Sea Glass as a Magickal Item?
I have collected sea glass (glass that has been smoothed and etched by the water and sand of the ocean) since I was a child. Each piece seems to call to me, and often great finds wash up at my feet, like gifts from the waves. I have never heard of sea glass holding any magic properties, beyond that of making beauty out of garbage, but it seems that sea glass does have something about it that is otherworldly.
It comes in every color of the rainbow, with white being the most common, then greens and browns from liquor bottles, but I have found yellows, oranges, reds, and blues. These rare colors are a prize to collectors, and walking on the beach, hunting for pieces encourages meditative thought. The colors can be symbolic, as they are in ritual candles, but I don’t know if the same holds true for sea glass.
As a searcher walks, they take notice of all that is around them, as they look for glass, they also see the other flotsam that has washed up. Many see trash that has washed up, and gather it to properly dispose of. Many take a step further, to work with others to keep plastic trash out of the sea and shore, ensuring a cleaner home for the Goddess and God here on earth, as well as a cleaner home for man and animals. Searchers see dead sea creatures, damaged by pollution. They see live animals, hope for the future. They see children, men, and women enjoying the sea, just as humans have done since antiquity. The ocean calls to us, grants gifts to us.
Glass is simply silica sand and other minerals molten together into a liquid, then shaped and cooled back into a solid. This in itself can be a symbol of how a person’s common background can be transformed through the “trials and tribulations” of life into something beautiful and precious.
Sea glass has gone through two more steps. It has been discarded and broken, deemed worthless, and left to the elements. Worn by sand, broken down by the natural chemical reactions of ocean water, it loses it’s hard sheen, and sharp edges. It smoothes down, sometimes into intricate shapes, and washes up. It has become a gemstone of sorts, helped by man, but ultimately affected most by the acts of nature that surround it.
Sea glass has lost some of its minerals and silica, from being physically worn away, or from being leached out by chemical reactions with the seawater. So too do we lose some of our “selves”, when we work through our adversities. We lose our jagged edges, our impurities. As minerals return to the sea and earth, so too should we offer our losses of selfish behavior, prejudices, avarice, and sloth.
Is that not how we are shaped? We are a part of mankind, and we are partly shaped by our relations to our fellow people, but so much more so are we shaped by our interactions with our Gods and Goddesses, with our spiritual experiences. Just like silica and minerals, we are a part of the earth, but through our interactions with people, we grow stronger, more solidified, and become more valuable and useful after being shaped and molded. However, we do need the final finishing through our spiritual experiences.
Interactions with our deities smooth our sharp edges; they teach us that we are not all-knowing. If we remain sharp and smooth, all we have is our outward appearance and our knowledge. We have no deeper wisdom, no real learning. Just as the sand and salt water buff and scour discarded glass, we must allow our faith to shape us. We too must be spiritually buffed and scoured, so that we might become people of inner and outer beauty and strength.
I take out broken glass, marbles, and beads to the sea, and as I offer them to the Goddess, I offer myself to her. As each shard falls to the bottom of the kelp beds, far out enough that it will not have an easy journey back to shore, I reflect that my journey will not be easy either, but that I will improve through my struggles, just as broken glass improves from trash into treasure. I choose colors of glass that are rare, so that I can give to the future. I buy glass from charity thrift stores, so that others might benefit. Collectors of all ages may one day find joy and astonishment finding a rare color of sea glass that came from one of my offerings. I pray they do.
What does sea glass hold in terms of magic? I feel as though it must hold some spark of sacredness, to have changed so very much into a new and beautiful form. I have searched for information, but found none that speaks about sea glass. Is this because it is a relatively “new” occurrence? Sea glass only became common after glass could be mass-produced and easily discarded, and trash collected as a public service, not disposed of in communal trash pits.
For myself, I have made charms to hang from dream catchers, and some pieces reside in my witch bottle. My mate has his own lucky piece that I gifted him, made of glass and wire found in the surf, a small green medallion of glass. Green is his lucky color, as he is a full-fledged Taurus. These pieces might hold the power of good intentions concentrated on them, but do they hold more?
Should I just take sea glass pieces as gifts from the Goddess, or do they have significance? Are they signs of becoming more “beautiful” through surviving adversity, or do they hold any real strength? Can they be used in offerings or spells? What deities might there be that would most appreciate these offerings, aside from the Goddess?
I hope that you, dear readers, can answer some of my questions, and offer ideas and suggestions of your own. I am so new here, and new to my beliefs, that I really would appreciate guidance.