In Greek mythology, Ceto is a primordial sea goddess and a daughter of Gaia (the Earth) and Pontus (the Sea). She is often depicted as a sea monster or a monstrous sea creature and is associated with the dangers and mysteries of the deep ocean. She is also known as the mother of various monstrous offspring, which can include Echidna, the Gorgons, Scylla & Charybdis, and the Graeae. She's a particularly fitting deity for the waters of Cape Cod, as she was also thought to be the goddess/mother of large whales and sharks.
If you feel an affinity for deep sea creatures, she's a fitting deity for your workings.
I like to call on her in times when I need to summon strength from my own depths. Below, find a ritual that can be performed on the beach, putting you back in touch with the primordial power of the ocean: Ceto Invocation and Shell Mandala Ritual Items needed:
Various seashells of different shapes, sizes, and colors
A large, flat surface (like a beach towel or piece of fabric)
Optional: Sand or small pebbles for grounding
Optional: Any additional natural elements like flowers, driftwood, or seaweed for decoration
An offering for Ceto (such as a shell, fruit, wine, honey, a crystal, chocolate, incense, etc)
Find a peaceful and undisturbed spot on the beach where you can comfortably arrange your materials and perform the ritual.
Begin by connecting with the energy of the beach and the ocean. Take a few deep breaths, feeling the sand between your toes and listening to the soothing sound of the waves. Allow yourself to be fully present in the moment.
Set up your sacred space by laying out the large flat surface to serve as the foundation for your shell mandala. If desired, you can also create a small circle around your space using pebbles or drawing in the sand. This circle will symbolize the sacred space and provide a container for your ritual.
Gather the seashells you have collected and arrange them near your mandala space. Take a moment to observe and appreciate their unique shapes, colors, and textures.
Sit quietly and close your eyes, centering yourself and preparing to invoke the presence of the goddess Ceto. Visualize the vastness of the ocean, the power of the waves, and the wisdom and strength of Ceto emanating from the depths.
When you feel ready, open your eyes and speak your invocation to Ceto. You can use the following words or adapt them to suit your personal connection with the goddess:
"Divine Ceto, Goddess of the sea, I call upon your ancient energy. Mistress of the depths and mighty waves, I invite your presence to bless this sacred space. With reverence and gratitude, I seek your guidance, As I create this mandala in your honor."
Begin constructing your shell mandala, allowing your intuition to guide you. You may create it on the sand or on your cloth surface. Select shells one by one and place them gently on the surface, arranging them in a pattern or design that feels meaningful to you. As you place each shell, infuse it with your intentions, love, and respect for Ceto.
As you work on the mandala, you may choose to chant, sing (SEA SHANTIES, YESSSS!!!), or recite affirmations that resonate with your connection to the sea and the goddess Ceto. Let your voice blend with the sounds of the waves and the wind, creating a harmonious atmosphere.
As you complete the mandala, pause and reflect on your creation. Take a moment to express gratitude to Ceto for her presence, guidance, and blessings. Offer thanks for the opportunity to connect with the power and wisdom of the ocean.
If you have sand or small pebbles, you can scatter them around the mandala, creating a symbolic representation of the shoreline or the foundation of your intentions.
Place your chosen offering for Ceto at the center of the mandala, as a token of appreciation and respect. This can be a shell, some fruit, wine, honey, a crystal, or anything you instinctively feel Ceto might enjoy.
Take a few moments to sit beside the completed mandala & silently connect with the goddess. Absorb its beauty, the energy infused within it, and the presence of Ceto. Allow yourself to feel the connection between your creation, the natural elements, and the divine. Listen for any messages or insights that may come to you.
Express your deepest gratitude to Ceto for her presence and blessings. Be sure to remove all man made items from your mandala (plates, cups, etc) If you constructed the mandala on the sand, you may leave the natural elements there. If you constructed your mandala on your cloth, gather up the corners and walk the natural items to the water and return them to the ocean.
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