The Women of Water

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Doris of Greek mythology is an Oceanid, her name represents the bounty of the sea as she is a daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. Doris was mother to the fifty ‘Nereids’ including Thetis, who is was mother of Achilles and Amphitrite. The ‘Sea Nymphs’ are the three thousand daughters of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys, and each are a spirit guardian of a particular Spring, Pond, Lake, River, Sea, Rain and Clouds.

Nymphs and Nereids are not human, they are spirit guardians of nature. Through the journey of humankind over thousands of years, they have been portrait by artists as young maidens. But its wise to remember that they are spirit guardians of water, especially if you are fond of doing ceremony with water. Doris when not associated with a god, is considered the fertility of the ocean, of the rich fishing-grounds found at the mouths of any rivers where fresh water mingled with the brine of the ocean.

Being an Oceanid meant she is the Spirit Guardian where the Ocean and River meet.

Her name is derived from two words:
Dôron meaning the “gift” or “abundance”
Zôros meaning the “pure” and “unmixed”

Zôros was often used to describe fresh water in terms of the pure soul of a woman (enlightened in todays terms), and from this derived words such as zôrua “the transference of flowing water” or the purification processes of the living source (within) and zôrux “water conduit” which meant the connection to the source.

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The Sea Nymph Okyrhoe
“swift running and fast flowing”

Okyrhoe’s father was Chiron, wisest of the Horse clan (Centaurs) and her mother was the water nymph Chariklo. Okyrhoe main gift of healing and prophecy, both waking and dreaming. In one of the myths, Chiron was entrusted by Apollo to care for a baby named Aesculapiu and so he brought the child to his cave. Okyrhoe came out to greet him, and upon seeing the child burst forth into his prophecy:

“Grow strong, dear boy, healer of all the world. Often to you, Men shall owe health and life, and yours shall be the rites of the departed souls. And, though you dare this once in heaven’s despite, Jove’s bolt will thwart that gift a second time. You, now divine, shall be a lifeless corpse, and from a corpse become divine again, and twice born, you shall renew your destiny and fate.”

In this, she predicted that the baby would grow up to be one of the greatest healers able to bring the dead back to life (the dead karmic soul aspects) or what is termed transformational healing today, death and rebirth medicines. But in doing this, he would eventually anger the gods, who would strike him down and yet even within that, the Fates who were stronger than any God, would bring him back to life, and thus he would be reborn.

Emanuela Comito.jpgOkyrhoe was a Prophet, but the ruling men of the day had used maidens gifts for their own advancement in the building of their kingdoms and were punished if it didn’t serve these ruling classes. If she broke the rules, she suffered for it. One day, she predicted that her father, would be granted death by the other gods because the pain of a serpent’s venom would torment his soul (in order to heal it). But she only was able to speak part of the prophecy:

“And from her deepest heart sighed, and tears ran down her cheeks; she said: “The Fates halted my speech. I am allowed to say no more. What good was there in having learned this art, if now it only draws the wrath of men against me? Would I not be better off without the power to predict the course of days to come? I can already sense that they are stripping all my human semblance.” (Ovid’s Metamorphoses of woman’s story of their corruption by the new clans of pagan and religious men). She was a maiden, she was not an adult woman nor a grandmother, so she could not protect nor defend herself from the abuse.

Its wise to remember when working with mythology of the Goddess, that these ancient goddess names were born forth from the elements like fire, water, wind… they were not “human” they were the spirit of the elemental. Its also wise to remember that the Greeks (or any writers that were men in any tradition on earth around the 2nd bce to 2nd ce centuries), made symbolism of the real soul and its emotional experiences non-existent when equating it to emotional sensitivities and their deeper meanings of real human beings, especially women.

Ancient Theater back then like today, did bring forth the actions of emotional embodiment into a living process but it was during the destruction of the feminine, the female in cultures, and the soul which was then eventually overtaken by mind-body cultures. The dreaming tree died.  But, it has been the artists, the philosophers, actors and women scholars over the ages who have not only brought back the symbolic meaning into the actions of our real soul and our emotional meaningful past (that was deemed either hysterical or over sterile) throughout history, but it was not.

by Branislav JovanovićOriginal mythologies spoken through oral traditions, folk stories and folk legends of women are centered around Symbolism, Dreaming and the Creative Art processes giving a real life communications to our soul’s life.  The real living ‘waters’ or actions to the soul to our human story outside of pain and suffering and outside the perimeters of war, kingdoms and conquering which caused that suffering.

