Practical magic part 4: the element of water

Practical magic part 4: the element of water

In Part 1 of this series, I discussed general aspects of practical magic. I wrote, among other things, that elements – air, fire, water and earth – are actually always part of my magical rituals one way or another. This blog, Practical magic part 4, is about the element of water. We ourselves consist for the most part of water. It is therefore not surprising that water has such a great influence on us. Without water we’d survive less than a week. Our life revolves largely around water which explains why this is one of those four important elements.

The symbolism of water

I already mentioned the fact that we ourselves consist largely of water. If you, knowing this, consider that water conducts electricity and that water is influenced by the moon, then you understand that water plays a huge role in magic. Our ancestors already saw running water as one of the great sources of the magic of life. Sources and rivers were used in rituals around life and death. This was so intimately woven into their spiritual being that the Catholic Church saw no other option than to incorporate the many sacred springs into their own practice. To this day, some holy wells still play an active part in the ceremonies of said church.

The sea, lakes and rivers have always been important to us. We get our food from these waters, we bathe in them. We let it lift us up and take it with us, sometimes against our wishes. We have a healthy respect for it. In tarot, water is linked to chalices, the cards that deal with emotion and feeling. Chalice cards tell you everything that has to do with your emotional life: love, family, children, etcetera. Logically so. Tears, made of water, often flow freely throughout our lives, sometimes of grief but often also of joy. Without water you die, but in water you can also drown and it is the same with feelings and emotions.

The element of water means to embrace, process and release

When working with water, you use the symbolic language for embracing, processing and letting go. Those actions are essential in our lives, now perhaps more than ever given the complicated world we live in. Using water symbolism makes it easier to deal with the challenges of the modern world. Like in the saying “like water off a ducks back”, you can let the worries of everyday life flow away from you with water.

This can be done by using plain water. But you can also employ other symbols for water. Colour is one such possibility. By using water-related colours during your rituals, you also evoke the element of water. Think of light blue, sea green and other colours that remind you of water. The moon is another possible symbol. Fish, water birds and other aquatic animals, aquatic plants, shells are all associated with water. There are also stones you can use as a symbol for water: pearl, moonstone, aquamarine and the like. Chalices, dishes and other containers that you can put water into are valuable as well. Make sure to research what you associate with water. The stronger your association, the more valuable the symbol will be during your rituals.