" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

January 9, 2017

The Killers and Whales of the New South Wales Coast

Old Tom's skeleton in the
Eden Killer Whale Museum
The "killer" whales of Eden helping
whalers to hunt ordinary whales
It's funny how Whales and Killer Whales have come to play a very big role in my life on a symbolic level over the past year and a bit and yet I am yet to see a living example of either one of those species.
It all started at the end of 2015 after I had gone to the cinema to see the new Chris Hemsworth movie 'In the Heart of the Sea', a movie about the old whaling industry and how the novel 'Moby Dick' was inspired from that story told in the movie of the whalers chasing the big white whale.
I had just moved into a rented unit after the sale on my house came through after my wife (who I had foolishly considered my soulmate) of 25 years decided that she wanted a divorce, not only that but I was made redundant for the second time in my life from a job and my dad had just gone into a nursing home, or would as soon as he was released from the hospital after a turn for the worst with his dementia.
The Sharks? Ancient Sea Predator
 Found Near Eden?
My football team the Sharks had lost a semi-final play-off to the Cowboys to the tune of 39-0 the month before when I thought we had a real good chance of winning our first ever NRL grand final and my mother had lung cancer and the hospital were stopping her chemo because it wasn't working.
Ancient Sea Predator Found Near Eden
I felt shipwrecked at sea to put it mildly, and the only good news was I had $140,000 in the bank, it should have been $150, 000, but my wife ... sorry ex-wife ... ripped me off $10, 000 on a verbal agreement she broke.
Screenshots from the movie 'In the Heart of the Sea'
What's new there, it wouldn't be the only verbal agreement she broke to me in our 25 year marriage.
After I had seen the movie  'In the Heart of the Sea' I was walking past a bottle shop and saw sparkling wine bottles in the window of the shop and thought to myself that I wished I had a reason to celebrate something with a bottle of sparkling wine and the thought came into my head that I have got a reason, I ain't dead or dying and I have $140, 000 in the bank and could live off that for the next four years without a job.
So I went into the liquor store and looked for a label that spoke to me.
I found a label with a shipwreck on a bottle of sparkling wine called 'Devil's Corner' and I had been half joking to friends how the devil card in the tarot spoke to me that year because it was 2015 and the devil card was number 15 and my chains were now broken.
As I was drinking my wine that night, I was looking at the label and saw that the wine was from Tasmania a state that I had never visited in my lifetime at that stage, and a thought entered my head that next year I should go down to Tasmania for a holiday.
I thought it would be cool to see Tassie, and even though I had been planning on taking my new car for a road-trip in 2016 it wasn't like you could drive across the sea to Tasmania.
But the seed had been planted for a Tasmanian trip for 2016 if something more could motivate me to go.
It would be Chelsea Wolfe playing Dark Mofo in Hobart that would eventually convince me that I could catch a car ferry from Melbourne to Devonport and drive down to Hobart and back again.
My Chelsea Wolfe pick:-)
My Pick of Dark Mofo Would Have to be Chelsea Wolfe
Which was what led me to plan a stop in the town of Eden, home of the killer whale museum, because it was halfway between Melbourne and Wollongong.
Eden: The Unintended Garden
The weird thing about the three road-trips I took in 2016 was that they revolved around seeing my football team the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks play and finishing by me seeing them win their first ever NRL grand final trophy.
Me and my son at the end of the 2016 NRL Grand Final in Sydney
So, I was kind of chasing the big fish all throughout 2016 in a metaphorical way, but the name "Eden" was also popping up everywhere I went in 2016, as some kind of sign.
Ogoh! I Missed the Burning
A paper I picked up in Hobart about a planned Eden project for Hobart
My blogging friend Mike Perry in England who writes a blog titled '67 Not Out' had told me about the Eden Project in Cornwall in this old post -
The World (Wide Web) is a Circle
And now the same group were planning an Eden project for Hobart it seems.
Small world?
But the backbone of the town of Eden in New South Wales was literally a backbone of a killer whale named "Old Tom".
Old Tom was the last of a group of killer whales that would help the local whalers of the time round up whales for the kill.
Eden whalers in the old days with a
 whale 'Old Tom' had helped round up
Old Tom's backbone in the
Eden Killer Whale Museum, NSW
Old Tom's remains were found washed up in Eden in 1930 and the townsfolk of Eden decided to wire up his skeleton and build a museum around his bones.
How the museum first looked
when it opened in the 1930's
How the museum pretty much looks like today
The Eden museum today as whales
swim by in no danger of being hunted
So, while I have never seen a real live killer whale I have stood in front of Old Tom's bones and looked into those eerie eye sockets of his, which kind of gave me a sense of connection to something real that once called Eden home.
Orca Killer Whale Totem of Cosmic Mysteries
The plastic 'Old Tom' I bought at
the Eden Killer Whale Museum
Ironically the two towns on the New South Wales coastline that have a dark history of whale hunting in their past are Eden and Byron Bay.
And they couldn't be any further apart on the coastline of New South Wales.
And Chris Hemsworth has a home on the coast around Byron Bay.
Blowholes, Shipwrecks and Hearts in the Sea
Chapter 10 from 'Time and Tide
 Again: A History of
Byron Bay'
Byron Bay's much more recent darker whaling past than that of Eden's
This is why there is a beach named 'Tallow Beach' in Byron Bay, because they used to cut whales up on that beach.
'Old Tom' in the movie 'The Heart of the Sea'
Screenshot from the documentary film
 'This Eden' of a whaler in a whale
The young Tom going down into
the whale in 'The Heart of the Sea'
Oddly enough, I started reading one of the books I bought at the Eden museum this year earlier this week titled 'Killers of Eden' by Tom Mead and watched the movie 'Blackfish' the week before on Netflix, then I see on the weekend as I was still putting this post together, getting photos and screenshots that Tilikum the killer whale died.
SeaWorld "Killer Whale" Tilikum Dies
The more disturbing "killer" whale story I saw in the news recently was this one -
Killer whales spotted preying on rare beaked whales off Western Australia's southern coast
"They are two of the rarest sights in Australian waters — a pod of killer whales and a rare beaked whale.
So for Curtin University PhD candidate Rebecca Wellard, spotting the first actively preying on the second was a particularly special sight.
The researcher has spent three years documenting the whales' behaviour at the Bremer Bay canyon, a noted biodiversity hotspot 70km off Western Australia's southern coast.

