The Ups and Downs of Vertical Spiritual Migration As Seen Through the Eyes of Creatures of the Sea

I ran across an article about the ups and down of a great vertical migration regarding sea creatures and I must say that it captured my imagination, and I let it take me to the spiritual domain, where the true vertical migration takes place.  I cannot think of a better example than Jacob's Ladder in the Bible. 

It made me stop and ponder, "How many times a day do I vertically migrate to the celestial domain, only to return to bring a little bit of that heavenly vista to the depths below upon the face of the earth?"  How much do I really grasp this incredible journey into the heavenly heights?  Possibly, I can learn valuable lessons from the creatures of the sea. 

My husband David and I would often talk about this incredible journey.  David longed to reside only in the heavens, while I thought it my calling, since I reside here upon the face of the earth for a brief time, to bring a bit of that celestial realm to the earth. 

The Bible does say, But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Philippians 3:20-21.  Although we are citizens of heaven, we occupy this earth until His return, albeit, we encounter the heaven by our daily migration to the heavens in prayer, the Word, in worship, or translation in the Spirit.

There are many diverse Christians - from ultra-conservative to Pentecostal - each member commuting daily from the depths of depravity upon the earth to our heavenly home.  Researchers really do not understand this travel, though some dare to peer into the celestial waters for some type of understanding. 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled.  Matthew 5:6

Depending upon your circadian clock, if you are like a lark or owl, you will make your journey upwards either in the brilliance of the day or in the evening.  Upon your arrival you will feast upon Divinely inspired Words, be bathed in the many waters of the heavenlies with tongues of fire, as sensations of warmth and love caress your weary body, and your soul is healed and restored.  You literally touch the Glory of God before once again you retreat into your everyday world. 

Upon the earthly plane God's creatures move in what is known as the diel vertical migration; this mass movement is often heralded as the largest synchronous migration on Earth. As the planet spins on its axis and patches of ocean turn toward or away from the sun’s light, it happens in continual flux around the world. 

It is provocative that people of faith also engage in this migration dance of the Spirit, waxing in our upward ascent towards Jesus and then waning into our calling upon terra firma.

Graphic shows cross section of ocean with fish and two kinds of zooplankton alternating between surface and deep waters.

In the classic diel vertical migration pattern (yellow arrows), zooplankton such as marine worms (yellow) travel to the surface to feed at night when predators such as fish are absent.

In the 1800's, Georges Cuvier noted that plankton, water fleas, were disappearing and reappearing in a daily cycle in a shallow freshwater lake. Could it be possible that one day when a great multitude of Believer's ascend up to the heavenlies in the Spirit and never come back be what some call the rapture?  I have had my encounters with the supernatural and indeed, when one is caught up in the Spirit it is very difficult to depart, I did not want to come back to earth.

You may be surprised to learn that during World War II a “deep scattering layer” was discovered in the oceans that unexpectedly deflected pings of Navy sonar and then mysteriously disappeared each night.  In 1945, in the waters off Point Loma, California (where I lived for a time) it was discovered that this layer was actually made up of  living creatures undertaking an evening migration.  It is noteworthy that this water migration is universal - across species, geographic locations, and groups both small and large.

Could the same be true for humans ascending up and down as the angels did in Jacob's Ladder - up to the presence of God and back down to earth? There is an ancient understanding about our atmosphere, called the firmament.  What is it?  It is a vault or expanse of the heavens in the sky above us.  It is viewed as something solid and abiding, and that it is a protective layer provided by God at Creation.  We certainly do not see anything solid, but our atmosphere has many gases and particles that on a microscopic scale are considered to be solid, certainly not a vacuum. I suppose until today, I never thought that part of this barrier might include many Christians caught up in the Spirit, either going upward or coming down - a spiritual commute, as it were. 

On the other hand, could it be possible that other humans or non-human entities traverse to the bowels of the abyss where they feed upon evil?

It is puzzling how the sea creatures make their daily evening trek at the same time, even in places such as the north and south poles where sunlight is constant or absent.  And then there are some sea creatures who never travel.

The simple lesson of vertical migration can blow a fresh wind into our faith.  If these simple creatures can go upwards and downwards with ease, why not us humans?  True, we are created from the dust of the earth, but God blew His breath into us.  This is an indication that while we are composed of the elements of earth, we can live above the sun soar to the great heights of heaven. 

The migration of sea life is a costly habit. Scientists’ estimates suggest that over a period of a year, the collective energy spent commuting by zooplankton alone is equal to about a year’s worth of energy consumption in the United States.

This makes me ponder just how much energy do I expend in the Spirit, in worship, in prayer, in the Word.  Do I soar into the presence of God in those times when I am feeble, weary, and busy?  Do I carve out a costly, daily, spiritual routine putting action to my faith? 

By the Light of the Silvery Moon

There is consensus among scientists that the many creatures make their migration at night because it provides them refuge from the eyes of predators, thus protecting themselves from being eaten.  Visits to the surface, where food lies in greater abundance, are most safely done under the cover of night.

This may be the challenge and wisdom for our age - to traverse the celestial plane during this great time of darkness.  It may be the way we persevere and sustain ourselves during a time like no other in history.  For the Lord says:

So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of Hosts.  Zechariah 4:6

Scientists also agree that changing light intensity is the primary environmental cue for migrators.  When light starts to fade, that can trigger the ascent to the surface.

This also is inspirational to our faith!  Have we incorporated subtle cues or triggers into our life that cause us to rise up in the Spirit where we are healed and nourished, as if with the Bread of Angels?  Manna did originate from heaven.  Why wait until it falls, as it may well do so when the food supply becomes non-existent or toxic?  Jesus Himself said during His temptation:

But Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  Matthew 4:4

Why not go before the Throne of God, which stands upon a bed of sapphires, for our sustenance during these long and difficult nights?

