Dear Ms. Q,
There has been a lot of questions and confusions about what is and what isn't Holy Water and holy water, if you notice I capitalize the one and the other I don't. I'm doing that so I can differentiate between the two, yes two types of holy waters.
I need to make clear on a point of order---when I use the term Holy Water that is with a capital H and capital W, I am referring to Church blessed Holy Water.
When I use the term holy water with a lower case H and W I am referring to water’s that have been consecrated by rituals other than that done by the Church. So if you see that I use one or the other you will know which one or type I’m referring to.
First I will deal with Holy Water as associated with Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox Christianity.
What is Holy Water? That is the type of water is water that has been blessed by a priest or bishop and is used in Catholic and Orthodox Christianity.
If you have ever watched the T.V. program “Supernatural” when they refer to Holy Water they are referring to priest blessed water.
Let us look at Holy Water in the Catholic Church-----
Holy water figures in Roman Catholic rituals of exorcism. It is also the usual water used in baptisms that occur in a church; however, the use of specifically consecrated water is not required for a valid baptism under Roman Catholic religious law.
There is a little known exception that if someone who is not Catholic but is under the fear of immediate death may ask any Catholic lay person to baptize them, using any clean water available even sea or ocean water, the lay person can sprinkle the water over the head of the dying person and say “I baptize thee in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit so that your soul may be cleansed of all sins and be received into the Holy Spirit. Amen” But this can only be done at the explicit request of the dying person and in extremely exceptional cases.
The specifics are far more detailed than what I have written here and I recommend that if you are interested in this procedure for spiritual emergencies please look it up through your search engine to be familiar with it.
Within the physical body of the Church, a quantity of holy water is typically kept in a font, an item of church architecture that typically appears in a baptistery, the traditional location for baptisms; a smaller font, called a stoup, may be placed near the entrance of the church. Roman Catholics bless themselves when entering the church by dipping their fingers in the holy water and making the sign of the cross. Holy water is also sometimes sprinkled upon the congregation during the Mass; this is called aspersion.
In the theology of Roman Catholicism, holy water is a sacramental, a "sacred sign which bear(s) a resemblance to the sacraments." Holy water recalls the sacrament of baptism.
There are within the Catholic Church rituals varieties of Holy Water
Roman Catholic rituals distinguish four different kinds of holy water. There are:
•Holy water per se, of the kind found in the stoup, which has been blessed with a small amount of salt as a preservative. This is the holy water used in aspersions and blessings;
•Baptismal holy water, to which a slight amount of chrism or anointing oil and the oil of catechumens has been added, used in church baptisms;
•Gregorian water, also called "water of consecration"; small amounts of wine, salt, and ashes (usually from palm leaves that have been burned from Ash Wednesday) are added to it, and it is used by bishops at the consecration of a church; and
•Easter water, which is distributed to the faithful on Easter Sunday for use at home. Not all Catholic Churches distribute Easter water but one can find out prior to the next Easter.
There are specific Rituals Associated with Holy Water
The ritual of consecrating holy water traditionally is performed on Holy Saturday and during the vigil of Pentecost. Once consecrated, more ordinary water can be added to the supply of holy water, and the entire quantity of water remains consecrated provided that the amount added is less than the amount of water that was there.
Holy water can in fact be consecrated upon any day in the liturgical calendar except Easter Sunday and Pentecost itself. The ritual of preparing holy water is itself in form an exorcism; the priest first exorcises the salt, and then the water itself. The traditional Latin formula for exorcising and blessing the water is:
Exorcizo te, creatura aquæ, in nomine Dei Patris omnipotentis, et in nomine Jesu Christi, Filii ejus Domini nostri, et in virtute Spiritus Sancti: ut fias aqua exorcizata ad effugandam omnem potestatem inimici, et ipsum inimicum eradicare et explantare valeas cum angelis suis apostaticis, per virtutem ejusdem Domini nostri Jesu Christ: qui venturus est judicare vivos et mortuos et sæculum per ignem.
I exorcise thee in the name of God the Father almighty, and in the name of Jesus Christ His Son, our Lord, and in the power of the Holy Ghost, that you may be able to put to flight all the power of the enemy, and be able to root out and supplant that enemy and his apostate angels; through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire.
