Lily and I have been introducing Rowan to the Elements of Life, the principle substances that coalesce to bring into being the living cosmos, the four states of matter/energy of which the world is composed, and which we as Witches demarcate as Earth, Air, Fire, Water. A fifth substance is recognized, Aether, which is the underlying energy which takes on these states to manifest.
Each of the Elements works as a symbol, representing a variety of qualities and energies. To quote Gabriel Carrillo: "When we speak about Fire, Water, Air and Earth, we are not speaking about the composition of chemicals, but of how our inner self understands the psychic qualities of the Elements.
The Elements are used in magic to create alchemical changes produced by studying, defining, comprehending and embodying them. Clarifying and balancing the Elements internally transforms and greatly enlarges our sense of awareness of ourselves and of the world around us."
This week I have been focusing on Water, which is the liquid state of matter and whose power is Fluidity. In the body, Water manifests in the lymphatic and circulatory systems, and in the mind it manifests as adaptability. These heady associative principles are not something Rowan is going to understand right now, and I needed to appeal to his Fetch, or animal-soul.
I decided that introducing him to Water in the shower would be the best bet -- it's about the only time he really interacts directly with that Element. I often have Lily hand him to me when I'm in the shower so I can give him a good wash, since he hates baths. I usually spritz him with water quickly and then use a washcloth with baby shampoo on it to scrub him gently, then rinse him off again quickly. But today we took our time.
When Lily passed him off, I put him under the showerstream and cradled him against me, so that it was running down the back of his head and making sure it wasn't spraying him in the face, which he clearly dislikes. I let the falling water create a little pool in the hallow of his body nestled up next to mine, and dipped his hands in it, then lifted a small amount in my palm to trickle down his front. He liked it and laughed, so we did that game a few times.
Then I began rocking him while the water was running over us, and I began to invoke the Element of Water, "seeing" the water from the showerstream begin to glow a soft blue, (its principle color association), falling down over us, cleansing us.
Water is very much associated with cleansing and purity in Feri, mainly in a ritual we call Kala, a water rite that unbinds knoted up power within our energy bodies and physical form. A ritual bath is very much the same thing as Kala.
I began to sing a chant that the spirits gave me some years ago:
Mama wash over me, Mama wash over me;
White waves cresting, in the deep blue sea,
breaking over my beautiful body,
Mama wash me clean.
He liked the song, and began to vocalize softly and smile while I was singing it. I then thanked the spirits of Water, and as I was doing so, I could feel Rowan's emotional centers begin to get a little intense, and he began swinging back and forth between laughing and fussing.
It was time to pass him back to Mommy. When we did the handoff, he began to cry, and Lily took him in a towel to dry him off, get him grounded again, and centered.
It was a good adventure, a good introduction to an element that is very "shifty," but next time I'll make sure I have some better grounding going on.
It will be great to see how he develops as a little Witchboy, having a clear relationships with the Elements and the spirits associated with them. So precious!
Big Faery Daddy is a blog about the journey of a queer father, Witch and Radical Faerie as he struggles to hold all of those identities.