Water is where we dive into the self-discovery and what lies beyond. It is about courage, strength, will, about new life that we create and unneeded things that need to die so we can change. Water is the acceptance of our mortal self and insight into the parts of us that are immortal.
Water is the fifth element in the Chinese 5 element theory, but it is also the beginning of the 5 element cycle. It has the most energy in the afternoon, between 3 and 7pm, when the kidneys and the bladder are the strongest. It is connected to very old age, to winter, to death, conceiving and rebirth. Water is softening and takes shape of the vessel it is in, always going to the lowest point it can reach. It is our need to find what lies beyond and beneath, to find out how things, people and situations work and to get to the core of them. It is the search for the big truths of life.
In the body water is controlling our kidneys and bladder, but it it also connected to our teeth and bones, to reproductive organs, brain and nervous system and our hair. When our water is low, we suffer from fear, we lose our drive and settle for what we know. When the water stops moving, it turns murky and smelly and grows bad things. When our water is stagnant, we grow bad ideas and don't dare to change.
Water carries the seed of the human
Our water is what we find after we've stripped down our ego and want to find out about the depth that lies beyond our reality. This is when we attract real people, people that suit us and those without false personalities. If it is strong, we are full of life and courageous allowing us to easily plan and execute. We can maintain work-life balance and don't take on tasks that would cause us to become overworked. We're able to listen to people and give good advice. We also have a healthy libido and find joy in love making with our partner.
If the water element is weak we are forever exhausted, we are cold and don't like movement, our joints and back hurt, we have no desire for sex or if we do we might not be able to get pregnant. Our teeth can start to rot and our hearing turns worse, or we develop a tinnitus or a thumping or whooshing that won't go away. We can shift from being a good listener into someone who doesn't stop talking. We can become fearful and start avoiding anything fun in life or start acting fearless all together.
Water is our final self
We all know the symptoms of older age: hearing gets weaker, the ears grow longer, our feet turn slightly inward when we walk (as if we're to keep energy that way by protecting meridians), our feet turn less sensible and we're prone to falls because we don't react in time, we start talking more (endlessly reiterating the same old stories the same way, using the same words), our hair turns grey and our bones become brittle, teeth start falling out, etc.
All of this is a natural way to age, but if we don't take care of our water energy we can experience many of these symptoms at a way younger age.
It is essential that we properly manage our kidney energy. It is not only enough to rest, but also to eat foods that will help us preserve our kidneys, to meditate and turn inward, to have a healthy and not too excessive sex life, to make sure we're doing our best to live up to our potential.
It is considered that most of our magickal energy also belongs to the water element, as it is our own energy that we raise and use. That is the main reason why the state of our body, emotions and soul is important in our practice.
Water is the beginning and the end
A spark of qi meets the earth and water and it turns them into life. This is the exact moment when a fetus gets formed. We know that nothing in nature ceases to exist. Both matter and energy only change form, but nothing can be destroyed. The body of a child in the mother's womb comes from the same molecules that once belonged to a different person, maybe to a plant, maybe to a meteorite. Everything in nature comes in cycles, and the water element is this gateway, the precise moment when one thing dies and another gets born.
Toward old age we start accepting the thought of the inevitable death that lies ahead of us. But during our lifetime we go through several small deaths without understanding them for what they are. In learning to understand this energy and this law of nature we can harness great power for our magick.
Ever been in a situation where you were so upset that you decided to cut or die your hair?
This situation in particular is very interesting, as the old Chinese call this a small death. Hair can show the state of our life energy, our constitution and our fertility. Cutting our hair after a huge argument, a huge loss or a situation that we know changed our life forever means that we've symbolically let go of what just happened. We were overwhelmed and needed it to be over.
It's no wonder that this same behaviour was observed throughout the ages and in different civilizations. In the west, we might see it as a change, a new chapter in life. In many other cultures it is a sign of mourning for someone close or for something we lost. Long hair in native americans was a symbol of their powers and connection to nature. While being recruited into US army as trackers, it was rumored that those who cut their hair were unable to track and read the signs of nature.
What are the aspects of the water element?
color: black or dark blue
organ: kidneys, bladder, teeth, bones, brain, reproductive organs, hair
sound: grunting or fearful gasp
movement: soft and flowing
direction: north, down
time: old age, death and conceiving, ends, time of self discovery
place: cold climates and world oceans
time of the day: 3pm - 7pm
Essential oils that balance water element: birch, benzoin, bergamot, cardamom, chamomile, freesia, gardenia, hops, irish moss, jasmine, lemon balm, lily, mandarin, neroli, palmarosa, frangipani, spruce, storax, sandalwood, thyme, vanilla, yarrow.
Foods and spices that tonify the water element are: all fish and shellfish, pork, all types of beans - kidney beans, fava, soy, peas and chickpeas, sesame and black sesame seeds, salty foods, kelp and algae, slowly cooked and warming meals, leafy greens, boar meat, nettle, dandelion, horsetail, birch leaves, celery, walnuts and all black berries and foods.
Our true self lives in our kidneys
Zhi is our will to act. It makes us accomplish things and contains the intention and determination needed to succeed in our endeavors and our spiritual practice. According to old Daoist teachings the highest strength of personal will is to be able to flow with the will of heaven, or the Dao. This is no different than us acting in alignment with the laws of nature when doing magick. When we master this kind of intentions and keep our water element strong, we achieve a spontaneous understanding and we succeed.
How to use water element in witchcraft?
Water cleanses and connects, it takes shape and dissolves.
It is the element that we use in necromancy and death alchemy, in manifestations, in work that helps us end the old and the unbeneficial as well as practices that let us shed our false self and be reborn as who we truly are.
Any type of ancestral work is due to our connection through the water. Everything we've ever received from our ancestors has been imbued into our genetic code. The strength of our parents reproductive system has played a role in our making and the quality of the material we inherit. We can use the water to backtrack our roots and make a contact to our ancestors, to learn from them and inherit their knowledge. Akashic records belong to the water element as do techniques to access those.
How do you deal with fear?How is your water? If you were to face your biggest fears, how would you do it? Would you do it? How much do you know your true self and how is your relationship to love making? Can you enjoy your own body? How do you deal with shame?
When we balance our water element, we can achieve anything. We are able to connect to another person on a spiritual level and enjoy the pleasure of the body at the same time. We can sense our roots and stop being who we think the world wants us to be, and we can start being who we feel we really are. We are able to try over and over until we succeed, we have no fear or new things or fear of failure. We feel like we're enough, we're adequate and competent.
Healthy water makes us able to put our old self to rest and rise with the power of our ancestors behind us. Our intuition turns sharp and we instinctively know how to act. We grow a backbone! Our integrity becomes the thing that precedes us and people trust us even if they can't understand why. It doesn't stem from our authority or our popularity. It is a pure result of our life essence shining through, and people will be attracted to it.