La Siren / La Balenn: Mother of the Deep
By Sosyete du Marche
In Kreyol, we sing the following song to LaSiren, the mermaid of Haitian mythology: LaSiren, La Balenn, chapeau tombe a la mer!
It translates as: “La Siren, La Balen, my hat falls into the sea!” Falling hats into the sea is code for going under possession. Your head “falls” into the sea of consciousness, where all the knowledge and power of the world preside. Here is where we meet LaSirenn, wife of Agwe Tawayo, the supreme lwa of the ocean.
LaSiren is feminine, enchanting, sensual. She moves with unerring grace through the water domains of her husband. She carries her trumpet, which she uses to call the faithful to service, seducing us with her siren song, taking our heads as it were, under the sea, to gain “konesans” – consciousness of the intuitive world
La Siren is considered to be the “Mother of the Fish”. She shares this title with Yemaya of Santeria, whose names also mean “Mother whose Children are the Fish. In both cases, the inner meaning is that since she is the mother of the world, her children are too numerous to count – not unlike the fish who inhabit her domain of the sea.
Modern science has shown that life actually began in the oceans of the world. And, as a fetus, we swim for nine months in our mother’s belly. So, the stretch to calling the Ocean our Mother is not all that big – a large body of salt water, rolling and moving with the tides. Not unlike being rocked in the womb of our mother. And, just as early life evolved out of the oceans, we too must change from little fish-like fetuses into human beings at birth. Â We come from the waters and manifest ourselves into the reality of our world. This can be seen as an allegory of LaSiren, who brings her initiates knowledge from beneath her watery domain, helping them manifest their desires.
LaSiren is beautiful, but she also very powerful! It is said that if you fall under her spell, she will steal you away to her underwater kingdom. Here, she will keep you for a time (some stories say 7 days, other say 7 years). When you return, you are given the ability to perform feats of magic and divination. It’s said those who have spent time in her watery domain return lighter in color, because they have gone beneath the waters.
LaSiren represents the ability to nurture and nourish yourself. To replenish your energies and to take time out for yourself. Her ceaseless motion of waves and tides lends you endless energy. This can be a boon, but a burden, for others may see you as one who can perform miracles!
If you are hearing the siren call of LaSiren, stop and ask yourself this – Â who or what is it that is taking all your time and energy? Whose problems are you trying to fix at the expense of your own vital energy? And why are you trying to fix them? LaSiren is calling to you, to remind you that you are in charge of your own destiny, not the destiny of others. She is inviting you to take the plunge into her cool dark depths, to find the answers within yourself. But that can only be accomplished if you are willing to let go of the mundane world around you and plumb your own inner seas of consciousness and talents. LaSiren invites us to dance with her, in an endless round of ebb and flow, the give and take of life.
LaSiren has a counter part, called LaBalenn. This is the dark, intuitive sister who swims below LaSiren’s cool blue domain. LaBalenn is dark only in that she is the deep, deep depths of the world’s oceans – she is our Shadow side, our inner intuition that we so seldom listen to. Here a German poet gives us her interpretation of LaBalenn.