Gliding Seal Events works to create events for the Pagan community in and around Sydney. We aim to promote Paganism in a positive light through informative, enlightening and enjoyable Pagan themed activities.
Gliding Seal Events has been hosting Beltane gatherings in Sydney since 2014 and we are working towards adding a second annual gathering soon.
The name ‘Gliding Seal’ takes its inspiration from the story of the Selkie, a mythical creature that swims as a seal in the water but assumes human form on land, and the joy they are said to experience upon their transformation when diving into the sea and gliding underwater. We hope to capture that natural joy in all we do.
The Journey of the Gliding Seal
A tale to inspire a name by Mark Hepworth
I stand on the craggy outcropping of weathered rock, as the waves crash around me. I stand underneath a cliff that looms like a giant behind me. The setting sun is hidden in the overcast sky, I can tell it is sunset. The rain in the Sea breeze sting my exposed skin, but is clean cleansing pain something to strip this world away for a time, something ready for transformation
I dive into the water
As my head rests above I feel the change come on me I give my head to the water and suddenly I begin to swim as if I belong here, I can hear the water rush past my ears but I am not me, I am the gliding seal. Diving deep toward a place I know.
As I swim I hear the denizens of the deep patrolling, protecting. Whale and Dolphin song ring out as I dive deeper, their sounds tell me I am free to pass through. I strike ever deeper towards a bright light towards an orchestral sound I am heading home once more. I pass another cliff in the water and all of a sudden I see it before me the light of a bright city a dome under the sea.
As I swim closer, the noise rises, guiding me to my place. Through the streets I swim, past human like creatures that wave and smile, past other sea life, I speed towards the temple at the centre of the city. I enter and as I do, the water is gone, I undergo the transformation again, I stand as a man, on the cool smooth floor, I walk towards the God in the seat in front of me. I knee as I know it is my place to.
Poseidon looks at me, smiles and rises from his seat. He motions me towards and embrace. As we embrace, his arms turn to water and I turn back to my seal self. The current rushes me out of the temple, not forced, but guided. As I slow, I bump into another seal, a female. Her big brown eyes are upset at first, then playful next. She bumps me and the game of tag has begun.
We swim, chase follow and race around the city, and out into the open water Gradually moving upwards, gradually returning to the surface We start to swim as a pair, mirroring each other movements, side by side. We finally break the surface just off shore from the outcropping I left We relax in the water, laying on our backs and looking at the brilliant stars in the now clear night sky. But I know this will fade, things will change, I just don’t want them to, not yet.
Gradually, the sky starts to lighten, pink in the east.
I swim to my outcropping, and become the man I am. She follows me, becoming a shapely dark haired woman, with only a seal pelt to protect her modesty. As the sun dawns, we kiss. It is a kiss of lovers, It is a promise of fidelity, It is a kiss of soon too come pain and loss, a kiss of hollow comfort and hope for the future but passion for what they share now.
As the sun has finally risen completely into the sky, my selkie bride dives back into the water, becoming the seal she must be.
I find my cloths, a green smock shirt, a pair of trues, and a plaid.
As I start to walk away from the sea, I look back to see my selkie playing in the waves.
I climb the path back to the land of men, the land I must inhabit, but I have been guided back on my journey, by my lord. I know my place will be there, and all that I desire waits there for me when I am ready.
I am a selkie, but for now I must be a man.