The Spirit of Water




Spiritual Reflections

Pagan Witchcraft


Who Is Starweaver?

Archive of Past Issues

Site Index

Blog: Starweaver's Corner


Water is one of the four classical elements (air, fire, water, and earth). Liquid water, more than anything, sets our planet apart from the lifeless worlds elsewhere in the solar system. Most of our planet's surface is covered by water, and we ourselves are mostly water. Life first emerged in the seas, and we carry that watery legacy with us in our bodies and our physical memories.

Water in nature is a rich and varied thing. From the enormity and power of the ocean, stretching farther than our eyes can sea, and crashing to shore with a great roaring power, to the tranquility of a mountain stream or quiet pool, water is a substance of many moods. As a vapor, it permeates the air we breathe and condenses into clouds. As ice, it covers the lands and oceans of the poles, and the peaks of mountains.

My own connection with water is a deep and long one. I was born under a Scorpio Sun, so I am a water sign. Although I've never learned to swim, I love to be near large bodies of water. When Karen and I were married, we chose Waters to be our surname, because of the way water had entered our lives and presiding over our blossoming happiness together.

Water is classically associated with emotions, moods, intuition, and psychic receptiviy. In modern terms, water is also the element of the subconscious. Below the surface of the water, things move unseen or barely glimpsed, in the deep places of our awareness. By entering the water, we can move with them and bring them up into the light of conscious understanding. If we become trapped under water, however, we drown. This is the symbolic equivalent of plunging into the world of overwhelming emotion, and losing our contact with clear thought (air).

To symbolize water in magical work, one can use cups, goblets, bowls or other vessels. Shells of sea creatures also make an obvious connection with water. Water-dwelling and amphibious creatures are also common water symbols. In traditional forms of Wicca, air is associated with the direction west (and hence evening), the color blue, and the chalice as a magical tool. Water is considered a feminine element.

Astrologically, the signs associated with air all relate to emotions and sensitivity: Cancer (nurturing), Scorpio (passion and intensity), and Pisces (mysticism and dreams). People who are strongly aligned with the element of water tend to be emotional, focused on relationships, and can be very reactive, lacking the objectivity of air or the practicality of earth.

The elemental creature traditionally associated with water is the udnine, a variant of the more familiar mermaid. Water elementals are fluid, alluring, and sometimes treacherous. They can be disruptive by causing sudden mood shifts and bursts of psychic awareness (accurate or otherwise).

For magical work, water and its symbolic counterparts can be used to enhance feeling, perception, feminine energies, love (romantic, sexual, or familial), divination, telepathy, shared consciousness, bliss, pleasure, and empathy. Water is also a the archetypal cleansing element, used to wash away negative energies and purify body and spirit alike. Ritual bathing is a preparation for magical work in many traditions.

Although I've spent much of my life developing my verbal and analytical skills, it has always been emotional needs and questions that have most motivated me and called to me with the most intensity. I found those depths sometimes magically seductive, sometimes frightening. Navigating the currents of heart and soul has been my life work.

Earth Powers is a regular feature of Starweaver's Gems from Earth and Sky

Copyright © 2008 Tom Waters