Going beyond the ninth wave was said to be a way to access the Otherworld. In addition water collected from beyond the ninth wave was said to possess magical properties. You can work with water from beyond the ninth wave in both a symbolic and literal way. Several months ago I was asked a question about the ninth wave; what it was, what it meant and how to work with it through magic. Luckily I had a blog post already started, but then life happened and it got shuffled to the back. Once I started writing for Patheos I knew that I would be focusing much more time on writing and that this was one of the topics I wanted to cover.
So lets begin by examining some key elements before we get talking about how to use the ninth wave in magic. The first thing we need to look at is the Celtic view of water and its connection to the other world. In the Celtic world, the Otherworld was both a place of the ancestors and where the Fae and other divine beings dwelt. The Celtic Otherworld can be accessed through several different ways; caves, burial mounds, being invited by faery, through a magical mist, and across or under the water are all ways to access the Otherworld. The Celts also gave beautiful votive offerings by depositing the items into wells, lakes or other bodies of water.
There are many tales of watery creatures from the Otherworld interacting with humans along the shorelines, at fountains, and on the banks of a loch or lake. Even the more modern canals from the industrial revolution have hundreds of tales of otherworldly creatures, spirits and ghosts that dwell in or around the canal waters.
Now the number nine factors in here as well. Nine is a very powerful number in relation to water magic, Celtic lore and the Otherworld. There are many important things to factor in about the number nine, however I will not have time to go into all of them. The number nine plays an important role in Celtic folklore. There are many different places where we find it and often in relation to water, magic and femininity. Children live in their mother’s womb for 9 months before birth, having nine bloodless months before new life is birthed. The Well of Wisdom is surrounded by nine hazel trees which grow close to water. There are nine sacred woods, and nine herbs that are picked for healing remedies.
There are groups of nine women that are associated with water as well. In a Norse verse there are 3 groups of nine Valkyrie, The Nine Daughters of Ran each representing a different wave for a total of 9 waves, Nine Witches of Glouester (Caer Loyw), the Gallicenae who were Priestess of the Isle Sena and were nine in number, the nine Otherworldly sisters known as the Korrigan, Morgan la fae (morgan meaning sea born) was the chief of nine sisters and believe it or not, there are more examples from different periods that reflect this same motif.
The Blessed Isle lies beyond the ninth wave which is ruled by Manannan Mac Lir and can be accessed through meditation, soul flight and even in the physical world. The ninth wave is the biggest wave after every set of 8 waves. To go beyond the ninth wave is to access the Otherworld and the waters from the ninth wave are considered powerful, magical and healing. Beyond Celtic folklore and mythology there is an old folk spell that uses the water from beyond the ninth wave and places it in a butter churn to turn a good profit of butter. Below is the charm in its older form with my own translation.
“go thy way to the sea and tell nyne boares of the sea cum in, that is to say, nyne waves of the sea, and let the hindmost of the nyne ga back againe and the nixt theirafter tak thrie loofullis of the water and put within thy stoupe and quhen thow comes home put it within they kirne and thow will get thy profeit again” (The Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, 553:1904)
Translation– go your way to the sea and tell nine waves of the sea to come in and let the hindmost of the ninth wave go back again (when the ninth wave is flowing back) and after collect three handfuls of water and put it in a jar. Then go home and put it in the butter churn and you will get a profit.
This here tells us that the ninth wave was used to create a luck or prosperity charm to ensure a good turn of butter. We can then use this to construct our own spells taking from the old lore. Some ideas include…
- Going to the beach with your ritual vessel or chalice and filling it with water from beyond the ninth wave and using it in a cleansing, healing or prosperity ritual.
- In your meditations visit the shore and wade out beyond the ninth wave to enter the otherworld or perform rites and spells on the astral plane.
- Sit on the shore and count nine waves to enter a light trance and then allow your soul to enter the otherworld in spirit flight.
- Add water from beyond the ninth wave to a special elixir and charge it under nine consecutive full moons.
- If you don’t have access to an ocean consider using water from 9 different rivers, in 9 different bottles or vials, or that is collected from 9 ripples from a stone thrown in a pond.
To end I wanted to include a beyond the ninth wave healing spell, as well as an alternative I found because, simply put, it is a good spell because it is effective and quick. While it doesn’t necessarily work instantly for deep healing, this is one that I use often to “reset” when I’m not feeling like myself. You could also work deep magic and energy by visiting the sea nine weeks in a row at the same time and day and go beyond the ninth wave nine consecutive times saying the same prayer or incantation. It is also a great way to bring healing energy to your body, spirit and mind. You simply need to go to the beach, and go into the water deep enough that 9 consecutive waves can wash over most of your body. I count them 1, 2, 3 etc. At the ninth wave, I state my intent and ask to be healed. (Don’t go too deep! Allow the waves to come to you in a manner that will keep you safe while in the ocean)
An alternative to this spell comes from Circles, Groves & Sanctuaries by Dan and Pauline Campanelli. It is said to come from a grimore or BOS from the turn of the century. On Candlemas day go to the beach, and stand on the bank, count nine waves, from that ninth wave collect sea water in a jar. When the moment is right dip your middle three fingers in the jar of ninth wave water. Then lightly touch your brow while saying.
“One for courage.
Two for patience.
Three for luck.”
(I recommend doing this 3 times to align with the number 9)
Learn more about Annwyn Avalon here