Mermaids of the Deep Logo

“Turkish Gudda”

 “Guðríður’s remarkable story—of a common woman who survived nine years of slavery and returned home, becoming a respected pastor’s wife—is considered to bear witness to a woman of stronger character than most.”[1]

“She is considered to have travelled the road of suffering and the cross, but prevailed to gain a new lease on life and love.”[2]

Mermaids in our stories always return home, unblemished from their time on land.  The real kidnapped women do not.  Most of them never return; the ones who do are not considered “unblemished,” as Turkish Gudda’s story shows.

I don’t know how God will redeem all of her story, but it is a powerful testimony.  Or should I call it a “mermaid tale”?


Mermaids of the Deep Logo

Kidnapped Mermaids

“She implored him in the most moving accents to restore her dress [a seal skin]; but the view of her lovely face, more beautiful in tears, had steeled his heart….The sea-maiden, finding she had no alternative, at length consented to become his wife” ~ The Mermaid Wife, Shetland Islands[1]

“When the mermaid understood that there was no prospect of obtaining her garment [a cloak] she regained her composure, and followed Donald meekly to his house” ~Donald and the Mermaid, Ireland[2]

“But if it doesn’t please you to worship Yahweh, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship….As for me and my family, we will worship Yahweh.” The people replied, “We will certainly not abandon the Lord…” ~ Joshua 24:15-16

Today, we move from our “meaningful mermaids” to our kidnapped maidens of the deep.  These stories are timeless, for the tragedy they speak of has occurred throughout all ages.  In the ancient world, and especially for coastal countries, the major threat to women came from the sea.  Vikings, pirates, and rogues plagued northern shores well into the 17th century.

And so, these women became “sea maidens,” taken from their loving homes across the sea.  Perhaps the places they ended up were kind; perhaps they were not.  Regardless, the longing to return to their old life would have run deep in their souls…


sleeping beloved

Maleficent: From Villain to Savior

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her.  Then I will give her her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor as a door of hope.  And she will sing there as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. ~ Hosea 2:14, 15

Once again, this post contains spoilers from Disney’s 2014 Maleficent

sleeping beloved

Maleficent’s Dignity

“Let us tell an old story anew, and let us see how well you know it…”[1]

This post contains spoilers…so if you don’t want Disney’s 2014 Maleficent  ruined, you should stop reading and watch it before you continue.  Otherwise, proceed.

I love this opening line from the movie.  It evokes a timelessness as the disparate tales of the Sleeping Beloveds are woven together.  And I don’t think man meant to weave it together, either…

sleeping beloved

The Villainess

Our Sleeping Beloveds have shown us how a heart awakens to love; our villainesses have shown us what happens when we disregard love. 

Like our heroines, each villainess has a different story, but each is dealing with the same broken-hearted realization: they are not noticed, desired, or loved…

sleeping beloved

Love-Based Identity

Before the hedge, our Sleeping Beloved is simply called “the Princess.”  She has no name – no separate identity.  She has a mask of deeds to hide her heart behind, and takes drastic actions in trying to awaken her sleeping heart.  

But then a briar hedge begins to grow.  It protects “the Princess” from harm – in this case, from men who would come upon her in her sleeping state (like in the first two versions).   She is given a new name based on that which protects her: Briar Rose…

sleeping beloved

Deed-Based Identity

In each version of our story, we’ve seen how the identity of the Sleeping Beloved has been destroyed or challenged – it’s why she needs to be awakened by love in the first place; however, I haven’t made a practice of pointing it out.  There was just too much going on in those stories to focus on the undercurrent theme of identity.

With the Grimms’ version, the theme takes center stage.  I talked in my last post about how our Princess wears a beautiful, perfect mask – a mask made of deeds to earn love.  She is able to live behind her mask for a while…but then, something snaps…