The Four Hallows of Witchcraft - Water and the Cup of Compassion

     We place a cup in the west quadrant of our altar to represent the element of water.  The chalice is used to store and direct water energy.  Water changes shape and form as it moves to fit and fill the container.  Water magick employs the same practice by aiding a transformation in shape, moving things along, or helping them flow more freely.  If air is the mind, than water is the heart.  Like water, our emotions are fluid and inconstant.  They drift this way and that, affected by environmental changes from within or without.  Disturb the surface of a lake and that change will reverberate throughout the system before settling back into its normal state.  When our feelings are disturbed it can be perceived with our entire bodies, whether that disturbance is affirming or unfavorable.  All forms of love belong to the realm of water, but its highest form, that of unconditional love and compassion are the most elusive and sought out.  The chalice represents the womb of the goddess and the well of creation. The cup is employed in the Great Rite, a symbolic act of divine copulation and creation involving the joining of the god (blade) with the goddess (chalice).  Water is also associated with the shifting energies of the astral plane, the realm of the dead, psychic abilities, dream work, and healing.

     The most popular witch’s tool associated with water is the chalice.  A traditional chalice is made of silver or is silver plated and is symbolic of the Moon Goddess.  My first chalice, made of pewter, served its purpose without issue.  Chalices and goblets come in a variety of materials including glass, stone, and stainless steel and can be ornate or of simple design.  Though the drinking horn is often associated with male energy, it can also be used in place of the chalice.  The Egyptian Hathor and Hindu Kamadhenu are bovine goddesses often depicted with horns.

Small Stainless Steel Blessed Be Chalice     The Tuatha Dé Danann’s Cauldron of Dagda is said to be never-ending.  It refills itself constantly, an eternal source of abundance and nourishment.  We seek the Cup of Compassion for our own divine nourishment.  We claim and drink from the cup to heal our emotional wounds by finding common ground and understanding with those around us.  Perfect love does not mean we strive to like everyone we meet.  It does not mean we aren’t allowed to disagree with someone.  Perfect love is the recognition of the divine in every living being.  We search, claim, and drink from our Cup of Compassion through careful introspection and work in our craft and we place our Cup of Compassion in the west of our altar to store and direct energy and as a reminder to be empathetic to another’s feelings or situation, while also allowing ourselves to maintain a healthy distance.