Cowrie Shells


Cowrie shells are said to represent the protective power of the Ocean Goddess Yemaya in African legends. Women in Western Africa created jewelry out of them as a representation of fertility, womanhood, and healthy pregnancies.


Rows of these shells were also worn by African and American royals as a representation of wealth, protection, and success. "Whoever is patient with a cowrie shell will one day have thousands of them," says an old Hausa proverb.

How to Use:


  • Femininity & fertility: Numerous African tribes regard cowrie shells as a potent symbol of fertility. The “Giver or Elixir of life” is said to be the split in the shell, which is said to represent a woman’s vulva. Cowrie shells, when worn around the hips, are thought to promote fertility.
  • Protection: The Ocean Goddess Yemaya is said to bestow blessings and protection on those who wear sacred cowrie shell jewelry. Cowrie shells were frequently glued to warriors’ armor as a form of battle protection. To ensure a fruitful harvest and plenty inside the home, they were frequently added to baskets and other household items.


Cowrie shells may have been smuggled into America to fend off the slave trade because of their widespread use as protective charms.

  • Abundance & good fortune: Cowrie shells have long represented prosperity, material wealth, and good fortune as a gift from the Goddess. People with more cowrie shells were regarded as having a higher social status and were treated with respect in both African and American cultures.


A cowrie shell is a symbol of prosperity and an opportunity for self-improvement. It can be given as a gift.

  •  Love: Cowrie shells were revered as representations of Venus, the Goddess of Love, in ancient Rome. So, in order to encourage fertility and a happy marriage, they were frequently given as gifts to brides on their wedding day. Some African women continue to wear cowrie necklaces with the slit facing outwards today to show that they are prepared for a romantic relationship.


If you want to strengthen a love spell, place a cowrie shell on top of your candle with the slit facing outward.

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