Link's Lesson Book
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When you think of "Water" what comes to mind? A tranquil lake, gentle rain, or raging sea? Whether magical element or just a simple cup of tea, water can be a very special part of your life.
Every body of water is an entity. Each lake, puddle or pool has a unique life-force all its own. It can be as vast as the sea, or as small as a two-sip potion bottle - any body of water has a personality just a little bit different than any other. Can you feel the personality of your bath? Can you feel a certain comfort within a place where you swim regularly? Try to sense what makes each body of water different than another.
Water at Home
A home is a very special place. It holds all the elements, and surely combines them into spirit. Water is an integral part of your home, like any ecosystem. The bathroom, the kitchen, the plumbing surely are temples for your own home's personal aspect of water. When you visit the home of a new friend, make an effort to drink their tap water to take in a bit of the unique personality of that place. It may help you get a better feel for where you are, and all that resides there. Perhaps it is no accident that one of the first things someone offers a guest is something to drink. This concept is not limited to someone's home. Going on a sales call or job interview? Grab a quick drink when you get there!
Water is used in a variety of healing rites. Most magical people are quite aware of healing energies in teas, brews and baths. Next time you use one of these devices, try specifically addressing the water aspect within your magic. People often focus on the herbs used in their potions. But don't forget the water spirits within your hot cup of tea that washes these herbs into your steamy Circle. Magic is often the chemistry of mixing things, thus mixing the energies they possess. Together, water and herbs make something very special, more so than either could do alone. Employ the water you drink to help swallow an aspirin; see the "liquid" in your cough syrup. Most over the counter drugs come in both liquid and tablet form. Perhaps this choice can help fit your magical need? When might a liquid work better than a solid, or vice versa?
Some people scry as a means to foretell the future or answer questions. Scrying is the act of gazing meditatively into a shiny nebulous surface, like a crystal ball. Fill your cauldron with water and see what shimmers on its surface -- whether by moonlight, candelight or just bathroom nightlight. Oh, you don't own a $200 cast iron genuine witchy cauldron to fill? Try any household vessel, perhaps one that fits your specific need. For example, if you seek financial guidance, try using the jar you store your loose change in. A new beginning? How about your morning coffee cup. Love? Perhaps a vase you might use for a dozen red roses.
For divination, you may want to try saving water to re-use over and over again each time you scry. Perhaps this water, just like you, will become more adept at scrying with practice! You might experiment with the specific type of water you want to use. When might water from the ocean work best? The rain or morning dew? Try collecting waters from the special places in your life, the stream where you picnic, the lake where you camp. Use your creativity here. Is there enough room in your freezer for a chunk of the first snowfall?
Another form of water divination might be to merely spill it on a flat surface. Which way did it run? Towards a specific direction? What does this direction mean to you? Try dropping something magical into a pool of water and count the ripples it makes. Four? Five? Do you find meaning in this number? Water is a very flexible thing. What new ways can you create to divine with water?
Your Own Waters
Perhaps the water we are closest to, but notice the least, is the water within our own bodies. Each of us carries around gallons that we borrow from our surroundings via the moisture within food and drink. We store it for hours, days, maybe even weeks, and carry it around like a little magical charm. Remember this the next time you share a drink during a special moment. A bit of that moment stays with you within the water you drank. Magical people instinctively feel the magic within their own waters. Ever notice how some people put a little something extra into licking and sealing a special envelope? It becomes a magical act!
Matter can be charged with your own personal energy, like the way a chair becomes warm when you sit on it. Water is especially receptive to storing energy. What energies does water hold within your body? Note that just about every emotion is expressed with water. Our water enables release, catharsis, getting it out of our system - whether tears of joy, a nervous sweat, or acts of love and pleasure. When we get too sad, too happy, too excited - water is what we often cast forth.
When you drink in water, take in what you need from the world. Ask for new things, new benefits, new wisdom and experiences. Just drink them all in like making a toast! And when you expel water, casting it out of your body, think what you'd like to cast out into life's magical currents. Taking in, then sending out. What could be more magical than that?
One popular belief assigns each element to a direction, with water corresponding to the west. My guess is that this began in England where the ocean actually is in the west, where the storms blew in from, thus fitting the geography and beliefs of the people who created the system. When members of the modern Craft community came to America, they continued the custom of looking to the west for water, even though the nature and geography around them was actually quite different. Water is one example of the choice whether to follow tradition, or modify our customs to fit the unique situations around us. I live on the east coast of North America, where the Atlantic Ocean is only 60 miles to the east. Yet most people I know turn their back and face west for water. Experiment with what direction feels most like water; try sensing what works best for you. You may find that the direction really doesn't matter much. Someone I consider quite wise once reminded me that "water is where you feel it."
The Water Cycle
Can we learn from the cycle of Earth's water supply? Water vapor rises from the ocean, crystallizes to form a raindrop, falls to the Earth, runs its course through life's rivers and streams, returning to the ocean, its source, to vaporize once again, perpetuating water's cycle. Are we any different? Even today, Pagans sing about a drop of rain flowing to the ocean, returning to its source, the source of all life. This song even tells where we come from, and reminds us that we shall return. Think about the words. (Z. Budapest; 1971, Spring Hill Music.)
Look at the branching shape each tiny stream has as it feeds a larger brook, which then feeds a mighty river. Now look at the veins in your own arm. Perhaps it is the nature of small things to flow together, forming something larger. What other parts of life work the same way? What small things flow into you? And what do you join with to form something greater?
Like us, water also has many lives. The same H20 molecule that sits upon your sweaty brow today may have once been a teardrop in a lover's eye or raindrop in a raging storm. It may even have once been part of an icy comet that hurled to Earth ions ago after whirling round the galaxy.
Perhaps the most common water magic is washing away something unwanted; we wash things to cleanse. Often the physical act of washing can have a magical component as well. When you shower, do you sometimes wash away more than just the grime of the day, making your stress-relieving shower a magical act? Have you ever rinsed out a glass or piece of clothing for a special occasion, and visualized the desired outcome of that occasion? When I wash my car, I pray for safe travel. (From the bathroom, the bedroom, and even the garage -- Kitchen Witchery exists in every room of the house!)
I know someone who has slept on the same waterbed for a decade. This person respects (and actually talks to) the water within this bed as something sacred, like a magical familiar. Why not? Just imagine the energies this water holds. It becomes warmed by your body heat, hears a decade worth of dreams and passion. It provides the bliss of restful sleep. No other body of water can ever be that intimate.
Like anything magical, water is multi-dimensional. Make a list of properties you associate with water. Which aspect fits your magical need? Not only does water wash, but it nourishes and helps things grow. (Perhaps it is no accident that our first meal of Mother's milk comes in liquid form.) Water is the place where life started, creating a new beginning for primordial Earth. What new beginnings do you yearn for? Water is the ink in your pen, the wine in your clinking glass. It freezes solid, yet steams away into vapor. Water makes ripply splashy noises, and swirls round and round into spiral whirlpools. Forget what you heard when you were nine years old - please do play with water!