Copyright © 2010 by William R. Mistele. All rights reserved. 


Gender Issues and Mermaid Women


A few quick definitions from


Feminism refers to political, cultural, and economic movements aimed at establishing greater, equal, or, among a minority, superior rights and participation in society for women and girls. These rights and means of participation include legal protection and inclusion in politics, business, and scholarship, and recognition and building of women's cultures and power.

Issues commonly associated with notions of women's rights include, though are not limited to, the right: to bodily integrity and autonomy; to vote (suffrage); to hold public office; to work; to fair wages or equal pay; to own property; to education; to serve in the military or be conscripted; to enter into legal contracts; and to have marital, parental and religious rights. Women and their supporters have campaigned and in some places continue to campaign for the same rights as men.

The struggle for equality involves, among other things, activities in which women compete, assert, lead, and gain access to the same resources as men. These activities involve strengthening the ego.  This is not the ego as selfish but the ego as taking charge, confident, goal oriented, striving for independence, self-esteem, productive capacity, etc. 

   The psychological or spiritual danger for women is that this struggle for equality involves taking over roles that were previously set up, defined, and controlled by men. This includes male ways of acting, thinking, feeling, competing, and creating support systems which again involve strengthening the conscious ego. For most men, there is nothing else than the conscious ego—the “I,” the “me,” the “mine,” “my power,” what I produce,” and “what I control.”


I was introduced me to issues concerning gender and woman’s rights back in the fifties by my mother. She had a triple major from the University of Michigan.  In one of her classes, she sat next to Gerald Ford who later became president of the United States.  Though he was captain of the football team, she did not take him seriously.  He was not the right kind of stuff. 

  She dated over thirty men in college including a prince with body guards. She did not like the leisure rich and turned down a date with the heir to the Detroit News Paper.  But she saw the dark side of discrimination against women when a sorority sister committed suicide after the disgrace of becoming pregnant.  And the University of Michigan itself was not beyond lacing the cafeteria food with chemical additives that they thought would reduce sexual activity in the students.        

   She mentioned how, unlike in Germany during World War II, women in the United States were welcomed to work in the weapons’ factories.  But after the war, women immediately lost their access to the work place.  Though she was an accountant, she was not permitted the same work as men.  And if a woman was married and in the workplace, she was told that she should not be taking a job from a man who has a family to support.

   Her family had a famous sailboat and from a young age she demanded she be allowed on board when it was raced, even though that was contrary to acceptable behavior at the time. Once she began racing her own sailboat, the other captains --the men—quit that class of boats and went elsewhere because they could not stand being beaten by a woman. 

  Each year for thirty years she and her husband were audited by the IRS and she successfully defended their tax filings.  In philanthropy, her intuition and business skills enabled her to assert which ministry or charity was sincere and honest and which was a “bunch of crooks and a fraud.”  Though she lived among men who were in the habit of getting their way a hundred per cent of the time, she had the skill of pointing out to them in a quiet voice what choices were in their best interest.


The mermaid woman is psychologically independent. She does not need a man in her life to feel satisfied, secure, or fulfilled.  She already feels complete in herself and often says she is happiest when she is by herself and alone.  She enjoys relationships with men, but she does not actively seek to be with them.  And when a relationship is over she does not feel that anything has been lost. She is ready for “what’s next.”    

   On the other hand, she is an absolute adept at disguising her own nature in order to survive in our world.  She gives so much energy to others so freely and she is so innocent and loving that often those who sense this about her will stalk, try to take possession, and dominate her to gain permanent access to her energy.  In this sense, she agrees that society is a dangerous place for women. 

   However, the mermaid woman finds that human women are just as dangerous as the men.  She has a very hard time understanding why women are jealous, mean, vindictive, petty, gossipy, greedy, and selfish.  She is astonished when another woman verbally attacks her in some way.  It does not make any sense.

   Some mermaid women are so organized and innovative they act as if they have a master’s degree in business from Harvard University.  But the truth is a mermaid woman has no ego—she is not selfish; and she does not try to aggrandize herself.  She is not insecure and she does not fear death.

  She identifies with nature to such an extent that she sees this entire world and all social roles as being insignificant.  She assumes social identities and plays various roles with great skill, but she understands that as far as social activities are concerned that she is always in disguise, acting a part in this brief, transitory world that belongs to human beings.  She is so detached that she even views her own body as a “shell,” like a garment she puts on in order to present herself to the world. 