Deus, qui ad salutem humani generis maxima quæque sacramenta in aquarum substantia condidisti: adesto propitius invocationibus nostris, et elemento huic, multimodis purificationibus præparato, virtutem tuæ benedictionis infunde; ut creatura tua, mysteriis tuis serviens, ad abigendos dæmones morbosque pellendos divinæ gratiæ sumat effectum; ut quidquid in domibus vel in locis fidelium hæc unda resperserit careat omni immunditia, liberetur a noxa. Non illic resideat spiritus pestilens, non aura corrumpens: discedant omnes insidiæ latentis inimici; et si quid est quod aut incolumitati habitantium invidet aut quieti, aspersione hujus aquæ effugiat: ut salubritas, per invocationem sancti tui nominis expetita, ab omnibus sit impugnationibus defensa. Per Dominum, amen.
God, Who for the salvation of the human race has built your greatest mysteries upon this substance, in your kindness hear our prayers and pour down the power of your blessing into this element, prepared by many purifications. May this your creation be a vessel of divine grace to dispel demons and sicknesses, so that everything that it is sprinkled on in the homes and buildings of the faithful will be rid of all unclean and harmful things. Let no pestilent spirit, no corrupting atmosphere, remain in those places: may all the schemes of the hidden enemy be dispelled. Let whatever might trouble the safety and peace of those who live here be put to flight by this water, so that health, gotten by calling Your holy name, may be made secure against all attacks. Through the Lord, amen.
These prayers and exorcisms show the uses and powers that have been attributed to holy water in Roman Catholic tradition.
About Eastern Orthodox Holy Water
Holy water is used in Orthodox rituals of exorcism and blessing. It is also the usual water used in baptisms that occur in a church; however, the use of specifically consecrated water is not required.
As in the Catholic Church, a quantity of holy water is typically kept in a font, an item of church architecture that typically appears in a baptistery; a smaller font may be placed near the entrance of the church. Orthodox Christians may bless themselves when entering the church by dipping their fingers in the holy water and making the sign of the cross. Holy water is also sometimes sprinkled on items or people when they are blessed, as part of the prayers of blessing. For instance, in Alaska, the fishing boats are sprinkled with holy water at the start of the fishing season as the priest prays for the crews' safety and success.
The reason behind Holy Water---
The use of holy water is based on the story of Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist in the River Jordan and the Orthodox interpretation of this event. In this view, John's baptism was a baptism of repentance, and the people came to have their sins washed away by the water.
But Jesus was an exception. Since Jesus had no sin, but was God himself, his baptism had the effect of Jesus blessing the water, making it holy, that is used fully for its original created purpose to be an instrument of life.
Jesus' baptism is commemorated in the Orthodox Church at the Feast of Theophany (literally "God shining forth") on January 6. At the Vespers of this feast, a font of holy water is typically blessed in the church, to provide holy water for the parish's use in the coming year. The next morning, the prayers often include a trip to a nearby river, lake or other public source of drinking water, to bless that water as well. This represents the redemption of all creation as part of humanity's salvation. In the following weeks, the priest typically visits the homes of the parish's members and prays prayers of blessing for their families, homes and pets, sprinkling them with holy water. Again, this practice is meant to visibly represent God's sanctifying work in all parts of the people's lives.
Other Holy Waters non liturgical---
Some Roman Catholics believe that water from Lourdes and Fatima and other holy wells and shrines has supernatural powers, such as for healing. This water, technically, is not holy water since it has not been consecrated by a priest or bishop. Other Christian groups have sold water from the Jordan River and called it holy water as well.
The power in these holy waters is in the belief and power of the faithful, that because the location has a sacred meaning the waters too are held sacred.
Many Christian churches believe in the power of Baptism to wash away one’s mortal sins and be cleansed to lead a new life. For many the rite of Baptism is an extremely powerful moment within their spirit.
Some Catholics and Anglicans believe holy water is miraculous. But for many of us we hardly think about it, and yet, water is life and life affirming and it should be given the greatest of considerations.