Source: Water Maiden (Nymph) painting by Yuriy Ivanovich Starodubov; Water Lantern on the Coast by Branislav Jovanović; http://www.zanestein.com (Ocyrhoe myths); Emanuela Comito

Water Charms

The Healing Waters and it’s uses for Spaces, Cleansing and Intentions by Phoenix of Elder Mountain –  As artists, healers, dreamers, magicians, pagans, witches, druids and moon children, we deserve a spiritually clear and clean space. In our busy lives, many do mind-body practices like yoga or meditation to balance, but there is something missing and that is our emotional and soul care. Rituals and counsel which assists us in feeling calm in a non-physical and non-thought way. And to help us reconnect back to ancient times when ‘water’ rites were very important. The spiritual tradition of our emotional and soul bodied health.

water paper cut

Intense energy from within the self or others or life itself, leads to soul loss, inability to ground emotionally, inside the self or from life itself, which can energetically allow chaos into our personal lives or our living area which can make our home, place of work all statically charged effecting our emotions. Too much electricity and lights and florescent lights will do the same thing. Even extra feelings of stress when there is not the flow of liquids occurring within, will effect us. For those who live on a river, near an ocean or a creek, it can cut down on stress, but living in a rushed or busy life, we can add water rites into our home or living area in very small but effective ways.

Here are some helpful things I have learned and used along the way and this one is very simple to keep your spaces “emotionally clear” – I have never used crystals because as a dreamer and magnetic (empathic) person, the energy of crystals charges and always disperses energy like electricity (which its suppose to). But my composition as an artist, dreamer and healer is that I need the energy to soften, not only me but my space. About 15 years ago, I began to use large a sacred bowl and fill it with water with my intent of whispering to the water element asking it to be receptive for me and take any emotional releases when I held goddess and then moon  circles. I started then to use it more, a few years later because I was doing a lot of healing work and meditation every week with other healers and my own healing practice. What was just my two once a month circles with the water bowl, became several times a week in my healing practice and I began to feel the presence of intentional water right away in my living space. It then became a permanent sacred water bowl in my living room from then on.
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For those who love water in general, or like to swim in a pool, hot tub, creek, river or ocean or you feel all watery and emotional or empathic in general, you will find this type of clearing and cleansing makes you feel lighter of burden in small ways. I began adding a large bowl of water to my main living area and I whisper specific things into the water, asking it to receive any and all emotional releases from me, my children, family or clients and apprentices that visited my home and around my home in general. I moved a lot in the last twenty years, so I was always having to set up new altars, new spaces where many people had lived before me, so before I even moved anything I would do a water and fire cleansing. I even use it for any shadowy souls who roamed before I was strong enough to push them out as a shaman. Many shadows attached to my clients who came over for healing work, and because they had issues with healthy boundaries, more difficult and intense things happening to them and the bowl of water in my healing room helped both them and me weekly.

On each new moon, put a large “bowl of water” and let it sit the entire moon cycle (month) in the living room or in the room which is most active or your healing room. Change the bowl of water on the next New Moon and whisper again, adding in fresh water and repeat the process until the space feels lighter (or you notice it being light). I started off this way but about ten years ago, I keep it out year round.

water healing pool

You can add some seasonal herbs to sit in the bowl of water like St. Johns’ Wort (fresh) or Rosemary from the garden. In Winter I add a little Pine with dried Mugwort that was dried in the Autumn and I do that for my dreaming to remain clearer in my cottage when I awake in the morning from a night of dream travel. Try your own favorite herbs and keep note if it feels lighter in the room or space, if it doesn’t – go back to pure water or try a different combination of herbs. Generally I only add the herbs if its a challenging moon cycle (we generally will get 3 moons a year) and I will know this from the previous years of moon work for the past 22 years what will repeat on a given moon cycle, since this is what I teach.

I also brush myself off and throw the energy into the water when I am feeling that sticky feel after being in town. As a healer, I also do this with clients with chord cutting work, its mandatory so they release all of the residue of emotional energy from their astral body. When I go to a healer, I ask them to set a bowl of water out during the session just in case they enjoy an occasional wine or something like that and I don’t want to absorb it from their emotional body.

