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THE MEMORY OF WATER
“I know it in my waters” is an old saying. It may be accurate, when we consider that water has a memory. It recalls what it’s like to be healthy and strives for this state of perfection in its motion. It also remembers subtle energies that have passed through it.
The memory is actually a vibration. This can be very powerfulwhen information in the form of a vibration is introduced into the body, it can bring about healing to the entire system Homeopathy works in this way, using the power of water to absorb and retain information that has been shaken into it. Flower essences, pioneered by Dr. Edward Bach, work in a similar manner, using the vibration of flowers in water to trigger self-healing. [See Chapter 20.]
The waters in the body are always ready to receive information from the environment. We continually receive and give out information through our sensory organs and also through our chakra system (the word chakra from the Sanskrit for wheel). These wheels of energy are vortexes, which are linked to the nervous and hormonal systems. They act as gateways from the subtle realms to the physical and from the body to the environment. In this way, we’re connected to all life.
The common factor here seems to be water. As we bring information into our bodies, our fluids pick up the data and send them to the relevant part of the system Messages will also be sent out to the world around us. This will give us a particular kind of reception from the people we’re with. Within the body, a similar system is in operation. Here, our waters are affected by the signals we give ourselves. Messages of love, appreciation, or kindness will affect us in a positive way, while negative feedback will eventually cause problems with our well-being.
Over the years of working in the field of natural therapies, I’ve become more and more aware of the importance of water. It’s an obvious factor in creating and maintaining health and well-being. Increasing research, including that outlined above, has pointed out that the way we treat water, in the world and within our bodies, is significant both for our own health and that of the planet.
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We’re all looking for vitality, happiness, and good health; and we have an ally: water. Once we acknowledge this and recognize its nurturing and healing powers, we can begin to feel it working for and with us. Water ties us all to each other and to every other life form on Earth. We could begin by feeling connected to each part of ourselves.
Water has been revered over thousands of years for its powerful spiritual qualities. In the following chapters, we’ll see how this respect is a common theme in many of the world’s religions, and how water is used both for sacramental purposes and in stories for teaching the faith.
Animism is the oldest spiritual path, dating back to the earliest times, and Jose Luis Stevens’s paper gives a glimpse into an era when the spirits of local rivers, lakes, and seas were universally revered. Their help and guidance were essential to early humans’ very survival in a dangerous world.
Starhawk continues in a similar vein, with her deep understanding of paganism and its rituals.
Other authors explore how water is central in many major religious traditions, including Hinduism, Christianity, and Judaism All have the common theme of the powerful cleansing and purifying properties that water possesses and its centrality in the processes of redemption and forgiveness, as well as initiation into faith.
The spirit of place, especially important for understanding spirituality and water, is also a concept that several of these papers have in common. In many cultures, ancient and modern, the powers of water are believed to be especially strong in certain locations such as the sacred river Ganges in India, one drop of which is said to cleanse the soul of all karma. In the same vein, Doreen Virtue describes the goddesses and presiding female saints of Lourdes and other holy places, Richard Beaumont writes about the Roman spa of Bath in England, and William Bloom explores the Chalice Well of Glastonbury.
Maril Crabtree’s essay ends this section (and the blog) practically and inspiringly, with a range of ideas and rituals for readers to try themselves, from simply drinking a glass of water or taking a shower with awareness and appreciation, to techniques for healing illness.
What’s most astonishing about this collection of essays is the remarkable unity that so many diverse traditions display in their perception of water over countless ages. Surely this alone would be enough to provoke scientific inquiry into the nature of water. In fact, science itself has recently added its own vast body of discoveries about water and its centrality to the life of this planet.
It should now become clear that the scientific and the spiritual qualities are simply two sides of the same coin. So, for example, just as water can store memories and be influenced by thoughts and feelings, so it’s also able to use this absorptive property to remove and cleanse negative emotions and their effects from people and leave them prepared to move on in their lives. This is an aspect widely used in religion; the indigenous cultures of South America use waterfalls to this end, while the Hindus of India bathe in their sacred rivers, especially the Ganges.
We can hope that in time, all modern societies will come to honor water and its spirit as much as ancient traditions have done through the ages. That’s certainly my desire and intention.