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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Goddess of the Sea

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The People of the Sea

I never knew that we were Seal Clan until my nephew was born.

You know the story. One full moon night the fisherman sees the seal-maidens come up onto the beach. They step out of their seal-skins and dance as naked maidens in the moonlight. 

The fisherman steals the skin of the youngest. When her sisters return to the sea, she cannot join them. So she goes home with him and becomes his wife.

But years later, one full moon night, she finds her seal-skin again, hidden away in a chest, and not even her love for her children can keep her from going back.

And that's where certain families get their webbed feet from.

Seeing my newborn sister-son's toe-webbing, the aunts said: Oh he has it too, and then I heard the stories.

Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

On a recent Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete, I visited the Historical Museum of Heraklion where I saw this beautiful embroidery on silk of a mermaid identified as having come from Koustogerako, a village in western Crete. As it is unlikely that a man in Crete would have known how to embroider, in this case "Anonymous" most definitely "was a woman."

In this thread painting a mermaid surrounded by fish is holding the anchor of a ship in one hand and a fish in the other. In Greece the mermaid is the protectress of sailors. In a well-known legend, a mermaid said to be the sister of Alexander the Great, emerges from the sea in front of a ship during a storm and asks: “Is Alexander the Great still living?” If the sailors answer, “Yes, he lives and reigns,” the ship is saved.

In this image the mermaid–who does not much resemble “the little mermaid” of recent lore—is identified by the woman who embroidered her as: “GORGONA, H THEA TIS THALASSIS,” MERMAID GODDESS OF THE SEA.”

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    PS Insofar as the Greek Mermaid emerges from the Sea during a storm with a riddle whose answer leads to life or death, she is a fe
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Gorgona is the modern Greek word for Mermaid. I am not an expert in ancient Greek, but I suspect that dreadful or terrible could a
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Wow, that mermaid is Enormous! I am struck by the word Gorgona, as in Medusa and her sisters. Wikipedia tells me that the Greek

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