Swiss Sea Enchantment and Divination Workshop

Wicca, Cassandra and I

Our 2017 spring and summer Working On the Wild Side Workshops began with a workshop for twelve Swiss Pagans. As we were unable to fit them into Cassandra’s tiny cottage, we used the small room at the St Buryan village hall.

Wicca, a lovely woman who runs the Swiss Museum of Witchcraft, arranged for her group to meet with us and translated the relevant information. Cassandra gave a talk on her life and work as a Wise Woman and I spoke about sea spirits, mermaid legends, elemental work and uses for seaweed, sand and other materials found on beaches.  I also explained the magical properties of various sea shells, sea beans and mermaids purses.

Cassandra was asked to construct a few protection charms that the group could purchase at the workshop.

After allowing time for questions from the group, we provided various materials for them to construct personal charms. The unique designs they created and the type of materials they chose, gave us insight of their individual personalities.

After blessing these charms we visited Boscawen-un Stone Circle to charge them with meditation and energy raising dance to the beat of a drum.

We visited Sennen Beach and watched the deep red sphere in the sky as the sun descended over the sea. The group members live inland and sadly do not get a chance to experience the wonderful energies from the sea in Switzerland.

Cassandra built a fire and we sat around it discussing the local folklore.

 

We sang chants by the shore to invoke the sea spirits and raise energy for casting spells with sea shells. When this was done we returned to the fire for Cornish blackberry mead and saffron cake.
A wonderful workshop with a group of fabulous people and despite the difference in language the sister and brotherhood of the Craft deeply connected us all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handfasting Celebrant Memories

Cassandra and I have been celebrants for many Hand-fastings since 2009.
We do our utmost to provide couples with the ceremony they desire and work closely with them leading up to the event.
We conducted a Handfasting ceremony for a young couple at St Loy woods. It was important to the bride that the bluebells were in bloom as it marked a special time of the year for them.
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Bluebells at St Loy Woods

 

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Ceremonies can vary in size and location, some couple invited many guests and others prefer a more intimate occasion with only themselves or they invite a few close friends.  The ceremonies held in public locations understandably attract ‘on-lookers’ whether it be the creatures of the wild or the ancient spirits of  land and sea, also in human form with passers by. The ceremonial training I have had within the Alexandrian tradition is useful when setting up the sacred space to perform these rites.

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The image above is from one of our first Handfasting ceremonies at the Merry Maidens stone circle.  Only the couple and their family members were present as it was requested at short notice, but it still resulted in a wonderful event for them. Chinese tourists passed the site during the ceremony on an open top bus and captured images of the occasion.

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Cassandra and I performed this Handfasting ceremony ( image above) in the grounds of a Mill house which was our place of residence in 2010. It was a wonderful warm October day amongst the trees beside a small stream and the ceremony was magical.

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This ceremony (see image above) had a medieval theme and the venue chosen by the couple was King Arthur’s castle in Tintagel. There were a few rain showers but it did not dampen the celebrations at this ancient site. We were invited to a hog roast buffet in the King Arthur’s Arms, so we joined them in their celebrations and had a wonderful time.

 

Image - Mandy Raywood

 

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This ceremony (see images above) was held at Prussia Cove the location where the couple first met.  We had warm sunshine that day and working magically close to the sea was an extra special experience.  A friendship developed with the couple after the ceremony, we visit them often and they now have two adorable children.

 

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Boscawen-un stone circle is a popular site for Handfasting ceremonies. We will always remember this particular one as our ‘Obby ‘Oss Penkevyll made an appearance and performed with her Teazers from Boekka.

 

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Madron Baptistry was the venue for this Handfasting (see images above). A couple had traveled from France accompanied by their family. They stayed at Godolphin House where we later joined them for a sumptuous medieval wedding feast with copious amounts of champagne held in the fabulous dining room.

 

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A couple from overseas had their ceremony at Sancreed Holy Well. They requested we purchase and decorate their broomstick in order to infuse it with fertile energy. Six weeks after the event they informed us that they had conceived and now have a beautiful daughter!