Echograms showing depth and density of animals over 24 hours in the Indian Ocean, North Atlantic, and west and east Pacific.

Acoustic surveys conducted during an 8-month 2010 expedition detected diel migrations around the globe.

Quoting once again from the subject article: Acoustic surveys conducted during an 8-month 2010 expedition detected diel migrations around the globe.

In 2016 a team discovered that the tiny marine creatures had shifted their migrations, syncing them with the light of the moon rather than that of the sun. And in addition to the daily cycle, there was a monthly signal - the animals were regularly moving to deeper waters during the bright light of the full moon.

It is interesting that the biblical calendars are based upon the moon and to some degree the sun.  The subtle light of the moon, as it waxes and wanes, can cause us to rise up to glorious heights.  Indeed, many of the biblical festivals were based upon the cycles of the moon as she traverses the sky.

Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; Genesis 1:14

Scientists are also learning more about the supreme sensitivity of these sea creatures to changes in light. The recorded weather was consistently overcast, gray, and drizzly, but the zooplankton could still detect variations in the thickness of cloud cover and adjust their depth, the team reported in PNAS in August. A difference in brightness of only 10 to 20 percent was enough to prompt mini migrations of 50 feet, which is no small trek for the tiny animals.

I wonder as I wander in my life, am I sensitive to the gentle touch of the winds of the Spirit that may gently nudge me to spend time with my Savior?  If I am brutally honest with myself, I need time with my Savior daily, more than anything else on this terrestrial plane.  I am humbled by these sea creatures who are constant through the years, days, seasons, or weather to rise up.  Lord, it is the cry of my heart to rise up in a daily pilgrimage to You, no matter my circumstances.  After all, in Your Word it says:

Let us go to His dwelling place; let us worship at His footstool. Arise, O LORD, to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your strength.  May Your priests be clothed with righteousness, and Your saints shout for joy...  Psalm 132:8

Where is the dwelling place of God?  Yes, your body is the Temple of the Living God, but in the heavenly domain you can worship at the footstool in the Throne Room.  What majesty, what glory, what joy you will experience! Selah 

I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.  Isaiah 6

Scientists believe that the creatures of the water have an internal clock that tells them to ascend, independent of condition. 

This challenges my soul in which I ask, is my circadian clock firmly yolked in the Holy One who is wooing me upwards for my spiritual nourishment each day or evening?

The research indicates that the stakes are high for sea life; they must migrate or be eaten.

This also stirs me deeply to the core of my being.  If I do not show up for my Divine Appointment, will I be swallowed up alive by the enemies of my soul?  The Lord then comforts my soul:

But You have saved us from our adversaries, And You have put to shame those who hate us.  Psalm 44:7

Predators may influence the decision to migrate

Migrating hatchetfish are found in deep waters during the day, evading surface predators in the ocean’s twilight zone. At night they travel to the surface to feed in shallower waters.


Research has found that migrators off Santa Catalina Island in California tend to stick together in coherent groups, or schools, as they travel, which may reduce the risk of being eaten. The presence of predators also prompts some migrators to delay their trek.

And some individuals, on some days, appear to skip the commute entirely. This is known as the “hunger/satiation hypothesis,” which posits that individuals in a population are motivated by their own hunger levels.

Again, these sea creatures cause me to turn inward to examine my life.  It is a challenge of sorts.

Is my motivation to be present with the Lord merely "life insurance" or a fear of being destroyed by some predator? Do I only rise to heavenly heights in the safety presence of others, or do I strike out in spiritual enlightenment and worship in solitude?  And, diving deeper, am I compelled to rise up even when I have no desire whatsoever?  Do I arise to meet my Savior just for the sake of Him being the Lover of my soul with no thought of reward?  This is the place where I long to be, to be in the presence of Jesus, just because I long for Him and He for me, and no other reason.

After all, I may learn lessons from the creatures of the sea, but I am created in the Divine Image so the applicable Laws of Nature, to some degree, unless I digress [sin], do not apply.

Scientific teams also sought to “crack open their stomachs and see what they eat,” says Sutton, who coauthored an overview of deep ocean food webs in the 2017 Annual Review of Marine Science.  They discovered that migratory individuals were more likely to have emptier stomachs; except of few odd ducks, so to speak.

What does God see when He pries me open and peers inside?  Does He see that I have been feasting upon the banqueting table that He has provided for me?  And am I eating in moderation or gluttony with no thanksgiving?  All these things add to my character as a being of light created in the Divine Image of God who stands in contrast to the darkened world.

When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ ...Luke 14:15-24

Probing the Soul

Hunger, light, genetics, and more — scientists are continuing to probe these and other factors that affect this great commute, including salinity, temperature, and exposure to UV light. Studying these variables, along with which animals are moving when, and who is eating who, is key.

Scripture admonishes us to examine ourselves.  Probe, refine, and then examine once again, lest sin overtake us.

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?  2 Corinthians 13:5

Let yourself be humbled and learn lessons from all of God's handiwork, including His sea creatures.  And, as the final darkness settles upon this globe, remember the goodness and lovingkindness of God.

                          I will remember my song in the night;

I will meditate with my heart,
And my spirit ponders:   Psalm 77:6

Blessings in your journey of self-introspection,





Celeste Solum is a broadcaster, author, former government, organic farmer and is trained in nursing and environmental medicine.  Celeste chronicles the space and earth conditions that trigger the rise and fall of modern & ancient civilizations, calendars, and volatile economies. Cycles are converging, all pointing to a cataclysmic period between 2020 to 2050 in what many scientists believe is an Extinction Level Event.   

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