Gifts: Song. Communication. Wisdom. Flow. Diving deep. Knowing when to come up for a breath.
Challenges: Giving up too much power, too much control. Victimization. Self-blame. Self-recrimination. Self-destruction. Not knowing when to come up for air.
Whale song is a literal gift for the ears and an archetypal gift for the soul. We hear whale song, in person or recorded, and we feel at once expansive and humbled. To live in a world where such beauty is possible fills us with wonder and can make us feel small.
That smallness is a lesson from Whale—not physical smallness, of course, but humility. Whale is huge and magnificent and awe-inspiring, and yet it never demands to be seen. It does not boast of its grandeur. Whale’s humility is not false; it is not self-deprecation. Whale knows it is good enough as it has already experienced the hubris of the need to control.
Whale lives in the flow—of the ocean currents, of seasonal migration, of the profundity of whale song, of the decimation of the oceans, of the killing of whales. And still Whale faces fear and rides the waves of change of its own chosen environment. The flowthat Whale teaches is one of struggle as much as it is of “ease and grace.” Whale mirrors the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who teaches that a state of flow must involve struggle. It is the challenge that triggers flow. A state of “ease and grace” would be more akin to relaxation, bordering on boredom.
When you start to believe the illusion that flow should be easy, connect with Whale to guide you through the struggle as a natural part of the flow of life. Welcome the struggle as a spark for creativity and problem-solving.
Whale is present in the here and now, knowing the grass is not greener over there (over here, on land). Whale lacks the ability to manipulate—as it literally lacks hands—but wants not as it embodies the purity of being one with the flow. Lacking hands means that Whale lacks a degree of control. And yet it is this lack of control that enables Whale to truly go with the flow.
Living in the ocean symbolizes living fully in emotion—not shirking from or avoiding emotional authenticity. Emotional authenticity gives you personal power. Dive in without fear. Then come up for air. Whale does not breathe in the water, as fish do. Whale is a mammal who must surface to breathe—who must surface to live. You cannot spend all of your time in the depths of emotion. Dive, dive deeply, then surface. Always surface.
Surfacing is a challenge for Whale people. Another challenge is abdicating your power. If you take Whale’s lack of hands too literally, you may be tempted to give up all control over your own life, seeing where the current takes you. Remember that Whale does not float aimlessly in the current. Whale consciously migrates. Whale has given up a degree of control, but Whale teaches making conscious choices. You don’t need hands to do that.