 

Image - Lee Searle

 

Image - Lee Searle

This ceremony ( see images above) was performed at the Sennen Coastguard look-out on a cold, wild and windy day! We attempted to place the altar accoutrements upon the table but they would not remain upright. The bride’s veil attached to her hat was vertical most of the time and the guests were huddled behind the building to shelter from the force of the wind.  We were determined to continue and the wedding party took it all in good humour. We were all appreciative of the warm open fire in the First and Last public house after the ceremony.

 

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This Hand-fasting ceremony was held in the beautiful Carn Glaze Caverns. It was for a couple who had invited a small family group.  The acoustics in the Caverns were wonderful when Cassandra used her bull roarer and hearing the echoes of the marriage vows beside a fabulous blue lake.
We conducted another Hand-fasting at this venue for a jolly couple. Their laughter is infectious to all who know them. They also requested a performance by our ‘Obby ‘Oss Penkevyll and Boekka during their feast in the caves, along with a fire display team. (See video footage below)

 

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We were delighted to receive a visit from them recently and were pleased to hear that they are both well and happy together.
These are just a few of the Handfastings we have been Celebrants for. Each and every occasion is special and unique in its own way.
If you wish to make enquiries about a Handfasting ceremony visit my contact page.

 

 

Sea Beans

Exotic to the eye, drift seeds, or “sea–beans” are actually seeds from common trees and vines that grow in the tropics. The beans fall from the parent plant, into streams and rivers, to drift with the ocean’s currents until being washed onto a shore thousands of miles from where they once grew. Floating in the sea by the thousands, only the hardiest endure long voyages on ocean currents which may finally bring them to rest on foreign shores. Sea–beans are known as symbols of good luck and longevity.
We provide polished (and occasionally unpolished) sea–beans to jewelry designers, collectors and beach-enthusiasts around the world. They are undrilled and not sold for growing purposes.

Sea Hearts

Sea Hearts

Sea Hearts are produced in huge, hanging bean pods, up to six feet long. Sometimes they are found with imprints and lacerations, caused by the teeth of fish and mammals during their voyage. They are impervious to salt water, even after floating in the ocean for several years.
These beans have been fashioned into all sorts of trinkets and useful objects. Sailors carried sea hearts as good luck charms to protect them from sickness and to ward off the evil eye. Seeds were sometimes cut in half, the contents removed and the woody seed coats hinged together. Hollowed out seeds were commonly used in Norway and Northern Europe for snuff boxes, match boxes and lockets. It is said that a sea heart (also known as fava de Colom) inspired Christopher Columbus to set out in search of lands to the west.
Quantity polished purchases will be matched for size and color when possible.
Read more here:
 Otherworld Apocethary

Saddle Beans

Magical Symbolism and Uses

Sea Beans

Exotic to the eye, drift seeds, or “sea–beans” are actually seeds from common trees and vines that grow in the tropics. The beans fall from the parent plant, into streams and rivers, to drift with the ocean’s currents until being washed onto a shore thousands of miles from where they once grew. Floating in the sea by the thousands, only the hardiest endure long voyages on ocean currents which may finally bring them to rest on foreign shores. Sea–beans are known as symbols of good luck and longevity.
Read more here:
Bean Magic and Lore

The ‘Old Ways’ Workshops 2014 to 2016

This was a photo taken at our first Working On the Wild Side Workshop (Sea Magic) in 2014….how time flies!!

Workshops of 2015

 

We had a wonderful time in 2016 on our workshops. We met some wonderful people, had thought provoking discussions and profound experiences during our work.

