Part of the Sky Above Earth Below Oracle Deck I created in 2014. Mixed Media
Whale (Recorder, Song)
Whale sings beneath the surface of the waves. Whales are the largest creatures known to exist, both now, and in the past; out-sizing even dinosaurs. Many whales use a structure called baleen to feed. Baleen is a structure, comb-like in appearance, that allows large whales to filter feed; sucking up seawater and leaving behind its prey. Not all whales have baleen. Toothed whales, such as the sperm whale, have teeth more similar to their dolphin cousins. Most whale species are highly social, showing behaviours such as planning, teaching, and even grieving. Most notable is the ability of whale to communicate using vocalizations known as ‘whale song’. All whales make vocalizations, but the distinctive songs is a behaviour found in males. The purpose for this behaviour is still greatly unknown. Whales inhabit every ocean and are distributed based on the specific behaviours of each species. Most species of whale have wide ranges, often crossing great distances to feed or mate. Whales are perhaps the longest living mammal with life spans that easily reach over 70 years. There is some evidence of whales living over a century.
Whaling was popular in the early twentieth century. Whales were hunted for meat, whale oil, baleen, and ambergris. Whales feature heavily in creation myths around the world. Despite often being hunted, they were also revered. In Chinese folklore Yu-kiang, a whale figure with the hands and feet of a human, was the ruler of the ocean. Many Inuit tribes still hunt whales as a primary source of food. Creation myths speak of a time when whale was beached on the land and the world was in disorder. It was only by Big Raven returning whale to the sea that order was restored. It was mostly native culture that believed in whales ability to be a record keeper, likely due to its ability to have long complex vocalizations that sounded like speech (or stories). Early stories of whales as uncharted moving islands were commonplace in marine tales. Many Asian cultures associate divinity with whales. This is especially true in places like Vietnam where funeral rights may still be given to whales that have beached themselves. The story of Jonah may call it a big fish, but it likely references a whale instead.
When whale sings from your cards it may be time for you to share your own song with the world. Are you engaging in mimicry, or singing your own song? In what way are you sharing your ‘voice’? Are you keeping a true record of events so you can look back and retell the whole story? Whale is linked to the element of water and the ocean biome.
Stars and Constellations
Insight, Gentleness, Inner Depths, The Key to Past and Ancient Knowledge, History