Accessing Your Inner Healer with the Element of Water
Situated in the cardinal direction of the west, water is our winding and healing teacher that spirals us into the underworld in the Autumn months. Water connects deeply with the archetype of the Goddess calling us down and in to clear and heal in preparation for our descent into the colder months of stillness, integration, and regeneration. Also related to the moon, intuition, and mysticism, water is our wise teacher helping us move into the current of intuitive wisdom all around us. Within the current of water lies your inner healer and the wise one within you, who holds the key to your interconnectedness and wholeness.
Unlike Spring and Summer, when we face the west on our seasonal wheel, we are asked to begin channeling our energy inward to explore our internal worlds. It’s a time to connect with the parts of ourselves that need tending and healing. The direction west and the element of water help us do this.
While exploring the element of water, we often focus solely on her intuitive nature, which is true, but water is so much more! In this share, you’ll learn more about the placement of west and water on our seasonal wheel and how it relates to the corresponding zodiac seasons, explore wisdom from water, common correspondences for water and west, and a few rituals to connect with, protect, and honor water.
Listen on the podcast here.
Let’s start with the placement of this direction and element on our seasonal wheel of the year.
Seasonal Placement of Water on our Wheel
The element of water begins to spiral into our cyclical year at Lughnasadh as we face southwest. At this point on the wheel, we have a playful and intense time where water and fire mix and play. What happens with we introduce fire to water? It moves, becomes agitated, and may even turn into steam. This sense of activity is mirrored in the energy associated with the harvest season, busily preparing for the cold months ahead.
When we shift fully westward at the time of the Autumn Equinox, we also move into Libra season. It’s telling that our season of water begins with Libra and then moves into Scorpio. Libra, ruled by the planet of venus, our watery and sensual planet of love and beauty, seeks to find pleasure and nourishment from the beauty all around. As the earth begins to get colder in the Northern Hemisphere, water slows down, and we shift into Scorpio season, where we’re invited to slow down and descend into the watery depths of our internal worlds for deeper healing and wisdom from within.
For many who are in tune with the seasonal changes, the shift from Libra to Scorpio and Lughnasadh to Samhain feels palpable. The earth also mirrors this shift, with leaves falling from the trees and animals beginning to retreat. A slow spiraling dance inward that prepares us to shift north towards the element of earth and the time of composting and regeneration.
Everything about this liminal space calls us inward to notice what within us needs to die so seeds can be planted for a new cycle to begin. Rebirth cannot happen without death. When we sink deeper into our internal oceans, we can find clues to what is ready to surface, what needs tending to, and what is ready to be returned to the earth for renewal. This need to retreat inward is where your inner healer comes in. Connecting with your inner healer and wisdom keepers resources you to love, heal, and excavate what needs tending and what needs midwifing out.
Wisdom from Water and West
Water is the keeper and teacher of our emotional and intuitive world. Acting as a conduit between the physical/mundane world and the mystical/otherworld, she is a magical bridgebuilder calling you to swim in her waters to meet parts of yourself below the surface. We all have inner healers, wisdom keepers, and ancestral knowledge.
Seeking answers and wisdom from outside of ourselves oftentimes feels like the easier route, especially when the dominant culture inspires extraction at every turn. We’ve been taught not to trust ourselves and not to go within for answers and healing. Going within for our own healing and answers can feel incredibly uncomfortable. In this same thread, it’s also important to state that sometimes we must seek outside of ourselves for help! Water asks us to discern when to seek healing and wisdom from the outside and when to go within.
My most impactful mentors have always inspired me to seek my answers from within rather than supplying me with their formulas or answers. I’ve learned that this is a mark of a good mentor, and I am hesitant of mentors and teachers who appear to have all the right answers. As I continue to deepen my relationship with my inner wise woman, I’ve learned to discern better when I need to go within and when I need to ask for help. I’ve come to recognize that if I have a sense of urgency when searching externally for an answer or comfort, I need to pause, slow down, and look within first. I aim to no longer use mild discomfort as an excuse to seek external validation or answers. Sometimes, discomfort is simply an invitation to go deeper, not a problem.
