Here we are, continuing the adventure in The Perfumed Bestiary series with the letter C. I was planning on showcasing the Crown of Thorns Starfish for “C”, but changed my mind on discovering they are quite destructive creatures, much like us human beings, although likely to outlive us. The Crown of Starfish enjoys feasting on Coral Reefs, in a rather monstrous way. Thus, instead, I decided to focus on Coral, a marine invertebrate, classified as a sessile animal.
Coral is a reef builder, their structures consist of tiny soft-bodied creatures referred to as polyps, which secrete limestone (calcium carbonate). The skeletal secretion attach to rock or the dead skeletons of other polyps.
Most corals contain plant-like organisms that live in a symbiotic relationship with each other, similar to our exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen between with the plants. Another example of a mutually beneficial partnership is the one shared between flowering plants and honey bees.
Coral reefs are the old-growth forests of the ocean, and also its nursery in providing shelter and protection to marine life. Regrettably, these vast and beautiful bio-structures are being destroyed at an alarming pace due to human activities such as overfishing, pollution, climate change and invasive species.
CORAL as an ANIMAL TOTEM
Coral is an element of the water, specifically salt water and like the Bison contains mass. As we learned with the Axolotl, water represents fluidity and is associated with the dreamtime, feminine, emotions and intuition. The alchemical symbol for water is denoted as a downward pointing triangle and often associated with mercury.
As a symbol of living in a beneficial symbiotic relationship, Corals lesson is to live in a state of fluidity and harmony with others. Each of us contains a piece of the grand puzzle where we can live in harmony and grace. Corals show us that with clever collaboration and mutual exchange we can build ecological communities from the ground up and endure for millions of years in harmony.
Coral shows us how to move with the natural flow and remain porous. When you allow yourself to trust in the rhythm of the Universe and trust that you are divinely loved, in mutually benefitting relationships, then well-being, contentment and balance can be achieved.
Crystals associated with the medicine of the Coral
- Green Calcite
Continuing reading Part 2 of C for Coral here.
Coral photo by Roxana Villa
C for Coral – a collaboration between Greg Spalenka & Roxana Villa
1 Ocean Service, NOAA: Are Corals Animals or Plants
2 Inverse.com, Is Coral a Plant or Animal
3 Animal Totem by Susan Jolley