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Goddesses of Water

Goddesses of Water

Water is life giving. It represents new beginnings as the foundation of all life and the origin of the other elements. Billions of years ago, the first cells bravely formed in Earth’s tumultuous oceans. They developed from the loving energy in the waves around them until one day the human being was born, just as dependent on water as her ancestors. The even energy of this element holds love in its purest form, which sustains us through troubled and peaceful times alike.

Tefnut   the ancient Egyptian goddess of rain, dew and moisture   represents the healing and cleansing powers of water. She was born from Ra, the sun god, and married her brother Shu, the god of air. From this union she gives birth to the gods of earth and sky and cements the creation of our planet. Worshippers of Tefnut usually call upon her before a ritual, asking her to purify them as part of the temple rites though she is also used in prayers for health and wellbeing.

    I have ascended to you

                With the Great One behind me

                And my purity before me:

                I have passed by Tefnut,

                Even while Tefnut was purifying me,

                And indeed I am a priest, the child of a priest in this temple.

                                -Between Identity and Agency in Ancient Egyptian Ritual by H.M. Hays

The spirit called Mami Wata, or Mother Water, who originated in Africa is a goddess who represents duality. Her followers typically wear white and red, opposing colors in African mythology, as water can be associated with death and destruction as well as creation and new life. She originated among a small group of people. However, her worshippers eventually covered the majority of Africa as tribes adopted her in place of their local water deities. Worshippers of Mami Wata celebrate her by taking part in intense dancing rituals. Followers dance until they enter a meditative state and are possessed by the goddess. They tap into the psychic and transcendental properties of water, coming away with a wiser understanding of our duality. She still has many followers throughout Africa and Central America.

As Aphrodite rose from the waves, born of the foam of the sea, she embodies the most feminine and most sensual aspects of water. The Greek and Roman (Venus) goddess of love, beauty, and sensuality, her connection to water is deeply engraved in our collective subconscious. Both represent the height of femininity, of that collection of qualities we instinctively associate as female   flow, flexibility, receptiveness, passivity, vulnerability, sensitivity, nurturing, and purity. But this can be deceiving. For as water may be the most malleable of the elements, and some suggest the most receptive, it can overcome all obstacles in its path. The message there is undeniable. What appears soft or giving at surface value is often the most powerful underneath.

In our world we look to the nectar of water for healing, serenity, and spiritual awakening. Our human connection with water soothes the soul. The rhythmic lapping of the waves or the harsh power of a rainstorm both cleanse and calm the mind, similar to baptism, and remind us of water’s powerful ambivalence. Water may cleanse in soothing or violent and unpredictable ways, such as through storms and floods. When this element chooses to bring destruction it causes is a rebirth of its own, clearing parts of the Earth for new possibilities.  Water is the wise ruler of our life force who bestows on us her power of balance, wisdom, and love.

Written by Morgan Stevens.

  • Post author
    Denise Welling