We can turn to the wisdom of Scorpio to better understand this desire to sink deeper into our depths. As I already shared about the timing of this season, it’s no wonder we find Scorpio here aligned with the west and water. Scorpio energy always aims to go deeper. It encourages us to be with and learn from our emotional worlds, especially the often neglected and ignored parts. This requires us to begin flowing between our pain and pleasure so we can go deeper still, unafraid of our depths and where they may take us. Scorpio energy understands that the most beautiful gems and potent medicine are hidden within our deepest fractures. Learning from our pain doesn’t mean we stay with it, but it does mean that we learn how to be with it and how to alchemize it into potent healing for ourselves and others.
I love this excerpt from Bewitching the Elements by Gabby Herstik on the element of water that illustrates its healing powers so well.
“Through this element you learn about your innermost world, about how you love, about your fears, about your shadow. Water is your connection to your intuition to the all-knowing consciousness that’s bigger than just you. When you embrace the fluidity and majesty of this element, when you recognize your own ability to flow and ebb, you are able to come back to your magick, to your mysticism, to your truth: unconditional love. A mystical being in a human suit. Through water you feel, and through water you heal.”
The innate healing gifts you harbor within are unique to you, which is why it’s so important for each of us to travel to our sacred depths and explore hidden parts of ourselves. When we return to the surface, we are imbued with new tools to heal ourselves and others. We also come back with more empathy. When we lean deeply into our emotional world and understand why we feel the way we do, we can see these same patterns in others and have more compassion for them.
Water is the mysterious shapeshifter of the elements, flowing from solid to liquid to vapor. Her shapeshifting abilities speak to her enigmatic nature. Water speaks through emotion and deep feeling. Her communication may present as contradictory and illogical due to her shapeshifting and interconnected nature, calling us to be at peace with simultaneous truths. So much of being present is learning to hold multiple truths and realities simultaneously. I encourage you not to abandon the wisdom water offers when you find it contradictory, it may still be true.
Water is the great uniter and connecter, not only to each other but to all life and our ancestors. Water reminds us that we are all connected. When we move into her current, we have access to the past, present, and future. She is the divine wisdom keeper and healer residing within every living creature. My water teacher, Jen Isabel Friend, shares more about this idea in this quote from a longer article she shared on my blog in 2019.
“For the Kogi people of Colombia, for example, water is the origin of reality. For them, the structure of the world is sustained by water – every river, runoff, and raindrop maintains the world. Kogi know that within water is the metaphysical blueprint of existence, it holds the map of reality. All “worlds” of reality, from dreams to the structures of daily life, to psychic visions in medicine journeys, all are maintained by water.
This makes a lot of sense when you consider that water is actually holographic in nature. The internal arrangement of her molecules can imprint, store, and transmit information faster than the speed of light. Encoded in every cluster of water molecules is a record of everything that water has experienced. In fact, water is like a sensory organ of Mother Earth – she feels and remembers everything.”
I’ll dive deeper into how science is starting to catch up with some of these claims later in this share.
Water asks us to slow ourselves. It’s the only way we’ll feel her magic. It’s how we can tune into and remember our unique gifts. If water knows all, connecting with it to learn more about ourselves, our inner healer, is less about acquiring something new and more about remembering who we are. Water asks us to sink into our depths and explore our wounds to remember who we really are and why we’re here. When we shift into the element of earth and the direction of the north, we can better integrate these gifts and tools for the cycle to begin again.
Water and West Correspondences
Correspondences are ways to connect with a particular energy. These are common correspondences for water and west, but it should always be noted that they can vary from practitioner to practitioner. Correspondences can be unique and personal. If there are specific items outside this list that help you feel connected to the element of water, honor that.
- Moon Phase: waning moon
- Phase of life: the priestess, wise woman, and the crone
- Themes: releasing, healing, letting go, slowing down, intuition, magic, the wise woman
- Color: Blue,
- Element: Water
- Time of Year: Autumn
- Time of day: Sunset
- Energy center: Pelvic bowl and reproductive organs
- Items and tools: water, cauldron, chalice, symbols of the moon and the Goddess, shells and other items from water
- Crystals: Moonstone, aquamarine, carnelian, lepidolite, sodalite, opal
- Plants: Mugwort, ivy, aster, rose, lemon balm, poppy, valerian
- Tarot: Suit of cups, the Moon, hanged one, and death
- Ogham: Vine, ivy, reed
- Runes: Laguz
- Planets: Moon, Neptune, Pluto
- Zodiac: Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio
Rituals to Connect with West and Water
Let’s explore ways to deepen your relationship with water through ritual and magick. As always, take what you like and leave the rest. These are all examples of ways I’ve personally found to connect with and honor water and the west.