May 2016 Workshop 1-Working On the Land

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June 2016 Workshop 2- Sea Magic

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July 2016 Workshop 3 – Spirits of Land, Sea and Otherworldly

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August 2016 Workshop 2 – Sea Workings

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Image - D. Martin

Working with Beach Sand

Working magically on a beach is wonderful. The tides remind you of the changing, but constant nature of life. The old is always washed away, but new things are brought in, along with fresh beginnings and a stiff breeze of energy. Beach sand is the perfect representation of that, along with sea water. Use it for cleansing, and encouraging new growth and changes.
– The beach is a place where all elements meet. The sun, the wind, the earth, the ocean; you can use beach sand to represent the elements, or a specific one by magically charging it, or channeling energy into it.

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Most people consider the beach as a peaceful place. Use beach sand in relaxation and peace charms, and possibly to bring sleep, and within sleep magical work.
It’s been touched by the ocean over and over. This would imbue it with the element of water, and properties of salt. Use beach sand to help one achieve stability through change. It can combine strength and emotion, and help keep one level-headed through overwhelming and stressful events.
You could probably use it in relation to time. Longevity, resilience, and long-lasting ties all come to mind when you consider the ageless sand.
Consider the area when collecting things from nature. If you’re into asking nature, elements, or local spirits for permission, do it. If you’re into just going from intuition, and collecting things only when it feels right, then do it. Keep in mind that some places don’t like people taking natural things from the area.
Sand, shells, drift wood, and items found at the beach are good for offerings to certain deities and spirits, depending on what they prefer.
Read more here:
Witchcraft and Spiritual
Before the crowds arrive, when the morning is still new, go for a walk on the sand at sunrise. Take a small bottle or bag with you, fill it with sand, and bring it back home for magical workings that incorporate all four elements. Do the same with a bottle of ocean water. You can also use your bag of sand to cast a circle once you get back home, or as a substitute for graveyard dirt in workings.
Read more here:
Witchy Tips

Mermaid’s Purses

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 Regular rock-poolers are likely to come across Mermaid’s purses containing the eggs or young of the Lesser Spotted Dogfish lying amongst the debris on the tide line. These egg capsules have been dislodged after being laid by the adult female dogfish are doomed to perish. Some, if not most, of these capsules are empty.
Image - Carol's Cornwall

Image – Carol’s Cornwall

With over 600 species of skate and ray worldwide, at least 16 species have been regularly recorded in UK coastal waters; most of these species reproduce by laying tough leathery egg cases on the seabed. Of more than 30 species of British sharks only two species lay egg cases that are commonly found on our beaches; the Small Spotted Cat Shark and the Nurse Hound.
Read more here:
British Marine Life Study – The Shark Trust

 Uses

This method was introduced to me by a friend who has excellent potential for working with the sea. Purses make fabulous containers for storing sigils and intent. Here are some examples:
  • Find a hatched mermaid purse on a nearby beach. Clean it up and let it dry.
  • Prepare your sigil and intent. Paint or draw it on.
  • Prepare your work and any incantations you may have.
  • Gently roll up the sigil
  • Find the opening of the pouch and gently push in the rolled up paper containing your sigil
  • Whisper your incantations and then seal it by anointing it with sea water and leave upon the altar until the magical spell is complete.
Mermaids purse’s and various sigils can be used for protection. Using the egg pouch to call upon spirits is also connected to these powerful creatures.
Used for – health, happiness, exorcism of evil spirits, fertility, prosperity, protection.
Read more here:
The Water Witch

The Moon and the Sea

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The alternating pattern of rising and falling sea level with respect to land is what we know as the tides. What causes this “motion of the ocean”? In one word, gravity. Specifically, the gravitational forces of the Sun and Moon.
The key to understanding how the tides work is understanding the relationship between the motion of our planet and the Moon and Sun. As the Earth spins on its own axis, ocean water is kept at equal levels around the planet by the Earth’s gravity pulling inward and centrifugal force pushing outward.
Image - Science Classroom

Image – Science Classroom

However, the Moon’s gravitational forces are strong enough to disrupt this balance by accelerating the water towards the Moon. This causes the water to ‘bulge.’ As the Moon orbits our planet and as the Earth rotates, the bulge also moves. The areas of the Earth where the bulging occurs experience high tide, and the other areas are subject to a low tide.
Read more here:
Moon Connection
Working with the Moon at certain phases for example, waxing moon is good for working on situations or things that need growth, full moon is good for healing and other matters related to the feminine, waning moon is good for banishing and taking away, while the dark moon is the perfect time for working deeper with the inner self and the mind.
The incoming tide is an auspicious time for bringing matters to a head, attraction and growth and the outgoing tide for taking away or repelling, illnesses, unwanted matters or associations.

