Who can ever forget those long hot summer days spent as a child exploring the magic and mystery of the seaside? From building sandcastles of seemingly epic proportions through to collecting seashells and fishing in rock pools, the sheer excitement of exploring wide and open beaches and its washed-up treasures remain one of the high points in a young person’s life.
And then, no matter what your age, there is still the glorious fascination and calming effect of the constant ebb and flow of the ocean as it rises further and further up the beach, both cleaning it and depositing a new set of treasures to collect and savor.
Power of the Sea
For writer Sandra Kynes, the memories that she holds most dear regarding her childhood are those very same summers spent with her parents on holiday at the seaside. It was on those occasions that she learned to love the sea and the variety of natural wonders it revealed to her.
Years later, she began to realize that behind the romanticism of the seaside is a spiritual influence that, for many people, remains unchartered.
As Kynes says,
The sea offers us many tools for accessing that realm of inner stillness and wisdom that resides at the core of our souls.
‘Sea Magic’ is an exploration of the many strands of esoteric wisdom that have traditionally been associated with the sea. It begins with a look at the many sea goddesses and deities that have been venerated throughout history.
Kynes explains how the names of so many saints, for example, are derived from the Latin word ‘mare’, which means sea. From this, we recognize the root meaning behind such names as Mary, Maria, Marian and Miriam.
Early Sea Magic
Kynes introduces her reader to the ancient form of Celtic sea magic known as the ‘Ninefold Sea Blessing’. She explains how it was used, and how it was derived, from the natural rhythmic patterns of waves.
She also explores the ancient Greek connection to the sea via the mineral salt—a substance that has a large part to play in all types of magickal practices and cleansing rituals.
In part two, the author further explores the myths, deities and saints connected to the sea.
Here she reveals some of the ancient myths associated with sea and sea travel before listing a number of sea-connected deities, both common and less well-known.
Practical Sea Magic
Sea magick is a way to engage with the inherent power of larger bodies of natural water. The tools for the task suggested by the author includes the creation of a sea altar, using shells to mark the cardinal directions , working with shell blessings, sand forms and sea-water circles etc.
One of the most interesting magickal techniques that she describes in the book is that of divination using seashells.
Here she recommends the use of coweries (small, rounded shells that work well for the task once they have been cleansed and dedicated to a sea deity).
Qualities of Shells
Coweries are not the only type of seashell that Kynes looks at for she dedicates the whole of part four of her book to the natural qualities of a large number of different types.
These range from the traditional conch and cockle through to the nautilus and the scallop. In each case she identifies their unique shape and properties as well as something of their historical connections.
Whilst seashells are a product of the natural world, the sea has always been connection with mythical and spiritual entities.
Kynes explains how a fetch, or totem sea creature, can appear to you and aid you throughout your life. Common types include the albatross, the dolphin, the turtle and the whale.
Other denizens of the mythic sea world include mermaids, sea monsters, water faries and ocean ghosts.
The moon has also been traditionally connected to the sea – mainly as a result of the powerful gravitational effect it exerts upon all large masses of water.
In ‘Sea Magic’, Sandra Kynes explains how lunar cycles effect both the sea and all creatures that live in it. She also reflects upon the particular lunar influence that is applied at the two equinoxes at the start and end of the year.
In conclusion, the author considers the uniquely powerful relationship between the moon, water and our inner spiritual world.
As she says,
By using sea centerings, ocean breath, and other techniques we can discern and follow our own energetic ebb and flow. We can discover that we have the ability to nourish our souls and even transform our lives.
In many ways, these are all things we intuitively knew as children that the sea could do for us but we have long since forgotten in the passing of the years since childhood.
Our Review of ‘Sea Magic’ by Sandra Kynes
This is a book that reminds one of the natural majesty and power of an element force that even those who live by the sea tend to take for granted.
To those land-locked lubbers who have little contact with any of our oceans, this book will open up a rich tapestry of sea and water-related experiences.
It is also a book that those with a strong astrological bias toward the element of water will particularly enjoy.
Full of practical exercises, magical ritual and charming illustrations, Sea Magic is a delight to read. Its narrative is engaging and sheer variety of approaches to the subject of the sea makes this a publication that you will most definitely want to take to the beach with you next time you go.
Sea Magic captures the sense of power of the roar of the wave and the rhythmic ebb and flow of the ocean’s waves. It is a book as delightful as the sea and all its magickal mysteries.