Saved by Neptune
By Keith Varnum
The great sea has set me in motion, set me adrift,
moving me as the reed moves in a river.
The arch of sky and mightiness of storms
have moved the spirit within me,
till I am carried away
trembling with joy.
Uvavnuk, Eskimo shamaness
In my youthful, glib, mainstream naïveté, I considered all mythological gods to be creations of very active human imagination, conceived in a time long ago when formal education was rare and gullibility plentiful. Even as metaphor, these ancient beings and their wild exploits had little impact on my modern, pragmatic personal world—until the night I met Neptune or Poseidon, Lord of the Depths.
My friend Joe was by nature a very courageous, trusting and adventurous fellow. Seduced by his innocent enthusiasm for life, I constantly found myself involved in situations beyond my control or comfort zone. One steamy, stormy summer night, Joe had an itch to go swimming in the ocean. It was past midnight. There was no moon for light. But physical limitations were not a consideration for Joe. After a quick pitstop at Dunkin’ Donuts for caffeine and chocolate, we rumbled away in Joe’s rusty, rattling truck to an isolated, rocky peninsula north of Boston called Marblehead Point.
Even when the waters surrounding Marblehead Point are calm, the jutting peninsula is a perilous place to swim. There’s no beach. The shoreline is a gauntlet of jagged rocks. Quite invisible to the uninitiated, sharp, knifelike boulders and a treacherous undertow conspire to lure unsuspecting bathers into their snare. The sheer power of the wind, water and rock seem to magnetically draw their victims under their spell. Even if one survives the crushing might of the waves and the spiked edges of the granite, the razor-sharp barnacles covering each stone slash human skin to the bone. It’s not a hospitable place to frolic.
The water was not calm this night. A North Atlantic tempest was brewing. Fierce, monstrous surges over twelve feet high smashed against the craggy coast. I looked at the scene before me with growing trepidation. Joe wanted to jump off the highest cliff right into the surging sea. I didn’t see how we could possibly leap over the jutting granite and land safely in the ocean. And, even if we successfully cleared the serrated stones, the violent waves would pummel us back against the rocks.
Joe, bless his virgin heart, gently persisted, “I know it looks dangerous. But I know we’re safe. I’m being called by Neptune, the Spirit of the Sea.”
In an earlier story, I related that Joe was raised reading Greek and Roman myths as they were originally written in Ancient Greek and Latin. Neptune was not a mythical god to Joe. He was a living, conscious being with whom one can communicate and physically interact.
To me, Neptune was no more than a vague concept from a high school mythology lesson. I’d just begun to re-open my ability to perceive entities beyond my programmed five senses—be they nature spirits or mythological gods. I wanted to trust that these nonphysical beings were real.
I did trust Joe. He taught me through example that one has to leap into the Possibility before one can enter into the Reality. So, I allowed myself to be caught up in Joe’s spirit of adventure and anticipation. With total assurance, he proclaimed, “I know it’s the right thing to do. I can feel it. If we jump, we’ll be caught. We’ll be cradled. I trust my friend Neptune. You’ll see!”
Together, we took the fateful plunge that night. Leaping into the shadowy darkness, somehow sailing over the grasping, seductive rocks, we landed in the momentary safety of a lull between breakers. “Lord, have mercy on me!” I whispered under my breath.
Then the first big swell scooped us up and hurled us in the direction of the jagged cliffs. I should have been terrified. But, even as my body seemed to race toward the rocks and certain death, I felt a warm, tingling sensation surging up from below the tempestuous water’s surface, spreading throughout my entire being. The wave itself started to glow with an emerald-green phosphorescence. The feeling was one of total acceptance and support. I’ve felt it before. A rush of recognition swept over me. The serenity of grace was very familiar. I relaxed and surrendered my body to the pulsating, comforting aqua presence.
While I saw only bright, blue-green foam swirling around, infusing me with a sense of boisterous, yet serene joy, Joe could see and feel an energy form he knew personally as Neptune. As giant swells crashed against the serrated cliffs, Joe and I flowed in and out with the waves, miraculously safeguarded within the pounding surf. We never once touched the jutting stones. We were gently cradled, as a parent rocks a child, in the protective arms of the King of the Sea.
Then Joe and I heard the strong, booming voice of Neptune bellow words of wisdom and wonder into the core of our being. Neptune suggested we tap into the many useful, natural qualities of water. While describing the unique characteristics of water, the Spirit of the Sea physically demonstrated each attribute until we understood the message being conveyed to us.
Neptune spoke of the fluidity and malleability of water and how it flows with, not against, the strongest force. The God of the Ocean exemplified his point with an aquatic whirlpool that engulfed us. The spiraling vortex intensified to such a degree that we were forced to totally abandon ourselves to the power and direction of its force
Elaborating, Neptune discussed the astuteness of water in harmonizing with its surroundings. The spirit explained how water is flexible, rather than maintaining a rigid structure. The liquid whirl we were in suddenly reversed itself, shifting its direction 180 degrees, compelling us to choose cooperation. My mind flashed back to the numerous stories I’d heard about drunks so relaxed they tumbled down stairs unharmed.
Our education lasted for several human hours and an eternity of spirit time. Joe and I continued to be protected from the craggy cliffs, as we were gently imbued with the vibration and compassionate power of Neptune. The Spirit of the Water shared its essence and alchemy with us. I internalized the practical wisdom of choosing to allow, accept, integrate and embrace the flow of life, rather than resisting the ever-changing course of events in life
The lesson over, Joe and I were delicately deposited on a small bed of sand high above the rocky shore and crashing surf. Rays emanating from the rising sun warmed our drenched bodies. We rose and began our trek back to Joe’s truck.
I’ll never forget my stirring adventure with Neptune. I took many new abilities home with me from my encounter with the Sea God. I’ve since integrated these practical tools for living an easier, fuller life into my everyday world. I rediscovered within myself the knack of how to surf the affairs of the world and to go with the tide of events.
I’ve learned to go into a storm, argument or upheaval and surrender to its dynamics, confident I’ll come out the other side unscathed—or, at least, intact. I now know that by going with the flow of the forces I usually fear—chaos, confusion, and calamity—I can ride, and even be supported by, those same energies.
What a night! What a gift!
To read more true stories like this, see Keith’s book: “Inner Coach: Outer Power”
Available at bookstores, Amazon.com or www.TheDream.com
Check back each month for a new story from Keith.