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Marine God Nereus and the Sea of Love

Open water ocean can be cold and dangerous, but marine God Nereus reveals an unexpected gift to those he favours.
Text title Nereus

Summary of Contents: Nereus in Mythology | Arrival and Appearance | Sea of Love | Human Legacy | Sea Patrol | Undersea Dumping Grounds | The Human Resources Meeting

God Nereus in Mythology

God Nereus is also referred to as the 'Old Man of the Sea'.

Legend described him as a kindly, helpful ocean god mostly human-friendly and occasionally inclined to offer wise or prophetic insights.

Listed as the son of ocean god Pontus and earth goddess Gaea, older stories suggest he was more influential in management until Poseidon established overall rule of the seas and oceans.

Since that time, so it was claimed, Nereus remained in the Aegean Sea with goddess wife, Doris.

Theoi - Marine God Nereus

God Nereus Mythological references

Goddesses, Gods and You

What kind of Heaven do you expect. Soft fluffy paradise of eternity, or oblivion of nothingness? Out-of-body survival expert Margo Williams discovered a surprisingly simple system of management and afterlife recycling.

There are many goddesses and gods in the community. Speaking their name aloud evidently sends a signal; creates a link to wherever they are at any given moment. If it works for you as it worked for Margo, and they respond, be respectful but be yourself. Honesty and thoughtfulness are appreciated.

Sacrifice nothing but your time. Most of them seemed approachable and appreciated being remembered.

The ancient temples that still can be found in some places, although mostly broken, are huge monumental structures; impressive sacred spaces, their scale designed to impress, to be worthy of divine visitation.

However, it is not the size and splendour of any sacred space but the sincerity of the person seeking contact.

Anywhere can be a temple.

Photo image of Margo Williams in Africa
Margo Williams in Africa
"Is Nereus still the human-friendly Old Man of the Sea?" Nick Hammond asked out-of-body survivalist Margo Williams.

Nereus Arrival and Appearance

Blue green light as he arrived. A misted figure formed though only hazy, no detail of features; gently rising up and down on some invisible wave.

"I hear my name. No mortal has called my name for centuries, and to have homage paid. I thank you," he said, voice deep and croaky.

"Centuries ago when the mighty Gods were worshipped I and other sea gods were ignored. Yet now it appears we are remembered," he continued. "I would like you to come to the great oceans and experience the warmth and love they contain."

Sea of Love

Invitation offered, in an instant I was lifted up, away and dropped into open water. A calm sea, no land in sight.

No sign of boat or ship in any direction, only calm tropical water as far as the empty horizon.

I couldn’t see Nereus but sensed him close. Salt water gently lapped at my skin, sunlight warmed my face. I felt so far away from home, just bobbing in the ocean, in the dancing sunlight, turquoise and gold.

Absolute peace, but what felt so glorious was an unexpected feeling of being surrounded by love.

I hadn’t ever experienced such blissful serenity, until that moment. The ocean can be dangerous and cruel but I had never before known it to be loving.

How long he let me remain bliss-drifting out there in the open ocean I don’t know but not long enough. I wanted to stay for ever but too soon, it seemed, was gently pulled away through the water.

Nereus on the Human Legacy

Eventually I felt sand under my feet and waded ashore onto a wide white-sanded beach littered with plastic.

A loud Boom! sounded behind me. I turned to watch a massive figure rise out from the water, easily sixty feet high. As he waded toward the shore, with each stride he shrank a metre in height until he stood on the sand beside me, only twice my height.

A big broad-bodied god; a swimmer's muscular physique not fat. Shoulder length straggly blue-grey hair, eyes bright blue. Despite that bulky physique, Nereus’ prominent features, nose and clean-shaved chin, were thin and sharp.

A wave swept onto the sand carrying a pretty shell. Nereus gestured. "Natural beauty. These sea creatures, long gone have left behind these lovely things you call shells. When a mortal dies he leaves behind nothing beautiful," he added.

I felt saddened that the old man of the sea saw nothing of value in our legacy but I couldn’t dispute his point. We walked along the tideline, stopping from time to time to examine shells but they were mostly lost beneath plastic bottles.

I wished I had a bin liner to pick up the rubbish.

Nereus on Sea Patrol

"You are fortunate to see me. You are very gifted. There is no need to fear any of the sea Gods." Nereus didn’t confirm it, but perhaps that good fortune was partly due to the necessity of contact between us.

Despite his reassurance, there was fear to be endured during my time with him. The worst occasions Nereus let me experience were oil spills in the ocean; skin-burning, choking, truly terrifying moments coated in oil.

He wanted me to know how marine life suffered. It is a cruel death for sealife.

Sometimes he surged with the winds and crashing waves patrolling among the trawler boats. "They have no compassion for any sea creature," was his accurate observation.