Many people assume that the term "Holy Water" indicates church-based water only. This is an oversimplification of a complex concept. The Roman Catholic Church did not invent the concept of Holy Water but adopted it from earlier Pagan use. Various Pagan shrines possessed virtually identical Holy Water fonts. Holy Water is a crucial component of many magical, religious and spiritual traditions, although what constitutes Holy Water and how it's made varies greatly.
Holy Water may refer to any one of a variety of products:
•Jordan River Water
•Church blessed water
*Water from a well or spring where there has been a Marian apparition
•According to British folk tradition, rain falling on Holy Thursday - Ascension Day - may be gathered and used as Holy Water.
But if you practice either wicca, witchcraft, Hoodoo etc. then any other day held sacred to the spell caster may be substituted: Summer Solstice, May Eve, New Year's, Samhain, your birthday, a saint's day, etc.
•holy water may also be made via astrological correspondences. Some believe that waters synchronized with a lunar eclipse or a Full Moon are holy and charged with extra magickal power.
Even non-Christian persons of other religious beliefs also know and understand the power of water washing away sins and there by one’s spiritual self is cleansed.
For example: The Sikhs prepare a sort of holy water, which they call amrita, and use in a ritual similar to baptism.
Balinese tradition uses a variety of holy waters. These may include the water found within unripe coconuts or young bamboo. Ocean water is sometimes used as well.
Modern Wicca as well as Hoodoo and/or Voodoo, has evolved the notion of holy water. Various formulas exist. At its simplest, Witch's holy water is spring water with salt added. Different covens may have personal recipes, including infused herbs (rosemary, thyme, and vervain are particularly popular), or crystals.
Pow-Wow also features various recipes but the mainstay is water with salt and vervain added. Christian Pow-Wow may choose church-blessed waters instead.
Holy Water or holy water is most commonly used for:
Cleansing and purification, both for individual bathing and for space-cleansing (sprinkle in corners).
Altar cleansing and blessing.
Healing spells. holy water is also believed capable of magically transmitting physical relief especially for headaches and tension. Use in compresses and massage.
Cleansing and empowering materials and tools: anoint roots and crystals or let roots and minerals soak in holy water.
Exorcism and banishing spells. Although it is best to delineate Church Blessed Holy Water and other holy water in these rites
But it doesn’t matter whether it is Sikh, Balinese or other non-christian holy water, Church-blessed Holy Water or Wiccan holy water (among others)they are all consecrated via sacred ritual: the ritual activates the water.
Other magical traditions consider that the sacred, magical power of Holy Water is such that no further ritual or consecration is needed and may in fact be interference. Obtaining Holy Water may thus be as simple a gathering rainwater or adding sea salt to spring water or complex rituals may also be designed.
Can you make your own Holy Water? That is Church blessed Holy Water? No. That water is priest or a religious leader blessed.
And some rituals or spell work specifically require that Church Blessed Holy Water be used.
Now if you have water from any of the sacred springs or wells such as the River Jordan, the Sea of Galilee, from Lourdes or Fatima, because of the focus of the many people who believe in its blessing power that activates it and there for through prayer you consecrate it or dedicate it to protect your family and home.
Some people believe and I am one of them that if you have church blessed water, that by adding purified aka spring or rain water to it to help it stretch out will also make the water that is added to the Church Blessed Water also powerful.
And I do attest to that fact myself and have found it to work quite well.
CHARGED OR MADE HOLY WATERS
These other holy waters are those made and specifically consecrated or charged with spiritual intention, in some cases like War, Swamp or Tar water they are used for possible negative intent or to also turn back negativity---it is based on the intent of the user of that water.
These holy waters are found in Hoodoo or Voodoo work or in the use of Witchcraft or Wicca, but many have evolved through the development of Voodoo or folk magic sometimes known as Hoodoo.
Now how effective are these “made” waters? I can only attest to the fact that in the use of some of them, I have not used all of them, BUT I have found them to be effective.
Some of these waters I originally mentioned in my listing of the various Rain Waters and depending upon the energies that were abounding at the time of their collection the various energies have been effective. But that is based upon my experience and the experience of some friends and those ladies of my Granny’s group.
