing this turtle felt as amazing and all-encompassing as witnessing the birth of my friend’s daughter!

Later, after a picnic on the beach, I went back in and swam around on my own while BlackLion rested. Before long, I came upon not one but three sea turtles. Again I felt that rush of ecstasy. I swam with them for a while, keeping a respectful distance.  Again my heart was pounding and my breath was quickened – not from exertion, but from awe!

These creatures are massive, ancient, and wise. They’re huge but fast, and graceful. I felt a stirring in my soul. I could feel, very viscerally, how everything is connected. After the turtles moved off, I swam around the bay in a lovely state of trance. 

BlackLion joined me, and we chanted the Green Tara mantra we’ve been using lately.

I overheard some people talking, and one man said, “Yeah, the turtles are really spread out today. Normally we see 8 or 9 of them together.”

My thought was, “I don’t think I could even handle seeing that many!” My bliss cup was already overflowing.

I’ve brought the magick of this experience back home with me, and it trickles into everything I do. In so many ways, I am now living the dream that I longed for when I started to actively move toward manifesting a creative life, back in 2007. 

Yes, there is further to go. Yes, there are improvements I’d love to make. AND, I’ve already arrived. I am living my life’s purpose, to the best of my ability, in each moment.

When I fall down, I get back up and use the tools I’ve cultivated to return to alignment. I allow myself to receive magickal and profound life experiences. 

In each moment of this life, I’m swimming with the sea turtles, a priestess of Yemaya immersed in Her sacred waters. 

I didn’t even look in my go-to resource, Animal Speak by Ted Andrews, until now, while writing this blog post. But I’m not surprised by the associations and symbolism that I find there: feminine power, longevity, abundance, uniting heaven and earth. “Turtle reminds us that all we need for all that we do is available to us, if we approach it in the right manner and time.”

It is true. This is the moment. You are right where you’re supposed to be. As they say, just keep swimming

What are the most blissful and awe-inspiring moments in your life?

Tell me what you think!

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