magickal uses of water

I’m a water sign and have a lot of water in my chart, as well, so, naturally, I find watery stuff soothing and appealing, as well as intuitive to work with.

I wanted to put this quick post together for anyone who hasn’t pondered the ways that water can be used in magickal practice, and this is by no means fully comprehensive, but will include probably the most common, as well as few uncommon, ways to use water.

On Your Altar

This is something that probably all of us do almost all the time because its pretty consistently practiced across most magickal path traditions, to have something representing each of the 4 elements on your altar, including just non-work dedication altars to ancestors or deities.

Most people have either a bowl or a chalice with water. Some people even just put a bottle of water on there, and others still, use just any old random cup. I think as long as its symbolically meaningful to you, it probably doesn’t matter what vessel itself is used to hold the water. Some materials are more symbolic than others to a particular deity, but you can customize this many ways. \I bought an inexpensive set of crystal stemware to use for the water offerings on my altars to ancestors and the deities I do any devotional work with, and I think its a nice touch, but I know not everyone has a budget for those things.

I have known people who use a vase of fresh cut flowers in water to represent their water and earth at the same time, which also beautifies the work space or dedication/offering, if that is what the flowers are for you.

For Protection

Water itself is inherently cleansing, but it also absorbs all manner of negative intentions or vibes, if its charged and purposed to do so.

One of the tips that I picked up from Sophie Reicher’s Spiritual Protection (read my review of it from yesterday here) was to keep a bowl of water by your front door when you are anticipating guests. It will help to grab and contain the energies they are bringing into your home, lowering the chances of them leaving behind unwanted and unpleasant energy.

She also mentions sleeping with a glass of fresh water by your bed each night to prevent unwanted spiritual visitors while sleeping. Dump it out into the toilet and flush it each morning after you wake up, then fill with fresh water again before sleeping. This is excellent for hotel rooms or traveling, when you can’t ward your entire space regulary.

Water can also be blessed to function as holy water or sacred water, and you can either purchase it already blessed from a local religious organization or bless it yourself if you feel comfortable doing so. Holy water doesn’t technically have to be blessed by a priest or holy person, there are a number of non-denominational blessings you can find online (there is an excellent one in The Exorcist’s Handbook by Josephine McCarthy!!).

Water can be used to draw protective symbols on thresholds, windows, and mirrors, as well.

And, then water with salt added, particularly if you have also blessed the salt (that same book from McCarthy has blessings for both holy water and sacred salt), can even further add protection. You can use that to clean spaces, sprinkle in corners of rooms when cleansing and purifying, and to discourage evil or malevolent spirits or energies from entering your home or space.

Water can also be infused with various natural substances, like herbs, resins, plants, and crystals to use in spells involving protection, cleansing, abundance, and more. You can do a simple plant infusion by boiling the plant(s) in question in the water for 20 minutes, then removing from the heat, letting it cool to room temp, then straining the solids out and saving the infused water in an airtight jar in your fridge.


That brings me to my next point, which is that water is a purifier. As it is of the earth, and it is both one of the most destructive forces on earth, yet at the same time stimulates and feeds life, it is inherently powerful. Its all about the intent you put into this element.

I like to use spring water for my magickal work, especially that concerning purification, as it has not been adulterated or altered in any way. It is as close to the truest form of water found in the earth as possible, without actually going and collecting water from outdoors. I feel like spring water in a glass bottle retains better energetic properties than that stored in plastic, but in a pinch, again, its about the intent you instill in it.

Water collected from the earth, particularly that of a source of running water or catching rain water as it falls is even better, and even more energetically charged. If you can get that, do it! I know of people that order water from hot springs all over the country specifically for this purpose, if they cannot find any easily accessible sources in their area. You can also very easily set up a collection bowl or jars outdoors during rain to collect that which is free from the sky.

Moon water is a popular type of water used in spells, too. Put a jar or bottle of water out in the moonlight on a full moon (or a windowsill where the moon’s light will hit it) to charge the water with the energy of the full moon.

But, even if you can’t afford spring water in glass bottles regularly, and there is no clean outdoor source of running water near you, tap water is okay. Don’t worry too much about this. If you get hung up on using tap water, thinking its not magickal, then guess what? It’s not magickal. If you doubt yourself, your magick won’t work.

One caution I have is don’t drink water you collect from an outdoor source unless you sanitize it first by boiling it. While those sources are not typically contaminated by stuff we add to municipal water supplies like chlorine or the lead in our pipes, they are usually overflowing with microbes and other substances that may not be the best for you to consume.

