Sea Witchcraft, Ocean Witchcraft and Beach Magick is the most beautiful, at times simplistic, but ultimately the most powerful magick and ritual I have ever practiced. And I miss it!
Let me get this out of the way: if you are lucky enough to live by the sea/ocean/beach, I envy you. I miss it. It’s too expensive to live near water in Sydney (but this is where my work is so here I stay). I don’t like the beaches around here because there’s too too too many people, too much energy flying about, and it’s harder to feel the energy of the land.
Without trying to insult people, sea witchcraft is not for the feint hearted, or for the fluffy. It is a completely different experience to stand at the water’s edge, or knee-deep (or further if you wish) than standing or sitting behind an altar in your room or backyard. I say “or the fluffy” because there is no “love and light” at the water’s edge. Water is nourishing and tied to our emotions, yes, but it is powerful and destructive and when it is not contained in a bowl or glass on your altar, you can be taken back if you are not properly prepared. If you are not prepared, or if your mental state is walking a thin line between happy and sad, and depending on the energy of the land…Sirens. That’s all I’m going to say.
And it steals things, like torches and athames, but that’s an entirely different story.
Sea Witchcraft is centred around the moon and tides. Different phases of the moon effects the waves, the tide times, the motion and the essence of the land, just as the moon affects us. As we are primarily water, we share this connection with the ocean. Just as choosing to perform at the beach during the day is entirely different to at night, there’s very VERY big differences with the phases of the moon. New moon (or dark of the moon) is like rebirth – the sky is dark, you can’t see where you’re going, and you need to know the area very well to ensure your safety (if you’re alone, which many of us usually are). The full moon, on the other hand, is like dancing under your own street light!
There are books on sea witchcraft and sea spells, and the majority of the ones that I have read are based on the use of shells. If there are shells to use at your local beach, that is wonderful! Use them! I know of one shelly beach near me in Sydney (but it’s all broken shells) and there’s one fabulous beach that I know of near where I grew up for shell collecting. But if you can’t find shells? Have no fear!
Sometimes the most powerful spell in sea witchcraft is the simplest. Draw a rune, or a sigil, or a word in the wet sand and ask for the waves to chase the shore. Once it’s gone over your writing, the spell has been cast.
The beauty of sea magick is that you don’t necessarily need tools. It’s awkward to use an athame because people are scared of anyone wielding “a knife” in public, especially during the day. You don’t need candles, or incense, or bells, or anything other than yourself, comfortable clothes, and maybe a towel back at the car. People may not agree with me on this, and having a quick google search I’ve noticed people do say you need specific things…but I never found the need for them.
There’s no use for candles because during the day, the fire is the sun; at night, the fire is the stars. There’s no use for incense because the air is the wind, and the smell of the sand and the waves, and the seaweed. Carry a crystal if you feel the need, but the earth is there beneath your feet, and the waves are crashing in.
After a while it feels like your pulse and the waves are in tune with one another. You become one essence, an extension of each other. You begin to feel the pulse of the land beneath your feet as they sink into the sand, the water greets you as it laps at your feet, your ankles, your knees before occasionally being very cheeky and splashing your bum. You giggle, raise your arms and greet the spirits of the land, of the water, of the place.
In my time practicing Sea Witchcraft I never called upon Gods and/or Goddesses of the sea. I don’t know why, it just never felt right to. I would talk to Herne, which I guess is odd as he’s more land-based but he’s always been the one I connected with. Rather than the Gods I would always talk to the spirits of the land, and to those of the water, but never Deities. I tried to call upon Poseidon once. I don’t think I did it right…the energy became wrong and I didn’t stay.
Those pesky Sirens…
So! When the Muggle and I were on our “we can’t afford a honeymoon” honeymoon near Taree on the New South Wales Mid-North Coast, it was a full moon. The timeshare we were staying at backed right onto the beach, so I decided to go down to the beach, introduce myself, and honour the moon.
The energy was wrong: it felt menacing. But I persisted and went on with my rite…and I heard the Sirens call. It was beautiful, and dark, and melodic, and enveloping, and strong – so strong. They were beckoning me to come into the water, to join them, to play with them, to dance on the waves with them. I wanted to! I The urge was so overpowering that I found myself walking further and further into the waves.
I don’t know what made me come to. I don’t remember if there was a sound, or a feeling, but I realised what was happening. If I could run on sand, I would’ve done that. I left the water, walked back up the beach, picked up my thongs (flip flops) and went back to the apartment. I didn’t go back to that beach after that.