There is a large iron cauldron that sits at the western edge of my backyard ritual space. According to family legend, this cauldron was once my maternal great-grandmother’s laundry-washing pot. Then it held begonias on my grandmother patio for many decades. After she passed away, I cleaned it out to discover that three holes were drilled into its bottom so that the flowers could drain. It is telling that my ancestral cauldron is “leaky.” Nevertheless, I moved it from Kentucky to my home in North Carolina.
This morning we awaken to a rare winter wonderland. Normally leaky, my ancestral cauldron can hold snow! Snow Water brings earthy powers of structure to emotional magickal workings. Snow water imparts the “silence” needed to listen to the messages of the heart, especially when emotions are churning.
A Daring Cauldron
In my tradition of Modern Witchcraft, the cauldron is considered the grand tool of elemental water. Water relates to the emotional body and has two main lessons on the Witches’ Pyramid of Power: Acceptance and Daring
My leaky cauldron is a “daring” cauldron, because it holds no water for very long – water flows as it pleases and cares not for man-made obstacles like “walls.” What might be considered a weakness in this cauldron can also be powerful. Allow me to explain….
The receptive power of acceptance is an acknowledgment of the present mold that defines me. I have to know who I am now (the good, the bad and the ugly) in order to diagnose my wounds, strengthen my weaknesses, and put my strengths to work for me. I have to know where I am, so that I can chart a course to where I want to be.
The projective power of daring is what breaks the mold to redefine us. Daring to overflow the cauldron’s edge can only happen after we discover where that edge lies…then we boldly go where we’ve never gone before. Once the cauldron spills, there is no containing this power…it flows wherever it chooses with free-will. Daring is the boldness to heal our wounds, improve our weaknesses, and overcome all obstacles.
Daring Water vs. Acceptance Water
So, typically this daring cauldron of mine aids me in water magick that defies containment. Daring water knows no discrimination; all water flows together. There is no drop too precious, nor too polluted, to be denied membership in the water club; rain drops, ocean water, holy water, swamp water, piss… Once gathered in, all drops form a wave of radical GivesNoFucksitude, rising together to carve a new face on any situation – usually accompanied by wild, chaotic destruction.
Daring waters would be collected during the high winds of hurricanes, or ocean edges where it is chiseling the rocks, or wild rapids collected where it rages – which can be tricky business. I would use these waters in magick meant to destroy emotional boundaries and overcome discrimination.
Acceptance waters are best collected from snow, as it softly settles down and collects in some vessel – like my ancestral cauldron outside, which is just so perfect I can hardly contain my witchy excitement.
Snow Water Magick: Acceptance and Silence
Snow is Acceptance water, and that is a very special use within magick. A snowflake is a waterdrop that teams up with dust, to create an art form from the watery lessons of acceptance with the earthy lesson of silence. To understand these mysteries, we start with Science. “As above, so below; As below, so above.” (That’s a hermetic principle, by the way. Not just a Wiccan maxim.)
Q: How are snowflakes formed?
A: A snowflake begins to form when an extremely cold water droplet freezes onto a pollen or dust particle* in the sky. This creates an ice crystal. As the ice crystal falls to the ground, water vapor freezes onto the primary crystal, building new crystals – the six arms of the snowflake.
That’s the short answer.
The more detailed explanation is this:
The ice crystals that make up snowflakes are symmetrical (or patterned) because they reflect the internal order of the crystal’s water molecules as they arrange themselves in predetermined spaces (known as “crystallization”) to form a six-sided snowflake.The intricate shape of a single arm of the snowflake is determined by the atmospheric conditions experienced by entire ice crystal as it falls. A crystal might begin to grow arms in one manner, and then minutes or even seconds later, slight changes in the surrounding temperature or humidity causes the crystal to grow in another way. Although the six-sided shape is always maintained, the ice crystal…may branch off in new directions. (source)
(*) Not to put too fine a point on this, but the “pollen or dust particle” is where the “earth” part of this lesson shows up.
Teaming up with Earth’s Projective Power of Silence
Earth teaches us lessons of structure and organization to become material resources. The projective power that we witches often refer to as “To Be Silent” is about being still in the present moment, shutting up, so we can hear Divine messages, and see how our magick is manifesting. When a freezing water drop teams up with a speck of earth, it crystallizes. “They reflect the internal order of the crystal’s water molecules” It’s inner self grows into an outward form, in perfect, beautiful symmetry.
Just like us, their form reflects the conditions of their environment, but as those conditions change, so does the outer form. The snowflake’s crystals remain balanced, and unique, a lovely reflection of the world in which it was formed. I love the lessons of snowflakes that I, too, may continue to grow, and when confronted with new circumstances, “branch off in new directions.”
The insulating properties of fluffy snowflakes blanketing everything, certainly does bring a profound silence to the winter wonderland. That is my favorite part of the season, the silence. During winter I accept that I must slow-down — that my fleshy vessel *does* come with parameters of rest, nurturing and isolation, that I must accept.
Snow “Acceptance” Water: Preparation
- Blue glass bottle with cork or screw-top to keep sealed.
- About a quart (or more) of collected fresh snow
- altar pentacle or paten
- Essential oils of Eucalyptus, Lemon and Myrrh
- 1 tablespoon sea salt per 2 cups of snow water.
- 9 Moonstone chips small enough to fit through the mouth of your bottle.
- Paint pen or other way to included water symbols, or snowflakes, to remind you what it in the bottle, and reinforce it’s purpose.
I brought the snow inside to melt in a collection pitcher on my altar paten. I awakened the altar, and lit myrrh incense, which is aligned with water. I also lit a blue water magick candle I previously prepared. Once the snow melted, I transferred it to a blue glass bottle I happened to have, and added three drops each of myrrh, lemon and eucalyptus essential oils, and 9 moonstone chips.
As happy coincidence, these oils also keep stored waters from getting funky, due to their antiseptic properties, but for good measure, I also added a tablespoon of sea salt. I like that his reinforces the earthy lessons, while inhibiting microbial growth.
I finished by corking the bottle, and decorating it with beads, a shell, a little sigil of my own making, meant to reflect the “acceptance” water intentions within the cauldron of the heart – this was drawn on a snowflake cutout I had left-over from the holidays, and attached with blue ribbon.
I opened the gates to elemental Water realms, and charged the waters specifically as an amplifier for the powers of acceptance. I charged the snow waters to impart a beneficial organization to workings where I simply must embrace a difficult relationship, or fill a mold that is required of me at that time. In working with this water, my intent is that it allows me to find peace in the cauldron of my heart, and grace during times of emotional upheaval, where my feelings need outer expression while remaining balanced and focused.
Can you think of a few spells where this might come in handy? I certainly can. Feel free to post your spell ideas for use of snow’s “acceptance” waters in the comments.
May the blessings of snow find you warm and cozy, rested and rejuvenated this winter,