The Secrets of the Odyssey (12): Freedom in the Bosom of the Waters


Library on Nautilus

An odyssey is a journey that never ends, so I had a suspicion I will return to my beloved subject sooner or later. I have received a note from the authors of Homer’s Secret Odyssey today, which truly made my day:

“Hi Symbol Reader: Many thanks for giving acknowledgements to our book, Homer’s Secret Odyssey (The History Press, 2011).
In 1999 we also published Homer’s Secret Iliad (John Murray) which gives a reading of the Iliad as a source of quite different astronomical learning.
Our research was based on a pioneering hypothesis by the late Edna F Leigh that Homer (and earlier generations of poet-singers) preserved important knowledge of astronomy and calendar-making in mythology during the centuries when the Greeks did not have a writing system.
Such learning would have been as essential for the organisation of many aspects of Greek society as it was in contemporary – and literate – Mesopotamia and Egypt.
You may be interested in our website at and ‘Homer the Astronomer – 1′, and ‘Homer the Astronomer – 2′ on YouTube
Regards, Florence and Kenneth Wood.”

I am embedding the two youtube videos that Florence and Kenneth Wood referenced:

I am ending with a personal reflection. Ever since I was a little girl trapped in a communist country, I dreamed of long sea voyages and spent wonderful hours reading Jules Verne and Jack London. The Odyssey came much later but I see it as a continuation and deepening of the same theme. I remember these words of Captain Nemo about the sea that made an indelible impression on my heart, mind and soul:

“Yes; I love it! The sea is everything. It covers seven-tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides. The sea is only the embodiment of a supernatural and wonderful existence. It is nothing but love and emotion; it is the ‘Living Infinite,’ as one of your poets has said. In fact, Professor, Nature manifests herself in it by her three kingdoms — mineral, vegetable, and animal. The sea is the vast reservoir of Nature. The globe began with sea, so to speak; and who knows if it will not end with it? In it is supreme tranquility. The sea does not belong to despots. Upon its surface men can still exercise unjust laws, fight, tear one another to pieces, and be carried away with terrestrial horrors. But at thirty feet below its level, their reign ceases, their influence is quenched, and their power disappears. Ah! sir, live — live in the bosom of the waters! There only is independence! There I recognise no masters! There I am free!”

I am grateful to Florence and Kenneth Wood for bringing to our attention that the wine dark seas of the oceans find an analogy in the wine dark seas of space surrounding our planet.

star stuff


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18 Responses to The Secrets of the Odyssey (12): Freedom in the Bosom of the Waters

  1. Don says:

    The words of Captain Nemo are deeply stirring. They touch something deep inside of me. Thank you for them. They will go into my notebook to be cherished.
    What an affirmation for you to receive that note from those authors. It just goes to show that what you write has depth and meaning. Wonderful! I was fascinated by the number thing in the video.
    Thank you for a marvellous post Monica.


    • Thank you, Don. You are right – it was so significant for me to receive that comment. Captain Nemo was my childhood hero and I see now how he is connected with “I am Nobody” Odysseus, as Nemo means Nobody in Latin. The sea dissolved their old identities and gave them freedom to go deeper into truth and explore it.


  2. Hi Monika,
    Congratulations on receiving a note from the authors – that is so cool – but not at all surprising! 🙂

    I second Don in expressing love for the words of Captain Nemo. The passage you shared here speaks such indelible truth. I especially love the part about our human reach only stretching so far when it comes to the depths of the ocean, what a humbling message. (No wonder Jung always said the sea was the purest symbol of the collective unconscious…)

    In addition to the fact that our planet is mostly water, and we ourselves are mostly water, your post reminded me that the roots of the symbolism of the sea may also lie in our deep connection to our first home as humans here on earth: the womb. The womb, itself a vast sea of warmth and nourishment for our tiny growing beings; the sacred seas carried by woman.

    Love and Congrats!!


    • Yes – unbelievably cool! I felt unhappy with finishing my series with part 11 as there are 12 signs of the Zodiac. I wrote about the sea in the first part and I am glad now that part 12 has closed the circle, also thanks to your associations with the rich symbolism of the sea. Many thanks.


  3. Awesome Monika, I too like the Nemo quote. Very exciting to receive the note from the authors.


  4. ptero9 says:

    Dear Monika,
    Truly thrilling that you received a message from the author about your wonderful series!

    I so appreciate hearing about your personal connection to the sea and to the Odyssey. Along with others, I love the Nemo quote. It’s something to keep close to the heart that freedom lies so close to the source of both life and death.


    • Hi Debra,
      Thrilling is the accurate word! I figured I can add some personal touch to the series that is so closely connected to my life. Thank you for always supporting me.


  5. In her majesty lies strength and dark beauty. Even in her deepest trenches, some of us would be comfortable. While I love strolling the endless expanse of beach she yields, my connection has always been with her depth. Thank you, Monika, for reminding me of something very dear. I need to soon visit her.


  6. Pingback: The Secrets of the Odyssey (12): Freedom in the Bosom of the Waters | lampmagician

  7. It’s an interesting idea, that those great books can still provide that kind of new information. Thanks!


  8. Well deserved acknowledgment of your insightful work, and beautiful imagery of your soulful yearning as a young girl.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post, Monika. I remember a while back you saying how you have never seen the ocean. I hope one day that you get to, especially based upon your love of Verne. I just returned from a beach trip and saw some beautiful sunrises over the Atlantic. Best wishes!! — Jeff


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