Danaide J

I learned in my 40s when I went to a lot of healers, that after a session they felt great and I felt drained even though I worked with many disciplines and healers as things arose. It wasn’t them pers sat, its just I was giving them a healing at the same time, and taking in their energy that was toxic, when they didn’t go to healers to work on their issues in life. I found out during this period, many, many healers do not go to other healers nor do they do trades, they are not getting work done and when a ‘receptive’ enters their healing practice, they get a healing also. Once I realized this, I became very discerning about who I worked with, if they did healing work with other healers, and if they were sober (no pot or drink) and this made a huge difference. I stopped feeling drained after that from the healers I went to, from then on. I chose never to go to free energy circles either, too many energy vampires.

I learned just how “receptive” or magnetic (empathic) I was in my early 40s and used the knowledge for change, and did something about it. The “intentional” water bowl, made a huge difference for me during those years and I still use it in my space, and all around me, and the ‘feel’ of a room stays clear.

Water always keeps things flowing and it is the greatest purifier of emotional energy, dream energy, even much stronger than sage. Sweat Lodges are also good because it too is water based with the fire and stones. Sage is great for both the mental body’s energy clearing and makes the physical body feel relaxed and by adding sage (earth/air elements) to the water ritual and bowl of intentional water, it doubles the clearing and cleansing.

pondEmptying your Water Bowl
When you are finished with the whole moon cycle, just take the water bowl outside and pour it on the ground asking Mother Earth to cleanse it and give her thanks. This is very important, because the moon is magnetic and pulls energy up and forth to the surface, so make sure you empty your bowl on the either the full moon or the new moon. Consistency is what keeps the flow of the moon phase that your working with.

Water Charms
Water Charms are talisman and amulets that help you when you are out and about at work, play or especially for those who live in more arid or desert environments. I recommend making them yourself and making sure that you can refill the water periodically so its not stagnant. Wearing them whenever you are in large crowds, baseball or football stadiums, etc. They will help absorb just like the home water bowl I described above.

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Magic Vial by Izile on Deviant

I have suggested that some bring a plastic or glass water bottle and fill it with water for the specific intention when they go to town or the hustle of a big city and whispering in the water to take any negative emotional energy that is around them. Make sure this water is given to mother earth to cleanse, so no one drinks from it or else they will get sick, especially children, it can be quite toxic.

Plus Water Charms, Talisman and Amulets are very creative and wonderful to make, be exploratory with images of water, mermaids, rusalkas, dolphins, whales or sea shells. Sea shells make great protection talisman for all things emotional and has been used by ancient cultures and indigenous cultures for millenniums.

The Feng Shui Chinese water element practices:
( from http://feng-shui.lovetoknow.com )

Feng shui means literally “wind” and “water” and is the ancient Chinese practice of positioning objects to achieve harmony. This involves assessing various factors including flows of Qi (energy) and the patterns of yin and yang (opposing forces) or masculine and feminine energies. Things that block the flow of Qi cause problems; things that allow it to flow freely are good. The popularity of fish tanks are due to feng shui; that both fish and water is lucky and auspicious.

Before adding any symbols for elements in your home, make sure you know in which direction your home is set and where each element is located. For example, you don’t want to add a water element in your fire sector unless there is an issue of too much fire and you need to weaken it. If you think in terms of how the real elements function in nature, it’ll help you in determine what corresponding and helpful elements to add to each sector of your home. Adding elements that fortify the energy in certain areas of your home will attract more of that element.

Water Fountains
A water fountain, small or large is an excellent symbol you can use inside or outside your home. Moving water symbolizes wealth and emotional health flowing to you. If you choose to use a water fountain there are four very important feng shui rules you need to follow when placing this feature.

  • Never place a fountain or any water feature in a bedroom. The energy is too disruptive and will result in loss;
  • Be careful when placing a fountain in your home. The mistake often made in placing a water fountain is locating it in the wrong sector. The best place for a water fountain is outside your home or in a known water sector of your home. In the Black Hat sect of feng shui, north is considered the water direction. In Form and Compass Feng Shui you’ll want to utilize the Eight House Theory and Flying Star principles to determine the sectors of your home for each element.
  • Outside fountains should flow toward your home. If you place a water feature outside your home and the water flows away from your home, you will quickly see your money flowing away from you either in mounting bills or even the loss of your job. By the same token, inside fountains should not flow out of the room or out a door or window.
  • Only use one water symbol in each appropriate room. Placing more than one water element in your room won’t create greater wealth. This will overload the energy and backfire on you by creating great loss. Remember, it’s all about balancing the chi energies in your home.