   One of her great skills is in maximizing the feeling of being alive in the present moment and she has a hard time embracing an ideology or abstract concept that is designed to offer justice in the future.  She knows that her presence and the energy she possesses in itself are a primary and fundamental power for changing and transforming the world. 

   In common, then, mermaid women and human women both insist on independence, not dependence and definitely not co-dependency.  In contrast, mermaid women will tell you in no uncertain terms that they exist to love—it is who they are; love is their very essence; and they go on loving even those who hurt them, who are evil, and also the men they break up with.    

  The primary differences, then, are that the mermaid woman has no ego as we understand ego; and she does not see or experience love as a rare commodity that an individual needs to defend her self against or struggle to find.  For her, love is everywhere in every moment. It is not created by human beings.  It is already there and all you have to do is open your self to it to allow it to flow through you to others.      

   Basically, then, the psychology of mermaid women has nothing to do with the gender issues being discussed and played out in our society.  These women are nature itself in human form.

  On the other hand, they are extremely feminine and yet this femininity has never been observed or studied before in history.  If you introduced Carl Jung or Freud to a mermaid woman these great intellects would have failed to notice anything unusual--“just another young woman who is unusually vivacious.”  Psychologists lack the mental powers of observation to see this kind of phenomena in front of them.

    Something more in the line of an anthropologist is required to discern their presence and their unique qualities.  Again, one observable difference is seen in the range of feelings a mermaid woman can express.  In disguise, they make it a point to limit what other people see of their emotional capacities.   

   For example, observe carefully the ten best actresses in Hollywood in regard to all the movies they have made over the course of their entire careers. You will notice that all of them together can express maybe forty or fifty different well-defined emotions enacted in the conflicts and subtexts of their scripts.  A mermaid woman literally has infinite emotional expressions. 

  A mermaid woman may look like “a young babe,” but if you observe the way she shape shifts her expressions and even the way her body changes in form, you might realize you are in the presence of a woman who has the soul of an immortal being who is united to the waters of the earth.  It is an eerie experience that sometimes frightens people when they begin to sense its presence.  She can blend and match the mood and thoughts of whoever she is with so that they assume they know her; and so they fail to observe her more carefully.   

   As an analogy, a human woman’s astral body is like molasses—it is more flexible and responsive than a man’s in that it can mold itself to its environment, but this movement is slow and, like molasses, it sticks to whatever it touches.  You can pour molasses into different containers but it takes patience.  If the environment is hostile, a woman’s astral body begins to freeze up and harden as if the room is cold. Consequently, anger, the heating up and concentration of emotional energy, is an important survival technique for women that helps preserve the vibrancy of their souls. 

  A mermaid woman’s astral body is like water.  It immediately flows into whatever shape the environment offers. It does so freely without attaching itself or feeling any strain or tension during the process of change. If it freezes up, there is absolutely no difficulty when things change for her to flow again or even to appear light and carefree as mist into the air.  She is completely free emotionally.      

   From a male perspective, the mermaid woman possesses a receptivity that runs so deep it has power over everything on earth.  It can connect directly to anyone from inside of them and transform them acting as their deepest inspiration and source of conscience.  Men would notice this first before women because a male knows he is incomplete and can sense when there is an energy present that can transform him from inside.  But mermaid women rarely exercise the power they have over others. They flow love; they do not seek to make specific changes in society.  

  A wise male, however, realizing that human women do not know anything about this astonishing level of femininity, understands that these mermaid women are here as teachers.  You can not possess a mermaid woman or bond with her.  She does not bond—bonding is not an act of love because it is not flowing energy.  It is an insurance policy, an act to control, or something else.  It is not an expression of freedom.

  The male can, however, seek to embody the qualities of mermaid women in his self since they are not ethereal but teachable skills.  A man understands this intuitively—his identity is created and defined through acts of will and achievement—he has to learn skills to compete in a hostile world.  And so learning to incorporate the qualities of a mermaid woman’s energy in him self makes perfect sense.

  Qualities that are learnable from mermaid woman are being able to flow energy/love in and through anyone around oneself without seeking to bind others in return or aggrandize oneself through process.  This is also a natural healing power that mermaid women spontaneously exude.       

  He can learn her sense of feeling complete in herself through being united to nature from within. This produces feelings such as serenity which is also a capacity to feel so still within that, like a mirror, time is suspended and you can sense the past and future. 

  At the same time, this stillness, serenity, and flowing energy through others enables you intuitively to sense what people are meant to be.  And this inspires others to become their better selves by taking them directly through force of feeling into the future where they experience completion.  This is mermaid empathy—not just feeling what others feel but feeling them as already being healed, whole, complete, and fulfilled.  

