I love this river. It is sacred water to me. Ever flowing, each morning I look out my window to greet her. Swelling with the fall of spring tears and receding with the summer heat, she is incredible to me. Magickal and alive. Making moist soil for hundreds of feet around her, wetting the feet of all my plant allies. Cooling our spirits and washing away worries, this river is a deep friend.
The water element is respected and honored in every energetic and religious system around the world and throughout history. She is known for her adaptability and force. Her powers of regeneration and birth are common sense, but nonetheless, nothing to be careless with. She nourishes our Earth's body and our own. She reflects the pull of the female spirals ... waxing and waning with each Moonlit sky. She quenches our need for depth, self-perception, dreams, and the mysterious. She teaches respect for the female - lashing out angrily at the overly yang destruction of our planet, resulting in horrific storms and resentful waves. She teaches us to honor our mother and to honor our own bodies.
Last year at the Women's Herbal Conference, I had the pleasure of attending classes and an intensive with an extraordinary woman Shaman from Ecuador. Her name is Rocio ..... and she spoke with clear reverence for the naturally occurring hot springs in her native Jungle, which she called "Pogyos" or sacred waters. These waters are sought out to cleanse - (and I use this word carefully as in the effect of being reborn or dissolving energies no longer serving us) our souls and to restore homeostasis of the physical body. As we know, natural hot springs are a well of minerals that heal, sulphur, maganese, iron, etc, which can remove a variety of ailments, everything from arthritis to acne to chronic fatigue.
But they do not just look at a map, walk there, and jump in. They have no map. They intuit the way there, and conduct extensive prayer and ceremony before even daring to touch the water. They introduce themselves, offer gifts and special oblations, prayer, and ask humble permission to enter and receive healing. Only when they are certain they have offered sufficiently and received permission do they enter. Should they fail this process, they will fall terribly ill in punishment or at the very least, get nothing in the way of healing or rejuvenation.
My river is a sort of Pogyo for me and my family. Although it is not a hot spring, it is certain magic. It hosts Swan, Mallards and Great Blue Heron, Red Cedar Trees, Wild mint, and hundreds more plants..... and it flows through protected land, so remains quite untainted and full of life force.
There are days when the sun is glinting so bright on the water's skin that I swear the fairies were unable to resist, and have exploded out from hiding for an exalted day of water dancing and celebratory splashing.