Art, Paintings and Photographs of Water
Using paintings and photos of rivers, waterfalls, oceans, and other bodies of flowing water is an easy way to introduce a water symbol into your home. Again, you want to be certain that you are placing the painting or photo in the correct sector of your home.

Chinese Character for Water
A popular way to introduce the water element into a room is by using a scroll that has the Chinese character written on it. If you’re an artist or know calligraphy, you may wish to create your own version for a frameable work of art.

Colors for the Water Elements
In Black Hat Sect of feng shiu, color is used to activate elements. If you practice this school of feng shui, you’ll want to use the colors assigned to the water direction, north. Black and blue are the first choices for water element activation in Black Hat Sect feng shui. You can also use northwest colors of white and gray.

Aquariums
You may have noticed an aquarium inside many Chinese restaurants. This is an ancient feng shui practice, taken from the use of koi ponds throughout China. The correct placement of this water feature ensures wealth and a successful business. The practice is to place seven red fish, usually goldfish, and one black fish in the tank or vice versa to activate the elements that bring prosperity. Never place an aquarium tank in a bedroom.

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Decorated Polish Well

Objects to Activate Water Elements
You can also use an object for a water symbol in your feng shui design. The Chinese use some some very specific water symbol objects.

  • Sculptures and drawings of fish, especially koi make a wonderful symbol.
  • Brass or other metal frog, especially Good Luck Frogs that sit on top a pile of ingots. This popular Chinese depiction shows the frog with its third foot firmly planted on the gold and has a Chinese coin in its mouth. This frog serves two purposes. As a water dweller, it represent water and comes bearing an actual coin to help stimulate the flow of money.
  • White cranes are a long-time favorite symbol for water. All kinds of boats and ships can be used. You aren’t limited to just Chinese symbols, you can also use American symbols of the ocean such as anchors, sea gulls, crabs, seashells, and many other symbols. Be creative in your choices for your décor. 

 

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Spring Folk Waters

I love the Spring, equal to all the seasons and the older I get, I find it funny that Spring folklore can sometimes be filled with shadow things equal to autumn or winter. I personally always try to see the corruptions in folktales from my shaman and dreaming perspectives, and to encourage a love of nature, not a place of fear & fright. In basic demonology study and folklore, large groups of creatures were called water daemons residing near rivers, lakes, swamps, oceans and rain. Any water interactions with humans, sometimes had a negative consequence, and equally a sense of fertility with emotion. It does make much sense that spring would have the positive-negative forces such as forceful winds and storms in that context.

Water is both a symbol for the fertility of the earth and the feminine, or the female souls within all of us, and was once a great blessed spirit daemon, a blessing for humanity and a blessing from earth (the goddess herself). Slowly the darker and more sinister souls which began to rise around the eleventh century, there was a shadows caste and daemon went into the powerful demon, appearing as the unsettled dead souls of the earlier wars of the rising kingdoms misuses of power. This eventually lead to a great fear of the night, and a guilt of guarding the treasures of mother earth from greed and lastly the superstitions and rejection of nature and the moon tales unless they were supporting the shadows.

A good example is the Valkyrie Maidens, who take those who kill to heaven. Just not true and more of a powerful wishful thinking. And characters of the beautiful maidens who danced, not to dance for pleasure or for sacredness women’s rituals which were real, but to enticed unwary young and old men alike and hurt them… seems a bit far fetched as folk. The elemental symbol of the core of the feminine is water.. once a most honorable ritual of all women.

Slavic and Balkan water folklore

In daemonology, Bolotnitsa (omutnitsa, lopatnitsa) are the maids of water and depending on where they live, they get the appropriate titles of “Spring Maiden” if the water is pure. Water maidens also can live in the swamps, called Bolotnitsa. A lover of whirlpools – omutnitsey and have behaviors and characteristics which resemble mermaids. Brodnica – are Bereginya guarding the fords as the water maidens prefer to settle in the quiet backwaters. According to legend, they coexist with beavers. Brodnica built of sticks fords and keep them in order. If the enemy pochuyut imperceptibly destroys a ford, they confuse, zavedut and begin a maelstrom. “… And the water Brodnica, floating quietly unworried in blue waters can enter the deep bowels of Charu, called navoe or dark graves”(AM Remizov. “By the Sea-Ocean”).