I am going to list each of the specific “Made” Waters and what their use is.
Some Waters you may have heard of and some of these that I list you may not think of as Water’s but even liquor or perfumes are considered waters in sacred use.
Let’s start with these:
The Pyramid Water is charged beneath the spire of an energetically aligned pyramid, this Pyramid Water is of great use for your ritual crafts. Use the energy with which it is endowed to help empower all of your ritual crafts. This is particularly potent if you use it in combination with an herbal spell mix, or other such ritual blend that allows you to increase the potency of your ritual items' properties.
Glory Water is a magical formula intended to draw prosperity and ease financial crisis. (Glory Water is for external use only and is not to be taken internally). Glory water is used to bless your home and remove any bad vibrations. Also used in many rituals for spiritual attainment to gain victory over others and to overcome obstacles of any kind. Can be used to win favorable attention from others
1.Place frankincense tears (small chunks of frankincense) inside a bottle.
2.Cover them with orange blossom water.
3.Add a few drops of essential oil of bergamot, available from aromatherapy suppliers. (Bergamot is a species of orange and the primary flavoring agent of Earl Grey tea)
4.Sprinkle Glory Water throughout your home or business to attract customers, prosperity and overcome challenges. (A spray bottle may also be used)
Glory Water is used in spells cast for success and good fortune. Its key ingredient is Orange Blossom Water, without which, it is not Glory Water.
Another recipe to make Glory Water, combine Orange Blossom Water (or neroli hydrosol), Frankincense resin (or essential oil of frankincense) and essential oil of Bergamot.
Florida water is perhaps the best known among those who have studied Voodoo and Hoodoo, it has an attractive citrus-rosemary fragrance, once was marketed as an American version of the original eau de Cologne.
It is the only water whose name is copyrighted and has evolved into a metaphysical staple among Vodou/Santeria communities. A good and inexpensive product is readily available in markets that cater to the Caribbean clientèle. There literally are thousands of versions of homemade Florida Water, although you can still buy the commercial version of it.
One recipe for Florida Water consists of a blend of vodka (clear and not infused with any fruit flavors), rose water, essential oils of bergamot, lavender, rosemary and jasmine; and rose attar. There are other formula’s that can be found on the internet. But I’ll include this one here:
Proportions: two cups of vodka; two tablespoons of rose hydrosol, 18 drops of essential oil of bergamot, 12 drops of essential oil of lavender, six drops each of essential oils of may chang and rosemary, and three drops each of essential oil of jasmine and rose attar.
Add a cup of Florida Water and a handful of salt to a cleansing bath before working magic.
For protection while in the dream-state, add a pinch of agar-agar (dried seaweed) to a bottle of Florida Water. Keep the open bottle next to the bed while you sleep
Its use in spell work is wide and varied, but usually it is to attract good luck, love, even cleansing of negativity.
WAR WATER AKA WATER OF MARS
There is some controversy about War Water, several traditional Hoodoo practioners say that is was something created or concocted by Non-hoodoo practioners to sell in their catalogs back in the early 1920’s and it eventually became popular, and that among traditionalists never existed.
For me personally I feel that it is the intent when it is created that gives it its powers
It’s Traditional Uses are:
To Curse an enemy
For tricks or to hex your enemy
Declaring occult war
To trouble someone
Render an enemy harmless so they can not affect you
Traditionally, a glass bottle with war water is secretly broken at the doorway or in the yard of the enemy or secretly sprinkled there.
After doing that as soon as you return home, burn John The Conqueror Incense or sprinkle Peace Water or Powder at your entry way.
Another use is to Sprinkle where your enemies walk or touch. I’ve known some people to use an empty soda can that would carry a dark colored soda and use that to sprinkle near an enemy.
I have even been to a party where one girl I knew brought some war water in a soda can then poured it into a martini glass complete with a black olive and then deliberately bump into the person they wanted to hex by spilling their “drink” on them and then making apologies about it and offering to replace or have cleaned the piece of clothing, usually it was jeans or something casual so it would not cause a fuss and this girl then offered to buy the person a drink again being very apologetic but the hex was done. It usually worked.