I also recently started doing a ritual purification each day using spring water in a bowl with essential oils or my Release spell oil, along with water-safe crystals as a way to freshen myself up energetically for the day. You could easily do this in your bathroom or kitchen sink with the drain stopped, fill it with water and ritually cleanse your hands, arms, face, etc.

As An Offering

Don’t forget your ancestors and deities! A simple act such as filling a fresh goblet or cup of cool water each day for your ancestors and deities can go a long way to keeping them happy, and in your life, and honoring them with your attention.

This is another place I like to use spring water and my line of thinking is that if I can afford it, I can show them they matter to me by purchasing something higher quality, similar to the concept of burning ancestor money. I don’t view it as throwing money away.

Yes, I could use tap water and it wouldn’t cost me anything, but if I’m in a position to purchase spring water, then I should because my ancestors deserve it. If they make my life abundant, I should share some of that abundance and a $2 bottle of spring water each week is one small token of that appreciation. Plus, one of my grandmas is just petty enough to ignore me if she feels like I’m not making the effort lol

Now, please do not interpret that as saying if you don’t use some foo foo spring water, you don’t love your ancestors. Your ancestors know what you can afford and what your situation is. If it is truly a stretch for you, they are not going to get mad about tap water. I have friends who offer tap water and easy mac. Its not gonna be the end of the world.

However, there is no shame in saying to your ancestors, “I really want to be able to offer you more expensive offerings. Can you help me find ways to bring more money into my life, so that I can honor you by sharing it with you?” This works, really. Try it sometime.

But, I think what I’m trying to say about this is if you make 6 figures and your life is materially wealthy and your ancestors get tap water but they know you could be giving them better offerings, maybe don’t skimp. Its my experience that the more thought I put into what I offer them, the more they reciprocate with blessings in my life and my home.

On the subject of offerings, also consider putting a few drops of your favorite (or your deity’s favorite) essential oil into a water offering to add some beautiful or personalized aroma to the altar space.

So, hopefully you can take away some ways to work with the water element daily or in ritual/spell work!

how to create higher vibe surroundings to be more magickal

if you’re like most people who are drawn to the occult and witchcraft, you’re likely more in tune (or very in tune) with the energy and vibes of people, places, and things around you. call it auras, call it energy, call it vibes, call it what you like, but you can feel it.

and you’ve likely at least unconsciously realized that some people, places, and things are ‘higher vibe’ than others. you go there or hang out with them or are around them and just feel like you’re refilling your cup.

try explaining this to someone who has closed off their intuitive and vibrational self and they’ll think you’re fucking crazy. you’re not crazy and you’re definitely not alone in these observations.

what does this have to do with being magickal?

higher vibes make your vibes higher

some of the smartest people i know in this spiritual pursuit will tell you that science and witchcraft are two studies of the exact same thing, just different perspectives.

and that thing is energy. energy is what holds us (and everything around us) together. its the chemical bonds between the atoms and between those atoms’ electrons, protons, and neutrons.

and some of us feel that energy better than others. and if you are such a person, you’re much more sensitive to your surroundings when they are putting off increased energy, whether good or bad.

in high vibration places, for instance, you can walk in and immediately sense the place. you can sense how old it is, how many people have been there, important events that have imprinted maybe, or maybe you feel deeply inspired, or compelled to take a deep breath to appreciate the view.

or, perhaps conversely, you walk in and immediately want to leave. you can feel negative emotions permeating, or previous negative energies that have existed and left a mark. maybe the people there are what are giving off the negative vibes, or maybe the place itself is. either way, you feel like its draining you, you have to leave, and never come back.

whatever your reaction, you’re picking up on the vibes of the place. and the higher the vibes in a place 0r with a person, the higher your own vibes raise, just by sharing that same energy. if you’re in a good and positive high vibe environment, you’ll not only find you’re more inspired, but usually more productive, and feel better about yourself.

these places stand out to us, and they’re different for many of us, but when we have the opportunity to go spend time somewhere, we usually immediately think of a few places that we intuitively lean toward as our high vibe choices.

make note of this the next time a friend or partner, or even just yourself, asks you ‘hey do you want to go grab a cup of coffee or hang out somewhere?’ what immediately comes to mind? there’s a good chance this is a high vibe place for you.

raising your own vibes to be more magickal

ok so we’ve identified that there are places or people you vibe with more. and hopefully you’ve got a sort of mental list running by now of who or where those are.

the way to use these to build your own magickal self is to strategically be around them more, but with purpose.

