I’ve always liked the Selkie mythology though I feel more of a resonance with the tales of merfolk losing their voices and walking on pins and needles for what they love… but an opportunity to go to a workshop by the sea on selkies opened just after I saw my first seal in the same area, so I took it as a sign and travelled down, in a car full of witches, to Pembrokeshire.
We visioned, we stitched new skins for ourselves, we sang and danced and made pledges to ourselves and the ocean, standing as witnesses for each other.
We talked of seals and soulskins, of selves lost, stolen, given away… We asked the question; ‘Why would a selkie dance on the beach, risking her skin, when her first love is the ocean?’
Why do any of us risk being vulnerable? Why show our hidden faces, the ones that allow others a way into our core where they can soothe or wound or delight as they please?
Because without the trust in allowing another so close, we miss the feel of moonlight on our hearts – another kind of ocean, the ocean of connection. Without connection we can only be ourselves in a box, hiding our light…
There is a need to be soft, open, vulnerable sometimes. And a need to be thick-skinned and following our hearts other times.
The selkie wears her skin to travel, to survive. She slips her skin to dance and open to delight. Her skin shows her true colours and keeps her safe so she may do what she loves. It falls away to allow her to connect and be inspired…
What is the skin you’ve lost? The dream you gave up? When are you vulnerable and when are you single-minded in your determination?