 

Working with Seaweed

Seaweed offers protection for those at sea. It summons sea spirits and sea winds. It is used in sachets and spells to increase psychic powers.  If you use an infusion to scrub floors in a business premises it will attract customers and bring positive energy. Use it for financial gain too.

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It can also help to regulate an underactive thyroid and relieve the pain of rheumatism and rheumatic joints.
Herbs and Magical Correspondences

Easy Seaweed Bottle Spell for Luck

” Many good fortune spells feature seaweeds like bladderwrack and agar-agar, both popularly known as Sea Spirit. Seaweeds, in general, are perceived as auspicious; other species such as kelp and dulce may be easier to obtain, along with other seaweeds associated with Japanese cuisine or nutritional supplements.
Simply place the seaweed in a jar and cover with sake or whiskey. Keep the covered jar in the kitchen to magically attract good fortune.
Note: For this spell, seaweed may be fresh or dried, but tablets may not be substituted.”
Gypsy Magic Spells

 

A Seaweed Money Spell

“Items Needed:
A small boiling saucepan of water, edible seaweed, beef or chicken stock cubes  Do this on a waxing moon or full moon and a rising or high tide.
Do the spell at your stove, or if you have a cooking cauldron on a fire, even better! Boil some water and empower it with chanting. When it is at the peak of boiling add one of the cubes to the broth and as it dissolves repeat your chant. Hold your hands over the seaweed and visualise it turning into money. Take some and break it into small pieces and add to the broth saying:
“Seaweed abundant gift of the sea. bringing money in abundance to me, help to make me healthy and strong, bringing wellness and riches as I sing my song.
Take the soup off the stove and let it cool, add pepper or other seasonings to taste. Eat warm. If this soup is too much for you to eat or it does not taste pleasant, think of items that can be added to make it more appealing: carrots, peas, noodles, etc. Save a small amount to give as an offering to a plant or tree outside.”
Witch Spells

Seaweed Knot Wish

For this spell, you will need a piece of seaweed and the ocean
Get in the ocean, letting your worries sink to the bottom. Close your eyes and tune into the rhythm of the sea. Take your piece of seaweed and state your wish. Tie the seaweed into 3 knots and say, “By my will and knot times three. My wish is done, so shall it be!”
Free Spells Daily
 

 

Magical Uses of Sea Shells

MAGICAL USES OF SHELLS

 

Sea Shells

Shells are gifts of the sea, they can be used to represent the oceanic deities,
Long, spiraled ones signify the Gods, while round shells symbolize
the Goddesses. Cowries have been
used for centuries for the latter
purpose.
Sea Witches and magicians place shells upon their altars for this
very reason when performing sea magic at home.
When spells are done by the sea
shore, a protective circle can be
marked out with a ring of shells gathered for that specific purpose.
Shells can be strung together or individually and worn to promote fertility, or to attract money, since they were once used as money.
Take a large univalve (one-piece) shell and hold it close to your
ear. You will hear the voice of the sea. Let it speak to you. You
may hear messages of the future or past; or the sound of the sea can
still your mind for receiving psychic messages.
A special shell that you find on the beach and have a strong attraction to may be fashioned
into a
protective or lucky amulet.
A shell in the home can be an indicator of the sea. Hold it to your
ear; if the sounds within it are loud, the sea is rough; if soft, the
sea is smooth and calm.
A shell placed at the entrance of the house ensures that luck will
enter it.
Conches or other very large univalves are blown at seaside rites to
dispel negativity and to invite the Gods and good spirits to be
present at rituals and spells.
Read more here:
Hoodoo Witch

 

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 Scallop shells – popular with collectors because of diversity with pattern and colour. A large group with several hundred species worldwide. Most found in tropical waters. Can be used in any form of magic especially if you cannot find the right shell for your spell. For travel and movement.

