nine * south wind, clean up set, secret spot, waning moon
south wind * nine of winds
A surfer is a surfer is a surfer. The true surfer is not dependent upon conditions, and is “out there!” He has the longer, more forgiving board for the conditions. As an older surfer, she knows what she wants. She just wants to surf, and she knows the one spot, and the one spot only, that’s in play. She relishes “wild” surf. She has invested time in the local area, and for what is “disorienting” for most, she has “ready” faith that her spot of choice will be on. “Eccentric surfer” in the eyes of some, her commitment pays off. Her well deserved “surf check dividend” is due to her attention to detail. She knows it’s not worth checking other spots, and stays silent as “the quiet woman,” and surfer, and just goes surfing. Where others see nothing, or just storm surf, she spies the “rideable,” versus the “unrideable.” Seen as a bold move by others, she’s “on it,” as our loss is her gain. Factors that go mostly “unseen” or unnoticed by others, are working well in her favor. She is immersed in the experience and surfs the righthander with winds blowing right into the tube. She likes her “options” well defined, as despite appearances, the surf is firing, and just rifling down the reef. The kelp helps mitigate and reduce the chop, and with surf slightly buffered by the bluffs or cliffs, the “raw” and uncrowded session, is nothing short of good clean fun. Out of the way, and out of the limelight, her semi secret “Refugio,” is reef as refuge and a welcome chance to be with herself. Self sufficient, she never wavered in her conviction, knowing there is “no second chance swell,” whether “witchy” wind or not. Not deterred, nor “fazed by superstition,” her “disciplined response” and “efficient actions,” enabled her to “deal with any resistance, obstacles or discomforts,” and to remain poised and in optimum position, for when opportunity knocked. If you’ve been holed up and have to surf, the south wind thins the crowd and is good if you just “gotta have it,” and really wanna surf. The true surf dog is frisky and always hopeful, “sirocco” or not, and surprisingly enough, it’s his “disciplined position,” that is encouraging to him and from where his confidence grows.
Our “lightweight surfer” friends can’t appreciate the challenge. Not committed and with no knowledge of south wind spots, a lack of conviction can be cause for “anguish.” Intolerant of conditions, our surf aristocrat is out of the loop and without a sense of adventure, and feels betrayed. As “fairweather waterman,” we are quick to judge and jump to unfit, and often unwise, conclusion. Our “obstinacy precedes our disinterest.” We won’t paddle out and are wanton to be “open.” We won’t explore, nor take a chance, as we are without a clue nor idea, and lack any real sense of imagination. Warm winds blow in travel thoughts and we just want to get away. Without the requisite local knowledge, visitors are just plain out of luck, if not disgusted and annoyed. We are “immobilized” and “disagreements delay the session.” Others doubt our decision as we are taken by the current and drift out to sea. “Sometimes a bit dreary,” it’s perhaps best to just “cancel our session.” When critical of her, she can spoil our fun.
“Put effort into your surfing.” She is just “testing your ability to stand firm in the face of distraction.” Don’t wander too far “out there,” or “outside.” “Overenthusiastic?” Think again. Stay inside and play it safe. Concentrate and hold your position in the lineup and against the wind. There is no time for lollygaggin’ around. Look at your priorities and “resolve to surf.” Cut to the chase. Query her and somehow make peace with things. An open mind enables the discovery of her south wind spot. Be “receptive to her offerings,” and “tolerant of her moods.” Get to know her well, and get on it. You will be rewarded. “Be a homebody.” Know your local coast and currents. Know where to find conditions in your favor. Take variables into account. Use kelp beds and the reef to your benefit. Get a feel for the lineup. Don’t think it over, you’ll only miss out on things. Look no further. This is it. An opportunist employs a “disciplined approach in the water.” Stay low key and make a “modest appraisal” of things. You’ll get results as long as you stay within the “parameters” and hold to the “rules.” Bag your session and don’t advertise things. Stay innocuous. The “unbothered individual” has few worries. Travel solo or with one other. The “whole surfer” appreciates her time alone. As “refugian,” she has given up the haphazard “hunting and chasing” of waves, and instead knows well where to seek of safe shelter.
