© Aethiriel 2017 – All Rights Reserved
Water is everywhere. This may seem an obvious statement, but how often do you really reflect on the ubiquity of water? Further still, how often do you reflect on the dire vitality of water, varieties and uses of water, or the esoteric power of water? Any magical practitioner is familiar with water as one of the four Classical elements and, subsequently, the associations and meanings it carries in that context.
However, I don’t necessarily want to dive into the metaphysics of water per se, as much as those aspects are a delightful part of my spiritual and magical practice; by its very nature, on every level, water simply is magical and powerful and therefore, with little effort, can be worked with as such on a daily basis.
Water Altar © 2017 Aethiriel
To do so begins with what I believe to be the first lesson of water, as it has been presented to me thus far, and that is the Lesson of Awareness*.
As Starhawk so eloquently explains in her book “The Earth Path”, “All water is one – one wholeness, one awareness. All water is continuously aware of all other water in the world”. When I first read this, it began to further align and activate (or perhaps realign and reactivate) all the innate watery beliefs, passions and ideas I had had all my life, and my connection and attraction to water. It triggered a domino effect of understanding and practice that suddenly put water at the center of my faith and spirituality.
As I considered water’s awareness of and connection to itself, I became more aware of water and its myriad facets and aspects throughout my day-to-day life. It has been like waking up or regaining consciousness, and puts me in mind of Frank MacEowen’s book “The Mist-Filled Path: Celtic Wisdom for Exiles, Wanderers and Seekers”. The opening chapter is entitled “Waking Up in the Land of Sleepwalkers”, referring to the metaphorical state in which most people in modern society live.
He says “The central aim of this book is to articulate a way of seeing the world and a possible way for being in it that re-enlivens a relationship to that which is holy. I have come to call this the Mist-Filled Path, mist being a teacher or tutelary spirit for me in my childhood.”
On nearly the same note – mist being a form of water – water is and has been a similar teacher or tutelary spirit for me, along with various energies, deities and spirits of water. Indeed, it has helped me begin to find ways of being in a world in which I struggle to exist on many levels, a world which often seems most bereft of the holy. Water is holy; it is spiritual, it is emotional, it is intuitive. It is a habitat, a conduit, a recorder, a medium, a cleanser, a reviver, a creator and a destroyer. Even in its destructive forms, water is of paramount importance to nature and life. And it truly is everywhere, including in the air you are breathing right now.
Go to your nearest faucet and collect some water in your cupped hands, holding as much as you can for as long as you can. Look into the dancing reflections in your palm and feel the droplets trickling through your fingers. The water you are holding is billions of years old, potentially of interstellar origins. It has existed on this earth in various forms, in various places, for ages before you arrived here, and it will still be here ages after you have left. Water, like any other matter, cannot be destroyed and does not simply vanish once it goes down your drain. It flows and cycles, it evaporates and rains back down, we drink it in, pee it out, sweat it out, cry it out. It connects us to the earth and to each other.
We even came from the sea and evolved to live on dry land, yet we cannot do so without carrying around a supply of saltwater inside us. We are, in fact, roughly 50% water. This is our main inherent connection to nature and to the Goddess, the womb from whence we came which, too, by its very nature, is sacred and magical.
Simply being aware of water and how much we need it and use it in many different ways every day, and adjusting our approach to it every day, is a great place to start naturally incorporating it into a daily magical and/or spiritual practice.
When you first wake up in the morning, within only the first fifteen minutes or so of your day, you carry out any number of water-centered rituals without even trying or thinking of them as rituals; you might use water to splash your face or take a full shower, brush your teeth, drink it or use it to brew coffee or tea, flush the toilet, wash your hands, water some houseplants, or all of those things and more!
Then you might run the dishwasher, put a load of clothes in the washing machine, turn on your sprinklers, wash your car, fill a stock pot to cook pasta, and then there is all the water needed by the plants that supply your electricity and that is used to grow the food you buy. The list goes on and, believe it or not, it works out to hundreds of gallons a day per person. In fact, most Americans (and probably others) quite underestimate the amount of water they use every day.
It’s probably nothing you haven’t heard since kindergarten, but conserving water is one of the easiest and most important things any one can do to try to help the environment and to develop a healthy respect for one of the most vital substances for existence.
So as you go about your daily water rituals, try to keep in mind how very blessed you are to have water and how much more precious and limited it is than you may realize. Try keeping reminders of water around, particularly in the places where most daily water rituals take place (i.e. the bathroom, kitchen, back yard etc.), like seashells, figurines or pictures of mermaids or marine creatures, or glass vases and other such décor in watery colors. Better still, an altar to water, the ocean, mermaids, or a specific ocean deity bring wonderful energy to a home.
One of my very favorite types of water, particularly to use in quick, simple, everyday magic, is rose water. I use Alteya Organics steam-distilled organic rose water made from the roses grown in the stunning Bulgarian Valley of Roses, which can be bought on Amazon. I keep a little blue glass spray bottle filled and mist myself whenever I’m feeling tired, anxious, depressed, or just want a beautiful, refreshing burst of magical, loving energy! I also use it to cleanse a space before certain rituals and when doing divination, to which both water and roses are perfectly energetically suited.
© 2017 Aethiriel
Finally, another everyday water practice of mine is a simple bedtime ritual. I fill a white ritual bowl (you can use whatever bowl seems appropriate to you should you try this) about halfway with clean drinking water and add a teaspoon or two of good salt. I then take my little ritual spoon made out of white nacre, or mother-of-pearl, and stir the salt in, saying:
“With this water, pure and blessed,
May we peacefully sleep and rest”
© 2017 Aethiriel
After using the spoon to flick a few drops of water around the bedroom, I then place the bowl on my dresser-top altar to the goddess Sedna and the ocean. So far, much more often than not, I find that I sleep better on the nights when I do this. The next morning I say a few words of thanks and simply pour the water, which has hopefully absorbed any negative energies or restlessness that might prevent a good night’s sleep, down the kitchen sink. Give this a try at least a handful of nights in a row and see if the subtle powers of water affect your rest or your dreaming subconscious.
Simply keeping both your awareness of and gratitude for water can and will only lead you to many realizations and ideas of what you can do to enhance your spiritual and magical practice and to deepen your connection to nature and our true origins. For me, water is the natural beginning of understanding true spirituality in this world. The spiritual, physical, metaphysical, emotional and intuitive are all beautifully and intrinsically intertwined through this most vital and complex element. May you come to know water as it knows you, and may you ever have its blessings!
* The next two lessons being of Respect and Gratitude, which I’ll not expound upon here, but keep an eye on the Oracle of Water for upcoming posts about these additional Lessons of Water!
Source, the age of water: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/16/science/the-water-in-your-glass-might-be-older-than-the-sun.html?_r=0
Featured image Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Princess Gulnare summoning her relatives.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 189-. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/6c40374c-9aaa-5ac7-e040-e00a18064e61