Often thought of in pop culture as actual mermaid types, (fish and human), sirens are in fact
a blending of bird and female human, blessed with entrancingly hypnotic voices,
and perched o n rocky islands throughout the Mediterranean ancient world.
Their voices could tempt sailors of old so strongly that they’d be
drawn out of their boats into suicidal plunges to the abyss in their attempts
to gain access to the beautiful bird-maidens, whose looks also were bewitching.
Why have the screeching sirens on today’s rescue vehicles been so-called ?
Because that haunting quality is fearsome, and something to be warded off
at all costs, as Odysseus in the Odyssey of Homer had had to fill his ship
crews’ ears with wax and had had to have himself tied tightly to the
mast since he was determined to actually hear and live through their haunting
sonic spell, his ears open to their plaintive calls to the deep.
One following the “siren song” of a far-off destiny is also considered
foolhardy at best – one that is seen by others as falsely alluring and
Since, in many cultures, Mermaids are also thought to be great songstresses who are almost as naughty as are the bird-women, the Sirens, and since both often sit on rocks in these legends, it was natural that the Mers have become confused with the Sirens.
Most often, the combined power of the voices of the Sirens in ancient mythology
caused shipwrecks as the helpless sailors would sail their crafts right into
the rocky islands where these vocal forces plied their craft.
The word originated from an old Greek word for binding or tying, and the
mere tones, the sounds of their birdlike voices were enough to create a spell
so strong that none could resist. Odysseus himself said after his ordeal that
had he not also been tied so strongly to that mast, he would most certainly
have ordered all to be sacrificed, ship, crew, himself – all –
merely to be able to come closer to the Sirenic calls.
Although we can imagine that a blend of bird and female primate might be
considered lovely, it’s even easier to see that a high coloratura trilling
its’ way across the mists of, say, an early dawn, would captivate any
listener quite easily.
An angelic-looking being, although female, (unlike real angels, who are always
male -see Angel Fix), could be seen in the form of these terrifyingly mesmerizing maidens,
although she might also have had the more feral aspects of birds of prey,
which is much more likely – or at least the huge talons of large sea
Were the first myths of sirens created in response to the first hearing of
some exotic African bird o n approaching a mist-laden, mysterious coast of the Magreb by an Adriatic sailor ?
Or was a distant sea-full of humpback whales heard in the dark the original
source of this wondrous enchantment ?
Or was it the unforgettable song sung by a long ago washerwoman with a gorgeous
voice at the edge of the Bosporus as she was remembering a lost love in the
dead of a still dark night ?
The origin will never be known, but it’s fun to unleash your imagination
and let it run wild, back to the past, isn’t it ?
Maybe it was even a link to some forgotten goddess conception like the o nes
ancient peoples like the Egyptians used to worship – half man, half
other animal – complete with wondrous attributes of both. The summation
of unlikely parts always being better together than apart.
During those periods, we loved to cling to our origins as wild beasts, as
parts of the natural world, as Native American cultures still do.
Witness their totem poles, and their costumed ritualistic dances.
These blending of species in deities exist in many cultures throughout the
world, still, and yet, in the West, our egocentrism likes to think of them
as primitive stages in evolution of cultural sophistication.
Actually, those cultures remain true to themselves, and ours, sadly, has
become so disconnected from nature and from our true nature that we are spiritually
Our societies bleed from this lost connection to the world, to nature, to
all other species, to honor and respect and caring for our planet.
Notice how only seeing specimens of one’s own breed, one’s own
culture, one’s own kind makes you feel hollow and empty.
We were meant to live in a beautiful and noisy collage of multi-specied naturalness,
full of many kinds of plant life, other animal life, and in a harmonious whole
– in an Eden of splendor.
Visit Nature Mermaid and reconnect with your own soul and that of
The Great Spirit too.
Going into nature will answer your own need to hear the Siren’s Song.
Go to DActivist and make sure that nature is not now singing her last siren
By the way, the Sirens met their vocal match in the manly and beautiful form
of Orpheus, who was an enchanter if there ever was o ne. He could awe everyone
in heaven or o n earth with his playing of the lyre and his singing voice,
and saved the ship and crew of the Argonaut, as Jason had wisely brought him
on board when they’d set sail.
In any case, the Sirens were usually associated with death, and their images
even appeared among grave markers in Southern Europe.
No mere songbirds, these, in some mythic stories, they would tear apart the
flesh of sailors who’d succumbed to their spells with their beaks and
talons, and devour them.
This fearsome aspect is the most prevalent form in ancient tales, but the
concept of the siren evolved in other cultures, still closely associated always
with music and with death, though, to mean mainly o ne possessing a spell-binding
voice, or a mermaid – mermaids always have this gift of enchanting vocalizing
– or of a half-singing bird, half maiden, but in a more benign combination
– talonless and beauteous.
For a Fish-Tailed Mermaid Song, a Song about a Mermaid and a Sailor of Long Ago,
Listen to Ocean's Song, 'Song of the Siren', a Mesmerizing Musical Piece