The Pagan Experience 2015

OceanCraft

Outside of being a type of boat or something to do with Minecraft, my quick Google search on the topic came up blank.

Maybe searches on “sea magick” or “water magick” would come up better, but I prefer the term OceanCraft as it has a beautiful sound to it. When I think of the “sea” I think of a calm and serene stretch of land by a quiet coastal village with boats in the harbour. To me, the ocean is a lot more complicated and destructive. It’s the surfers waiting for the perfect wave, riding it before it leaves them and comes crashing upon the shore. It’s the rocky outcrop where the seals sunbake, and the waves thrash upon. It’s the Australian coastline, against the many Straights and Oceans, that lead out into the vast horizon.

Curl Curl Beach, 2015
Curl Curl Beach, Sydney, 2015

There is no one set way of practicing Ocean Witchcraft, just as there is no one set way of practicing any other form of Witchcraft (unless you’re on a structured by-the-book path, of course). There’s no one set way to honour the Gods, or the Spirits of the Water, or the Spirits of Place, just like there is no set direction for the waves.

The waves move one way and the other, side to side; the waves break as they choose. This is very much how to approach the ocean – as it comes, and to a degree on its terms.

If you live by the water, if you spend much of your time there, you know that the comparison to waves and emotions is apt – the waves behave as they like. If you aren’t familiar it may look beautiful and serene on the surface with a destructive rip tide lingering below. Much like our emotions, we can wear a mask while the reality lingers beneath.

Every beach is different. The ocean is its own beautiful living entity, and just like every living entity they have their own personality; every beach as its own energy which you may or may not get along with. To approach a beach with the belief that it’s just like every other beach is asking for trouble.

Curl Curl Beach, Sydney, 2015
Curl Curl Beach, Sydney, 2015

If you’re new to working with the ocean, start by introducing yourself. This might be through standing at the water’s edge and centring yourself, or it might be through vocally saying, “Hello, my name is (eg. Inigo Montoya)” or it could be through an offering (recyclable, of course).

Get to know it. Spend some time connecting with the spirits of place, with the flow and energy of the waves. Notice the sand, the dunes, the types of animals that call it home. Notice the people that visit – is it family friendly, or more of a surf beach? Does the water lead to the ocean or to a bay or inlet? Which direction does the wind generally come from? Which direction does it face? Where does the sun rise and set? Can you collect shells or pebbles? Is there drift wood, or cliffs, or large rocks? Is it a part of a coastal town or more secluded?

Anglesea Beach, Victoria, Australia 2014.
Anglesea Beach, Victoria, Australia 2014.

You may find that the way you begin your circle doesn’t feel right. You may feel a yearning to cast in a completely different manner, or not at all. You may have the intention of wanting a small altar but feel you don’t need one. You may feel the need to have nothing there but yourself with your bare feet in the sand. This is all fine, as you will know the answers at the water’s edge.

There are many websites on sea magick and sea spells, spells to do with shells, or seaweed, or pebbles. I’ve always found that at the water’s edge, whatever I had intended is normally thrown out and some other way of spell craft (to achieve the same result) is planned on the spot.

I won’t talk about ocean Deities as I never felt the need to work with them, but you will find your own path with that one (I always worked with Spirits of Place…or Herne…I can’t explain it).

cropped-going_home3.jpg

The ocean can be beautiful and serene and calming, but it can also be deadly, and dangerous, and destructive. Approach with respect and work with it with respect, just like you would a fellow member of our Craft.

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