Well, Mermaid, the name, comes from the word mere (meaning sea) and maid (meaning a young girl or woman) while the name “Aquamarine” actually comes from the phrase “water of the sea”.
The stone was also known as the “Sailor’s Stone” as the belief it could protect them from the dangers of the sea and those mermaids seeking to harm them. Even into the 20th Century, the US Navy named a coastal patrol vessel “USS Aquamarine”, during World War II, honoring both the myth and beauty of this gemstone.
While mermaids are a myth after all, it still conjures up what it must have been like thousands of years ago as stories abound of sea creatures that resembled half human half fish. The first known stories like the goddess Atargatis, in 1000 BC, the mother of Assyrian queen Semiramis, was in love with a mortal shepherd. The story goes that Atargatis killed her lover, albeit unintentional. and felt so remorseful that she jumped into the blue waters of a nearby lake, taking on the form of a fish. Because the transparent blue waters of the lake couldn’t hide her beauty, she became known as the “mermaid”, a beautiful human above the waist and fish like tail below.
Mermaids and their legends abound across all nations, all continents both appearing as dangers of the sea provoking disastrous storms to teaching humans the art of cure for various ailments. From Britain and Ireland, to Western Europe, Asia and the African continent, mermaids have captured the imagination of man.
Mermaids known as ben-varrey, on the Isle of Man, as legend tells it, are known for being generous, rewarding those humans who have befriended or shielded them from harm. A story such as a fisherman helping a mermaid back to sea being rewarded with a tale of treasure to be had, or a family bearing gifts of fruit to a mermaid who anointed them with prosperity.
Whether legend of impending disaster or a beautiful creature bearing gifts to humankind, there’s no denying that mermaids have a special place in history. From movies, to t-shirts to jewelry in the shape of a mermaid, it brings fun into our busy daily lives for just a little while. There are hundreds of stories and myths from around the world that can be told from time to time, so keep an eye on my blogs for more!
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