Returning to Mother Ocean

Returning to Mother Ocean yesterday, I cried.

The desert has called me to her arid climate, yet my cells spent nearly four decades at the seaside. Your cells do not forget these things. I was also reminded how much you learn about her ways over time. A friend from Hawaii said you never turn your back on her, she is fierce and wild and unpredictable; deserving of great reverence. When you have spent your formative years dancing at the hems of her undulating skirt, you sense when you may get swamped by a big wave;  you can feel when the tide is retreating;  you know when not too get too close. Mother trains you.

The Ocean in Big Sur is untamed and free, crashing wildly against these glorious rugged black cliffs. It’s enough to make a coastal girl swoon. The power and force of the surf here reminded me of an incredible Earthen Body photography shoot I did in 2007 at Whariki Beach in New Zealand. The Earthen Body series of self-portraits were the beginning of my exploration of merging with The Earth and reclaiming my sovereignty through disrobing before the Mother. The Painted Body images within The Oracle of Initiation came directly from this transformative process.

Today in Big Sur I was reminded of the intensity of that  Whariki experience as the waves pounded in and out of the beautiful eroded chambers within the rocks. There is a primal energy to the crashing surf that is unmistakable. I actually find it terrifying at times, completely out of my human understanding of elemental power and force. That level of base survival instinct also has the ability to awaken a compelling intensity within a ritualistic context. You can see it in the images below from New Zealand. I was actually within a cave as the surf pounded into the  caverns worn into the craggy mound. I did not actually know if the waves would engulf me, breaking through whatever barrier was keeping them at bay. Boy was that a day.

So much of the work I do is about facing fears, and finding my own strength and passion within that place; the Ocean is an invaluable ally. These Whariki images below  are what the wild ocean feels like to me. I have returned to her, and my cells  are singing in profound love and reverence.

She even offered a rainbow at dusk. How does it get any better than this?

I shall kiss the ocean for all your desert and interior dwellers. She is a Queen.

Melissa Weiss Steele Earthen Body series Whariki Medusa New Zealand 2007

Melissa Weiss Steele Earthen Body series 2007

Melissa Weiss Steele Earthen Body photographic series 2007
Melissa Weiss Steele Earthen Body photography series "Whariki Medusa" New Zealand 2007

Melissa Weiss Steele Earthen Body series "Whariki Medusa" 2007 New Zealand

  2 comments for “Returning to Mother Ocean

  1. March 10, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Oh beautiful Medusa…. Ocean Woman, word crafter, odyssey explorer, snake of the desert….. wash over our psyches with your imagery, your ponderings and your unveiling… Meanwhile up here, Spring is happening….. I am stunned with happiness!!

    Like

  2. mwsteele
    March 10, 2010 at 3:06 am

    STUNNED WITH HAPPINESS-You are my star sister darling!!! And Snake of the Desert, I will take that one too, add it to Eagle Prayer Honey bee much love, Kwahu Abeja

    Like

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