clean up set * nine of waves
Happiness in surfing comes down to a most simple equation for some. “Size” equals their “surf aphrodisiac” of choice. Their big wave passion desires “girth” and thickness. They long for the “freak set.” They have the discipline to wait outside, or to sit and stay inside despite an ominous horizon. Their patience is rewarded by the “next set.” They ride a “luxury liner” in pursuit of the “richest experience” available. They make a habit of being at the right place, and at the right time. The “imminent meeting” is a wish come true for the truly prepared. They are ecstatic and deserving as their pay off is of oceanic godsend and a “heat winner” orgasm. For them the “big wave is the moment of truth,” and treasured “moments of ultimate reality.” For others, the clean up set or wave is reminder of the necessary respect due our mother ocean, or notice served for “abilities exceeded.” She is “not to be taken lightly.” She gives us something to think about. Sitting all alone and outside, looking out over open ocean, we are in awe of her “mighty splendor,” as our solitude lends itself to a dream session and a most satisfying experience. With secret spot coming on, we sense a wish about to come true. As her deepwater quiet yields to the growing swell, we know she is to be savored as we sally about face. In turn our “big wave butterflies” are not without reason, as “ready or not,” we know there will be “just” reward for our rush of adrenalin. As “white maned, heavy shouldered, children of the wind,” we ready to match wits and talents with her “unpredictable element.” She leaves a spume on the surface while we flee underwater, holding onto boulders after our “Jacque Cousteau” descent. “Anaerobic” surfing builds up your lungs, and character. Others are caught off guard, but we were alert and tuned in. We were in our element, and felt her coming. We ride big waves for emotional release, and exit emotionally fulfilled at ride’s end, and at the end of our session. Our feeling of contentment resides in the completion of our harvest.
Caught Inside by Patrick Parker
We are “addicted to size.” The “harvest” was more than we were ready for, and at least “twice what was expected.” With expectations exceeded, we were emotionally “overcome,” as things were just too much to handle. With no style and riding a “very vile surf barge,” we were “bowled over” and “taken out just before our moment of glory.” The “white elephants” looming outside were “colossus inconvenience” at best, and left us for worse, “feeling trampled,” and “sucking suds.” All we wanted was to get back up and back in to shore, but the “board busters” were overly physical and out of hand. It was oppressive. “Unarmed” and undergunned, we were under siege and left disoriented. We were so close, yet so far under, and with board lost “asunder.” What first looked good, turned out not so great. We needed a parting of the sea, or at least the waves, but all we got was an “amorphous mass of chaos.” Out all alone at dusk, it was nothing but us and “endless clean up sets,” the one after another. We thought of sharks and got “jumped” by bull kelp that “goes bump in the twilight.” We were afraid and on the edge of fear, as our “panic zone” paddle only left us uptight and wondering what more could be waiting in store? Everything had closed out and we were “caught inside,” and about to lose it. We were overachievers and literally, in over our heads. Our lost position had been cause for alarm and “opportunity wasted.” Unshared resources went for naught, and we went for a swim. Not enough board and with leash too short, we were “puffers” and without our “lungs.” We asked ourselves, “watermen or waterlogged?”
Bide your time outside and underwater. Have patience and learn humility. Sit outside and wait your turn. Good things take time. Pay more attention. Now is not the time for cherry pickin’. Show greater respect. Be in position, not an imposition. Keep your bearings. Be prepared for what’s coming your way. Think of your physical well being. Be emotionally prepared to submerge or merge. Make a wish and test your limits. “Cultivate your wave garden.” And careful what you wish for. You just may get it. Stop and regroup before you decide to “shut hole,” and take on that rogue wave. Know when to go in and call it a day. Otherwise, walk back up the beach, paddle out alongside the jetty, and catch the rip current out. Be resilient and offer up the least amount of “resistance.” Turn turtle and trust that the turbulence will dissipate, and that this too will pass. Smile and take your “pummeling,” and paddle back out to the channel. It’s part of the “complete” experience, as surrender is part and parcel to the “process of self realization.” Be at ease. The “soul surfer knows he is at one with the ocean,” and knows she has more to offer than you ever dreamed possible.” Celebrate “her majesty,” and acknowledge the ride.
