The Spiritual Meaning of Water

The Spiritual Meaning of Water

In classical thought, the four elements of fire, earth, water and air were thought to be the basis of all things. We’ve previously looked at the spiritual meanings of both fire and earth – now, it’s time to turn our attention to the next element, water.

Collage of the four classical elements

In tarot cards, the element of water is represented by the suit of cups or chalices, which is traditionally associated with emotional situations and events – this connects to the Hearts suit in traditional playing cards. Astrologically, the water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. The element of water is often associated with the moon, which rules the tides of seas and oceans around the world as well as the subtler tides of our emotions.

Water Deities

Water, as one of the elements most noticeably vital for human life, has naturally been associated with deities in cultures across the globe. From Manannán mac Lir in Celtic mythology to the Dragon Kings of the Four Seas in Chinese mythology, water deities have taken many forms and shapes. To many people today, the most familiar is Poseidon, or his Roman counterpart Neptune.


Alongside the many gods and goddesses of the sea and ocean, there are also many minor deities associated with water; many cultures acknowledged gods, goddesses or spirits of particular lakes, rivers or streams. Nymphs, kelpies, undines and sirens are all spirits or creatures connected with the water.

Water as Symbol

Whilst fire is often regarded as a masculine element, water is often associated with the feminine principle. As such, it is connected with aspects considered to be linked to femininity, such as fertility and purity. It is also often considered to be connected to passivity – water, after all, takes on the shape of whatever container it may be placed into, and people who go along with the opinions of others are said to “go with the flow”, like a river flowing downstream.

Water Splash -iStock_000047573532_Medium

It is quite strongly connected to intuition and introspection; just as we may gaze at our reflection in a pool of still water, we may reflect upon ourselves. For this reason, many find that water sounds are an excellent aid to meditation, whether it be the sound of rainfall, a trickling stream or waves upon the beach.

It can also be representative of hidden wisdom; we only see the tip of the iceberg above the ocean, but it holds hidden depths.

If you are seeking hidden wisdom in your life, or simply looking for advice on your path, you can call me or a member of my team on one of the numbers at the top of this page, or contact us for a psychic email reading.

Tony Hyland