The question is drawn from the Greenhaven Tradition; the YaaD course is not published on the Greenhaven Tradition website, but is made available on a person-to-person basis. Material that is not so closely held is available at http://greenhaventradition.weebly.com/
Class 7, Paper 2 (after discussion): Choose an Element/Direction that appeals to you. Write a one-page paper about its characteristics and powers. Include a brief invocation such as you might use to summon this quarter in circle. If you don’t write entirely from scratch, you need to cite your resources for everything you borrow from another source.
Note: I actually chose the element to which I had the weakest connection, on the grounds that learning more about it might help improve the connection.
Assignment submitted February 10, 2012
Writing Assignment: YaaD Class 7 – Ritual Framing
Characteristics of Water
From a purely physical point of view, water is necessary for life, second only to air. It is a powerful solvent and lubricant.
In the classical (derived from Greek) tradition, Water is considered to be the cool, moist element. Most European Pagan traditions associate Water with the West (although one source puts it in the South [Archangels]); Chinese traditional medicine associates Water with the North [Occult Advances], as does a source reflecting Egyptian thought [Temple of Ra].
Several traditions associate the archangel Gabriel with Water; others associate Rafael. [Archangel]
Depending on the source, water is related to a wide variety of body parts, most commonly blood and the digestive and urinary systems. [Kitchen Witch] A fairly recent book, The Wiccan Web: Surfing the Magic on the Internet, suggests that the parts of a computer that most correspond to water are the keyboard (from which creativity flows) and the surge protectors (which channel and control energy). [Telesco]
Powers of Water
From a spiritual point of view, water is viewed by many paths as spiritually, as well as physically, cleansing: from the Jewish mikvah to Christian baptism to Hindus bathing in the Ganges river, and every source that suggested magickal associations or described what aspects of life and magick are ruled by water mentioned purification. The website Wizard and Witch recommends the relatively obvious practice of showering or soaking in warm water to relieve stress and pain, also tying this to reducing excess Fire energy. [W&W] Rain showers have been described as useful for treating or relieving chronic illnesses, possibly because of minerals dissolved in the rain. [Athena]
Water, especially pooled water, is said to represent the occult realm. One source describes three different types of water:
- Holy water, often rain or from a sacred place.
- Melted snow, for shapechanging and transformation.
- “Virgin” water that has not flowed through a pipe. (It occurs to me that very little water is actually guaranteed virgin, in that water is used and then returned to the cycle through evaporation or soaking into the ground. However, it seems reasonable that “virgin this time around” might be acceptable. I also know from other readings that “virgin” can also mean “has stood alone for a period of time, taking nothing from anyone,” and that meaning might also be valid for this purpose.) [Athena]
The same source notes the use of water-based spells as sympathetic magic to call or make rain.
The same sort of sympathetic magick comes into play in using water for spells of calming (create a ripple in a bowl of water, recite a brief invocation for calmness, and relax while watching the ripples diminish and calm) or protection (using the reflective qualities of water to reflect negativity back to the source). [Sean]
Because Water is associated with the Moon, water can be used to access lunar energies, for example to improve natural psychic abilities. [FreeWitch]
Although I didn’t see it specifically stated on any of the sites I read, it would seem plausible that Water-based magick would be appropriate for affecting any of the bodily parts or systems associated with the element, as well as any of the physical and spiritual areas that Water is said to rule (e.g., lakes, emotions, fertility, the unconscious).
Sample invocation, intended for an online ritual
I call on the Element of Water, present in the keyboards that let us reach out to one another, and ask that you guard and empower this ritual.
Sample devocation, intended for an online ritual
Water: Spirit of Water, we thank you. Stay if you will, go if you must, and know that although our keyboards may be put away, we thank you for your part in enabling our ritual.
Greenhaven Tradition, like many other Pagan traditions, often incorporates, “Stay if you will, go if you must,” into devocations.
Aaron. “5. Elemental Magic: Fire - Water - Earth - Air/Wind : Correspondences Chart.” Retrieved 30 January 2012 from http://occult-advances.org/elements.shtml. Reference in text: [Occult Advances].
ArchAn Publishing. “Archangel Correspondences: The Element of Water.” Retrieved 30 January 2012 from http://www.archangels-and-angels.com/aa_pages/correspondences/elemental_correspondences/water.html. Reference in text: [Archangels]
“Elemental Correspondences – Water.” Retrieved 30 January 2012 from http://athena523.tripod.com/elementwater.htm. Reference in text: [Athena]
Het Ra Aset Sat-Ankhu. “Elemental Magic.” Retrieved 30 January 2012 from http://www.sacredtempleofra.net/working-with-magical-elements.php. Reference in text: [Temple of Ra].
Lyn and Paul. “Correspondences – Elementals.” Retrieved 30 January 2012 from http://wizardandwitch.com/free-stuff-resources/correspondences-elementals. Reference in text: [W&W]
Telesco, Patricia and Sirona Knight. “Your Computer’s Elemental Correspondences.” The Wiccan Web: Surfing the Magic on the Internet. Citadel Press (2001). Retrieved 30 January 2012 from http://books.google.com/books?id=7hP24-lUARIC&pg=PA31&dq=elemental+correspondences+water&hl=en&sa=X&ei=U74mT5vZHoLHtgeKx_W9AQ&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=elemental%20correspondences%20water&f=false .Reference in text: [Telesco]
“Water Spells.” Retrieved 9 February 2012 from http://www.seanachaidh.com/waterspells.html. Reference in text: [Sean]
“Water Spells.” Retrieved 9 February 2012 from http://www.free-witchcraft-spells.com/water-spells.html. Reference in text: [FreeWitch]