I saw these photos of Hezbollah fighters saluting images of the Virgin Mary recently. They struck me because of their “otherworldly” lighting, and of course, the fact that these are images of battle-hardened Arab “Islamics”, not Catholics, who venerate Mary as the “Mother of God”.
The Latin root of Mary is “mare”, or the sea. The word appears in marina, marinara sauce, and is associated with all things maritime. Our Mother, the sea. It occurs to me that the Hezbollah soldiers are “Marines”.
Here in Port Townsend, the Catholic parish is named Saint Mary, the Star of the Sea. This is an ancient title that extends all the way back to Babylonian Ishtar. The "Star of the Sea" is also known as the Mariner’s Star: Venus.
Here in Port Townsend we also have a NW Maritime Center - the logo is an M with a five pointed star on the NW corner. The five pointed star, or the pentagram, is associated with Venus because the planet’s path inscribes a pentagram shape on the heavens when viewed from earth. 5 is the number associated with Mary.
The big buzz here lately has been a race sponsored by the NW Maritime Center - the Race to Alaska! The first to finish was the trident resonating trimaran Team Elsie Piddock, in the time of 5 days and 55 minutes.
The NW Maritime Center posts updates on the race, this one about the nature of the merciless sea:
On a boat at sea you are completely insignificant. Think of the forces involved. The liquid that makes up over 75% of the earth’s surface and a fair amount of our atmosphere isn’t just an impossibly large thing compared to a boat, but it’s an impossibly large thing that is affected by even impossibly larger forces… All of the quantum physics (or whatever) involved are too big for our pea brains to comprehend, we’re far more comfortable assigning human emotions to things. When you are in it, and it rages against you day after day, it’s easy to think it’s intentional. The truth is the sea doesn’t throw you gale after never ending gale like a wounded ex throws your clothes onto the lawn. The sea isn’t angry, the sea doesn’t give a damn.