Earth Treasure Vase for the Whales

by Osa Arkin

My name is Osa, I live in New Mexico— I’ve been stewarding this little vase, crafted at Ghost Ranch in August 2020 and dedicated to the world’s whales since January 2022.

If Earth Treasure Vases have names, this one is Cetacea. I was first introduced to the depth (no pun intended) and breadth of the beings we call whales with the publication of Mind In the Waters in 1974. I was 19 years old, landlocked in Illinois, and wondered if I would become a marine biologist. But studying science wasn’t for me and I rode life’s currents through the next 4 decades, until I landed aboard the work of Cynthia Jurs.

Chronology of the dedication:

In spring of 2019, a life-sized blue whale replica made from plastics taken from the Pacific, named Ethyl, arrived at Santa Fe Community College.

I was told about Ethyl by a friend of mine, Nancy Windheart, who is an inter-species communicator, who wrote about seeing Ethyl in the middle of the Santa Fe desert one day, and then speaking with Ethyl’s creators who were working on the installation.

Nancy writes:

“They told me that the sculpture had been modeled on the body of an actual blue whale, who had washed up dead on the beach near the Monterey Bay Aquarium shortly after they had been commissioned to create the sculpture. She was a whale well known to the researchers at NOAA. They knew her story, including her family lineage, her calves, and her history of entanglements and ship strikes. She had been killed by a ship strike. And so, the artists and the scientists worked together to painstakingly create the sculpture using the dimensions, scale, and form of the body of the whale who had died. And her energy guided them.

“They shared with me that they were completely aware of her spirit in the sculpture and said that she had guided their whole creative process and continues to guide her own journey–they were clear that they have been in service to her.

“Her creators hope to raise awareness and inspire action around the plastic pollution crisis in our oceans and on our planet.

(I recommend reading her full article here.)

Finally, in January 2022, I received a message to bring Ethyl and the vase together for an Earth Treasure Vase meditation on my birthday at the end of the month. It was a chilly breezy overcast New Mexican winter day when a circle of friends   gathered there— worldly and otherworldly energies lined up, hearts warmed our hands as the vase moved from person to person around the circle at Ethyl’s tail, and the dedication of the vase to whales came forth.

Intentions we’ve been holding for the vase, as she has been blessed by dozens of people, include:

  • Honoring the sacred presence of whales, large and small, and the ecosystems they move through on this planet we all share…may we know this family of beings as family.
  • Healing the wounds humans have caused in the lives of whales, as we shifted from recognizing them as wise and gentle relatives to hunting them to the brink of extinction and poisoning the food and water which sustains them….may we see the end of abuse and murder in the waters, and repair the harms of pollution.
  • Bringing humans back into right relationship with whales, to embrace these great ones who live in the water realm, as beings at least as deserving of life, liberty and the expression of happiness (through their song, waterdance, breeching jumps and fin slaps)…. may we learn from them.

Cetacea will be planted in the sand dunes near Provincetown, Cape Cod on June 8, World Ocean Day.


Monday Mindfulness Meditation