Element of Water

Water, symbolic of the Great Mother, is associated with birth and transformation. When we invite water into our circle at the west quarter, we are seeking the fountain of life and the source of all things. Water cleanses and purifies, representing our search for the secrets of life and death. In folklore, deep waters represent the depths of the human soul, the subconscious, and sometimes the realm of the dead (though earth caves have also been attributed to the cycle of death to life). Running water symbolizes the unending cascade of spiritual energy. Crossing a stream in outdoor ritual means you wish to pass from the world of illusion into a higher spiritual state. Walking over a bridge can have the same effect. In the Greek culture, morning dew, collected as the sun rises, was thought to hold the magick of moonbeams on Earth, and was used to bless one’s eyes as a medicinal aid for vision difficulties.

Looking at astrology, we have Cancer (water at its source), Scorpio (fixed or deep waters), and Pisces (water changing directions). All water signs have something in common: emotions. Cancer is nurturing, Scorpio is intense, and Pisces speaks of transformation and the visionary experience (looking at the big picture rather than losing yourself in minute detail). Each month the moon spends two and a half days in each sign of the zodiac. When she is in Cancer, you can work on emotional family issues or projects that need nurturing. When in Scorpio, the moon gives you an extra punch of emotional intensity. Use Pisces for meditation, dream work, telepathy, and especially divination. Check your almanac to find out when the moon visits these signs this month.

Sigils of Water and How to Use Them

In alchemical magick the inverted triangle stands for water and the divine feminine, and takes center stage in most creation myths.

Other Water Symbols

The first symbol (top left) is a standard water sigil. Studies of European antiquity tell us that moving and especially salt water could wash away all evil spirits, hence its inclusion in most recipes for hold water. The second drawing (top right) is Chinese and means “flowing water”. The third (bottom left), used from the Bronze Age onward, found in Greece and Sweden, speaks of the sea and how manifestation works. In magick, this design shows the cycle of what we do. We start with a thought (or prayer) — beginning at the center of the spiral on the left, which spirals outward to the universe, then condenses to become physical matter or our goal. This symbol is the flowing of alchemical magickal. The last picture (bottom right) means “directed current” or showing the water element where to flow. The Voodoo vévés, magickal drawings used to invoke deities/planetary powers, trace their origin back to alchemical pictures like those above. They believe that water signifies the birth seas, where all energy first “becomes”, much like the teachings of the Kabbalah, where the top of the tree is the great “unmanifest” or the “great void”. Both of these ideas (the Jewish mysticism and Voudon religion) begin with the sacredness of water and its ability to cleanse, purify, and move.

Invoking and Banishing Water Pentacles

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In ceremonial Wicca, the invoking pentagram of water is traced in the air at the west quarter. Sometimes, rather than using a blade, rod, or wand, the Witch might use a small broom laced with holy water. To release the energy of water, draw the banishing pentagram of water.

If you are trying to bring rain during a drought, draw the invoking water pentacle on the ground with a broom and place a water sigil or even a bowl of water in the center. Raise your broom to the heavens as you ask Spirit for relief and the right amount of water for yourself as well as those in your community. Done in this way you aren’t putting anyone in danger by “messing with the weather” because you have asked Spirit to guide the magick in a way that will be good for all. Caution: Weather magick does not do well with an audience. If you are going to work it, do it in private. Water plays a prevalent role in Voodoo and Hoodoo practices not only as a cleansing device, but as a dowsing mechanism to find the correct placement of vévés.

Mediation of Water

You will need a white ceramic bowl, a small bottle of spring water, three gold coins (if possible), and an indelible marker. This meditation can be performed either inside or outside of your house.

Draw a circle on the ground with your finger. With the black indelible marker, draw the double spiral sigil inside the bowl on the bottom. Allow to dry. Place the bowl in the center of the circle. Sit down beside the bowl and fill with the spring water. Take three deep breaths, then place your hands in the water. Close your eyes and think about the element. Let your mind do a little free association — birth, purification, emotions, the spring of life, etc. In Egypt, water was thought to wash away the sins of one’s ancestors. You might ponder on the priestesses and priests of Isis using water in their rituals to the Queen of Heavenly Magick.

When you are finished, open your eyes, sit back, and take a few deep breaths. For many, this meditation leaves them feeling as if a crushing weight has been lifted from their shoulders. You might feel that way, too. Now blow on the water and watch the spiral drawing appear to move. This is the activation of the sigil (or you could choose to draw the invoking pentagram over the water). Pick up the three coins, and ask Spirit to provide prosperity for yourself and your family. One at a time, throw them into the water. As the water moves, think of your wish spiraling out to Spirit, and then manifesting on the earth plane. The practice of throwing coins or other valuables into a fountain or pool of water dates to early Celtic beliefs.

Thank the element of water and Spirit for the abundance that will now flow toward you. Pour the water onto a deserving plant. Wipe out the bowl to use another time, either for meditation, making holy water, or other magickal purpose.

Water Correspondences


Cancer: Beginnings
Scorpio: Fixed and intense
Pisces: Transformative (mutable)

Color Associations

Green or blue, depending upon the tradition

Wiccan Tool

Cauldron or chalice


Aquatic animals: Manakel
Baptisms and Wiccaning: Raphael, Barpharanges
Beauty: Camael
Birth and conception: Gabriel
Compassion: Rachmiel, Raphael
Deep seas: Tamiel, Rampel, Rahab
Fish: Gagiel, Arariel, Azareel
Gratitude: Shemael
Hail: Bardiel, Nuriel, Yurkami
Healing: Shekinah
Intuitive powers: Sachiel
Overcome jealousy: Balthial
Liberation: Colopatiron
Longevity: Mumiah, Scheiah, Rehail
Love: Raphael, Rahmiel, Theliel, Donquel, Anael, Liwet, Mihr
Mercy: Michael, Gabriel, Rhamiel, Rachmiel, Zadkiel
Peace: Gavreel
Platonic love and friendship: Mihr
Positive, loving thoughts: Hahaiah
Protection for travel over water: Elemiah
Rain: Matarel, Mathariel, Ridia, Matriel (chant these five in sequence), Dara
Rivers: Trsiel, Rampel, Dara
Running streams: Nahaliel
Science and medicine: Mumiah
Sea: Rahab
Showers: Zaa’fiel
Snow: Shalgiel, Michael
Waters: Phul
Water insects:Shakziel


African: (Female) Abuk, Asase Yaa, Aziri, Dada, Nimm, Oshun (Rivers and streams), Yemaya (Sea)
Egyptian: (Female) Akhet, Celestial waterer, Hast, Heqet, Meri, Nephthys, Satet, Sphinx, Uat (Male) Tefnut, Khnum (god who controlled the Nile)
Greek and Roman: (Female) Acantha, Alcyone, Cleone, Dero, Hippo, Hypereia, Ianassa, Therma (Male) Neptune, Poseidon
Germanic/Norse: (Female) Atlaq, Holda, Lady Wen, Matrona, Norns (Fates who are Skuld, Verdandi, and Urd), Wave Maidens (Male) Donar, Ull
Celtic: (Female) Bried/Brigid (considered the fire and water goddess), Boann, Danu, Eona, Lady of the Lake, Tres Mares (Male) Condatism, Manannan

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