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2017 is almost over, thank God!!! I’m sitting here counting down the time until the ball drops in Times Square putting a final period at the end of this really crappy year. Between his lordship’s knee having to be replaced, my bout of pneumonia, my diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis, and two episodes of A-fib, I am sooo ready it to be over and to move on. I’m looking forward to writing the next part of my journey on a clean, blank page.

Many of those things have kept me absent from my blog the last few months. It’s been really hard for me to concentrate, and I’ve been taking care of his lordship as he recovers from his surgery. But a larger part of my absence was due to feeling that my inner spiritual dragonfly has deserted me. I seem not to be able to come up with a single original thought to save my soul! But some new symbolism has come into my life here at the end of this part of my journey.

If you’ve known me for a while you know I’m just pagan enough to love symbolism. Finding the fabric with starfish on it to drape around my Ocean Mist Christmas tree was a real spiritual experience for me. And all of a sudden I’m seeing starfish everywhere! Starfish on wall decorations I ordered for my room. An article about starfish in the news feed. And in the back of my mind I kept thinking, “I should have bought that.” I had to stop and remember what that even was.

It finally dawned on me I was thinking of a necklace I had seen at the Avon store just before Christmas. It was — you guessed it — a starfish. And right then and there I knew the starfish was going to be my symbol for the coming year. So, caught up in the whimsicalness of it, I made a quick trek back to the store, and sure enough they had one starfish necklace, bracelet, and earring set left. $9. What a bargain!

Finally I went back to read the article, the headline of which said the starfish were returning to the Pacific coast after being nearly wiped out by a mysterious disease. But when I read it, I was shocked to find it was really about the disease that was killing the Stars of the Sea. AND it came with a video. They don’t know what it is, but it’s causing the starfishes’ arms to fall off and their bodies to disintegrate. There was a video of their arms crawling around in the water on their own. I found it extremely distressing.

Not only did I find it distressing for the starfish, but I started to wonder how it applied to me. I guess that’s what happens when you get too caught up in your own imagination. But then I had to stop and think, yeah, I really do feel like that. My arms and legs don’t work so well sometimes, so I guess I do see the parallel there. So I got looked up the symbolism of the starfish. And this is what I found.
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In Christian symbolism the starfish represents the Virgin Mary (Stella Maris which means Star of the Sea) who lovingly creates safe travel over troubled waters and is also seen as an emblem of salvation during trying times. The star as well as the starfish are seen as celestial symbols and as such, they represent infinite divine love. In addition to love, the starfish also holds characteristics such as guidance, vigilance, inspiration, brilliance and intuition. (http://www.whats-your-sign.com/symbolic-starfish-meaning.html)

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Now while revering Mary in such a way has not been a part of my spiritual upbringing, all in all I must admit I did find that meaning comforting. I know the year ahead of us is going to come with its trials and tribulations as we try to figure out how best to continue the treatment of this autoimmune disorder, but having been gifted with the symbol of the Star of the Sea, I believe my family and I will continue to find the where-with-all we need to face whatever challenges come with the new year.

So here at the end of 2017, I thank God for the gift of the starfish, and I’ll journey into my new year with a little less uncertainty and trepidation. And I will sure as shootin’ be prayin’ that the right folks find out how to stop the disease that is killing these lovely, unassuming critters…

How about you? Have you stumbled upon any new “symbolism” for the new year ahead? If so, please share!

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Picture Source (in quote): turn the perspicacity up – WordPress.com