The Book of Tides

a resource site for sea magick

What is beach magick?

what is beach magick
The beach is an excellent place for Sea Witches to celebrate the waters of the world: both the briny seas and the freshwater lakes, rivers, and ponds. While we typically visit the beach during hot summers, those who live in cooler climates may enjoy a walk along a deserted beach in the off-season.

Not only is the seashore a good place to collect water to use in magickal workings, but it is a great spot to find treasures from the Sea which will be imbued with the energy of our Mother Ocean. These treasures might include sea shells, beach glass, seaweed, and tidal drift debris, all of which can be used for beach magick at the sea shore.

Remember, however, that when you work with Mother Ocean, you are not in control. She works with Her own set of rules and Her own agenda. We mortals are mere visitors to Her realm. Unlike an altar in your room or a space in the garden, a visit to Mother Ocean can be amazing, forceful, and destructive all at once, and we need to respect Her.

The tides

tide chart The tides, the rise and fall of ocean waters on a regular schedule, are a practical way to indicate the passage of time. All bodies of water are subject to the force of the Sun and Moon which generate tides.

Tip: Before performing magick at the seashore, check the current tide to determine the best type of magick for that particular time of day. The local news in coastal areas will generally have tidal information.

Guidelines for beach magick workings

Even in this modern enlightened age where witches are fashionable and there’s a New Age shoppe on every corner, not everyone is fortunate enough to live in a magick tolerant community. Before heading out to the beach to "do things", take heed of these simple guidelines because it is better to be safe than sorry:

public workings

A seashore spell

Sometimes the best solution is the simplest one. Don’t overthink what is needed to solve your problems. If you need a quick spell to help with your needs, start with the basics by trying this easy beach spell. Just add your favourite deserted beach and you’re all set!

seashore spell Supplies


Stand at the water’s edge just before high tide. With your writing implement, trace a symbol of your needs in the sand of the beach. As the tide rushes in, it will carry it to the Sea Gods. Your needs will be met within one lunar cycle.

For a variant, trace a symbol of your needs onto a sea shell. Place the shell on the beach so that the rising tide will carry it off. Within one lunar cycle, you should see your needs meet.

Nine Waves beach wish

nine waves spell Utilize the power of Nine to make your wish come true. This spell works best if you cast it on the 9th hour of the 9th day of the 9th month of the year -- September 9th (09/09) at 9 AM.


Walk along the beach as the tide is coming in. Starting at the moment of high tide, count out nine waves rolling from the shore. When the ninth wave is leaving, make your wish.

Protect My Travels beach spell

protect my travels Before traveling over water, it is considered prudent to make an offering to the sea Gods. It is even more important to make an offering to the sea Gods before setting off in a new boat, lest they claim the boat and your life. Figureheads for larger ships are a remnant of this custom.


Visit the shore just prior to your journey. Traditional offerings include assorted animal sacrifices (as done in the early days of seafaring), silver coins (always a good choice), a sprig of your favourite herb, a strand of your hair, gemstones, or a bottle of champagne (the modern equivalent).

However, you may offer anything you have to give that seems appropriate such as something you made or something personally meaningful. Just be certain that it will not be harmful to the environment in which it is offered, and of course, don't leave trash or plastic wrappings behind.

Seaweed Pentagram beach spell

seaweed pentagram Those who choose to perform rituals at the seashore may wish for protection against interruption. This can easily be accomplished by gathering many long pieces of seaweed to form into a protective pentagram near where you are working (or near the entrance to the beach if there is a specific path to it).

Be sure to remove the pentagram when you are finished with your ritual so as not to upset other beach goers the next day.

A sea charm

This charm can be placed on your desk at work, in your car, on your boat, or any place that needs a little sea protection.


sea charm


Place all items into the bottom shell. Anoint the top shell with a drop of salt water, and close the shells. Tie them firmly closed with blue ribbon, and then place the charm where needed.

A Sea Witch protection bottle

If you suspect you are the victim of psychic attacks, this bottle may prove helpful in warding off unwanted influences. It is a powerful protective device for home or vehicle which can be crafted from a small jar and the gifts of the sea.


sea witch protection bottle


Place all items except the spines into the jar in layers as best as you can, packing them in firmly. Insert the spines through all layers. Close the jar with the cork, then seal it with dark blue melted wax.

Place the jar near the main entrance to your house, either in an inconspicuous indoor location, or bury it just outside the door.

