Last night I had an unusual dream in which I was swimming with a white Narwhal. This Animal Spirit has never shown up before, so I found it particularly interesting and worth looking into. The dream was extensive, overlapping other elements, but the part involving the Narwhal was quite beautiful.
I had first been swimming in relatively shallow waters, that almost seemed to be inside some large vast area, which was like a large, dark cave. As I swam I engaged with different sea creatures including what seemed to be a shark, but upon the shark approaching it turned into this lovely Narwhal with a very long tusk.
It gently swam around me and seemed to almost delicately dance with me in the water, as it gingerly moved its tusk around, front and back, to my sides, between my legs, yet without ever touching. It seemed to be very conscious of not hurting me with it and yet engaging with me in an energetic and beautiful way.
Narwhals are rarely seen, very social, Arctic whales that swim in pods like the dolphins. In general, not much is fully known about these unique cetaceans. In the winter they are found deep-water beneath the ice packs in groups of 5-10, but in the summer they migrate to shallow, ice-free summer grounds and congregate with larger groups – they often travel in groups of 20 or 30 and form herds of up to 1,000 during migrations. Rarely are they far from ice, but some times in the summer they enter estuaries, deep fjords, and bays. They are a very vocal species of whale, making clicks, squeals, and whistles to communicate and navigate. They are darkest when born with mottled blackish-brown markings on white background and with age they become whiter – old males becoming almost completely pure white (just like our Unicorn friends).
The most visibly unique characteristic of the Narwhal is its single (rarely double) very long tusk, which ultimately is a tooth. All Narwhals have two teeth in their upper jaw, otherwise they are completely toothless. After the first year of a male’s life, his left tooth begins to grow spirally outward from the left side of the upper jaw and forms a left-handed helix (counterclockwise direction). The tusk continues to grow throughout life and can get 12-18 feet long and has a hollow interior. Roughly 1 in 500 males have two tusks, which happens when the right tooth also grows out. Females have shorter, straighter tusks and only one is recorded to ever have 2.
There are different theories about their tusks, although uncertain – perhaps used as a jousting weapon in courtship and dominance rivalry, in obtaining food, and/or for channeling and amplifying sonar pulses, which they emit. The tusk is not used in hunting. Tusking is a behavior in which male narwhals rub their tusks together – perhaps determining dominance in the group. Another broadly accepted theory for the tusk’s role is as a secondary sexual characteristic much like the lion’s mane or peacock’s feathers. It may also be a sensory organ.
In any event, in my dream it seemed the use of the Narwhal’s tusk was more aligned with the channeling of sonar pulses in an energetic sacred water dance.
In medieval times, Narwhal sightings were linked with the Unicorn legends. Medieval Europeans believed the washed-ashore tusks to be the horns from the mythical and legendary Unicorn and were considered to have magic powers, including the ability to cure poison and melancholia. For this reason, they were very valuable to the Vikings and other northern traders.
Animal Spirit Guides/Totems/Power Animals are essential to shamanic practice, as shamans believe that everyone has power animals. These power animals act as guides or angels, imbuing their individual energy, power and wisdom to guide, heal and protect you. They provide the wisdom of their kind and are not only limited to mammals, but can also be reptiles, insects and sea creatures. Any living creature can serve as a power animal and plants and trees can serve as plant spirit guides, providing their own wisdom.
So of course when the very unique, white Narwhal showed up for me in a clear dream I could recall, it seemed significant to do some research and understand this mystical creature and its messages of energetic support to me – both in terms of its natural behaviors and its mystical symbolism. Being one who pays attention to and reads signs, I know there was something to learn, a code to unravel, it was a key to unlock something, or it was a magical connection to support change, the current experiences I’m navigating, and new doors I’m going through.
The one thing I HAVE always known of the Narwhal is that it is considered to be the “Sea Unicorn.” And that in and of itself sheds layers of deep and meaningful symbolism. They are also known as the shape-shifting servant to the Sea Goddess and since the tusk is connected with that of the Unicorn’s, they carry similar wisdom of its magic, but rather than reigning the realm of the faeries and forests, the Narwhal reigns as the enchanted being of the sea.
Other meanings of their wisdom and symbolism I found include:
- nourishing others
- interaction between people and nature
- understanding the meaningfulness and depth of issues – diving below the surface – they’re known to dive extremely deep in very chilly, dark, unknown ocean bottoms to search for food
- understanding more deeply than others in general
- freedom/resisting captivity (they are not known to do well in captivity at all and tend to die there)
- their ability to break the ice lends to being able to poke holes in false fronts and the theories of others
- ability to detect subtle changes in the environment in order to avoid becoming trapped
- the body as a weapon
- mystery – so much about them and what they do and how they spend their time is unknown
- magic – their tusks were used to make cups thought to negate any poison
I found its behavior in my dream, interacting so intimately with me, to be significant too, when I discovered that they are shy of humans, even though quite social among their kind exclusively. There was definite deliberate connecting being made. And upon further investigation of this information and coming to understand their unique qualities and symbolism, shared here and received through sensing, I can definitely connect the dots why this magical being journeyed with me last night. Not to mention, I did ask questions to be revealed in dream time when my head hit the pillow. 🙂
Always grateful for the gifts received.