Water has long been used in spiritual and religious ceremonies and rituals as a means of purification, protection, healing and to show reverence towards nature.
The symbolism of water is inevitably everywhere as a bringer of life; whether it symbolizes a new life or path (divine creation) a cleansing, or protection in the form of holy waters.
The spiritual properties of water have been debated for some time. One of the most well-known examples being the work of Japanese author Masaru Emoto, who created experiments to test how water responded to positive and negative words/emotions.
Whether our emotions have a physical or observable effect on water or not, water-based rituals allow us to connect to nature, focus our energy and bring more mindfulness to our day.
In this article I want to go over the spiritual meanings behind water, aswell as some practical rituals you can try.
Spiritual properties of water
Water is cleansing
This is one of the more obvious physical properties of water but also applies in a spiritual context.
When we are underneath running water whether from a tap or natural body, not only is our physical body being cleaned but also our energetic body (particularly if we have that intention).
Saltwater whether naturally occurring or formulated is a great at aggravating denser energy, because it mimics the natural composition of the waters/sweat in our body.
Water has also been used as a tool of devotion.
In Hinduism, Buddhism and some other Indian religions, there is a ritual known as Abhisheka. This is where a liquid such as water, milk or even honey is poured onto the image, statute or idol of a God or Goddess.
In Christianity we have the symbolism that comes with a sinner washing Jesus’s feet.
Water connects us to nature
Water is one of the four physical elements that we can work with in our spiritual practice. When I’m putting together daily rituals I like to include as many elements as possible. One ritual might focus on air and water, another on fire and earth.
As we become more distanced from nature and are living in environments that are often void of nature, having access to water is one of the ways we can rebuild that connection. It isn’t a substitute for swimming in lakes or oceans, but it’s better than nothing.
Water brings about remembrance
This one might sound a bit woo-woo but hear me out. When we discuss the spiritual properties of water we might think of the cleansing element, this one makes sense, however another important dimension to water is how it allows us to remember.
When you are swimming in an ocean, the sea or a lake you’re likely to experience a connection to the wider body of water, the sense that you are one with it.
Water is associated with cleansing but also brings about a remembrance; the energetic connection we have to larger bodies of water through the water within our own bodies.
We can cultivate a lot of balance incorporating the four physical elements into our spiritual practice, here are four simple ways to do that with water.
4 water rituals to cleanse your energy
Charge your water
One of the easiest ways you can use water in your daily routine is to charge your water. This simply means directing positive thoughts or intention into your water before drinking it.
- Fill a glass with water.
- Add herbs, fruit, a teabag or any other items you’d like to infuse.
- Place a hand over the glass and recite an intention/affirmation out loud.
- As you do so, visualize the energy of the words flowing out through your hands into the water.
- Sip mindfully.
A shower rituals is the next best thing to standing under a waterfall. Most of us have showers in our home and take showers everyday, and so this is a great ritual to incorporate into your daily routine.
As the warm water flows over your body, visualize your energy being purified from the crown chakra down, pushing any dense energy out through your root chakra and into the drain.
If you don’t have a shower or prefer to soak in the tub then a bath ritual is a great option for you.
Start with a cup or two of Epsom or Himalayan salt in warm water, and add your herbs of choice such as: chamomile, lavender, rose, rosemary, even peppermint.
When I’m doing a bath ritual I like to focus on the remembrance aspect of water. I focus on the areas of my life which I would like to be strengthened and simmer in gratitude for what is already fortified.
Lastly we have visualization, which can be done without the presence of physical water (at least from an external source).
- Lay on a reclined couch or bed (place a pillow under your head).
- Close your eyes and begin breathing deeply from the stomach.
- Once your mind is calm, start visualizing a wave crashing through your body.
- Add as much tactile details as you can. How would the wave FEEL?
This is a great way to cleanse and stimulate your energetic body (chakra system) and can also be a good relaxation tool.
This was an exercize that came to me intuitively, and I found that it unexpectedly enhanced the quality of my lucid dreams and astral projections.
Overall, being more aware of how hydrated we are, and the quality of the water we are drinking will be a great help. Filtered or purified water will increase the effects of any water ritual, but the intention is what matters most – start with what you have.
You can practice any of these exercizes out in nature, close to or submerged in natural bodies of water (where it is safe to do so).
If you have been called to visit a place where there is a a large body of water, take this as a prompt to do so. Having spots in nature that we can come back to time and time again to do our rituals allows us to build an energetic connection with an area of land and ecosystem. To really get in tune with the slower rhythm of nature.