There are many ways to collect water and there is no “one way” to collect it. However, there are some things you need to be very careful of. First get a good sharpie and labeling system going. You need to know what is in your jars! After a while you will have a cupboard for just your waters and in the end they all look like water. When you label them, make sure you label the moon cycle, the date, where and how you collected it. You will need to know this later.
Water that was once from a frozen lake will be much different energetically than water collected from a sun shower. In addition, if you live in the city you don’t want to drink the rain water, however you may visit a natural spring where the water is as fresh as it gets and you may want to bring that home and use it in magic and perhaps ingest it during a ritual.
Your bottles are also important. Do not store your water in plastic. Plastic bottles often contain BPH which is known to cause cancer. The only plastic bottles I have are the bottles from Glastonbury Chalice Well and to my knowledge are not contaminated with BPH. If you use a bottle with a metal lid make sure not to fill it all the way to the top, or make sure that you put wax paper over it so that it doesn’t rust the lid. Corks are wonderful, but I have found they often leak so make sure you have a tight fit. You will also want to find a place to store your water. Over time I expect you will begin to collect and store water and you will want to keep them together. In the past my water altar has been a cupboard with doors and two drawers. Inside it has two shelves where my magical tools and my MANY bottles of water sit. It is now a long table with drawers and my bottles are stored in a cabinet.
First locate a time and day that you will visit a body of water. This may be a lake, river, well or the ocean. After you have located the body of water you are going to visit, plan a trip there. Gather your offerings and anything else you might need and head out to your body of water.
When you arrive find a nice quiet spot, set up your blanket or chair and if it is warm enough remove your shoes and walk down to the water’s edge. Spend time just standing and listening to the unique sound of the water, the patterns on the surface, and the creatures and plants around it.After you have spent time listening and getting to know the water, find your offerings. I often times use the most beautiful rose in my garden or several of the smaller flowers as my offerings. It really varies depending on my mood, and what I have on hand. The light worker may want to leave a stone or flowers, while a shadow worker might be more inclined to give a few drops of blood or hair. For more information about ethical offerings visit the blog post here
Once you have finished connecting with the water and giving it the sacrifice/offering/gift, return to your quiet spot, close your eyes and listen. Breathe, feel, take in the water in all your senses; begin to relax. Now open your mind up to water and invite the waters energy to enter your mind and show you images that the water wants to share with you. Begin a dialogue with the water by asking questions about the water, telling the water about yourself who you are and why you want to work with and if it is ok to take water and how the water wants to be disposed of after it has been used etc. Finally at the end ask the water if there is anything that you may take. If the answer is yes, thank the water; come back to this time and space and journey down to the water’s edge. Walk along, looking around, see what catches your eye; use your intuition to know if it is the gift or not. If the answer was no, thank the water and try again at another date.
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