Natural magic journeys : Ondines

Witch of Water (from the Dark Goddess Tarot) on my altar

For the last few years, I have cautiously, yet certainly, started to tread upon the path of magic. I think for all purposes, I have been doing this ever since I acquired my first tarot deck back in 2008 or thereabouts. However, in recent years, my book collection has increasingly shifted towards natural magic authors, practices and methods.

To be specific, my interest lies solely with natural magic. Someone asked me recently, what I mean by this (natural magic). For me, natural magic is the magic of nature, of trees, of the earth, of rivers and lakes, the magic of stones, birds and sky. Natural magic is the magic practiced by those who connect with nature, whose spirituality lies rooted in the sacredness of all life. Natural magic is magic that can be practiced by anyone, anywhere, it is the magic of common people, of folk peasants, of wise women and men.

The energy of a natural, untouched and wild nature is incredibly healing for the human body, mind, heart and soul

To me personally, there is a clear distinction between natural magic and ceremonial magic. I find ceremonial magic far too convoluted, and I care not for complex phrases, distinguished robes or following a particular order when reciting a spell.

Deciding to “officially” start my journey into natural magic, I have begun by exploring one of the four main elements that a magician makes use of. The four elements are fire, air, water and earth. To be a well-rounded magician, one needs to understand and incorporate these elements in equal measure throughout their work.

“Although all four elements (in the form of physical objects) should be used in every magical operation so that you can raise as much power as possible, in actual practice one element is usually emphasized over the others, depending on the goal and the element to which it belongs.” Nancy Watson

I started with water, though I now realise this is a particularly difficult element for me to explore for various reasons I won’t go into detail here.
Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 12.12.53 pmBefore I go on, I should make a note that I have based my work on Nancy Watson’s brilliant book, Practical Solitary Magic. I have found this a great reference for the beginner, though I am sure it is by no means the only one.

Each element has a spirit, or elemental, associated with it. The water elementals are called ondines.

Elementals are little creatures which animate the four elements. You cannot ordinarily see, hear, feel, taste or touch them, but this doesn’t mean they don’t exist.” Nancy Watson

So, in order to delve deeper into the water element, I thought it would be a good idea to try and connect with the water elementals, or ondines. One way to do this is to find a body of water, such as a creek, river, lake or the sea, and express your intentions out loud to the water spirits, followed by the offering of a gift.

The sequence I followed prior to setting out on this journey is as follows:

  • Decide on the intent of the journey (so for me, this was to connect with the water elementals)
  • Choose a place to do this (in my case, the local waterfall)
  • Choose a time to do this; for me this involved three considerations: first, I needed to be well rested; secondly, it must be early morning in order to avoid the tourists and any other people that I find disturb my focus; and thirdly, the moon phase must be in a Water sign
  • Pack the tools you need: tarot cards, crystals, and a gift for the ondines in my case
  • Choose correct clothing – I live in tropical Queensland, so long pants and long sleeves were mandatory to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes; I do not use chemical mozzie repellants as they are far too toxic
  • Any other considerations you may need to make depending on your goal and place
The local waterfall on the morning of my visit 

On a Scorpio Moon, early in the morning, I set off to the local waterfall. This is about a 5 minute drive from where I live, and I feel incredibly blessed to have such a wonder so close by. This also means that every tourist camper van can be found here during the day, hence my early morning start.

As it happened, no one was there when I arrived, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I then proceeded to walk to the top of the waterfall, which is a more private space where I felt I could say my words without worrying that people may arrive and see me.


The river at the top of the waterfall, before it heads out over rocks; this is where I chose to sit by the water edge and connect

Once I arrived, I took a few moments to gather my thoughts (and breath), and to absorb the energy around me. When I felt comfortable, I spoke my words, infusing as much intent, focus and reverence for the water spirits as I could. That done, I offered my gift: I took a small bottle of perfume from my bag, and poured a couple of drops into the water. Ondines love perfume, however note that this is not to be substituted with an essential oil (perfume is water based, however essential oils belong to the fire element).

I was amazed – actually astounded – to see the “jelly donuts” Watson describes in her book appear in the water where I had poured the perfume. This was a great sign my intent had been acknowledged, and made me feel rather elated.


