Mermaids in Pop Culture
Mermaids are a pop culture phenomenon and they have been around longer than Madonna, both the singer and the mother of Christ. Mermaids were around back in Babylonian times. Lucky for us we can see still them when we get a cup of coffee at Starbucks, look at my artwork (I know, shameless plug) or watch the blockbuster movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. I’m an artist who usually researches by subject, but I found that I was so familiar with mermaids, I never did any research. I decided that was going to change and oh, what a rabbit hole I fell in. Buckle your seatbelts, boys and girls we are about to get all DaVinci Code.
Mother of the Sea
The term mermaid is often broken down in to sea maiden or mother of the sea. The sea and its cycles are often related to as a female form or being. The mermaid is the symbol of the mother ocean. Now this really isn’t some new age stuff I’m feeding you, this goes far deeper.
Mermaids All Over the World
Let’s look back at our cup of coffee, the mermaid of Starbucks. Yes, now she is really just a head with some wavy lines and a star, but she originated as a two-tailed mermaid. The Starbucks mermaid isn’t the only mermaid to have two tails, if you look around at churches all over Europe you will see mermaids with two tails. The position of the two tailed mermaid has the mermaid spreading her tails apart and holding that postition with her hands. I know, very kinky. The two-tailed mermaid, whom I have never painted so far, but now am starting to get very interested in, is a symbol of fertility.
The two-tailed mermaid prominently displays her genitalia to signify the power of female sexuality and fertility. One of the symbols of Christianity, the fish, ICHTHYS, which is commonly seen all over churches and automobiles, is actually an ancient symbol. The ICHTHYS is an ancient symbol that is related to the sea goddess. The sea goddess is also associated with Aphrodite (check out part 2 of mermaid’s seduction) and is loosely translated into the word “womb”. So again we are looking at the mermaid as a symbol of fertility.
The Powerful Mermaid
The mermaid seduces us with her gaze, she is powerful, she is the symbol of our lust and fertility. In ancient times the mermaid was considered a powerful goddess which was translated into greek culture as Aphrodite. She is a symbol of sex, love and fertility. With the rise of Christianity, these pagan gods had to be put away. Mermaids became stories of caution, a way to warn men about the powers of women. Yes, they are alluring, but they are dangerous, and we don’t quite understand what they are or what they want. In a way that can also be used to describe the way men feel about women. The mermaid is a woman, a goddess of love and fertility, she is our modern day mother nature. She is a goddess of mystery, she is the sacred feminine that men and religion have tried so hard to obliterate.