(illustration by Emily Lakehomer)
Mermaids, mysterious and beautiful creatures of the deep, carry some of the most powerful magic on earth. Their beauty, intelligence, and special connection to the language of fishes and coral make them able to control the tides, creating the scariest tidal waves or the most serene snorkeling conditions. In this spell, you’ll become a mermaid for awhile and harness the mighty powers of the sea.
½ cup salt: (sea, epsom, or table)
Optional: jewelry that won’t tarnish, blue makeup
Fill up your bathtub. Do whatever you can to feel most like a mermaid: let down your hair, put on some sparkly jewelry, or paint your eyes with shimmery blue makeup.
Sprinkle the salt into the bathtub, chanting: “Sea change, magical tides, make me a mermaid. Make me a watery spirit of the sea.”
Slowly get into the tub, feeling the wetness caress your body like the gentle movement of waves at the sea bottom. Dip your head under the water so that your scalp gets completely wet, but you can still breathe. Feel your hair fan out or imagine it doing so, and let your body loosen and relax. Imagine that the tub is a bubble of sea foam from which you are being born.
Hold your shell to your heart, chanting, “Legs disappear, mighty tail emerge, dolphins and fishes guide me through the deep.”
As long as you stay in the water, you will be a mermaid. What does it feel like have a tail, to move so gracefully through the water? Make friends with crabs and flounders, explore sunken shipwrecks, or experiment with creating storms.
When you’re ready to get out, imagine that your legs re-appear like a magical sea creature who can transform into a human on dry land. As you climb out of the bath like a sea creature crawling out of the sea, remember that you can still be a mermaid on land if you want to be. It’ll be your salty little secret.
Ariel Kusby is a writer and bookseller based in Portland, Oregon. She currently works in the Rose and Orange rooms at Powell’s City of Books, where she pays special attention to children’s books about witches, odd cookbooks, and gnome gardening guides.You can check out her writing at http://www.arielkusby.com.
Emily is an Aries sun, cancer moon, and Virgo rising. She works at Powell’s.