Every culture on earth has its own fertility spells, mother goddesses and charms, but do they work? Can they be harmful? Should you embrace your inner Earth Mother or avoid dabbling in the occult altogether?
With all the technology available to women to help them become pregnant, why are so many women turning to the goddesses of old? Tiktok is full of witchy women offering advice on how to access the magical realms from your living room floor, and astrology, Tarot and white witchcraft has had a huge resurgence thanks to social media.
Ultimately, how seriously should we be taking this fertility charm and ritual stuff? Fertility, pregnancy and birth are uniquely feminine mysteries. You can trace a line through time from a medieval peasant-woman petitioning the saints for a baby, and a 21st century CEO undergoing her third egg transfer with a stash of crystals in her Fenty bra.
The private ache for a child of your own is timeless.
Modern life can leave us feeling disconnected from the cycles of nature that reflect our own natural cycles as women. When we use any kind of ritual, be it a tranquil bath with essential oils and wine, or a full-blown, candles and pentagram witchcraft spell, we’re stepping out of modern life, and into a timeless space. This can feel like a small reset button, allowing you to shake off all the little irritations and challenges, and emotionally reconnect with the things that are most important to you.
As anyone undergoing a fertility journey will tell you, it is often not a switch that goes from off to on. It is an experience that affects every facet of your life, impacts every relationship, and if successful, changes your life forever.
It can be marvellous for your mental health to honour and ritualise some aspects of this process. Even the most cynical atheist knows that the mind affects the body in many mysterious ways and that feeling calm, grounded and empowered instead of stressed and powerless is a tonic in itself.
If a feeling of wellbeing and empowerment comes in the form of an altar to a fertility goddess, prayers, affirmations, crystals, angels or old fashioned fertility charms like Corn Dollies, as long as it empowers you, then it’s an appropriate part of your fertility journey. On the flip side, there is a danger that in trying to control the largely uncontrollable, we can give our personal power away, and cause more problems than we ultimately solve with magic. “Magical thinking” is an unhelpful manifestation of ritual behaviour.
Being upset that your IVF cycle is going to fail because you left your bag of crystals on the train, or paying large sums of money to a charlatan witch for spells, are both examples of unhelpful attachments to the magical side of life. As ridiculous as both these things might sound to anyone not “under the spell” of magical talismans and charms, human beings are prone to getting mystical when they want something badly enough.
Rugby players have their lucky socks and hopeful women have their crystal bracelets, and it’s a normal part of the human experience to try and connect with something larger and more powerful when you’re feeling rather small and deeply hopeful. If you’re curious about fertility goddesses and magic, it’s helpful to avoid thinking “does it work?” Of course lighting, a candle can’t get you pregnant, but a calming ritual and magical mindset can affect your feelings, mood, emotions, stress levels, focus, thought patterns, and everything that those aspects are connected to.
If you feel like casting a spell, then you’ve already decided to go with your feelings rather than hard facts, and sometimes those facts aren’t helpful right at that moment.
It’s possible in our 24 hours, modern culture, to be a wand-waving witch at six o’clock in the morning and an IT professional by the time you have your ten o’clock coffee, and be all the happier for it.
Rather than wondering whether a spell, crystal or goddess is going to flip some switch and allow you to fall pregnant, instead, think “Is this going to chill me out? Is this going to give me a better mindset? Will it make me feel focused or empowered?
Am I honouring myself and my journey with this ritual, crystal or altar? Am I going to feel peace or strength or inspiration somewhere in my heart when I’ve done this?” If the answer to any of those questions is a possible yes, then it’s worth considering. If it does not float your boat whatsoever, then you’re not losing out by ignoring it.
Just for fun, here are some traditional fertility charms and superstitions that have been popular for thousands of years & are still widespread today. Corn Dollies Sometimes called Corn Mothers, these feminine straw figures are an ancient part of the harvest customs of Europe. It was believed that the fertile spirit of the corn would reside inside the dolly until it was ploughed back into the earth the following spring.
This made the corn dolly an incredibly magical object, and it was believed to bestow the blessing of fertility upon women.
Rubbing a statue Worshipping statues goes back thousands of years. Traditionally it would have been the Virgin Mary, but some women swear by rubbing the round belly of buddha statues, or the upturned trunk of an elephant.
Crystals The “healing crystals” in your local New Age shop have a long history of use in magic. The ancient Egyptians carved the reddish-brown carnelian crystal into amulets, and magical blue and gold-speckled Lapis Lazuli was found adorning some of the most priceless artefacts inside tombs.
Many semi-precious and precious stones have a connection with fertility and were worn by women for their supposed mystical powers as much as for their beauty. Even today, crystal bracelets containing stones such as rose quartz and amethyst are popular fertility charms.
The pineapple fruit is a very modern talisman for fertility.
The association came about because of the connection between chemicals in the pineapple core and the implantation of the embryo. The pineapple has become a worldwide sign of infertility issues & hope for the success of modern methods such as IUI and IVF.
Why include pineapple in a list of ancient charms and superstitions? Just because something is relatively new, that doesn’t mean it’s less meaningful! The pineapple is a symbol of hope for women struggling with infertility, plus it’s round and sweet and nutritious, which couldn’t be more spot-on for a pregnancy symbol.
If our ancient ancestors could find meaning in their everyday lives that gave them hope, then so can our modern sisters! We have access to more science and miraculous technology than our ancestors could begin to imagine, but there’s still something primal in many of us, that needs to reach out to something bigger when we’re putting out the strong intention of becoming a mother.