DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS...
Welcome to the Water Year. Those who understand the character of each of the elements in the cosmological wheel: Water, Earth, Mineral, and Nature, know that "the Sage take Water as his preceptor. Water is yielding, but all-conquering. Water tames Fire. Or, finding itself likely to be defeated, escapes as a steam and reforms. Water washes away Soft Earth, or when confronted by rocks, seeks a way round. Water corrodes Iron till it crumbles to dust; it saturates the atmosphere so that Wind dies. Water gives way to obstacles with deceptive humility. For no power can prevent it from following its destined course to the sea. Water conquers by yielding; it never attacks, but always wins the last battle. The Sage who makes himself as Water is distinguished for his humility. He embraces passivity, acts from non-action and conquers the world."
These words from the Chinese Sage Tao Cheng captures the spiritual powers of Water as a remarkable element we cannot do without.
There are mounting heat and dryness in the world we live in. The longing to overcome the hard with the soft and the rigid with the gentle invites us to take a close look at Water's capacity and availability to heal us. It is, therefore, reasonable to think that the peace and security of this century will have to be waged over water. It also suggests that we look into its cosmological power as fundamental in the cleansing and purification of ourselves and the world we live in if we are still interested in unleashing the magic of human greatness. This is because Water's greatest gift is peace and cleansing. Consequently, an assessment of the human condition would reveal that the current crisis of the world is directly connected to the scarcity of water. Whether it is the literal inability of so many on this planet to access healthy water to sustain their lives, or it is the spiritual dryness symptomatic of a dehydrated culture that has forgotten its sacred dependence on water, we now find ourselves in a desperate situation.
Reclaiming our relationship with water is a vital passage toward alleviating the pressures of this crisis. In order to invoke peace, we have to notice that Water is that which takes the path of least resistance. It reflects, flows, cleanses, purifies, cools, quenches, soothes, dissolves and crystallizes. It is these characteristics that imbue water with the power of reconciliation when it seems all hopes are lost. The water that washes away humanity's attraction to rigidity and conflict waits for us to check in for a radical healing; for it alone has what it takes to restore the purity of being, the brightness of our genius and the flow most wanted for the human community.
Water is a way-finder in this world. Through receiving water's teaching, we become fluid with appropriate responses to difficult problems. Water will dislodge us from where we are stuck and set us afloat toward fulfillment of our goals. Practices that utilize water's primal powers help humanity gravitate towards the lessons we are seeking. The pouring of libations is a graceful act that offers to heal to a world agitated by imbalance, violence and distortion. A libation is an active invitation to the world of Spirit. It carries in it the signature of a heart overflowing with pure intention, a soul acknowledging the source of all life.
Therefore in this Water Year, we need to acknowledge radically and definitively that water is life. For there is exhilaration in feeling the rain fall from the sky or in touching waves that lap the land. There is soothing of the core of our being in communing with its great expanse and reassurance that it is there to be the giver of life, the bearer of purity and the instrument of the liberation of our souls. The longing in each soul to reach home is echoed by the steady flow of water in its stubborn determination to reach its resting place, the great mother ocean. We are more water than anything else, just as Earth is mostly water. Naturally, water is extraordinarily receptive. For this reason, we can look to water as an indicator of the health of the planet because water will be the first to respond.
When one witnesses the polluted waters of the planet, the indigenous soul within all of us absorbs the signal that serious trouble has arrived. Without water, we are at a loss for life. Without life, we are flooded by deep grief in an effort to well up from our own insides a source of renewal. Therefore, the first movement towards healing is grief. Feel into the statement, "Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink..."
Water enters crisis especially when we attempt to contain it. Water grows foul and stagnates when we try to confine it in a way that does not honor its true character. The behavior of water searches for ways to fit in, to align with ambient vibration and to bring vitality to nature and the earth. Water is the spirit of unity and community. When we try to control water's boundless unity, we disrupt its capacity to cater to the thirst of the human community. It is because of its limitlessness that water should not be owned; its will is to be free. This is the true freedom out of which we are born.
Thus is the shamanistic, spiritual and liturgical relationship with water that we must labor to incorporate in our daily living for the sake of continuity in our world. This is an invitation to reflect on the various ways and manners in which we as humans have alienated ourselves from water; to read into its current scarcity as a message that speaks to the extent to which we have disrespected our most valuable ally on this earth. For, indeed what can surpass that which gives life, brings flow where there are stagnation and purity where pollution prevails? When we are able to depart from our grandiose and controlling thrust toward the water, its calming power may rain peace and healing into the dry crust of our being and restore vitality to us and to our world. Ashe.