Animal Guides: Snail Medicine & Magic

Written by Algoth’s Grove

“The slow snail knows all. The slow snail is not at all slow, it simply has no need for the construct of man-made time and law… The snail knows this moment is eternal.”

The snail, a name used generally to describe the family of creatures that are known as gastropods, make an excellent spirit guide. Eckhart Tolle describes the main teaching of Snail Medicine: ““Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”  

The snail is overlooked because of its lack of excitement and its complete nonchalant way of being. It goes about its day and night simply being. To some people this totem is extremely frustrating and a seemingly complete waste of time. However, these are the very people who need Snail medicine in their lives.

The snail has been seen as an ally in fertility magic, sexual potency and associated with many a moon deity from the time of the Aztecs. Christianity took the myths and legends and sadly associated them with a curse found in psalms, and the perfect image of the deadly sin of sloth. This could not be further from the truth, and then it all depends on your perception of these little creatures with such a great lesson.

The snail is associated with the triple goddess and with the element of water. Their shells map out the inward spiral and outward spiral of enlightenment and echo the age old saying: “as within, so without.” Snails are also mostly hermaphrodites, so the snail medicine is one of absolute balance within and independence to tackle any situation at hand. The Snail is the most common animal to find in our garden… many find it an absolute pest and to avid gardeners this is the case. However, this little ‘pest’ has a big story to tell and an entire host of magical divining possibilities.

270 – Snail shells

Physical description:
Snail shells strung on red ribbon.

Museum classification:
Spells & Charms


Original text by Cecil Williamson: ‘The sexy snail – a charm to give to shy young maidens. Explain their message and their meaning, then eyes will open wide as they recognise the young man’s feelings.’ Mentioned in Doreen Valiente’s description of the exhibits at Cecil Williamson’s ‘House of Spells’ at Polperro (Transcripts from Doreen Valiente’s Diaries 1959-1966, in the museum library (133.43 VAL), pp.29-34). One type of Halloween love divination involved shutting a snail inside a dish over night, and then studying the snail’s trail in the belief that it would form the initial of your future husband or wife (E. and M.A. Radford, ‘Encyclopaedia of Supersitions). Scarborough Museum has a very similar charm – a necklace of snail shells strung on red wool – collected in Jersey in 1912, which was used to cure seizures and croup in children (information supplied by Tabitha Cadbury – see her report ‘The Clarke Collection of Charms and Amulets’ in the museum library).

Copyright ownership:
Copyright to The Museum of Witchcraft Ltd.

Divination using snails has been foretold to work by throwing down a layer of flour and placing the snail in the middle. Leave the snail to crawl and divine from the patterns that are left by the trails.

It is also said that a black snail can foretell the time or circumstances surrounding a death. Similarly a white snail can foretell the gender of a boy or girl during pregnancy using the method above or simply divining from a trail after asking a question.

Snail medicine teaches us to live in the moment. It teaches us that we are always in the right place at the right time and your pace may not be another’s but it is perfect for your destiny… so make sure that you find peace in being exactly who and what you are… because… Snail medicine says so, and the animal spirit guides are hardly wrong…

Blessed be!

Categories: Tuesday Divination, Tuesday Spirit Animal Guides

Tags: , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. What a great article! I have never considered the snail as an animal guide (I always grumble when I find them in my garden). However, I can now see the medicine these little creatures teach. In our often hurried lives, Snail is a good reminder to slow down and live in the now. Blessings, dear ones…


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