Long before fancy new-age tools became readily available through specialty shops, our magic-using ancestors turned to nature for their power objects. Natural objects are imbued with spiritual energies that we can harness for our own use in spells and charms. Seashells in particular have a long history of magical uses, as they were associated with the powers of various sea gods and goddesses of different cultures.
Being born of the ocean, shells are strongly associated with the element of water. They are also associated with the moon, which drives ocean tides. Both the element of water and the moon have strong feminine energies that are receptive in nature, so shells are primarily used in magic to draw things you desire into your life.
Shells taken from the ocean need little ritual preparation for magical uses; however, if your shells were bought from a store or have been stashed in a box for a while, they may benefit from cleansing and recharging. To do this, place your shells in a bowl of water mixed with sea salt. Set them aside to soak for a day or overnight. Recharge them by setting the bowl in the sun or under the light of the full moon for several hours.
One of the main symbols for Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, is the seashell. Invoke the power of Aphrodite for love spells using shells by wearing seashell jewelry or hair ornaments to attract a mate. Use a hinged seashell with the two parts still attached as a powerful love talisman to keep two lovers together. Write the initials of the lovers on the inside of the shell, one on each side, then seal it shut with glue.
Many cultures used shells as a form of currency. Cowrie shells were used in Africa and North America, and Native Americans used wampum—beads made from clam shells—as money. Because of this, shells are suitable for money spells. Fill a small green or gold pouch with seashells, a silver coin and mint, which is a money-drawing herb. Hang the bag where you do business, and rub it when you desire prosperity. Place a small seashell in your wallet or purse to continually keep money coming to it.
Protection is a shell's primary purpose in nature, as it is made to keep small, defenseless sea creatures safe from harm. Because of this, shells have strong protective energies. Many cultures in coastal areas use shells in folk magic to protect the home by placing strings of shells over windows and doors. Necklaces of strung shells can be worn by children to keep them close to home and safe from harm. Placing a small, round shell on the collars of your pets will keep them safe should they wander from home.
- The Magical Household; Scott Cunningham and David Harrington; 1994
- Jeanne Studio/Demand Media