1. Connect with water through meditation, trance, or dance
Meditating on the elements is always a go-to for me. If you’d like guided support, you can sign up for or purchase Journey to Your Inner Healer meditation and workbook here. Otherwise, you can carve out some time to connect with water on your own through meditation. Here are a few thoughts I’d like to share if you want to connect with water through meditation or journeying.
Because water is a shapeshifter, everyone will experience this element uniquely. My experience working with water in a meditative state is that water is deliciously subtle, requiring us to sink deeper, quiet the outer world, and attune deeply to our inner worlds. In a physical world where so much of what we come into contact with is quite loud, tuning into the subtleness of water can take some fine-tuning. At least, this has been my experience. Once I learned how to tune myself to the subtleness of water better, I was better able to experience the fullness of her wisdom.
More than any other element, I’d encourage you to give connecting with water a few tries to experience it fully. There are many ways to do this. Here are a few suggestions.
– State at the beginning of a meditation that you’d like to connect with the element of water and simply allow your mind to take you on a journey.
– Visualize yourself traveling to a body of water. This could be a body of water you know and love or a fictional body of water.
– Consider exploring the element of water in different states, like rain or fog, by visualizing it in your mind’s eye.
– While showering, bathing, or swimming, give yourself quiet time to connect with the feeling of the water.
– For a more embodied experience, consider intuitively dancing or moving as if you’re water and notice where this takes you and how it feels.
– If you connect with a specific deity related to water, you could call on them to guide you into a water trance or meditation.
As you become comfortable connecting with water in one or more of these ways, you may want to begin working with water more collaboratively. This could mean calling upon water for assistance in ritual, healing, or spell crafting. It could look like asking water to guide you to your inner healer, which is what I lead you through in the guided journey meditation here. It could also mean listening to and asking for ways to protect and advocate it. Water is life. Upholding a reciprocal relationship with water will serve everyone. I’ll share more on this later.
Remember, water is the connection to your emotional world. Don’t be surprised if exploring water this way brings up emotions or parts of yourself that have been dormant. Consider building in time after meditation to orient yourself to your surroundings and connect with the physical body by eating or drinking.
2. Understanding and caring for water
I became wholly obsessed with the magic of water in 2019 when I stumbled across my water teacher, Jen Isabel Friend. You can learn more about her and her offerings here. Since my personal exploration into water through Jen’s teachings, I’ve completely transformed my relationship with water physically and spiritually. I now understand water to be fully alive and conscious, especially when given the right environment to thrive and express herself.
This is a huge topic and one that I will only be able to expand upon in this post partially. Furthermore, even though I’ve spent a few years learning and reading about these properties of water, I am not an expert. If your interest is piqued, I encourage you to check out Isabel’s work here. Here are the cliff notes if you don’t have time to dive in right now.
Even though water is a common part of our everyday lives, we don’t know very much about it or fully understand it. Much like the spiritual properties of water, even her physical properties are quite mysterious! There’s a growing body of evidence from scientists worldwide showing that water has a fourth phase beyond liquid, solid, and vapor between a solid and a liquid called H302, EZ, structured, or gel water. This fourth phase of water is more hydrating and can, among other things, store memory. Though not directly related to the fourth phase of water, some of these ideas become popular through the work of Masaru Emoto in, The Hidden Messages in Water. Books like The Fourth Phase of Water by Gerald Pollock begin to break this down and explain some of the science behind these claims.
What I find most interesting is that so much of what we’re learning about water today has been talked about by indigenous wisdom keepers since the beginning. Healers, mystics, and wisdom keepers worldwide already know and understand the magic and importance of water.
When water can spiral, flow, and move as it naturally wants to in a spring, river, or waterfall, it can mature into its fourth phase. The fourth phase of water is structured much like a crystal with coherent and patterned molecules. Unlike a crystal, it can also flow and move. In this structured state, like a crystal, water can retain information and imprints of energy, including human emotions. It may sound fringe, but the more water is studied, the more these claims are backed up.
When water is inundated with chemicals, forced to flow through our human-made waterways and pipes in unnatural ways, and enclosed in bottles, it loses its full capacity to heal, transmit, and store information. As I said, this is a big topic, so if you want to learn more, I encourage you to explore some of the resources I’ve shared, but what I will leave you within this section is a call to action because water needs our help, and we need water.