"Over the whaling and the culling of seals, in due course we shall do what we can." That was Nereus’ plan. "This should have been stopped by now. Fish are a natural diet of the seals and not of mortals," he added.

In times long ago, mariners in distress out on the open ocean hoped either Nereus would swim to the surface to save them.

This benevolence too may have been true in times past; and maybe still is to some extent today but Nereus' disappointment in human-ocean coexistence was evident.

Sometimes we toured the goliath hulks of drilling platforms in the off-shore oil-fields. The ocean-floor all around them was littered with piping, bars and huge globs of algae-covered cement.

The oil-fields were vast rubbish dumps of tin cans and just about everything. It was a terrible mess.

"Mortals do not care," said Nereus.

Undersea Dumping Grounds

I saw that truth for myself. Beneath oil rig after oil rig, under each lay heaped rubbish and drifted oil overspill. Even a tiny split in a pipe caused beads of oil to leak sufficient to contaminate the water all around. It was filthy.

Nereus was big enough to take out a rig but he didn’t, not during the time I accompanied him. He simply waited for the inevitable.

"Mortals who work on these will, when their time is ended in their lifetime, spend one year to twenty years with one of us," he prophesied. "Platforms and onshore, whether in authority or manual labour."

Our years or theirs, he didn’t explain. All he added was: "These rigs are to us what monsters are to you."

Far away from the oil fields, Nereus suddenly halted. The sound of an engine throbbed through the water; a massive hull of a ship clouded above us.

We swam directly under the vessel, until Nereus held me motionless. I gazed upward, watched the huge hull pass over; a giant shadow. Then suddenly an avalanche of rubbish came down directly on top of me.

It carried me down to the ocean floor. The area was littered with bottles, broken glass and large tins; empty tins of paint messy with dregs. Heaps of rubbish lay everywhere like an open waste site, a maritime dumping ground.

What it Looks Like Where its Clean

When the ship had passed, Nereus pulled me up to the surface. I felt sore and cut by the debris fall. The cruise-liner chugged away into the distance.

In its wake the calm ocean was scatter-littered with all sorts of floating things, mostly plastic and vegetable matter.

"Mortals pay money to pollute the oceans like this." Nereus was angry.

Like most other marine Gods, Nereus did also share with me the beauty of the ocean, and its natural dangers.

He communicated to sharks and sword-fish with single words that I did not understand; instantly they responded to his command. He showed me the great kelp forests and let me swim among the fronds; they seemed so healthy.

"This is how it should look and often does," he said. "All plants that grow under the sea are living creatures too."

We travelled into the cold waters to watch colonies of King penguins, backs rich black, fronts pure white. Flurries of snow just bounced off them. And big seabirds all brilliant white; their beaks so yellow against the blue white of the icebergs and ocean.

"No mortal has been here, it is pure," he said.

By way of contrast we visited filthy marinas of the warm coasts, where the smell of petrol poisoned the air, and seagulls preened yellow dirty feathers.

Decorative illustration of figurehead

Human Resources Meeting

During my time with Nereus I discovered that removing surface offenders is not indiscriminate; there is thought, discussion and even planning.

Only once, I witnessed an extraordinary event. He led me deep down to an underwater cavern where a gathering was in progress.

I recognised some of those Gods present, among them Poseidon, Phorcys and the Nereid sisterhood but others participated whom I didn’t know or couldn’t see in the shadows.

A long tail trailed visible between rocks, forked like a barbed arrow, easily nine feet thick. Sometimes it thrashed as the conversation continued.

"This day is special," explained Nereus. "The monsters are here and the gods and goddesses of the oceans. We meet to discuss the fate of certain mortals. It is not a celebration, and yet when their fates have been settled we all are happy."

"You are privileged to know of this," he added.

Out with them loose in the oceans, I saw some of those decisions take effect. They all knew what they were doing and why, when it came to every mission.

They told me often of how they have appeared to fishermen and women and appealed to them for reason; some even saw the god or goddess and listened. Even Scylla gave fair warning of the mega-storm to hit Sri Lanka.

Nereus returned me home with information about his own festive day.

"I do not have large gatherings," he said. "I seek out the beauty of my realms. Remember me during this day and evening. By the next I will be forgotten, no doubt." He smiled at that eventuality.

"As you return to your body I give you my blessings. I give you the gift of time, this is needed more than anything. And I give you the gift of strength."

Thank you for your company on this short introduction to god Nereus. If you would like to know more about Margo Williams' experiences and suggestions for how to survive in the hereafter read this book. Now available from Amazon.

Book cover link to purchase Olympian Goddesses and Gods Coexistence
Olympian Goddesses and Gods Coexistence. Now available from Amazon.co.uk
Useful Links

National Ocean Service Oil Spills Effects

Deep Sea Conservation Coalition. Effects of Trawler fishing

Cruise Ships Environmental Impact. friends of the Earth