Magical Uses & Meanings of Shells

July 10, 2017 4:53 am Published by

Have some beachy plans coming up? If you do, your sandy keepsake shells may have more meaning than you know. Shells have been used for a multitude of magical and meaningful uses over the years. Shells can make the perfect addition to your altar, help with a Goddess connection, add a powerful punch to spellwork, and be used as a tool for enlightenment.

Conch Shell for Awakening & Mermaid Connections

The most iconic of all shells, and for a good reason, is the conch shell and it has been used symbolically by cultures around the world since ancient times.

The conch, or Shankha, is used by Tibetan Buddhists as a call to worship and is shown in the hand of the Hindu God, Vishnu. The sounds created by the conch shell are similar to the sound of AUM, or the sound of the universe, and is said to have an awakening effect just like chanting OM.

Conch shells are often shown in the hands of merpeople, which makes this the perfect shell for summoning some mermaid vibes.

Abalone for Water Element & Psychic Abilities

Abalone shells are often used for housing smoke wands. While the use of the abalone shell is useful for catching hot embers from burning herbs, the use goes beyond functionality.

The years spent being formed by water give the abalone shell a strong water element. The addition of the abalone shell with herb burning creates a perfect balance of elements with the earth energy from your herbs, the fire of the lit herbs, the air of the smoke, and the water element from the abalone shell.

Beyond herb burning, the variety of colors in an abalone shell lends itself well to the upper chakras (heart, throat, third eye, and crown). Due to its connection with the upper chakras this shell is helpful for stimulating psychic development and intuition.

If you’re burying Abalone shells, be sure to buy farm-raised and sustainable abalone shells and NOT wild harvested! Ethics and sustainably harvested choices should be of priority for all of us.


Cowrie for Femininity and Prosperity

The cowrie shell has connections to femininity for obvious reasons, its appearance mimics that of the yoni. Place cowrie shells on your altar or use them in spells for fertility, birth, sexuality, and menstruation.

Beyond its feminine ties, the cowrie shell also represents prosperity. This shell was used as a form of currency in parts of Africa and has since been regarded as a symbol of prosperity. Pair some cowries with some green aventurine for a potent prosperity combo!

Cone Shells for Protection

Cone shells come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Their points give it away, but these shells are perfect for protective magic and meaning.

Cone-shaped shells are a nice addition to a protective charm bag or can simply be carried in your purse or placed in your house as a symbol of protection.

Scallop Shells for Beauty & Travel

Scallop seashells are associated with love and beauty because of the Goddess Aphrodite. In Botticelli’s famous painting The Birth of Venus, the Goddess is shown being carried from the sea on, what most experts say, is a scallop shell.

Invoke the Goddess Aphrodite for all of your love beauty needs by using these shells in a love spell or wearing the symbol around your neck with a charm necklace.

Magically speaking, scallop shells are also said to represent travel and movement. Help realize your travel goals by adding one of these shells to your altar.

If you are doing some beachcombing this summer, be sure to never collect seashells with an animal inside of them.

Now, your pile of keepsake shells doesn’t need to simply sit as decoration or be forgotten about in a box. Put your powerful shells to use or enjoy their symbolism by having them put on a custom piece of jewelry. If you decorate your altar with summertime shells, I would love to see it! Tag @cassieuhl on Instagram!

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About Cassie

Cassie Uhl is the author of five books and two card decks, an artist, intuitive energy healer, and death doula. Her lineage and practices are rooted in pagan earth-based spiritual practices of Northern Europe. She approaches her work and clients with trauma-informed support through all phases of life. She currently resides on the land of the Myaamia people in so-called Indiana of the US.