The Green Man
The Sun and the Moon
Dragons and Serpents
Whales and Dolphins
The Knight's Templar
Even today, whales and dolphins are widely thought to possess mystical powers. Thousands of people, including healers and patients alike, claim that dolphins in particular have a mysterious healing ability, easing ailments ranging from depression to autism. Even the image or sounds of whales or dolphins alone are sometimes reputed to have a beneficial effect. Scientists have explained this healing effect as a result of endorphins - the body's natural pain killing hormone - being released as a result of feelings of intense happiness and excitement, and so interacting with a dog, cat or horse could produce a similar effect. Some New Age practitioners, however, believe that dolphins act as channels of Ki, the life-energy associated with Feng Shui, Reiki and Tai Chi. The calls of whales and dolphins are often used in musical compositions for relaxation and meditation.
Despite the overwhelming popularity of whales and dolphins, these animals sadly face more threats from humanity than ever before. Whales and dolphins are still slaughtered in their thousands all over the world, dying for nothing more than the human greed for profit. Even more needlessly drown in fishing nets or as a result of pollution poisoning their habitat and food. Large numbers of dolphins and small whales are also imprisoned in tiny concrete tanks in marine parks and zoos, where they must perform several times a day to entertain visitors. Such exploitation is a far cry from the respect these animals earned from the cultures of the ancient world.
It is highly ironic and disturbing that these gentle creatures, who continue demonstrate unconditional friendship and trust and touch the lives of millions all over the world, are among some of the most endangered mammals in the world. It has been estimated that as few as 150 Baiji river dolphins exist today, and this species, the source of many extraordinary Chinese myths, now has little chance of survival. The vaquita porpoise, susu river dolphin, Hector's dolphin, right whale and blue whale are among the many other cetaceans who have been classed as a threatened species.
If we are to ensure that whales and dolphins continue to inspire our children in the future, we must reach back to the past and regain the respect held by our ancestors for our cousins of the sea. Only then can these magnificent beings can live the life they deserve - swimming safe and free for all time.
"Atlantis" music CD, featuring natural whale song, available at the Spiral Online Shop