Under the Stars

moon on wavesSleeping under the Stars and Sea Lions

By Tanis Helliwell

Thanksgiving is celebrated in October in Canada and in November in the USA. This tradition  minus the turkey,  cranberries  and pumpkin pie,  is rooted in the Celtic  Festival of Samhain in Europe.  At this time of year, when the days shorten and nights lengthen, it is good to reflect on all we have to be grateful for. I’d like to share with you two things that nature has blessed me with this autumn.

Sleeping under the Stars

One of my greatest gratitudes is that well into autumn I’m still sleeping outside under the stars. Because of the cold and damp there are so few nights left to do this so every night is precious and I savour each one of them. In autumn the air is crisp, the stars are brighter and I no longer need the mosquito net, which has protected me all summer. That’s a blessing in itself. Now nothing separates me from the night.

“Do you sleep as well outside?” folks have often asked. “I sleep different,” is the best answer I can give them.  I don’t know how to explain in words the magic that sleeping outside holds for me. I only know that energies feed me at night under the stars that are every bit as important as the sun’s energies during the day. I can feel doors open in my unconscious and dreams incubate.  I love to wake during the night and see how the stars have progressed across the sky. Often a full moon will flood over me for hours and other times I’ll awake in the middle of the night to find Mars or the Pleiades over head.

Each season has its beauty and each month is a blessing. Scents seem to carry more strongly at night than in the day and late September smells very different from early May. Sounds are also different during the various seasons. I love the chirping of crickets in the summer and the crashing of the waves in my bay during a winter storm. And there is a special sound I await in the fall, a sound that  will echo  through all my nights until April. It is a deep rumbling and growling that cuts through the night air. Finally one night I hear this growling sound—faint as yet but still there.  It is the sound of sea lions returning to  take up residence on the rocks at the neck of my bay.  Each night the deep rumbling builds in volume as one, then four, then twenty-four male sea lions arrive back. I know that this number will continue to build until at least sixty lions of the sea winter on the rocks.

The Sea Lions are back

Last winter was my first in my home on the ocean and, although I yearned to go to see the sea lions,  I lacked a boat to realize my desire.  This summer I bought one kayak and learned the basics and recently I bought a second one so I would have company to paddle to the rocks. Early one fall morning, while the ocean was still like glass, a friend and I launched the kayaks and headed out.  I’m a new kayaker and am that balanced rhythm between the push and the pull of the stroke, so I was not paying attention to the fact that we were getting closer to the sea lions.

Looking up I discovered that the sea lions, which formerly had resembled little brown dots were now full blown personalities,  each male weighing about a thousand pounds—that’s four hundred kilos. A few of them noticed our kayaks and started howling which set off a few more.  I watched in shock as six large males broke off from the herd and slid into the water.  All around me became still and I stopped paddling and waited for them to surface. One by one all six giants surfaced silently and formed a straight line about fifty feet from our kayaks.  I noted, somewhat anxiously,  that they had covered at least two hundred  feet in less than half a minute. Breath inhaled I awaited their next move. I knew without doubt that back paddling to move outside their range was out of the question. The only possibility I could think of in the moment was to stay in total love and stillness.

Looking us in the eye the six sea lions started to swim silently and slowly in formation towards us. I won’t pretend that I was not anxious.  At the same time I was in the midst of a powerful encounter with these beautiful beings.  Together we were sharing the magical pause between the in breath and out breath.  Yes, these gigantic males were warriors telling us to keep our distance . Yet at the same time I was sharing with them a precious heart opening moment  of deep recognition of our shared life and intelligence.  Looking in their gigantic brown eyes you could see that they were definitely not tame,  but were authentically as the creator  had made them.

About twelve or fifteen feet from us, still in formation, they slid silently beneath the surface of the water.  My friend and I waited for several minutes for them to resurface and our silent pause  extended……Finally we saw them surface about a hundred feet from us slapping the water and fishing. We were no longer in danger as they had recognized that we were not a danger to them.  Exhaling, we sat in stillness for a long time and watched them fish and then climb back on the rock to be confronted by the other males who had taken their spaces. Growling, lunging, and flaunting their size they really are the lions of the sea. Quietly we commenced paddling and slowly paddled the hour back home all the while allowing this magical communion to flow through our blood. As I lie in bed in the depth of winter and listen to their roaring I’ll savour this memory and give thanks for their blessing.


Tanis Helliwell, a mystic in the modern world, has brought spiritual consciousness into the mainstream for over 30 years. Since childhood, she has seen and heard elementals, angels, and master teachers in higher dimensions. Tanis is the founder of the International Institute for Transformation (IIT), which offers programs to assist individuals to become conscious creators to work with the spiritual laws that govern our world.

Tanis is the author of Summer with the Leprechauns, Pilgrimage with the Leprechauns, Embraced by Love, Manifest Your Soul’s Purpose, Decoding Your Destiny and Take Your Soul to Work.

For information on courses and services please visit www. iitransform.com