Sailing through the Oceans wide,
colorful and bright,
another shimmering voice abides…
I come to you
Singing of Growth…
Reserve your energy.
Remember your true self.
For a single piece
may become whole again,
a renewed self,
Feast upon the bounty
that surrounds you!
Dare to swim against the tide!
Life is the reward,
just take it all in stride.
Five extensions of self
reaching out from my center
to embrace miraculous Life.
Five eyes observing
creation and destruction,
confident within my spiny skin.
Nature defies your greedy knife!
shining in hidden pools,
Overwhelmed by restless tides.
Be true to the best within you,
and trust that you are
your brightest guide."
For those new to the game, each poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for us. Can you guess who is singing today? Congrats to Desert Dreamer, Jan Neavill Hersh, and Jaguarwombyn for naming this Teacher!
“When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when somethings suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.” Barbara Bloom
“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.” Josephine Hart
Starfish, more accurately known as Sea stars, are echinoderms that lack a true centralized brain, but have a complex nervous system. Hard-skinned, bony, spiny, and knobby exteriors protect the vitals of this creature. All echinoderms have a network of interlacing nerves, known as a nerve plexus, which forms a central bundle that generates itself, as well as all additional appendages. This means that if you chop up Sea stars into pieces and throw them back into the ocean, they multiply into separate Stars!
Before Fishermen realized this aspect of our amazing Teacher, they would actually chop and toss them intending to reduce them as rivals! This is the Sea star’s loudest message to us. Through adversity we become stronger. The trick is to keep enough of your core being, (your beliefs, your joys, etc) to continue regenerating after meeting with disaster. Starfish are a stellar reminder to revel in your uniqueness. Sea star people understand the pain that comes with Balance and Wisdom, and the laughter of Otter makes a great balancing energy for Sea star.
Because of their regenerative natures, Sea star may be speaking to you of a Health issue or general need to heal, recover, or simply store energy for future need or growth. Sea stars use their powerful suction cup grips to pry open the shells of mollusks, limpets, oysters, fish or any other prey too slow to respond to this Sea-dwelling carnivore. Once captured, a food source is digested by two separate stomachs. One, the cardiac stomach, envelops the meal outside of the Sea star’s body, and begins digesting it outside of the body.
Then, partially digested, the meal is then retracted into the body with this stomach, and transferred to the pyloric stomach which completes digestion and handles elimination. Some echinoderms have been shown to live for several weeks without food under artificial conditions, and it is believed that they may receive some nutrients from organic material dissolved in seawater!
Plankton is a keystone species in the Sea, and it’s abundance keeps the Sea thriving. This makes it too an important Teacher, and should never be dismissed as unimportant merely because of its tiny body! Sea Star’s ability to feed upon Plankton is a reminder that no matter how minuscule to our perceptions, all that we truly need to survive is provided by the Universe around us. Because of the Sea Star’s ability to digest food outside of its body, it is able to hunt prey that are much larger than its mouth would otherwise allow. This speaks powerfully of Survival and Abundance in our lives, as well as an ability to take ones time, digesting all information before reaching a decision. All are important Sea star lessons.
This powerful regenerative aspect, along with their reproductive methods so similar to the mollusks they feed upon, mark Sea stars as Teachers who reminds us of the importance of a Two-Spirited, and harmonious, approach to life. The term “Two-spirited”, is new to me but highly useful and appropriate. It was derived from interpretations of Native languages used to describe people who displayed both characteristics of male and female.Traditionally, the Two-spirited person was one who had received a gift from the Creator, that gift being the privilege to house both male and female spirits in their bodies.
Thus, such people were gifted with a greater vision, a more balanced view of the world as a whole. Much respected and sought after for their broadened perspectives, Two-spirits were considered a gift to society from Creator. There are many Singers in Nature that teach us the value of Two-spirited beings which is much at odds with the popular opinions of many people today. For a truly balanced perspective in Life, we should nurture, develop and honor all sides of our selves; masculine, feminine and divine. Each has their merits, each has their unique pitfalls and each is inextricably entwined with the others. The sooner we come to terms with this reality, the better off we will all be.
Sea stars are also unique in being one of the only creatures that uses Seawater in its vascular system instead of blood! This indicates a deeper connection with the powerful Waters of the World than even your average Sea dweller already carries, and strengthens the Sea stars abilities as a Healer. Immersion in, activity on, or time spent around Water in general tends to be an enormous healing medium for Sea star people.
Sea star is an excellent Teacher to turn to when we are feeling overwhelmed, or chopped up into little pieces by some traumatic life experience. I tend to view life as a Forge in which we are thrust deep into the fire, removed glowing with our epiphanies, beaten, folded, and pounded into newer wiser shapes continuously. This is not a comfortable process! Anybody who is feeling especially worn by this process should look for ways to connect to this Teacher.
Living and the gaining of Wisdom involve a lot of heart-ache, pain, prodigious efforts on mental, physical, emotional and spiritual levels. Growth does not come easily although it is well worth our efforts. This is the second biggest danger to a Sea star, succumbing to the many and varied toxins one encounters while living! Sea star’s hard endoskeleton is a reminder that it is a sacred duty to protect life, which must begin like all other things, with the self.
Sea stars can be incredibly destructive, but they also have their place within the ecosystem of any reef, another reminder to live in harmony with the World around us. Other than the depredations of pollution, Otters are one of the very few predators of Sea stars. Laughing Otter Wisdom makes a great balance for the hardships so often experienced by Sea star people. So does deep-diving Dolphin, who navigates the deeper waters of life. The Sea star’s very star shape reminds us personal excellence, of the magic of wishing and bringing dreams to life. How do Sea stars appear in your life?
“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” Karen Kaiser Clark
“Nothing is lost upon a person who is bent upon growth; nothing is wasted on one who is always preparing for his work and life by keeping eyes, mind, and heart open to nature, men, books, experience. Such a man finds ministries to his education on all sides; everything cooperates with his passion for growth.” Hamilton Mabie
Key Concepts: Following your own star, healing, tenacity, abundance, feeling overwhelmed, growth, recovery, balance, guidance, inspiration, divine love, vigilance, intuition
Associated with: Virgin Mary, Yemaja, Aphrodite/Venus, Llyr, Manannan, Nepture/Poseidon, Nerthus, Ran, Yamm, Sedna
Potential Balancers: Oyster and other molluscs, plankton, coral, otters, squid, fish, sharks, whales, other sea creatures or other echinoderms. Stars