The letter I in the Perfumed Bestiary has us embark on a journey to the inky depths of the Pacific and Atlantic ocean for what appears to be fireworks frozen in time. Our creature is Iridogorgia, a “soft” coral referred to as an Octocorallia, or octocoral, which according to UC Berkeley is not a true coral, the main difference being that this deep water octocoral does not possess the symbiotic relationship with algae (zooxanthellae). Iridogorgia is a genus in the Cnidaria phylum containing over 11,000 species of aquatic animals.
Octocorals have an eightfold radial symmetry. Each polyp has eight hollow tentacles fringed with little branches called pinnules, which distinguishes them hard corals.
The strange name, Iridogorgia, is derived from the Greek iridos or iris. For us, the word iris is most often related to are the flower or colorful parts of the eye. For the Greeks the word meant “rainbow”. The second part of the name, gorgia, is Latin for splendid or showy.
Like the coral reefs, these beautiful DNA-like structures are being destroyed at an alarming pace due to human activities such as overfishing, pollution, climate change and invasive species.
IRIDOGORGIA as an ANIMAL TOTEM
Iridogorgia shares similar themes with the perfume in this series titled C for Coral such as living in fluidity and a symbiotic relationship with others in your shared community. These slow moving, spiraling skeletons show us how to anchor ourselves and move in a naturally spiraling round and round in an upward movement from the deep, dark ocean floor.
As a water element being, Iridogorgia embodies a beautiful geometrical structure which is fluid, even when the currents change direction. Allow yourself to be loose, to flow in the constantly changing stream of Universal flow. Find a firm place to anchor yourself in, despite of the dark watery depths, and radiate out your magnificence, whirling, twirly, as lite as a feather, slow and steady.
Some of the questions that Iridogogia may be asking you are:
Are you anchored, happy and content? If not, is there any fear behind your resistance to change? Remember elemental water supports us to be fluid, allow this embryotic environment to face your fear, heal and move forward slowly, with grace and awareness
Iridogorgia move slowly in a graceful manner. Are you rushing through your life? Do you allow the crazy turbulent waters of life to sway and push you along with know anchor? Moving in flow with awareness while remaining open and anchored is the path that is being suggested to you at this time.
Crystals associated with the medicine of the Iridogorgia:
Letter I for Iridogorgia, Part 2 will be linked here shortly
NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research
1 Ocean Service, NOAA
3 UC Berkeley
4 Ocean Explorer, NOAA
5 WORMS, Marine Species
6 Cambridge, Journal of the marine biological association of the United Kingdom