War Water is basically a suspension of iron rust in water, with other ingredients added according to the desires of the manufacturer. Since the Roman god Mars was the god of war and his symbolic metal was iron, it’s possible that War Water is a European contribution to hoodoo. It may have originally been compounded as a blood tonic or strengthener of courage, but in the hands of Hoodoo folk-magicians, it became a tool for laying tricks against an enemy by means of hostile foot track magic, causing "poisoning through the feet" and making everyone in the household quarrel and fight one another.
Additional ingredients included in War Water to make it stronger are magnetic sand and a rusty nail preferably a coffin nail. Spanish moss, an evil-looking twisty grey herb which rots away in the water quite nicely, provides the proper blackness to the red-ochre color of the basic mix and imparts an appropriate "swamp water" scent when the bottle is broken open. Some practitioners include creosote in the mixture but I have to warn you that creosote is a toxic, carcinogenic substance and must be handled with gloves and does not necessarily need to be added.
Mrs. Washington who was from Louisiana said that her Mother and grandmother would add nails from specific areas so that the water, which they called Tar or Swamp Water, would do its work for specific reasons for example from a jail, to get someone arrested; the person's job site, to make them get fired; a hospital, to cause injury; a court house, to make someone lose a court case; or from any repair work on that person’s house so they’d lose it, she said the most powerful she ever made was with a nail done on a repair inside the county morgue, she said that was so powerful that she made a master bottle of it and simply poured off what she needed into a smaller vial and sprinkle it.
She said that throwing and breaking a bottle was to declare war on someone, and she never liked to tip her hand on her workings so she found that by simply sprinkling the water it was better, besides she said “Bottles can be expensive”.
Because her husband was a carpenter, he’d have envelopes in his work pockets and would label the envelopes from where he got the nails, because sometimes things had to be removed and he would pull out some of the nails. He got nails from all over, churches, firehouses, court houses, mortuaries, etc. and he’d give them to his wife, she had a whole spice box filled with those labeled envelopes.
PEACE WATER AKA VENUS WATER
The opposite of War Water is Peace Water, which is used to soothe a home and ensure that only good spirits and friendly people enter. Peace Water is used to bring peace and harmony to a place, person or situation. It is also the antidote to War Water and counteracts hexes, curses, jinxes & tricks.
And preventing hostile people or evil spirits from entering the premises. Thus, it is not only used for protection, but also to work on the minds of those who come into contact with it, rendering them gentle and mild in temper.
Mrs. Washington told me that simply having a bottle of this water in your home calms tension, anger, quarrels and problems of all sorts. I find it to be true as well. This "water" can be used anoint surfaces in your home like doorknobs, frames and sills, or added to your floor or wall wash. I find washing your steps with it really blesses your home with a harmonious vibe.
A friend of mine was having problems with her teenage daughter so while her daughter was at school she anointed the various areas that her daughter would hang around as well as anointing the front and back doors of the house and she washed down her front wooden steps and then gave them a final wash with peace water.
The composition of Peace water is Church Blessed Holy Water colored with either Blue food coloring or Mrs. Smith’s Bluing (for Laundry, old ladies use to use this to make their yellowing grey hair more silver looking) or Blue Balls also known as Anile to make Indigo water. It is preferred to use Anil to make true Indigo water and can be found from a Mexican botanica or on line, otherwise the more modern use of laundry bluing or blue food coloring will work just as well, but I am a traditionalist.
Then a layer of oil either virgin olive oil or almond oil and then either lavender water or Florida water, Hoyt’s Florida Water works very well and can be found either in a drug store or on line or in a metaphysical shop.
Now if you are going to spray or sprinkle peace water around your house be very careful as it does contain oil which will stain.
Now to use Peace Water, you shake up the bottle thoroughly, blending and mixing the three layers into a single pale-blue, cloudy emulsion. Then, walking backward, you sprinkle drops of Peace Water at the four outside corners of the house or in the four corners of each room. For a really strong job, you can circle the house, sprinkling as you go, or sprinkle on the four corners of a larger piece of property.
When it sits the three layers will separate that is why you have to shake it up before using it.
I will continue more about consecrated or "made" waters in my next post.
Blessings Ms. Q