 

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Abalone – there are 100 different types of these shells. They have a plain exterior with a nacreous iridescent interior known as mother of pearl. they are flat in shape and edged with small holes. useful for finding things hidden and good fortune. Meditation for inner beauty and for general use and containment of stones and herbs

 

Link to Nature

  Limpets –  large family of primitive snails which are ovate and include a hole in the middle. Use for finding your way out of a situation also unlocking psychic or divination abilities. Confidence, courage and strength

 

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 Clam shells – there are many families of clam shells, Tridacna, Mactra, Solenidae, Cultellidae and Veneridae. Giant clams are small but the shells can vary from large to very large. The Goddess Venus is often depicted standing in a clam shell. Excellent for Goddess related rituals and spells.  love and purification

 

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 Whelks – large and diverse family with hundreds of species. Lives in cold and warm seas. the shell fits perfectly in the hand.  positive and dramatic change, handling a situation and gaining control, maintain status quo and stability.

 

 

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Conche – a well-known and diverse family. some can be quite smooth while others have spiny extensions on the outer edge. It has been used over 1000s of years as a means of coastal communication. It has a deep resonating sound when it is blown. Ideal for invoking spirits, announcing arrivals and communication, also  love.

 

 

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Cowrie shell – a large family and prized by shell collectors. It is shiny and has an avocado shape. It resembles the uterus and also female genitalia. Can be used for fertility, menstrual cycle, menopause, womb ailments and pregnancy, also  money and prosperity (has feminine appearance)

 

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Cone shells are well-known since they possess a powerful sting used to capture prey.
The incredibly toxic venom of the geographic cone snail has to be strong enough to paralyze instantly. Otherwise, the fish it preys on would swim away to die, and the slow-moving gastropod would have nothing for its efforts.
Indigenous to the reefs of the Indo-Pacific, geographic cones grow to about 6 inches (15 centimeters) in length and have intricately patterned brown-and-white shells highly prized by shell collectors.

 

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Spiral shells stimulation of energy in ritual and the home.
The chambered nautilus is a sea creature that belongs in the same class as the octopus. Unlike the octopus, it has a hard shell that’s divided into chambers. As the nautilus matures and grows, it periodically seals off the shell behind it and creates a new, larger living chamber. The shells of adults may have as many as 30 such chambers.
This cutaway of a nautilus shell shows its chambers and reveals an elegant spiral structure.
This growth process yields an elegant spiral structure, visible when the shell is sliced to reveal the individual chambers. Many accounts describe this pattern as a logarithmic (or equiangular) spiral and link it to a number known as the golden ratio.

 

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Moon shells – psychic awareness peace and purification
Moon shells are snail-like globular forms with a half moon shaped aperture. Some flattened, disk-like species also exist. Typically, a thick rib-like callus obscures the umbilicus, and the aperture lip is fringed by a thin sharp edge. In life, mantle flaps from each side cover the shell, protecting its lustrous finish. Although their shell characteristics are very similar, molecular data now are showing that several Naticid genera belong to other taxa. For example, N. alapapiliones, N. acinonyx, N. multipunctata, etc., all group together in a separate taxon, perhaps the genus Glyphepithema .
These molluscs are largely found in sea floor sand of the tropics, but also in waters beyond the Arctic and Antarctic Circles. They make a living by plowing just below the surface. When they find another mollusc, it is enveloped by their massive foot –often too large to be withdrawn into the shell. The rasp-like radula is then applied to drill an extremely neat, beveled hole. Drilling is facilitated, as it is also in muricids, by an accessory boring organ on the anterior portion of the foot. It secretes a non-acid calcium chelating compound that softens shells

 

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 Olive shells – members of the Olividae family they are carnivorous sand burrowers. Used for healing.
Any of the marine snails that constitute the family Olividae (subclass Prosobranchia of the class Gastropoda). Fossils of the genus Oliva are common from the Eocene Epoch (57.8 to 36.6 million years ago) to the present. The shell, which is distinctive and easily recognizable, has a pointed apex and rapidly expands outward to the main body whorl. It is oval in shape, with a long and narrow aperture, and possesses an agate-like sheen and fine markings.