Secret spot by Remi Bertoche
secret spot * nine of rocks
“What you don’t know won’t help you.” Not wanting an invasion of “disrespectful, surf rat finks,” locals take an unspoken vow of “unquestioned devotion” and “absolute allegiance” to their “mysto,” secret spot society, or “surf cult.” Under oath to our fellow locals, ours is a clandestine and “unexplained ode,” unto which we follow an “obvious local code.” Ours is a legacy that has been passed down and worked for in earnest. “Often overlooked by others as not worthy,” we see our surf sanctuary as “endangered vestige,” and “consecrated gift.” We hold as sacred the lands in common, and pledge our love to the protection and preservation of our surf shrine and temple. We have “heard the word, and kept it,” to ourselves. Not all are privy to our trust, nor granted access to a most “intimate surf experience.” Our local homegrown arena is “showcase theatre,” wherein we share “mystical moments” and the “inner riches of our inner circle.” The “known unknown” hides behind our silence, and requires knowledge buried, and “entrenched within the local lore.” We find “respite for rest and relaxation” within our surf solidarity.
Illustration Shannon McIntyre
Keeping a secret can be stressful. Always worried about overexposure, there is the fear of being found out. It can distract from the genuine enjoyment of real surfing, and living a real life. If the secret gets out, we are fearful that we could lose our secret spot, and that the familiar, and “expected yields, would no longer be found within our newly crowded wavefield.” It’s the question of the day and a paraffin paradox. If you wander, you lose your standing. We cull out those who fail to honor the vow, and indoctrinate others so that they are careful and more cautious upon their exodus. The wave itself can be mediocre and is not always of a consistent quality. The spot is rather inaccessible and oft times fickle, and can seem “lonely.” With its “trumped up” reputation, one feels vulnerable and “uneasy” upon approach. Nonetheless, people want in on the secret. Indiscretion will cost you. Once the secret is out, everybody knows and it’s no longer a secret. You weren’t paying attention. You were careless and it slipped out. Now you may lose your home and even your woman, and worse yet, your waves. Cut off from others, your belief in separation and fear, has left you on the wrong end of our “unshared resource.” Not much is secret anymore. Scandal came from idle gossip, involving innocent surfers and peoples. It was way after the fact, just harmless “territorial barbs.” But the truth was uncovered. There was a rift within the inner circle. A division in the ranks led to animosity and a case of “distancing behavior.” It was a poor decision on everybody’s part. We were wasting energy on trivial matters. But in truth, it was just a cover for our lack of participation at the better and more challenging spots.
Stay above petty scandal. Do nothing. Retribution is the wrong thing to do. Know that. It just adds to your agony. Misery will reign. Recognize “conditions” as signals or indicators for your secret spot, and then ask yourself at what price is it no longer worth it, and is this necessary? The “dolphin symbolizes spirituality” and a “good heart,” and “prefers solitude to incompatibility. “ Get away from it all. Live life without rancor. Honor the higher road. Replenish your inner resources. Karma yoga is asana for life. Know that you are supported by, and can depend on others. Fly your local colors. Enjoy what you have. You have earned your find. Nurture your environment. Take on the feeling of the land. Everything is sacred. Water the trees. Take care of your spot and yourself. Know that you are what you surf. Keep it clean. Ask not what you can do for yourself, ask what your contribution is to your international tribe. Show your reverence and a deep love for life and nature. Cultivate your wave garden with love. Embrace the concept of “sacred.” Treat everyone and everything as such, especially yourself.