if you’ve been going through some ups and downs, or struggle to stay focused, find inspiration, or just need a boost – maybe you’re not that great at replenishing your own energy just now – this may be a great way to do that.*

i’ll use an example. i think we’ve all been to a coffee shop at least somewhere in our travels that just inspired the fuck out of us. like you sat down with your laptop or tablet and started jamming out written or visual content or art, or your brain just switched on and ideas flowed like an open faucet.

instead of this being a coffee shop for you, maybe it was a dusty old book store, or the woods near your grandparents’ house, or a diner downtown.

if you have such a place near you, or one you can get to at least weekly, plan a weekly ‘inspo outing’ and bring all your creative materials, or things to brainstorm with, plus plan on bringing something that you’re going to learn something new (a book, a webinar you’ve been meaning to watch, subscription to an educational website, Nat Geo magazine, whatever). make this an appointment with yourself and keep it.

i like to break up these sessions with a bit of educational stuff first. this gets my brain going and starts to turn on the idea centers. as soon as i find myself reaching for my phone or a notebook to write things down, i move on to creative mode. i write until the ideas stop.

then i go back and start developing some of those ideas a little more. what would it take to make this one come to fruition? can i do some market research on this one to see if anyone else is doing this yet? how many people are using this as a hashtag right now? which of these do i feel the most passionate about?

you get the idea. use your intuition for what you’re most drawn to, what you feel most passionate about, what you’re noticing as trends from others in your industry or field, or anything else that pulls you or compels you to follow a particular idea.

and then make some of these happen. even if they’re not things you’re planning to turn into a business, just create. the more you’re pouring your creative spirit into things you find important, the higher your own vibes will be.

raise the vibes of your own environment

now that we’ve found an external source of high vibes, what about just bringing up the vibes of our own environments?

this can be done through simple things like changing the colors in our rooms, adding plants, improving lighting, opening blinds or curtains, redistributing furniture, organizing items, purging unwanted stuff, and so on.

before you do any of that though, make a list of what the things are about your favorite high vibe environments. try to think of the features you find appealing there. is the building old? are there certain smells? is it the crowd noise? textiles or materials they’ve built things with? comfort? temperature? landscaping (indoor and out)? how many of these are things you can simulate or replicate elsewhere?

here’s another intuitive exercise. grab something to write with and start to answer these questions. you may need to sit and think or meditate on some that an answer does not intuitively come to you:

  • what colors are you most drawn to in your wardrobe?
  • what colors are you most drawn to in furniture or decorations in your home?
  • what sounds/music do you prefer to hear when you relax?
  • what sounds/music get you hyped?
  • do you vibe more in environments with a lot of plants?
  • do you vibe more in environments with a lot of books?
  • what scents do you react most to for things like awakening, calming, focus, etc?
  • are there animals you feel drawn to (besides your pets)?
  • are there archetypes that you feel drawn to, or that you identify more with?
  • are there symbols you feel drawn to or inspired by?
  • are there color schemes you find calming or relaxing? invigorating? exciting? inspiring?
  • are there materials (wood, linen, woven, plastic, metals, etc) that you prefer to be around or decorate with?

these are just a start. you can get really detailed with this. but questions like these should get you thinking and visualizing what an ideal high vibe environment would be for you.

perhaps you only have control over your own bedroom if you live with others. or perhaps your entire living space is up to you. whichever it is, if this is a place that you feel is a retreat for you, then it should vibe for you too.

this includes things like:

  • it should be clean (not necessarily perfectly organized, but not dirty; clean floors, walls, windows, baseboards, dust, trash, etc)
  • if you look at your things and feel stressed or overwhelmed, you have too many things or they are in disarray according to your intuitive self; organize things and consider getting rid of stuff you don’t need or use
  • energy of the space (cleanse or clear it regularly, especially if you live with others whose vibes leak over into your personal space or which do not mesh well with your vibes)
  • it represents who you are (culturally, religiously, personally, ethnically, demographically, technologically, magickally, or otherwise)

you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a space vibe for you. but your money will be randomly spent and potentially wasted if you just buy things that don’t tie into the overarching goal of working together to make your space higher vibe.

a good place to start with ‘how should i change this?’ or ‘what should i buy first?’ is picture what your ideal space would look like if money and time were not obstacles. what are the common themes between this picture and things you’ve already written down?

start with those common themes because, again, your intuitive self is pulling you there.

hopefully this gave you some ideas for incorporating elements into your life and environment that raise your own energy!

*at the time of this writing, the COVID-19 pandemic is still currently going strong in most areas of the US, so understandably, your options for being around people, and even some locations may be limited, so, that in mind, please continue to safely practice social distancing when possible if you choose to seek opportunities in public spaces

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