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    Water Awareness

    by Starhawk

    Meditating by a lake one day, I heard the water say to me: "All water is one, one whole, one awareness. All water is continuously aware of all the other water in the world."

    That insight profoundly changed my relationship to water. Instead of thinking of it as a physical substance, I began to perceive it as a flow of life-giving awareness, constantly cycling through the world. To be a Witch, to be someone who has consciously accepted the challenge of serving the powers of life and balance, we must bring ourselves into right relationship with that pervasive consciousness. Only through a balanced relationship with water can we have abundance and thriving life.

    And water knows. Water spirits, water Goddesses and Gods, however we want to name that intelligence which is so different from ours, something knows and feels when we approach with love and respect.

    So to begin exploring the teachings of water, let's start by expressing our gratitude and making an offering.

    Observing Water

    Observing water is a meditation in itself. Just watching a flowing river or a running stream can help us feel calm and renewed. Swimming, floating, being in or near water is one of the basic ways human beings relax and replenish our energies.

    Following are three suggestions for observing water.

    (1) Ground and come into your senses. Look around at the form of the land, the plants, the shape of the hills, the creases and crevices. Become aware of the presence and traces of water, of the flows which have shaped the land, smoothed the rocks, of the water which permeates the soil, the water encompassed in the bodies of plants and animals. Observe the presence and flow and movement of water.

    (2) Sit beside a running stream, or a swift river, or the ocean. Watch the movement and form of the water. Notice the shapes and patterns that it makes, where it runs fast and where it slows down, where there are standing waves and where there are slow eddies. Notice the way the patterns of movement form and reflect the shapes of the land. The visible motion of water is only the surface layer of more complex movement below. What can the surface tell you about the depths?

    (3) Get into water. Go swimming in a river or body-surfing in the ocean. Be sure to be safe, have a buddy, and be aware of currents and undertows. Feel the force of the water on your body. Notice how you move in the water, how the waves and ripples feel. Dive down and feel the difference between the motion below and the motion above. Feel the temperature changes from the depths to the surface. Close your eyes, and observe the water with your skin, your muscles, your deep bodily senses.

    "The Earth Path" by Starhawk will be released by Harper San Francisco in Fall 2004. For more information on the book, as well as a teaching/travel schedule and other writings by Starhawk, visit her website, is a developing experiment -- give us your feedback! Write us at

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