Sunday November 1st, 2009
Although they are widely considered the stuff of legends, Sea Witches are a true phenomenon and still exist today. The myths portray them as dark sorceresses who control the elements and associate with phantoms and other unsavoury creatures of the deep. But cast aside superstition and you will be closer to the truth.
Real Sea Witches practise the arts based in Moon Lore and weather magicks. This makes perfect sense as the moon, of course, controls the sea. Centuries ago it was believed that these women could, and would, raise winds and create storms. They were still being burned 200 years ago. However the truth is that Sea Witchery is a Pagan practice that actually works as one with the chaos of nature, not because they associate it with evil but rather because they recognise chaos as a major part of the environment. This is particularly true of the ocean.
They neither practice ‘white’ nor ‘black’ magick but what is termed ‘grey’ magick. This is where the balance between light and dark are maintained to establish control of or draw power from the elements at their disposal. Sea Witches are a solitary bunch as maintaining this balance is immensely difficult for most individuals. They are regarded as very powerful practitioners. Such is their strength that they can perform, using virtually any sized body of water from lakes, rivers and ponds to bath tubs, sinks and bowls of water.
There most famous power is their control of the wind. This is traditionally carried out by the use of magickal knots. Sailors would buy or be given a small length of rope with three specially tied knots in it. These were wind-binding knots and were tied to ensure safe passage. By untying one knot a sailor could release a gentle, south westerly wind, two would ensure a strong north wind and three knots would summon a storm.
Despite the relatively benign truth the folklore still makes for great stories. The most famous of which is how Sir Francis Drake is said to have made a pact with the Devil and become a skilled seaman and admiral. According to the legend the Devil sent a coven of Sea Witches to Drake to raise a storm and helped him defeat the Spanish Armada at Devils point. The place is still considered by many to be haunted by witches.
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