Saturday Spellwork: Water Magic

So a couple of weeks ago we talked about solar eclipse magic, and one of the things I did during the August 21 eclipse was put a few jars of water outside to charge with magical energy. I keep different kinds of water on hand, for a variety of magical purposes, and I thought this would be a good time to share some of the types I have handy.

First, it’s important to keep in mind that water in general, as an element, has some pretty specific connotations – it’s associated with healing, cleansing, and purification, just for starters. In most traditions, it also corresponds to goddess magic, and to the direction of West when you start looking at the four classical elements and their related directions.

All of that said, you can use different types of water for different things. For me, I’m a bit obsessive about collecting water from different places, all of which can be used for some pretty specific spellwork.

Storm Water

Gather water during a storm to use in spells associated with increasing personal power, energy, big changes, and even causing a bit of chaos. You get bonus points if there’s a lot of thunder and lightning going on!

Standing Water

Standing water is vile and stagnant… so if you want to do a bit of magical binding, use water that ain’t going anywhere any time soon. You can bind someone by immersing a photo or poppet in stagnant water.

Use ocean water for purification and cleansing. Image by Hasloo Group via Canva
Ocean Water

Ocean water has a lot of energy and power – gather up a bottle or jar, and use it for cleansing and purification. You can even use it to protect against negative energies – after all, it’s full of salt, which is often used as a protective item. However, because of this, don’t use ocean water in rituals in which you actually want to work with spirits, such as ancestor workings.

War Water

War water is one of my favorite magical items to make, and I’m sometimes a little sad that I don’t have more call to use it. War water is water in which you’ve soaked rusty nails and added a bit of graveyard dirt or salt. There are about a zillion different methods for making this, so find the one that works best for you.

Spring or Well Water
Well water is often tied to localized spirits. Image by benibeny from CC0 via Canva

If you’re fortunate enough to live near a natural spring, or a sacred well, gather up some water. In general, sacred well or spring water is associated with localized deities or land spirits, and can be used in healing magic. If you’re collecting water from a spring or well that doesn’t have a particular spiritual connection, don’t worry, you can still use it for blessing rituals and spells.

Blend a Batch of War Water

In some magical traditions, war water can come in very handy in spellwork. It’s one of those magical ingredients that I don’t have call to use very often, but when I do, I like to have it already prepared and ready to go.

Sometimes called iron water, water of Mars, or rust water, war water is designed to impart the attributes of Mars, the Roman god of war… who is associated with (wait for it) iron. It’s found in many types of folk magic, primarily those with European roots, but it also appears in Conjure and Hoodoo. Cat Yronwoode of LuckyMojo says, “In the hands of African-American 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.”

There are a ton of recipes out there for war water, and you’re certainly welcome to play around with the different methods. This is the version that I personally like to use, but it’s not universal or required that you do it this way.


First, leave a mason jar or other container outside during a thunderstorm, and collect as much rainwater as possible. Bonus points if this happens at night, or if you can do it on a Tuesday, which is associated with Mars.

Next, add some iron nails – I like to use cut ones, because they rust faster – and leave them in the water for about a week. For the love of Pete, don’t use those crappy galvanized nails you bought at Home Depot. Use iron. Keep the jar in a cool place, out of the sunlight.

After the water has turned a nice murky rust color, remove the nails, and add other vile goodies like sulfur, urine, vinegar, or lead paint chips. Strain the whole collection into a bottle and cap it tightly (especially if you decided to use urine) and keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to use it.


Any way you like! Use war water:

  • To banish negativity by sprinkling it around your home and property
  • To protect yourself or a friend from psychic attacks by adding Black Salt to it
  • To banish an enemy by writing their name on a coin, dropping it into the war water, and burying the bottle somewhere far away
  • To reverse a hex or curse by washing your hands in it (leave out the urine if you’re using it for this purpose, please)
  • To cause conflict in someone’s home by pouring it on their front steps

See? All kinds of useful applications! Make up a batch, and figure out the best way to use it in your own magical practices.