Skye Whales Synchronicities and Catching the Big Fish
Now, I have to say that as far as real-life animals go, I don't trust sharks, or killer whales.
I'm much more on the side of the Humpback Whales when it comes to real life, but on a symbolic totem level I like the shark and orca
if you haven't watched the movie 'In the Heart of the Sea' yet.
The real dark secret that 'Old Tom' carries in the movie is the fact that he, along with other shipwrecked sailors had to resort to cannibalism to survive and he makes the confession that -
Hmm...'In the Heart of the Sea'?!
So, to me the synchromystic personal message from the past year and why I keep the killer whale on my desk is that "soulmates" like killer whales are cannibals and will think nothing of eating your heart out as soon as the circumstances arise.
Killer whales, like humans will turn on you when you least expect it.
I would rather be a metaphorical Humpback Whale and swim though the rest of my life by avoiding to swim alongside killer whales and other humans, who can't be trusted with my heart.
"As a totem, the whale teaches you about
listening to your inner voice, understanding the impact your emotions have on your everyday life, and following your own truth
When the whale enters your life, it may be time to closely examine where you are, the actions and emotions that have brought you to this point, and what you can do to alleviate existing drama and unrest and find peace. 
Those who have the whale as their animal totem are in touch with true reality. 
They are nurturers and go-getters who understand there is more to this life than meets the eye."
"Among the most recognized modern tales of the whale as a teacher is that of Captain Ahab’s pursuit of the gigantic Sperm Whale, known as Moby Dick. Superstition, the sea as a transformative vessel, and an examination of the massive mammal as a creature of undefined greatness pervade the novel. 
The whale is symbolic of that which cannot be easily vanquished — just as a person’s inner truth, voice, and creativity cannot be easily silenced or subdued."
"If the whale is calling to you, then it might be time to take inventory of the emotional pressures you’re under. 
Just as the whale can dive into the depths of the sea and endure immense pressure, people holding the whale spirit animal also are able to endure both emotional and physical pressures. 
But not forever, just as the whale must surface to take new breath, so must you. 
If the whale is showing up this could be a powerful opportunity to remember, let go and forgive. Making space to give birth to your fullest expression and flowing creativity."
I think that's my message for the coming year, to do a spot of real whale watching ... and maybe go back to Eden to do it?-)

UPDATE: January 2023
Having recently read the above in chapter 32 of 'Moby Dick' I thought of this post:-)

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