Saltwater Banishing bottle

If there is someone you wish to remove from your life, this bottle may prove useful in dissolving the bond between you and the individual(s). With this bottle, you can banish them from your life temporarily or permanently -- your choice. This is best performed during a waning moon or at dark moon.


saltwater banishing bottle


Fill the jar with water. Add the sea salt, then stir until fully dissolved. Add the rosemary.

On your paper, write the name of the individual you wish to banish from your life. If there is more than one individual, use a separate strip of paper for each.

Place each strip of paper into the jar until fully submerged. Once complete, close the jar, then recite this chant:

Begone! I do not wish you come to harm, but I do banish you from my life until [time].

If you want the individual gone permanently, specify that for the time.

Place the jar in a well-lighted location to expedite the paper's dissolving. You should see results within one moon cycle. When the spell is complete, flush the contents of the jar straight down the toilet, and don't look back.

A charm to protect a surfer

If you enjoy the sport of surfing (or know someone who does), take the time to create this special surfer protection charm. This charm will help ensure the surfer’s continued safety should they encounter a dangerously large wave.

surfer protection Supplies

Make up a small waterproof pouch containing at least three of the following items:


Once the pouch has been made, wear it while surfing.

Tip: Make an offering before heading out on your surfboard for the first time, and at the beginning of each surfing session thereafter.

Cockles of the Heart love spell

If you feel a love spell is truly the only way to achieve your heart’s desire, this spell will aid you in your endeavor.

cockles of the heart spell Supplies


Perform during the waxing moon. Anoint the candle and your forehead each with one drop of rose oil. Light the candle, state your desire, and pass the rose quartz through the flame. Place it inside the shell overnight, then tie the shells together with the ribbon. Extinguish the candle. Repeat for nine nights.

Once complete, carry the rose quartz in your pocket for one moon cycle.

Lucky Wishbone love charm

If you know someone who needs more love in their life, with their permission this is something which might be helpful to them to attract the love they desire.

Lucky Wishbone love charm Supplies


Save the wishbone next time you cook a whole chicken. Paint it red or gold, then place it in a small red charm bag with the other charm components. Charge it with the intent to draw love to the bearer of this charm bag.

You can use this yourself, give it to someone else, or store it until needed.

A sailor's valentine charm

a modern sailor's valentine Sailor's valentines are shell craft souvenirs that were brought back by sailors during the Victorian era (1830 to 1890). They are usually octagonal in shape and in the form of a glass-fronted box filled with sea shells arranged in a design.

While there is a romantic notion that these "valentines" were individually handmade by each sailor from sea shells he personally collected, most such souvenirs originated on the island of Barbados, as evidenced by newspaper remains seen in damaged sailor's valentines boxes.

Today they are a highly desirable collectible, but it is easy to make your own from collected sea shells. Depending on whether you make a flat or 3D item, the resulting item can be used as-is for a charm, or (in the case of 3-D objects such as boxes) as a container for any charm spell components of your choosing.


Tip: I also find tweezers helpful when placing the shells.


Start off by laying out the design you want to ensure you have enough of each type of shell. Adjust the design as needed, or acquire more shells. Once it is arranged to your liking, choose one shell and glue it in place. It is up to you whether you wish to begin in the middle of the design or around the edges.

Continue gluing shells in your design until the pattern is complete! Once it is finished, set it aside to dry for at least 24 hours before using it.

Further reading

You might also enjoy these books:

Sailors' Valentines Sailors' Valentines: Their Journey Through Time by Grace L. Madeira (Schiffer Publishing, 2006): While there is the usual history of the sailors' valentine, only the first section deals with actual antiques. Most of the book is given over to the work of modern artists. This is less useful than it could be unless someone is planning to have a reproduction made, especially for the amount of space it occupies within the book. Throughout the book, all the photos are large and full-colour though, so if you are planning to make your own, you do have plenty of good images to inspire you.   Neptune's Treasures Neptune's Treasures: A Study And Value Guide by Carole Smyth (Carole Smyth Antiques, 1996): An excellent guide to the historical usage of sea shells for craft purposes. This spans from antiquity to TV lamps (1950s). Includes numerous colour photos of examples so that it is easy to identify like pieces. The value guide consists of a single page at the end. As this is an older book, I wouldn't trust the stated valuations.

These books can be difficult to find since many are out of print. Some great places to buy used books online include:

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