After thanking the water spirits for their help and guidance, I walked to the water rapids, sat down and took out two aquamarine crystals for cleansing. I placed these in a safe pool of water and let the flow wash over them, cleansing them as it did so.




And then it was time to go.

Once home, I placed the crystals on my altar, where I also have a bowl of water to acknowledge the water element and spirits.

My simple altar is also a bookshelf



The Witch of Water, from the brilliant Dark Goddess Tarot, I chose on purpose.

My work with the Water element, and ondines, is by no means over. I am not sure what direction to take next, however I am certain guidance and direction will arrive as needed.

Wishing everyone a blessed weekend,


8 thoughts on “Natural magic journeys : Ondines

  1. sentinelonthecouncil April 3, 2016 / 3:58 am

    Thanks for this post. The elements are a huge aspect of my understanding of magic. The element I most naturally associate with is Earth, although I think you are correct to say that an understanding and appreciation of all of them is essential.
    Something I think you might want to consider is Aether, the fifth element. I’ve written a post about it and its relation to the Tarot. I don’t expect many books on nature magic will discuss it, but I believe an awareness of it can only give you a more comprehensive understanding of the Universe.
    Here’s my post, if you’re interested:

    • Monica April 3, 2016 / 12:45 pm

      Indeed, you are correct about the 5th element. However, it is a hard one to work “tangibly” with – I mean, I suppose you can’t really have a tangible appreciation of fire or air either (unless you want to burn yourself!), but aether I think is something else.

      Personally I associate well with Fire (I’m a Fire sign, naturally!) and to some extend Earth as well. So the Water connection, and exploration of, is a tad challenging, though not insurmountable. Thank you for you comment and link to the post which I shall enjoy reading now. Monica

      • sentinelonthecouncil April 3, 2016 / 12:58 pm

        I experimented once by keeping four jars, one filled with water, one with a rock, an empty one (or rather, full of air), and one with a candle. In order to establish a connection with the element, I’d just open the jar. It’s a symbolic action (especially with air), but the ritual helped me feel connected with the element. For the fire jar, though, I had to go through the extra step of lighting the candle after opening the jar. I thought this was fitting, because Fire is more dangerous than the others and I figured I should be sure before I went about playing with it.

        Of course, you are right about the intangibility of Aether, and I struggled with that for a long time. You can’t just keep a jar of it, can you? But that’s the nature of the beast.

        I don’t keep the jars anymore. I connect with the elements just like you described, as they are in nature (campfires and such things may not be naturally occurring, but it still works). For Aether, nothing works better than going outside on a clear night, and just gazing at the stars. There may not be an elemental that you can summon; rather, you tap into the collective spirit of the Universe.

        Anyways, I hope that makes at least some sense.

      • Monica April 3, 2016 / 3:51 pm

        The jar exercise sounds great actually. And I like your star connection for Aether – because star gazing always brings about a sense of infinity, awe and wonderment, it’s something that elevates the spirit – at least it does so for me! So it makes perfect sense actually. Thank you for your thoughts on this topic.

  2. Magic Mentha (@MagicMentha) April 5, 2016 / 9:41 am

    This is really interesting, Monica! I like hearing about all the things you’re up to. You seem to really embrace all of the elements. I like that you are everywhere–from cooking, to magical tinkering, gardening, whatever else sounds appropriate. 😀

    • Monica April 5, 2016 / 10:58 am

      Thanks Mentha 🙂 in reality, 90% of my waking time is spent watching over the little imp 🙂 with some cooking and cleaning squeezed in where I can ha ha. I just don’t blog about the daily mundane tasks, though when I do have spare time I’m definitely conscious of using it wisely.

  3. herself September 25, 2016 / 12:24 pm

    Love this! What a wonderful way to approach your own path. I too, have dabbled in the past and found the ceremonial aspect too off-putting to really get into. Would love to hear more about your approach and how it’s going 🙂

    • Monica September 29, 2016 / 11:14 pm

      Thank you for your comment, I will be working with the water element for quite some time, and will post a bit more in the future. Blessings.

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