Last weekend we went to one of our favorite spots by the sea, a place called Ocean City. We try to go at least once a year, usually around Labor Day, and we like to stay an extra day after most of the muggles have returned home, so we can enjoy some extra solitude with fewer crowds. It’s a long beach, with a huge boardwalk lined with shops, restaurants, arcades and other fun things to do. It’s about a 2-hour drive from where we live and we normally stay three days, sometimes four. There is also a nice downtown area with some great shops and antique stores. In one of those stores I found 2 more HP collectibles that I didn’t already have. We enjoy walking the boardwalk, browsing the shops on one side and gazing at the ocean on the other. The beach is just a few steps away. Even though most of the shops carry the same things, and we’ve seen all of these sights before, it always feels different each time we go. The seagulls were ruthless this year, literally swooping down and taking food from people’s hands as they walked. We witnessed this several times. Whatever you do, don’t walk down the Ocean City boardwalk carrying french fries or pizza-you will become a target. The seagulls were attacking a few people for their food. I have seen this happen before, but this year it seemed to occur more often. Luckily, we avoided those things and ate all our meals indoors, safely away from the prying eyes of stalker seagulls. A bit strange, really.
Even though there were a lot of people there for Labor Day, it still wasn’t super-crowded. I was able to take a few photos without people in them, and we didn’t have to stand in line for things. Whenever we go somewhere I always take my camera along, with the intention of taking lots of photos, but I never really do. I don’t take many photos of myself because frankly, I’m not fond of how I look in photos and usually end up deleting most of them. I did manage to snap a few pics of the ocean during my early morning walks while we were there.
Standing on the beach and gazing out at the ocean, I was reminded of many things: Neptune and Poseidon. Manannán mac Lir, a celtic sea deity whose stories I have read many times. The Mer-People. Dolphins and other sea creatures. Shell cottages and house-elves. Seaweed. The sand and ocean water that I collected from here last year, and which now sits on my altar at home in a glass bottle. Cauldrons and chalices. Cerridwen. Water signs-Scorpio, Cancer, Pisces. My mother, who passed away in 2011.
The beach is one of those “in-between places” that separate one plane of existence from another. A veil, of sorts. When we are in these magical places, we are more in tune with the astral realms. The beach separates land from sea, earth from water. Standing on the beach, especially in the early morning hours, definitely gives one a sense of connectedness with the Universe, and our senses seem to be heightened. It is as though all of our ancestors and spirit guides are standing there with us, and their presence can be felt in an intensely tangible way. The sand is a gateway between worlds. I brought a book along with me on this trip, Sea Magic, by Sandra Kynes. In Chapter Three she writes about the many ingredients found in sand, and that “Most sand consists of quartz and feldspar. Quartz is the most common and widely dispersed mineral on earth…It’s commonness belies it’s power as a transformer that amplifies and focuses energy”. This certainly contributes to the sense of heightened awareness one has when walking along the beach. There are many varieties of Feldspar, a mineral group that makes up nearly 60% of the Earth’s crust. Moonstone and Labradorite are both part of the Feldspar group. Feldspar is usually considered to have lunar energies that encourage the development of clairvoyance and clairaudience. Any piece of Feldspar is useful if you are consciously developing your psychic or intuitive powers. Since Feldspar is found in so many places, and so many varieties, it has become associated with adaptability and coping with change. This is something we typically associate with the element of Water. When we consider the magical properties of quartz and feldspar, we have a deeper understanding of how we feel when walking on the beach, as the sand contains both of these minerals.
There is a strong link between the ocean and the Moon. The gravitational pull of the Moon affects the tides and the waves. We ourselves are also affected, as our bodies are over 80% water. We are influenced in subtle ways by lunar energy. At one point during our recent visit to the sea, Matt and I were standing on the boardwalk, leaning on a railing and looking out over the sand to the sea just beyond. From the corner of my eye I saw something dark running among the dunes and grass. As it got closer, it emerged through a fence right in front of us. It was a small brown hare. We watched it eat some of the dune grass and then disappear under the boardwalk. Immediately I thought of the hare as a sacred celtic animal, and it’s associations with the Moon. I knew that we had just had a Blue Moon only days earlier. I was reminded of the Hare as an intermediary between mortals and deities, a lunar animal that represents rebirth, good fortune and prosperity. The hare is the totem animal of numerous moon goddesses. It is prominent in many Welsh and Celtic stories, and recently I have been guided to study these ancient stories a bit deeper. The Hare is also associated with transformation, the receiving of hidden teachings, and intuitive messages. Seeing the hare appear right in front of us at the beach was highly significant for me.
While on our recent trip, we also traveled down to nearby Cape May for a few hours. There is a wonderful shop there, Guardian, and I wanted to visit again. Lots of magical items, crystals, music, tarot cards, books, and many other mystical trinkets and gems. There were so many things in there that I wanted, and the store had great energy. As we headed back to Ocean City, (only a few miles away), we got stuck in horrible traffic. There is only one road that leads in and out of Cape May, and it being a holiday weekend, we were stuck in this traffic for what seemed like hours. I was worried we would run out of gas or that the car would over-heat, but thankfully neither happened.
I was hoping to see more Halloween items in the shops on the boardwalk. There were a few things, but not as much as last year at this time. My regular coffee haunt, Ocean City Coffee Company, had Pumpkin Spice Lattes and a few shops were offering Pumpkin Fudge.
Our trip to the sea was both fun and meaningful. We did spend some time on the beach, though it was a bit overcast and rained some, but I didn’t mind. Matt played in the ocean while I lay on a blanket and meditated on the sounds of the crashing waves and the smell of the salty sea air.
We will likely return again next year.
In her wonderful book, Sea Magic, Sandra Kynes writes, “When we stand on the shore and gaze at Mother Ocean, our hearts open with awe. We feel alive and connected, and we know that we are more than our physical bodies. The purity and power of the ocean gives us the clarity to see and understand our journey. The salt of wisdom comes down to us through the ages. Embraced by the circle of the sea, we can find the hidden land, the paradise that exists within our souls“.