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.
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.
Before 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
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.
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.
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,