Water is a diverse element so the symbols that are connected with it are quite diverse as well! Some symbols you are probably already aware of, others perhaps not! You can find water represented in many magical systems such as the Tarot where water is represented by chalice or cups and aligns with the West. In the world of emojis, simple symbols such as a wave, drop of water, bathtub, crab, fish, and dolphins are digital representations of water. Other symbols of water that are part of our collective consciousness, are a snowflake, a simple drop of water, a shell and even a simple drawing of a mermaid. There are other symbols though, that you can work with in connection to water magic. So let’s dive into these symbols and learn a little about them! I have included traditional symbols as well as modern and personal ones.
Alchemical Symbols or Glyphs are old but very simple symbols used to represent the elements Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. These symbols originated in Western Alchemy and Hermetics and use a system of triangles to denote which symbol belongs to which element. Each of the elements have a type of triangle that represents them. Fire is an upward-pointing triangle, Air is also an upward-pointing triangle with a line through the top 1/3 of the symbol similar to the letter “A”. Earth is a downward-pointing triangle with a line through the bottom 1/3 of the triangle and water is a simple downward-pointing triangle resembling a vessel that holds water (ok it’s a loose representation, but its how I learned to remember which one was which)
This particular symbol is one that I use very often in my practice. I have drawn it in the sand, created it out of rocks, sticks, drawn it on paper, carved it in candles and created it with my hands in a gesture. I do this by pointing the thumbs towards each other and forming the downward point of the triangle with my pointer fingers, having them meet at the tips. I will often draw this symbol in blue and use it in mojo bags, dream pillows, and water spirit contact. I also use it in visualizations and often through vision journeys, it will become a doorway to the subaquatic realms.
This is a powerful symbol for me, I also used it in the logo for the Water Magic Course, and I tend to incorporate it into another symbol I connect with water, one example is in the Triskele which we will be discussed below.
Traditionally this symbol does not represent water. However, it is one that I connect with water. Most often you will see the triskele in reference to the Celtic three worlds; Land, Sea and Sky. In my own practice, I see these three spirals as a representation of the 3 phases of water, (4th being the center point) First, I am sure to orient the center of the triskele so that it is in the shape of a little downward-pointing triangle, which is the alchemical glyph water. Then I attach the three spirals evenly around the triangles at the points of each corner. This then connects with the three phases of water, the water alchemical glyph, and spirals another symbol associated with water. So, I am sure you can see why this works as a Water Symbol.
Spirals have fascinated me since I could hold a pencil. I have drawn millions of them sometimes purposefully for magic but mostly absent mindedly I doodle them here and there. There is something about the nature of the spiral that speaks of water. We have all watched water swirl down a drain, in a lake, at the beach and other random places. To me the spiral represents the very essence of water in its liquid state. They also seem to act as portals and swirling water before scrying helps me get into a trance state.
Water in the Zodiac
In the zodiac, there are several symbols that are connected with water: Cancer, Pisces, and Scorpio. Pisces uses the double fish motif and Cancer uses the crab. Scorpio, though is a water sign is represented by the scorpion which always confused me, but it’s not my place to re-write the zodiac. Crab and Fish are both water creatures, dwell in the water and are solidified in our conscious collectiveness as a symbol of water or that connects with water. However, there are other signs that connect with water even though they are not associated with water in the zodiac. These include Capricorn and Aquarius. While Capricorn is an earth sign, it is represented by a goat with a mermaid or fishtail, also called a water goat. Aquarius is an air sign, which is represented by two horizontally parallel lines that zig-zag or are squiggly in nature much like a wave. Aquarius aligns with air, but this sign is also called the water bearer. It is also represented by a maiden pouring water, or a simple sacred vessel pouring water.
I have included the hexagon because it is a great shape to connect with water. Because of Dr. Emoto’s work with photographing flash-frozen water drops, we know that water that has high vibrational energy was photographed in a hexagonal structure. We know that structured water, which is water that has been magnetized holds a hexagonal structure as well. It is also the shape that we see snowflakes most often in.
The drop is a pretty classic representation of water and can stand alone, but I wanted to include a symbol that I have seen popping up over and over again. It is an upward-pointing crescent moon with 3 drops below. For many who connect with this symbol, it is a representation of water and lunar energies. I have also seen it used as a modern take on the Celtic Awen symbol. This is usually represented with three dots and three rays blasting away from the dots. It is a symbol that gives an emotional and visceral reaction when first experiencing it. As if you completely understand it; as if it’s been with you always. It somehow resonates deep in your soul, but you are seeing it for the very first time. For me personally it has become a symbol for divine inspiration from the lunar or aquatic energies sometimes both and sometimes very specific to the nocturnal energies of these as well.
This symbol, besides having the word Pisces in it has come to be deeply connected with water. Vesica Pisces translates “Bladder of the Fish” and is a mathematical symbol where two circles intersect. It is the symbol that resides in the Chalice Well Garden, it is often used to represent the yoni and divine feminine. It is used in religious and medieval paintings and strangely enough connects to the creation of life in Mitosis. For many that follow an Avalonian path, it has become a sacred symbol of Avalon, of the Red Spring and of Water. We also see the central portion of the Vesica Pisces on the gates of the White Spring Temple, holding within each of them a sacred symbol corresponding with the lore of the land.
The trident is another powerful symbol connected to water. No doubt every time you see one, your first thought is water, perhaps even Poseidon. It is a symbol that is widely used by many people both magical and mundane. The organization Sea Shepard uses this symbol in their logo. For just about everyone I know, it is a symbol of power, of protection, and strikes fear in those it is wielded against. I myself use this protection symbol in my own practice. The Icelandic Helm of Awe (in Icelandic Ægishjálmur) incorporate trident like motifs in its construction as well. If you start searching, you will find it is incorporated into numerous protection spells, sigils, and rituals throughout the world.
Working with these symbols
There are many ways to work with these symbols. I have already mentioned some above. You can connect with Water in candle magic, by carving one or more of these symbols onto a candle and then anointing with your favorite water. You can create these symbols as energetic offerings by gathering rocks, sticks, shells and leaves and creating them near the water. You can draw these on paper and use them in poppets, mojo bags and even tuck them into herbal bundles. Creating protective symbols in sea salt in your temple room is another creative way to use them, as is drawing them on your skin. You can even create these symbols on the bottom of your bathtub, before adding water. Taking a protection bath? Gather your herbs, draw a trident on the bottom of you bath with salt, fill with water, drop in your herbs and now you have an added layer to your protection magic! How do you use symbols in Water Magic? Do you use any of these symbols or do you use something else?