The Native Symbol Orca Whales symbolizes family, romance, longevity, harmony, travel, community and protection. He is said to protect those who travel away from home, and lead them back when the time comes. The Orca Whales live like wolves, mate for life and raise each child with care. They also travel in large groups of families, working together to protect all members of their pod.
Referred to as the “Lord of the Ocean” Killer Whale or an Orca whale are said to be the guardians of the ocean, with seals as his slaves and dolphins as its warriors.
It is also said that they are closely related to humans, and for when a human drowns in the water, their soul is said to be guided down by Orca Whales deep to the very ocean floor itself and transformed into an Orca Killer Whale.
There are also stories of when a Killer Whale is seen off shore he is believed to be a deceased human or chief trying to communicate with loved ones. Some tribes believe that Orcas are reincarnations of their former chiefs lost at sea. Some people tell the following story on how the white markings appeared on the Killer Whale.
As a legend describes, a Killer Whale fell in love with an Osprey. The Killer Whale was so in love that he would jump out of the water and into the air, to be closer to the Osprey. The Osprey would respond by flying lower to meet the whale. They had a child together and the child was born black like the Whale with white markings from the Osprey.
The whale is known to help people in need whether we are helpless or wounded. The whale symbolizes kindness, intelligence and compassion. The Whale or Orca, is known as the guardian of the sea and guardian of travel and also can also be a symbol for unity and goodness. Killer Whales often travel in family groups known as pods and also hunt in packs like the wolf so are referred to as sea wolves.
The Orca Killer Whale is the most admired of all the whales and is used as a powerful crest by many clans.
In a time before there were any killer whales there lived a very able sea lion hunter and a highly skilled carver named Natsilane. He was from Kake and when he took as his wife the daughter of a chief on Duke Island, he decided to live among her people. He was accepted into her family and because he tried hard to prove himself, he soon had a place of honor as an accomplished hunter and spear carver.
His desire to please won him the admiration of the youngest of his brothers- in-law but the oldest ones misunderstood his intentions and became jealous and so began to plot against him. The men decided to get even with Natsilane on the day of the big seal hunt. After much preparation, the day of the big hunt arrived and Natsilane along with his four new brothers paddled their canoe toward West Devil Rock, out in the open straits. The wind was blowing fiercely and the waves were high but Natsilane was determined that the hunt would be successful.
When the canoe neared the rocks, he leaped toward shore and plunged his spear into the nearest sea lion before it could escape. Unfortunately, the point broke off and the lion slipped into the water. Worse yet, Natsilane saw that his brothers, over the fierce objections of the youngest, were paddling away- abandoning him on the deserted island with no food or weapons. Their betrayal stung him deeply and after a time, he pulled his cloak up over his head and fell asleep.
Natsilane awoke the next morning to the sound of his name. He saw a sea lion that looked like a man beckoning to him to go with him down beneath the waves into the Sea Lion’s House. At the great house he met the chief of the sea lions who asked him if he could help his injured son. Natsilane saw that the young lion had his spear point embedded in his body and with some effort was able to remove it and the son was healed. The chief was very grateful and after granting Natsilane even greater skills, arranged for his safe return to the village.
Natsilane met with his wife and after telling her his story, he made her promise to keep his return a secret. He took with him his carving tools and went into the woods to carry out a plan of revenge on the older brothers-in- law who had betrayed him. Remembering the Sea-Lion Chief’s promise, he asked him for help and began carving a large black fish, a killer whale of spruce the likes of which had never been seen before. After many tries and improvement in his carving skills, he fashioned a sleek orca whale from yellow cedar, marked it with white lines using chalk from the corners of its mouth back to its head. He said, “This is going to be the white-mouthed killer whale.” and when it was launched, it came to life and swam out to sea.
He called the black fish to him and ordered it to find his brothers-in-law when they returned from their hunting, destroy them and their boat but spare the youngest boy. The black fish set out and found them late that afternoon. black fish capsized the boat breaking it in two and drowned the older three brothers by keeping them from shore. The youngest made it back safely along with his story of the great black fish and his brothers’ treachery. The villagers came to believe that Natsilane had carved the great black fish and given it life.
Not long afterward, a strange black fish with teeth was seen near the shore and at times would leave a freshly killed seal or halibut there for the villagers. Natsilane had instructed it never again to harm humans but instead, to help them.
As the Orca Whale continued to help the villagers, they realized that the “Orca Whale” was a gift from Natsilane and so they took it for their crest. Natsilane became a legend to their village and some have claimed to have seen him riding the seas on the backs of two great black fish.
Orca’s guardians of the ocean by most Spiritually significant and symbolism to me the connections to the Ancestors, the Ancient ones. the keepers of the Wisdom’s For those who follow a shamanistic path, it is believed that the Orca can turn matter into stars and aid in the creation of the cosmic universe.
I believe that their songs have healing qualities And that their vibrations A they communicate with each other and with us can heal those who are physically, emotionally, and spiritually sick or help you find your soul’s path again.
I ask that today and all days ahead that we remember to Honor the Great guardians of the Oceans. That we listen to the wisdoms they share with us and help to keep their waters safe, for the waters are the sacred elixir of all life that also hold a great many secrets to our past …and not just to one person…but to all. Honor the lessons of the Great and small creatures of the water, for they don’t look upon us as to which color our skins are…or what gender we are… to them we are simply mankind…and they have been a constant through out our existence…may we learn to hold them and their wisdoms as Sacred… Blessings to you oh Orca’s of our Sea’s and thank you for your Teachings.
So today…allow the voices of the Great guardians to heal what ails you. pay homage and offer a prayer for them. Be conscious of the great role they have played in human kinds life story… and be thankful for all that is.
~ bear Medicinewalker