   The identification with nature also produces an inner peace with the universe.  One’s social identity is always a temporary and imperfect expression of the self; or as one mermaid woman put it, “I feel a part of so much more than this world that we see around us.”  To perform on the highest levels of creativity an individual needs an internal support system that is completely independent of the outer world. All mermaid women possess this internal support. 

   I often mention that the Ghost of Christmas Future in Charles Dicken’s, A Christmas Carol, is a mermaid in disguise.  The ghost does what mermaids do—the ghost takes Scrooge into the future and shows him the probable outcome that results from the choices he makes in the present.  Empathy is a dynamic, supremely powerful, and essential tool for those who seek to change the world. 

  With such empathy, you have no enemies. There is no one in opposition to you. You are quite capable of joining directly soul to soul with anyone else on earth.  You can sense what is inside of them, what motivates them, what they are thinking, feeling, and planning. 

   At its best, empathy is conscience watching over the entire planet. It exists to prevent the evil doer from harming others. It is useful for establishing justice on earth. It is so free of ego, so free of any cause that furthers the agenda of specific social groups that it operates in a divine capacity.

  At the same time, it is pure femininity.  All wisdom and religious traditions on earth have either refused to acknowledge or have been blind to see the magical gift that young women possess. Almost all women, especially between the ages of twenty and twenty-four, can create physical sensations relating to love, healing, and peace in the people around them.  It only takes a few minutes of training to teach them how to do this.          

  This is a power that nature has bestowed upon them and it is meant to grow more powerful as the woman grows older.  Femininity in this sense is sacred; it connects both nature and the divine world. This power can be observed in and can be learned from mermaid women.

  In this sense, mermaid women are not a part of the struggle for equality. They literally transcend psychological problems relating to the ego and social identity. They are here to assist mankind in surviving so we do not give into our self-destructive tendencies. They have no temple or religion.  They do not teach doctrines.  The way to learn from them, which is the only way to really relate to them, is to feel what they feel.

  The power of the feminine, unlike everything that is masculine, is in feeling a direct soul to soul and heart to heart connection to others.  Only in the feminine are opposites joined.  Men almost never experience this and know nothing about it.   

    Only in the feminine does the love flow so deep that it can accept others for all that they are and simultaneously heal and renew them from within.  It can do this because “it dreams others dreams” which is what love itself does in all its many natural, human, and divine aspects.

  Such love is an alien concept in our society.  To be perfectly clear, such love and empathy are the absolute opposite of everything our civilization values at this time.  But anyone can seek this beauty and ask, What is the procedure by which I can embody this in myself? 

   The process of adapting to, coping with, and mastering every social role and aspect of society is a perfectly natural and healthy path of psychological growth for women.  Testing, challenging, and mastering one’s boundaries and limitations are how we as human beings have come to flourish on earth.

  But there comes a time, like Psyche in the myth of Eros and Psyche, when she has to make her own decision—does she choose to fit in by meeting all acceptable demands and expectations and thus finding her “place” within society; or does she choose to embrace the divine power uniquely hers that results not in fitting into but in transforming the world.

    Mermaid women represent one aspect of the female psyche in its perfection.  Writers such as Joseph Campbell assert the masculine concept of the Hero’s Journey that forms the basis of all world mythologies and religions.  In direct contrast to this is the point of view of the mermaid realm: there is only one story being told on this planet—the power of love to transform the world and the consequences of failure. 

  The bottom line is that the human conscience is defective. The element of water that represents love and feeling is profoundly weak in comparison to other aspects of human nature. 

  My mother watched the Wright Brothers practice with their primitive flying machines.  We now have a space probe that has left the solar system and we have mechanical laboratories roaming around on the surface of other worlds.  We have created anti matter in our laboratories and we casually rewrite DNA.  My mother, who is still alive at age ninety-six, has witnessed technology transforming our world in astonishing ways since that time of Kitty Hawk.

   But if the internal imbalance in human nature continues in combination with our increasing technology, our self-destructive tendencies will take control.  Among these is the willingness to take increasing risks to further one’s own agendas and projects without consideration of the effects and consequences these ambitious goals have on other people.  In this case, the evolution of the masculine and the feminine in society and the dialogue between the genders will no longer matter. Our species will be extinct.

  But the planet earth and the mermaids will not fail. They will find another race, one more worthy, that is willing to align itself with and embody the deep purposes this planet has been created to fulfill.