The Magic of Wetland Water
This article originally appeared in our March edition of Witch, What?, a newsletter for witches of all experience levels which you can pick up in person at our stores or receive for free with an online order. It includes information like that month's full moon, any Wheel of the Year holidays coming up, what is in bloom that month, and helpful articles like this one! These articles will not appear on our blog until the following month (or later), so if you want to get them right away, make sure to drop by our booth at the 400 Market!
Back in July, we published an article in this newsletter on making and using magical waters. This January, we finally archived it to the store blog and shared the blog post on social media. The lovely Spring Houltin (of River House Witch) responded to one of these with a question about using swamp water. I thought this was such a great question that I really wanted to share my answer in the newsletter as well.
Spring tended to think of swamp water as a baneful ingredient, and she wanted more ideas on its potential use. I made a point that if, for example, you associate cinnamon with a horrible burning sensation and everyone else associates it with warmth and sweetness, your own best use of cinnamon is with the baneful connotation. Yes, cinnamon does have its own intrinsic qualities, but it's going to be really hard for you to tap into its ability to be a nice thing if you hate it so much. If you can only pick up on one vibe from an ingredient, then just keep using that vibe, no matter what anyone else says about it.
But often, if you learn more about a thing, study it more closely, you can begin to pick up even more of what it’s really about. So, let’s look closer at stagnant, wetland water. Wetlands are often beautiful to look at but smell disgusting, and wetland water can easily make you sick. This is why most of us would associate it with baneful magic.
However, the reason why it’s so gross is because it is chock full of bacteria, fungi, plants, insects, and even animals. This was an exercise I did in Environmental Science once. We had to go out to a wetland (I fell in. Gross.) and collect a small cup of water and count how many creatures we found in it. We found a lot in each little cup, and that was only what we could see with the bare eye, because wetlands are incredibly powerful systems designed to very efficiently turn dead stuff into nutrition for living stuff. While wetland water may be bad for humans, it is absolutely vital to the health of animals and the ecosystem. It has incredibly powerful life magic.
Now that we know more about wetlands, we can come up with more uses than just baneful magic. Pour it on plants as an enhancer. Use it as an offering to an earth or wetland deity. Pour it on a grave to help a spirit move on. Use it as part of a spell to help process your traumas. Create a jar biosphere to help keep in touch with nature and remind yourself of the beauty present even in gross things.