The last time I went to the ocean, it was in the early part of December on the fourth day of the Mysteries. I remember it pretty distinctly because both the number four and the beach are symbols of death for me, and I mused at the irony of going to a place for death on a day of death during a holiday dedicated to exploring death.
It was a whole lot of death for me.
My time there was my typical beach going fare – it was bitter sweet. I spent a lot of my time being overly happy that I got to see the ocean, but those overwhelming feelings often led to complete and utter sadness, and I spent an equal amount of time brushing back tears as I looked for interesting “beach stuff” amidst the waves and tide pools.
The beach is equally important to me in the Unseen as well. Back when I was in the Interior, a type of prison, one of the only things to entertain myself with was staring out over the ocean. As my time in the Interior dragged on, I ended up learning that I could dive into the ocean as a means to calm my mind. Years before Osiris would show up and throw me under the waters of the river, I was learning that drowning myself in the arms of the ocean could ease the pain that I was living with. It was through the ritualized death that I learned to find shreds of peace.
Even in more recent years, the ocean serves an interesting purpose in my astral life. Whenever I am killed or kill myself during the course of a job (because sometimes you have to die in order to do the job properly), I wash up on the shore of some unknown ocean. It’s from the water that I come, and to the water that I return. Nothing is as calming as the cradle of water.
Last month, I got to go back to the beach. However, this trip to the beach was full of firsts for me. It was the first time going to Malibu. It was the first time that I didn’t spend the whole day beach combing, and the first time I actually had friends with me at the ocean. It was the first time I ever actually sat down in the sand and just was. And it was the first time I didn’t find myself crying while at the ocean.
I’m still mulling on why that is.
There were some things that were still the same. While at the beach in December, I did some knot magix with grass that I found at the ocean. I braided it together and tied it into a circlet. I talked and mused about how everything is all connected, about the symbolism of death and life and the ocean and myself. And when I was ready, I set the grass free in the tide. This time my magix was a little less heavy. I did some erasure magix and I recharged all of my recently acquired amulets with some sun and sand. The whole trip felt a lot less heavy and a lot more relaxed, like I could let go of some of the wounds that the ocean salt rubs and begin to be happy while making sand-dicks.
I’ve made a lot of changes since last December. I finished a few cycles that had been ongoing for the previous year, I managed to find an astral location where I could hole up with relative safety, and I began to work on addressing my mental health and physical health issues with more seriousness than I have in the past. I don’t know if it’s these changes that have made it so that I can actually visit a beach and not be a mess of tears the whole time, or if I just happened to strike a lucky day where I was able to escape from my brain for a while.
As I move forward in both my life here and There, I find myself visiting the river and the ocean less and less. As I work on healing myself and those around me, I find that I don’t require the drowning as regularly, I don’t need to throw myself into a vat of water to calm my mind, and the vats of water are looking more and more like pools and tubs and less and less like rivers and oceans.
I’m not sure if this is what progress looks like, but I’ll certainly be interested to see where it leads me.