Image credit: L van Rensburg

The sacred alchemical marriage can only be fulfilled once one is able to accept oneself, warts and all. Mourning forms a central aspect of this process of self-acceptance. Grief allows the old life to become compost for the new. Water is the solvent: old structures, depleted of their content, may be dissolved in water. After a period of drought, rain brings a feeling of release, of relief of tension.

We associate our emotional life with water. Without our world of emotions, which Jung called affect, we are stranded in a dry blazing desert, the world of one-sided mind. Logical thinking has its place, but is often over emphasized in modern culture.

Water flows together: our emotional life unites things. When cleansed, it is nourishing. Without water, no life is possible. Water is able to flow around an obstruction and flow on. It fills up the empty space and takes on its shape: it adapts. Water reflects light. When we are able to relate to our emotional life, we are better able to reflect upon ourselves and our lives.

When a pregnant woman’s water breaks, birth is imminent. Creation myths often tell us that water was the source from which everything originated. The sea is a well-known symbol for the unconscious. ‘The waters’ have been associated with the Great Mother symbolism since ancient times: the place of the waters, the womb, is the Great Mother, and also the place to which we eventually return, the tomb.

Creation myths tell us about upper and lower waters. The waterfall connects the waters of above with the waters of below, the higher values and the everyday world. The tree and the fountain draw up the water from below, the water of the earth, the well-springs of life, wisdom, available to everyone who will delve down deep enough within her/himself.

A more conscious integrated perspective on life brings the possibility of compassion that is objectively contained, water with shape, also sometimes called Eros.