Flowing with Life’s Current
A Meditation on Water
by Melanie Fire Salamander
Water appears in pagan rituals as one of the four magickal elements, associated in some traditions with the West, the autumnal equinox and sunset. Its colors are blues and greens; it corresponds to the magickal power to dare and to the Tarot suit of cups. At Imbolc, this series began with a meditation on fire; water comes next as we travel deosil around the circle.
From water, traditionally associated with emotion, you get the emotional flow so required in ritual. To me, water also connects with the liquid state of matter, as air corresponds to the gaseous state, earth to the solid state, and fire to the process of changing state. I think, however, it’s important not only to learn traditional or other elemental associations but also to discover and understand our own elemental associations, to have our own personal relationship with each element. To know water better, we can meditate upon it.
To use the following meditation on water, either record it on tape and play it back or have someone read it to you. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
Before starting, find a comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed; take the phone off the hook and if necessary shut the door on your pets. If you’re prone to falling asleep during meditation, perform this meditation sitting up; if you have problems relaxing, stretch out on a bed, couch or the floor.
Relax. Deeply relax, and take a few deep breaths. In, out; in, out. Feel your body, wiggle your fingers, your toes, your nose, your hips and arms; roll your head. Feel where your body ends and what’s around you begins: the air around you, the surface underneath you. Be here now, present in your body, in the present moment. Begin to release the cares of your day and week, and be completely here in the present moment.
Throughout this meditation, you will have a complete, deep experience, and you will remember everything you sense and learn. If you need to return, you can always do so. You can recall yourself to the physical world by moving your fingers and toes. You will be utterly safe and protected throughout.
Continue to relax and to breathe deeply, and in your center, a little below and behind your navel, feel a drop of water. It starts as a tiny drop and grows to a puddle, perfectly warm and contained, filling the center of your body comfortably.
This pool of water flows outward, into your body, pouring down into your pelvis, your genitals, your legs and feet; flowing upward filling your torso, your chest and shoulders, your neck, your head. It fills your body, easing tension as it does, relaxing and calming you. The elemental water fills you completely.
Now the water overflows downward from your body, safely and comfortably. It soaks through the floor and the concrete under the building, downward through the moist, cold earth. The flow from your center joins an underground stream in the stony rock below the soil and plunges into bedrock deep beneath the earth.
Let the elemental water pour down in a cascade from your center and make a connection to the Earth, to the heart of Earth. Feel the water flow out as a waterfall and connect to the flowing, liquid heart of the Mother. (Pause briefly.)
Let the waterfall wash away old anger, guilt, fear, sadness into the Earth, safely giving this energy to the Earth. Feel the water wash away all the negative energy into the Earth. (Pause briefly.)
Now feel the elemental water burst up again from the earth with joy, rushing effortlessly up through the rock, past the downward flow that still continues. The liquid energy from the Mother fills you completely, healing and cleansing you. (Pause briefly.)
Then the liquid earth energy bubbles out the top of your head, upward like a fountain through the air of the room, through the ceiling, through the roof into the outside air. It kisses the tree branches and bursts into the sky, scattering drops and mist.
In the sky, feel this liquid force connect to and absorb the energies of the Sky-Father, the starlight and the cool energy of the sun and moon. Connect to the cool, clear energy of the sky. (Pause briefly.)
The liquid energy condenses as rain and tumbles down onto your forehead, your shoulders, all over your body. Feel the raindrops soaking through your skin and into you, bringing with them the sky energy. Feel the cool, clear sky energy fill you, cleansing and healing. (Pause briefly.)
Feel the life water passing through you, downward and upward, drawing upward warm earth energy, carrying downward cool liquid sky-energy. Bring the liquid energies of earth and sky together in your center and mingle them gently and thoroughly, mix them completely and smoothly. Let the combined energy spread into the whole of your body, healing you, dissolving and washing away any remaining trouble or pain into the earth. (Pause for some time.)
Now imagine yourself standing in a meadow, under the night sky. The stars are out, and a few clouds, lit by a crescent moon. It’s summertime, and the meadow smells sweet, like newly cut grass. Feel the cool night breeze on your body and face. Against your ankles you feel dew on the grass, and in the distance you hear the sound of waves.