illustration David Artavia
waning moon * nine of rays
“Hawaiians prayed by swatting sea water with morning glory strands, hoping that the small ripples would be answered by larger ones.” Their chants escorted their wishes out to sea. Pray with the “integrity of the ocean,” and in gratitude. Let your prayer seep into your bones. Let it run in your blood ‘til you bleed an ocean consciousness. You are all waterman and woman. As the “whole soul surfer,” you are “unafraid to be alone with her.” Her “open doors beckon us unto the beyond.” With our “body as antennae,” we are of an ethereal and “essential nature,” as new experience abounds. With her sand for our “oyster,” our visceral yield is of “intangible pearls of wisdom.” As a surfer, we learn “rhythm and harmony, synchronicity and balance.” We know the clean line and pure flow. We own an awareness of her cycles, and know a greater intimacy with the ocean, and her love. Our “marriage” to the ocean mistress and sea goddess, is a “well of happiness” within, and source of “healing wisdom.” Our “mutual connection” leaves us feeling more relaxed, peaceful and happier, and more enriched overall. Her natural elements spill over into our closer friendships. There is time to reflect, and time for stillness. Neap tides are without much fluctuation, and harbor little in change, as the contracting, or recessed moon, is marked by an “asceticism,” or austere neutrality, and is a time for prayer. We pray for surf, and in turn, “transformation” and “regeneration.” The apparent inactivity is balanced by a “spiritual activity,” as our “temporary slowdown” allows space for our “spiritual maintenance.” It’s a “milestone” of sorts, as we make ceremony and ritual circle, to sit in prayer and ask of our “highest tribal destiny.”
The waning moon is the “beginning of our descent into darkness.” As we come upon “the darkside of the moon,” we expect to find hidden enemies, or finally face our state of depression. We slap the water out of frustration, as we are overcome by our feelings of grief and sadness. Our “distorted thinking” leaves us feeling “unappreciative” and “uninspired.” We are not reciprocal by nature, as we are out of touch, and can’t “see” or feel of our “relationship.” For the odd reason, we are not feeling particularly poetic nor romantic. On an involuntary wavefast, we are incommunicado, as we have failed to inspire or conjure up the good favor of our mother ocean. We are facing “postponement” instead of our “at-one-ment.” Our “superficial treatment of prayer and ceremony” leaves us at an ebb tide, devoid of flow.
Pray for surf with reverence. Value your relationship with her. Give thanks and praise to her majesty. When you pray, you must give thanks. Honor your relationship with her. Take responsibility for the line you draw, and bring your love for our mother ocean into your everyday relationship with “all our relations.” Real eyes you are an integral and vital part of any relationship. Treat yourself as temple within her “natural preserve.” Sanctify your soul. Make “mohai” and “malama pono.” Make a sacrifice and keep the balance. Repay debts and tie up loose ends. Restock, reload, and replenish. Be true to yourself as a surfer. Draw your own lines. Stand firm and surf alone. Allow yourself “alone time” with her. Regain your focus and count your blessings. “Surfing is good direction.” Stay in touch with our “water spirits,” and act on their inspiration. Aspire to love. Live in accord with spirit. Prayerful vigilance is required. Retreat within and meditate. Sit up straight and “tune in.” Pray. Have faith in prayer and meditation. Listen and intuit. Uncertainty recedes, kundalini rises. Feel the vibes. Problems are on the wane. Trust that “feeling.” Negativity vanishes. It’s the last call. Speak now or forever hold your peace. Things are coming to a close. Transmute. Pray for and befriend enemies. Let karmic ties unravel. Show respect and ask for protection. Chant. Show your love for her. Know your power spot. What is yours will come to you. Support your fellow waterwoman. Be involved with her, and let her know what your needs are. Do your own thing and take good care of yourself. Be grateful to be a surfer.
Illustration John Mason