Kostroma is an East Slavic Goddess that is the embodiment of spring and fertility. In ceremonies of spring, Kostroma are young woman who are wrapped in white cloth, with an oak branch in their hands, accompanied by a round dance. Slavs also made an effigy of Kostroma of straw and arranged the death ritual ceremonial winter goddess just like Marzanna. Her name is derived from костёр (kosteor), Russian word for bonfire. Both these rituals symbolize nature’s death and rebirth or revival. In the oldest goddess rituals, the year was cut in half, winter (night) ruled one half and summer (fire) ruled the other half. These were one goddess who transformed between the two halves of the year. 

Swan Maidens long ago represented death, the souls flight to the other side at death, but in modern times she turns into the water maidens, and can be found on the edges of water. Swan maidens initial values are the personification of Spring, rain and clouds; together with bringing down legends about celestial sources on the ground, swan-maids are the daughters of the Ocean Sea Goddess. Swan Mothers give prophecy of wisdom; and are a supernatural task force to subdue the very nature. Swans are one of the oldest impersonation of the white summer clouds, as the adult women and grandmothers expressed the swan nature in their prophecy and prophetic cloud seership. Foresight given to them as the gift of the immortal wellspring water drink, which they possess; dance, music and singing (metaphors swirling eddies and howling storms). Spring of joy and fun of the water spirits; excitement and eddies as a consequence of their dances. All these features: are the vescheyu power are a tendency to dance, sing, create music and songs as they approach to aerial beings of violent thunderstorms to sooth them.

Bolotnitsa (the swamp maiden) is the drowned maiden living on a bog. She has long black hair and is cleaned by a sedge and forget-me-nots. The swamp maiden is pale and green-eyed, always naked and ready to entice people without any special fault to tickle them to death and to sink them in bog. Bolotnitsas can send shattering storms, torrential rains, destructive hailstones; steal canvases, cloth and threads from the women who have fallen asleep without a prayer. In the older traditions of the shamanic past, she was a weather shaman and kept the village and towns clear of shadows and visitors or groups with bad intention.

mermaid

Brodnitsas (the ford maidens) are spirits the protectresses of fords. Legends of the brodnitsas live together with beavers in the peaceful creeks. They protect the fords made of brushwood, repair and guard them. When the enemy secretly steals up, Brodnitsas hides the fords and directs the enemy to a bog or in a whirlpool.

Chislobog (goddess of the moon). She holds the moon in her hand, calmness, regularity, dispassionate struggles. Her time is from early twilight to dawn, but despite this, she is indifferent to evil powers. Beholding the validity, she imperturbably counts seconds and centuries.

Dana (goddess of water), a pale goddess. She gives water to the tired travelers, and cleans a wound of those who are hurt. She also rises into the sky, falls a fertile rain to fields. She was considered as the kind goddess giving a life to all living.

Karna (Karina) (goddess of emotional grief) the goddess-mourner, sister of Zhelia. If a person was lost far from home, Karna is the first who mourns.

Kupala (goddess of water), Herbs, and Magic. Her festival takes place on the day of the summer solstice. Her worshipers bathed themselves in rivers and springs on this day to purify themselves. They also brought offerings of flowers, which they set adrift on the rivers. Another means of purification was jumping through bonfires built in Kupala’s name. Her name means “to bathe”.

Morjana (sea maiden) a maiden of sea waters, daughter of the sea. Swims in depths of the sea and can turn into a fish and shifts into her dolphin form. She appears on the coast in peaceful evenings.

Pharaonkas (fish maidens). The name faraonka is connected with secondary interpretation of the traditional image of the mermaid. She is a shape shifter who can be both a woman and a fish, where mermaids are dolphins who remain so.

Rusalka  (maiden of water) is one of the most popular legends, wife of the nix. She is the tall, beautiful girl living at the bottom of a pond. The rusalka has no fish tail. At night she laps on a water surface. The maiden of water has the power of death or can lead one away from death.

Vodjanitsa (the water woman) is the wife of the nix, but the drowned woman from christened that is why does not belong to undeads. Vodjanitsas prefer forest and mill whirlpools and like deeps under mills where the rapid mixes the water and washes away holes. Under mill wheels usually sleep with nixes.

To read more of the older article on Elder Mountain, visit:

https://eldermountain.wordpress.com/2015/10/30/slavic-folklore-boskie-vs-antiboskie-daemonlogy-vs-demonology/