The never resting sea

Aug 16th, 2014 | By | Category: Articles, Books for Witches / Wiccans

By Melusine DracoTraditional_Witchcraft_for_the_Seashore_72

We’re all familiar with the old adage that a picture paints a thousand words and the original photograph chosen for Traditional Witchcraft for the Seashore was a beautiful, sun-kissed day with gentle waves rolling on to the beach.  This was not, however, the view I personally have of the sea and after a few discussions with ‘Design’, Stuart came up with a much darker image of waves crashing against jagged rocks, with black storm clouds on the horizon.  This, I felt was a much more appropriate picture of this beautiful but deadly expanse of water than circles our planet.

And nowhere else is this image brought home to us than with the events surrounding the missing aircraft MH370 that focussed the world’s attention on the Indian Ocean.  Although the youngest of the major oceans, it is the third largest covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth’s surface and contains some of the deepest ocean depths on the planet.  According to Wikipedia, the average depth of the ocean is 3,890 m (12,762 ft). Its deepest point is Diamantina Deep in Diamantina Trench, at 8,047 m (26,401 ft) deep; also sometimes considered is Sunda Trench, at a depth of 7,258–7,725 m (23,812–25,344 ft).  In this deep, dark place the passengers of that aircraft lie entombed in their watery grave, known to seafarers as Davy Jones’s Locker.

These are awe-inspiring statistics but how can we put this sort of information into a magical perspective?  In Traditional Witchcraft for the Seashore we moved away from the water’s edge and confronted the Power of the Deep by means of pathworkings – but one of the first exercises we carried out was the creation of a protective charm using the image of the sea crab.

Le crabe enragé protection charm:

This is one of the most common sea-creatures to be found on the beaches and can be found in the highest rock pools to depths of 200 feet in the sea.  In summer they move out into the brackish waters of estuaries and salt marshes, and remain higher up the shore and on mudflats when the tide drops, where they survive in small pools or burrows.   These little creatures are survivalists in that they can re-grow lost limbs, and are both scavengers and ingenious predators.  In Greek mythology, the crab was sent to distract Hercules when he was fighting the Hydra.  The hero’s foot crushed the crab, but as a reward for its efforts, Hera placed it among the stars. The zodiacal symbol of Cancer represents the crab’s claws.

From a magical perspective, the Sun’s entry into Cancer marks the Summer Solstice, the longest day in the northern hemisphere (in the southern hemisphere it marks the Winter Solstice and the shortest day).  Shore crabs are most active at night and at high tide and are, not surprisingly, ruled by the Moon.  The French name is le crabe enragé, and it is from the animal’s habit of waving its open pincers threateningly when disturbed, that we take the image we need to use for our magical rite of protection.

  • At the highest level of high tide take a small, airtight jar and fill it with seawater. [If you live inland, national newspapers give information about the tides and a brine solution can be made from Malden Salt.]  This is your ‘holy’ water and it power is drawn direct from the sea, so there is no need for cleansing or charging.
  • Now take an image of a crab, either the zodiacal symbol for Cancer, or a picture of le crabe enragé.   If you take this from a book, magazine or newspaper, make a photocopy to prevent anything appearing on the reverse side of the image.
  • If you prefer, a small piece of jewellery can be used and, once charged, will afford you the protection of the crab to carry around on your person.

If the spell is for the general protection of your home, place the image of the crab into the sea-water, and screw the jar tightly to prevent seepage.  The crab represents it/you defending your quarter and, although small, it can pack a wallop with those pincers!   Prepare the spell by moonlight, and as the image absorbs the water, visualise the crab coming alive to challenge any enemies or intruders – on both the physical and psychic levels.  If the ink runs and distorts the picture, don’t worry, it merely means that essence of the crab itself is entering into the water.

Allow the salt water to stand on a window sill where it can catch both sun and moonlight for seven high tides before using it to sprinkle over all the entry points to your home (including the chimney).   Use whatever chant or intonation you feel comfortable with, in order to ‘fix’ the spell to protect against whatever you feel is a threat, or use the words:

I [Magical Name] cast this barrier of protection

around myself, my loved ones, and my home, across

which no hostile or malevolent forces dare cross.

If you are charging a pendent to wear on a chain or key-ring, then the image should remain in the seawater for the same amount of time but adapt the ‘fix’ accordingly.  Remember that salt water is corrosive and do not use anything that could be damaged, since this would lessen the potency of the spell.

The sea is a dark and dangerous place but its energies can be used to sooth emotions; open up spiritual and psychic portals; and be a force that can be harnessed to bring about change.

This unknown and untamed element of our planet is possibly the most magical element of all but it constantly draws us into its heart.  “I must gfo down to the sea again …”


Traditional Witchcraft for the Seashore by Melusine Draco is published by Moon Books in paperback or e-book format.

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