A Beginner’s Guide to Water Magic

The oldest magic on Earth never died. It’s still flowing down the hillsides, literally falling from the sky. Before humans worked with plants or stones, the first source of medicine was water. Across my ancestral lands— the British Isles and European continent— some of the oldest sites of worship are springs, uprisings from the Earth where miracles have been reported. In the mountains where I live today, the Cherokee— the ancestral people of these lands— have a saying: take it to the water. No matter what hurt, illness, imbalance or pain you are experiencing, you can take it to the water for healing.

In the Celtic wheel of the year, autumn is associated with water. A time of depth, reflection, and intention. The fall is a liminal season where we can plant the seeds of new visions, a dream for the world to come.

This past week, as we watched swaths of the western mountains go up in pine-cracking flame, we also celebrated the autumn equinox. As we tip into fall, the reality of global warming and the profound need for humanity’s healing is flaring before our eyes.

If there was ever a time for water magic, it is now.

This time last year I was visiting the holy wells of England, my matrilineal homeland. I made pilgrimages to wells bedecked with clooties, colorful scraps of fabric hung from nearby hawthorns. I climbed into water-dark catacombs with candles dripped to the walls like crystals and hiked through cow fields to find hidden springs lined with ferns. The thing that struck me the most about these water-touched places, spaces where humans have worshiped for thousands of years, was how strongly the prayers still echoed. They were alive in a way that was hard to feel elsewhere— as if the water had kept them flowing.

Some days it can feel like life is hard as stone, the future fixed and immanent. But when we work with water, and its magic, we remember that everything is flexible. The future is malleable, the return to the wellspring already underway. We have the ability to use our intention to help usher in another way of being; a future where the waters run clear again.

As we move into the autumn season, the call to create a new prayer for your life, and the Earth, is rushing in like rain— and the water is here to help. If you are interested in working with the resurrecting magic of this first medicine, check out my new video below: A Beginners Guide to Water Magic.

In the video I go over my three favorite practices for working with water, to shift your life, bless the land and change the flow of fate.

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I once had the opportunity to attend a gathering with the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. There was a fire stoked, songs shared, and ashes gathered. When the gathering came to a close these wisdom keepers from around the world were asked to share one final piece of wisdom. In unison, they said— pray for the water.

Human prayer is like water for the Earth. It nourishes the wellsprings of our planet and can move into the deepest aquifers. It is a gift that can refill any cup and help us find our own inner resources when we feel too tired to move forward.

As we go deeper into the fire of this fall, remember the power of your inner upwelling. Pray for a rain that will calm our spirits, springs that can perform miracles, a river of awakening that will show us the way home. And know that all the waters of the world are hearing your prayers.