There’s an opportunity to be better stewards of water and her wisdom in our spiritual practices. So many of us do a beautiful job of listening to and protecting the earth; water needs this same attention. Beyond the environmental issues related to water, when we craft our magic in extractive ways that aren’t aligned with the true needs of water, our magic won’t be as potent. So if you’re a fan of moon water or water essences, read on.
You can do many things to protect and restore water, even from your home. If you’re using tap water or even special bottled water for your moon water or any other ritual water, the water is essentially dead. Yes, it may be able to hold some of the intentions you infuse into it temporarily, but it likely will not stay. Here are four ways to start caring for water and restoring it to its full vibrancy.
– If it is accessible and safe, stop buying bottled water. Bottled water companies do not make water. They make plastic bottles and often use tap water or stolen water. There are situations where bottled water cannot be avoided, like the racist water crises in Flint, MI, and Jackson, MS, in the US. If you need clean water and the only accessible and safe water is bottled water, buy it without shame.
– Collect your drinking water from living springs when safe and accessible. Go to findaspring.com to learn where your closest spring is. Sadly, many areas are not close to an accessible spring. If you are, that’s great! Use it, share about it, and protect it. Most fresh spring water is ideal for drinking water and great for your water magic.
– Revive your tap water with simple or complex tools. If you’re immersed in the world of water, it seems like more and more water tools are available on the market daily. You can spend A LOT of money on this, but many things that restore water can be done with simple and inexpensive tools. The best way to bring water back to life is to let it swirl and spiral like it does in nature and remineralize it, which can be done with a handheld frother and some sea salt. If you want to get fancy with it, I love my Mayu Swirl and Hi-Lyte drops. You can also find loads of water tools in Isabel’s shop here.
– Listen to water, love water, and protect water. Your water is alive! Commune with her, spend time with her, talk to her, and give her love. You are a body of water yourself, so extend this to yourself as well. When we commune with water, we’ll know how to better care for her and ourselves. I learned from Isabel that the words that uplift water the most are “Thank you. I love you. I respect you.” Every time I pour a glass of water for myself or my kids, I try to do so with intention and repeat to the water, “Thank you. I love you. I respect you.” I do this as an offering to the water and my own body of water.
3. Imprinting water rituals
Now that you know more about co-collaborating with water working with water in your magic and ritual will be even more special. There are so many magical uses for water in ritual. I invite you to be like water in your exploration of using water in ritual–playful and creative. Try to use living water whenever possible for imprinting water and using it for ritual. This can be water from a spring, a natural body of water (if you’re not drinking it or know it is safe to drink), or water you’ve revitalized yourself. The care you take to collect and prepare your water is part of the ritual.
As mentioned above, imprinting your water can be as simple as sending it loving words as you pour, hold, and drink it. Here are other ways to imprint or work with water in ritual.
– Create a water altar or water offering. Creating a special place in your home to honor your water is a beautiful way to deepen your relationship with water. You can have a permanent water alter, create a temporary one as a water offering, or both! Explore this more deeply in a past post I shared for the Autumn Equinox here.
– Intentional drinking water. Write words you’d like to infuse into your water on the paper and place it on, under, or near your water. I also suggest focusing on your words of intention as you hold and drink the water. Here’s an example of some of my ritual drinking water.
– Moon water. Place a vessel of water under the moon for a night. It’s common to see folks place their water out for the full moon, but I encourage you to be intentional about placing your water under the moon. You may find that the waxing or waning energy of a specific moon phase in a specific sign may serve your needs better. Learn more about the energy of each moon phase here.
– Floral water and water essences. Water can pick up the energy of anything, not just the moon and your words of affirmation. If you practice working with trees, flowers, and herbs, these can also imprint water with its energy creating an essence. There are many different kinds of water essence and imprint practices. Some use the plant’s energy solely to imprint the water, while others use this and pieces or extract from the plant.
I love the work of Annwyn Avalon for even more in-depth ritual practices for water. She has a couple of wonderful books available as well.
We have much to learn from water in both the mundane and otherworldly realms. I hope this share has inspired you to deepen your relationship with water spiritually and in your daily use of water. You are water, and water is life.
Categorised in: Cassie Uhl
Cassie Uhl is the author of five books and two card decks, an artist, intuitive energy healer, and death doula. Her lineage and practices are rooted in pagan earth-based spiritual practices of Northern Europe. She approaches her work and clients with trauma-informed support through all phases of life. She currently resides on the land of the Myaamia people in so-called Indiana of the US.