“Blessed be the precious and preserving water,
the water of life, our cleansing guest.”
– Caitlin Matthews
This week, over in my “Gaian Soul Practices for Candlemas” e-course, we are considering the theme of “Cleansing and Purification.” So there’s a water theme weaving its way through the material.
Today’s journal prompt is:
What bodies of water (lake, sea, river) do you hold as sacred?
For me, the waters I hold as most sacred are:
- The waters of the Salish Sea, especially around Lummi Island and Orcas Island.
- The Nooksack River, as it winds its way down from Komo Kulshan (Mt Baker) to Bellingham Bay.
- Bellingham Bay itself, where we left a cedar wreath symbolizing my father, thrown from a US Coast Guard cutter, a few days after his memorial service in August of 1996. (USCG would not allow us to scatter his ashes.)
- Chalice Well in Glastonbury, England.
- The beach near Merlin’s Cave, Tintagel, Cornwall, England.
- The waters off the California coast between Monterey and Big Sur.
It’s not so surprising then, that many of these waters found their way into the imagery of the Gaian Tarot.
The Ace of Water shows a young salmon emerging from a deep pool in the Nooksack River.
The Elder of Water shows a man in a skiff in Hale Passage (in the Salish Sea) between Lummi Island and the mainland.
The Nine of Water shows me in Merlin’s Cave, Tintagel, Cornwall.
The Four of Water shows a woman kneeling by the side of Chalice Well.
In the Gaian Tarot, the suit of Water stands in for the traditional suit of Cups. Water in the tarot embodies emotions (bliss, love, sorrow, joy, grief, disappointment), inner depths, dreams, fantasies, imagination, healing, spirituality and mysticism.
Oh yes, and — cleansing.
When it comes to our relationship with Mama Gaia and Mama Ocean, it’s all about reciprocity. So yes, Her waters cleanse us — and we have a responsibility to protect and cleanse Her waters as well. So we get to know our own watersheds, and we contribute to organizations we trust who are doing the work. We get our hands dirty (literally) and do what we can.
I love Dr. Emoto’s simple prayer for the waters of the world:
We’re sorry, Water.
Please forgive us, Water.
We thank you, Water.
We love you, Water.
Dear Reader, what bodies of water do you hold as sacred? How do they cleanse you, and how do you, in turn, protect them?