Think, for a moment, of all the things you can do with water. We drink it, cook with it, bathe in it, nourish our plants with it. We sail on it. We fish from it. We swim in in. We sit beside it. We taste, see, and smell it. We hear it. We feel it.
Our lives begin in water in our mother’s wombs, and our bodies are about 60% water. Is it a mystery that a bath is soothing? Is it any wonder than we find the sound of running water calming? And what is more romantic than moonlight on the water?
In California, where Awen’s Cauldron is based, we feel the impact of water, or rather, its absence. This very hot summer has brought multiple days exceeding 100 degrees. The lack of humidity in our area increases thirst, and we long to immerse ourselves in the coolness of a pool, pond, river, or ocean. We cannot live without water, any more than we can live without any of the elements: fire to warm us and cook our food, air to breathe and blow cool breezes, earth to stand on and in which to grow our food. Of all the elements, though, we resonate with water—it is part of our name, referenced in the cauldron.
Water plays an important part in all faith traditions, most often symbolizing purification and cleansing. For Hindus, bathing in the sacred water of the Ganges is an important ritual. Christians use water to baptize people in that faith. Water appears in creation myths, as part of the formation of the world. And people travel annually to sacred water sites such as the Lourdes grotto in France or the Chalice Well in England.
There is even a popular belief that blessing water and speaking to it in a loving way can change its nature. When returned to other bodies of water, the expectation is that the water goes on to change the water it encounters. As intriguing, hopeful, and majickal as that idea might sound, it is not supported by scientific research.
There are, however, many ways in which water is majickal in and of itself. The fact that it can be gas, liquid, or solid is remarkable. Air, fire, and earth don’t have that ability. Water dripping on stone will erode it over time—the Grand Canyon was formed over the course of millennia by the course of the Colorado river. Water can power electricity and take us to new places. And when it rages, it is a terrifying element, sweeping away everything in its path.
In Wicca, water is associated with the moon and is considered feminine. That is one reason why it is represented by an upside-down equilateral triangle, which reflects both the shape of a chalice and the shape of the womb. It is the element that is most closely aligned to the goddess (for example, Belisima, Anuket, Brizo) and it is the element of those born under the signs of Pisces, Cancer, and Scorpio. Water rules our subconscious as well as our emotions. Its tools are the cauldron and the chalice. Water is associated with the west, autumn, and sunset. Silver, topaz, amethyst, citrine, aquamarine, opal, pearl, and sapphire crystals or gems should be used in water rituals. Animals associated with water include, as expected, turtles, dolphins, and seals, but also bears and snakes. Majickal creatures associated with water include undines, mermaids, and sea serpents. Using musical instruments such as cymbals or bells will invoke water during a ritual.
Majickal rituals are often preceded by sacred bathing that relaxes the ritualist and prepares her to be receptive to majickal influence. Herbs, oils, and water charged under the moon can be used in the bath, as well as the special bath salts we create for our Sabbat boxes. Moon-charged water can also be used for scrying; put it in a dark bowl and gaze through the water to practice your divination skills. Making tea or potions with moon-charged water is also a good idea. After using water for ritual purposes, it should be returned to the earth, no emptied into a sink.
How do you charge water? The simplest way is to leave a vessel of it out all night where the moon will shine on it for the longest time. Our practices involve using the same vessel each month and using that container only for moon-charged water. Rainwater, spring water, or purified water are the best sources of water for charging. You can also do solar water charging in the same way, leaving it out where the sun will hit the water for most of the day. Some Wiccans bless the water to free it from any negative energy and use salt to purify it.
Majick spells that work best with water are those that healing, dreams, sleep, intuition, love, and friendship. If you have been plagued with bad dreams, for example, this might help. Take a cup of moon-charged water and add a teaspoon of sea salt along with three drops each of jasmine, lavender, and violet essential oils (or add petals from each of the flowers; you can also substitute bergamot for violet oil). If you have moonstones, add them as well. Place the bowl of water near your bed, and before lying down to sleep, put your hands about the water and say (if you aren’t comfortable yet with writing your own spell):
Majickal water, I now ask
For you to fill this simple task
Bring me restful peace and sleep
Let my dreams not make me weep
Water is life, but more than that, water is majickal. All life came from water, and humans begin their lives there. Like water, we can carve our own paths. The creatures that live in it have their own beauty; even a hippopotamus is graceful in water. And the majickal creatures are even more striking—undines with bodies made of water, mermaids with their fish tails and long flowing hair, sea serpents that curve sinuously through the oceans.
All the elements can be used in majick, but we have a favorite in water.
Opening image: “A Mermaid,” by John William Waterhouse – Art UK, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7715772