 

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 Oyster shells – best known as a food source and production of pearls. Related to the Moon and some cultures view pearls as tears of the Moon. Used for lunar magic, spells for passion, virility, sexual love and good fortune.

 

 

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Tooth shells – money
Tusk shell, also called elephant’s tusk, elephant’s tooth, or tooth shell, any of several marine mollusks of the class Scaphopoda. There are four genera of tusk shells (Dentalium is typical and most common) and more than 350 species. Most tusk shells live in fairly deep water, sometimes to depths of about 4,000 metres (13,000 feet); many deep-sea species are cosmopolitan in distribution. Tusk shells feed upon such small organisms as protozoans of the order Forminifera and young bivalves.

 

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Sand dollars – Wisdom
What you’ll usually find is something called a test, which is the skeleton of a dead sand dollar. This beautiful test is usually white or grayish-white, with a star-shaped marking in its center. The name for these animals (yes, they are animals!) came from their likeness to silver dollars. When they are alive, sand dollars look much different. They are covered with short, velvety spines that may be purple, reddish brown, yellowish, gray, green or black in color. Here you can learn more about what sand dollars look like, what they eat, where they live and how they reproduce. Sand dollars are echinoderms, which means they are related to sea stars, sea cucumbers and sea urchins. In fact, they are basically flat sea urchins, and are in the same class as sea urchins – Class Echinoidea. This class is divided into two groups – the regular echinoids (sea urchins and pencil urchins) and irregular echinoids (includes heart urchins, sea biscuits and sand dollars).

 

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Auger – Large family of long and slender shells.  phallic shaped shells can be used for matters associated with males, fertility, courage and power, also healing male ailments.
Augers are related to cone shells and turrids a group that uses a harpoon-like radular tooth to inject venom to capture worms.  Their slender  shells are designed for plowing through sand leaving a trail behind them.  A few prefer drifting up-and-down sloping beaches with the surf while hunting, quickly burying between waves at the water’s edge.  Most prefer clean sand adjacent to the reef.  Most species occur at deeper scuba depths. Horn shells differ from augers in having a recurved siphonal canal and herbivorous diet.

 

Lundin and Largo

 Cockle shells – a very large and well-known family and live in shallow and deep water.  “warming the cockles of the heart” used in relationship, friendship and love matters.
Cockle shells are a very common species found throughout the world. The rounded shells can have a pronounced heart shape and are frequently ribbed. In both Europe and the Far East cockle shells are one of the most popular edible shell fish.

 

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Nautilus – one of the most beautiful shells you will find. It is a small family of four or five species. It is coiled and has a rippled surface resembling the human brain can be used in spells for the brain, mentality, studies, examinations and writing, wisdom knowledge, understanding difficult concepts. Psychological balance and harmony.

 

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Spindle – large and popular group living in shallow water. Fate destiny, change, karma and meditation. Art or craft projects.
Family Fusinidae are as described, spindle shaped, elegant shells. All are elongated, with a many whorled spire (the coiled part of a gastropod apart from the body whorl that generally tapers to a point), a long straight siphonal canal and a smooth columella. Spindles have ornamental features which includes strong tubercles and vertical folds, spiral ribs and ridges inside the aperture. Some shells are long, thick and heavy, a few have left-handed spiral.
Spindles are sea snails and live on sandy bottom sea floors among rocks and coral debris. They are carnivorous and prey on other small sea creatures.
Read more here:
Grove and Grotto