Look around a bit; see where you are. Know that throughout this meditation, you will remember everything important to you.
You see before you a gravel path, stones pale and a little phosphorescent in the moonlight. You begin to walk down the path, slowly; it slopes gently down a hill. Before you and to either side stand tall grasses that rustle in the wind, and a few gnarled trees. You hear more strongly the sound of waves, and smell the salt of the ocean in the breeze.
The path goes under a row of trees whose limbs have tangled together above you, twisting to grasp each other, casting darkness onto the path. The air is close here and a little warmer. Despite the deeper darkness, you feel utterly safe and calm. Through the tangled branches you see one star in the silver-lit sky above you, twinkling.
You come out from under the dark trees and see you are at the top of a beach, in the solid sand amid a scattering of beach grass. You go forward, down the beach, breathing deeply in the salt air. Ahead of you the night sky lies calm above a quiet ocean. The crescent moon scatters a path of light along the peaceful flat water, which moves gently. Waves, lips of water, cast gently upon the beach, each leaving a rim of foam shining in the moonlight. You walk forward down the shifting sand to the very edge of the wet sand. It is high tide.
You squat and put your hands in the ocean water. It feels cool and soothing. It laps onto your feet, a little cold, but you don’t mind.
You stand and see down the beach there’s a pool formed where a stream runs into the ocean, just a few feet above the waves’ edge. You walk to the pool, sit on its bank. You hear the rushing of the stream down the rocks to the pool; you hear the lapping surf, the steady breathing of the sea. The water in the pool is perfectly clean and transparent, but deeper than you expected, deep and wide enough to swim in freely. The cool, clear water moves gently, a current within it flowing to the sea.
As you look at the pool, raindrops begin to patter on its surface. Feel the light drops tap your skin, cool. Sense what it is to be rain. (Pause briefly.)
You study the water in the pool, lowering your thought into the cool, clean water. Dip your hands in the water, feel its coolness gentle on your hands and arms. Lift water to your lips and taste it; perceive it with all your senses. (Pause briefly.)
As you study the water, you notice it has associations for you. Let these come up freely. (Pause for some time.) You will remember all parts of your experience you want to remember.
What emotions do you have for water? (Pause briefly.)
Do images or symbols or words float up through the water? (Pause for some time.)
You continue to study the water, seeing it, sensing its feel, its taste, its sounds. You sense now that the water is asking you to come still closer. In utter confidence and safety, you lower yourself completely into the water, over your head. You find you are warm and breathing easily and safely underwater. You stand on the bottom of the pool at its deepest point, calm and invigorated. You become one with the water. Be the water; see how that feels. (Pause briefly.)
Feel each particle of the water. (Pause briefly.) Feel the whole water. (Pause for some time.)
You ask the water what it is, what its nature is, and the water replies. (Pause briefly.)
The water may have something else to communicate to you, about yourself or work or life. (Pause briefly.) It may have something to communicate about the world at large. (Pause for some time.)
Now you look out from the deep pool, out through its mouth to the great ocean beyond. You swim effortlessly into the unknown ocean, deep with life. Greet the ocean; descend into it. (Pause for some time.)
Now return again out of the water. You’re able to walk easily out onto the beach, and you find your clothes perfectly dry. Separate into yourself sensing the water, keeping everything you need from the experience, remembering everything. You feel cleansed and invigorated.
Now say good-bye to the pool, the ocean and the rain. Thank them for their presence and the insight they have conveyed and for allowing you to become water. (Pause briefly.)
Now turn and take the path back across the beach to the trees. You walk under the dark trees, the branches tangled above you, feel the warmth of the enclosed space. You walk back out again, up the gravel path through the grasses, smelling the salt of the ocean, feeling the night breeze gentle on your skin. You return to the meadow where you started, under the moonlit sky.
You begin once more to feel your body. You are coming up from trance, remembering everything that has happened to you, retaining everything that was important that you learned from the water, feeling warm and relaxed yet energetic. Feel your body; wiggle your fingers and toes. Be present here and now. Feel the air above and the surface below you. You will remember everything you want to remember. Breathe deeply, and open your eyes.