It would be silly to think that someone who calls themselves a water witch works ONLY with the water element. This would make for a very unbalanced practice! Rather Water or Sea Witches work with all the elements through their particular path which is deeply connected to water. A Water Witch may call themselves Water or Sea witch because they derive their power from the Waters or the Spirits that dwell with in it.
Working with Air
Water Witches can work with air in conjunction with water. While I personally don’t resonate with Air as well as I do the other elements, it can still be worked with and incorporated into a balanced practice. There are many stories of Witches having the power to control the wind and weather; many times these stories are about Sea Witches or witches that could be classified as Sea Witches based on where they live. An old folk spell Sea Witches have been recorded as being responsible for, is selling knots to Sailors. Each knot holding the power to release different strengths of wind.
“For the right price, witches supplied sailors with a cord having three knots. When becalmed, untying the first knot was thought to produce a light breeze, undoing the second produced a moderate wind, and the third a strong breeze. Scottish fishermen were known to buy knotted handkerchiefs of wind sorceress, the desired strength of the wind could be obtained by slowly undoing the knot. Once loosened, the knot was useless and for additional winds another purchase was required. If a sailor found a knot in a painter, he could expect a long voyage. When a sailor referred to “tying a knot in the devil’s tail,” he was relating to the “well done” completion of a difficult task.”
Another good example of Water Witches having the power to control the weather and raise up storms is the Gallicanae from the Island of Sena. Here we have a group of 9 priestess with magical powers who are clearly connected to the sea but also have the power to change the winds and work with water in conjunction with air.
“Sena in the British sea, opposite the Ofismician coast, is remarkable for an oracle of the Gallic God. Its priestesses, holy in perpetual virginity, are said to be nine in number. They are called Gallicenae, and are thought to be endowed with singular powers, so as to raise by their charms the winds and seas, to turn themselves into what animals they will, to cure wounds and diseases incurable by others, to know and predict the future; but this they do only to navigators who go thither purposely to consult them.”
In a modern practice, one can look to wisdom from water birds, work with knots as above, charge water in a singing bowls using voice and vibration to charge waters, and can engage in spirit flight using water as a portal to the other world.
Working with Fire
Working with Fire is actually quite fun when working water magic. Fire can heat our cauldrons, and be the catalyst for change, a flame can be lit at a sacred well or near a river. Floating candles can be used to merge the powers of water and fire and holy water can be used to anoint candles. Additionally, there are several European Goddesses that are associated with Fire and Water; Bride, Sulis and Nantosuelta are a few. Grannus is a masculine deity that is also associated with Fire and Natural Springs. Many cultures across the world combine water and fire together by lighting candles and setting them afloat on small rafts of herbs or wreaths. A Water Witch that is particularly connected to springs and wells will find many ways to honor and work with water and fire together. A popular tradition is well dressings, and candles as well as flowers and other offerings are used to decorate the sacred space on holy days.
Working with Earth
Earth and Water are very compatible and often are used together. Floral essences, Herbal Teas, and Gem elixirs are quick and easy ways to combine earth and water magic together.
The earth is the vessel in which the water is held, both symbolically in the alchemical symbol and actually in the physical world. Our physical bodies which represent earth are filled with water and in a way is a vessel. The earth contains water and while it does not necessarily control it, it holds it, and houses it giving it a structure in which to rest or rage.
For the Sea Witch shells, sand, and drift wood would be earth representations and a beautiful way to combine water and earth. There is nothing more beautiful than a piece of smooth driftwood that washes up at your feet. Water and Earth work together to transform the environment around it; river rocks and beach agates smoothed and tumbled by nature are other good examples of water and earth together.
Witches that work with rivers can connect to the earth with river rock, hag stones and the muddy parts of the shore. Bath salts can also be considered an earth element and are a wonderful edition to any bath!
Dew has much folklore and recorded magical uses, a popular one being collecting dew on May Day from the Hawthorn tree. For the most part Dew relies on plants and grasses to hold its delicate watery form. Again a perfect example of combining the elements.
Working with all the elements is important in any magical practice, and for those of us that are watery it is always good to reach towards a more grounding element in tough times. When our waters need to be stirred up reach towards air and when you need to heat up or become passionate about something working with Fire can be beneficial. Finding balance is important, and so is honoring all the elements even if our home is in the waters!
More about Annwyn The Water Witch here
- Superstitions of the Sea – Clary pg. 174