How to Work with Water in Folk Magick

How to Work with Water in Folk Magick August 2, 2019

Water has a long-standing importance among those who work folk magick. All natural bodies of water hold sacred power as gateways to the otherworld and the inner world of the earth itself. Natural bodies of water contain the creative energies of the otherworld, and offerings were (and still are among practitioners today) often made to these bodies of water by the peoples around them for health, prosperity, and love.

It was believed that pouring out water onto the ground would end a drought and that wringing water from the hands would wring luck from you. Carelessness with water carried a heavy weight, as it should, since all spirits are entitled to respect. In Wales, the waves of the sea were thought to be the spirits of the dead, who would ride back to visit loved ones on Samhain and Christmas. The gifts of water to heal, soothe, nourish, cleanse, purify, and dissolve, as well as rage, flood, overwhelm, and rise, make it ideal for a variety of folk magickal workings both beneficial and baneful.

There are many wells throughout Europe that hold significance as healing wells, some of which are still in use today. The Chalice Well of Glastonbury in Somerset, England, is known as a healing well with significance tied to the Lady of the Lake. It also carries Christian significance as well, with lore related to the Holy Grail; however, it’s known power predates Christianity, and it is a site where connections with the divine feminine can be made. This well has never gone dry, even in drought, and it produces reddish water from the iron oxide within it. The best-known well for baneful magick is the Ffynnon Elian in Wales, which had a local clerk who would do baneful magicks with the water of the well on behalf of visitors who wanted to curse their enemies.

Folk magick requires animistic beliefs and understanding to be effective. All elements and beings of creation are spirits, and this is what we draw upon when we work folk magick. There’s no need for ceremony, and some may consider it to be low magick, but in reality, it is a a magick that comes from pacts and beneficial relationships with the spirits of the land and the spirits of the otherworld,and it is quite effective. One form of folk magick I practice includes working with the water from the resurrection plant (also known as the rose Jericho, botanical name Selaginella lepidophylla) to create Jericho water. You can use this water for a variety of purposes, and you can work with this plant over and over again, even throughout familial generations if you take good care of it. Some purposes include healing, cleansing, love spells, a substitution for holy water in certain spells, and blessing.

I advised a friend with chronic headaches and a pineal gland issue to place a sodalite stone and an amethyst stone (which had agreed to work with her) in the center of the plant and allow it to unfurl via the method below. Dabbing the Jericho water on her forehead where her third eye is has relieved the headaches for her entirely. Of course, as as a healing method, it was secondary to the the attention she was receiving from medical doctors for the underlying condition. I’ve worked with Jericho water to bring blessings into my home, and I’ve worked with the plant itself for magick to “unfurl” particularly knotted relationships or situations in my life. It is very versatile.

To create Jericho water, you need a shallow dish and a dried resurrection plant. Fill the dish with enough water to cover the roots (but not more, lest you cause the plant to mold), speak to the plant about what your wishes are for the water, and allow the plant to unfurl for five to seven days (seven is ideal), adding water to keep the roots wet as needed. Once the seven days are done, collect the water and thank the plant. Remove the plant from any remaining water and allow it to dry out completely before working with it again. Use the water in your spell. The potency of the water will depend on your relationship with the water and the plant.

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