The following section is about the deeper implications of water in the life and ritual of our ancestors, and takes the form of an investigation of historical symbolism, borrowed in part from the works of Martin Ninck, Norden, Weinhold and others.
Having little or no time for inner composure, or the contemplation of human developmental history, modern people naturally see water as a purely chemical substance, adequate for our physical needs as bathing water and possessing a purely practical value as the driving force for our power stations. Our ancestors viewed water from a completely different standpoint, seeing it as the source of all life. Many legends and transmissions from the mythology of various earlier peoples conceal a much more profound meaning than is usually ascribed to them by their more rational but less deep-thinking descendants.
The point of view expressed in my explanations, that water is to be considered the blood of the Earth, finds its parallel at many points in our ancestor-worship. Various sayings and depictions make reference to mother’s blood, mother’s milk and the maternal tears of our ancient Mother Earth. Even modern linguistics owe much to the symbolism of earlier epochs. It is therefore no accident that the word ‘spring’ has a feminine connotation. The figures of the water-goddesses, the nymphs, are always coupled with stories of love.
Nymphs are ready at all times to give birth, as Goethe also said of the spring in Faust:
“For a spring abrim with songs of love is constantly reborn.”
Wuttke-Meyer also cites the following old German custom in connection with the fertility of springs. When going to a spring for the first time, every pregnant woman had to ‘silver’ it by throwing in a coin, otherwise it would dry up. Apart from the springs, rivers and lakes were also highly venerated in the rituals of the ancients. Even today we find that the distinguishing characteristics of the principal rivers are allegorically portrayed by their tutelary deities. According to whether the water is in motion or at rest, it will be ascribed either a male or female fertility potency. In ‘The History of Religion’ by Chant de la Sauss, we discover that the ancient Egyptians believed the ur-water Nun to be possessed of a dual potency.
In his lyrical ode, God, Nature and Cosmos, Goethe writes:
There, where water splits in twain,
Life is e’er set free, unfolding its domain,
And in emerging from its source,
Waters blessed with vital, living force.
There flock beasts, a-thirst for flowers,
Midst thrusting boughs and leafy bowers.
And in Faust, the same German prince of poetry declared:
You sources of all life,
upon whom hang Heaven and Earth,
you spring forth, you overflow!
In order to explain the importance of water in medicine, it would be best to permit a doctor still connected with Nature to speak for himself. Dr Schew writes:
“In the nature of things, water is the great bestower of energy. It is the most invigorating, and at the same time, the most powerful of all tonics. In this regard, there is nothing else like it in the whole world.”
In his book on natural methods of healing, F. E. Bilz lets the great poet himself express this point:
“This vast expanse of water—the ocean—is the condensed breath of God, without which all would be but a cold and barren mass of rock. It is a breath that has endowed the Earth with fertility, beauty and life.”
The role played by water in the constitution of the human body resides in the fact that the body consists of up to 90% water. It is much easier for human beings and animals to go without food for a long period than to go without water. The average person can survive for about three weeks without food and water. However, if water containing a certain quantity of nutrients in material and energetic form is drunk, then such a person can last for considerably longer. A Dr McNaughton tells of a madman who was able to survive for 53 days on water alone.
Today, modern civilised people drink predominantly bad water. As a result they have to a large extent given up drinking any water at all, thereby inflicting serious damage on the body. Dr Munde writes:
“Recent investigations by Genth, Bequerel and others reveal that an increased discharge of moults follows from an increased intake of water in the body, whereas a reduced intake of water results in a greater condensation of the same, and a greater quantity of uric acid in the urine—a fact of which those stricken with gout should take heed. As can be determined by comparing various medical experiments, there is a certain optimum quantity of water for every individual, which very significantly raises the quota of solid matter in the urine.”
In conclusion, attention should be drawn to the fact that people who consistently drink good, healthy water also have a good appetite and consequently probably stay healthier.