When my dear friend Kiala Givehand suggested a water-themed deck for an upcoming creativity retreat, we bounced around ideas, talking about our favorites and what made a deck feel “watery.”

Did it need mermaids and seashells? Wavy shapes and seaglass colors? Or was it more about the tone of the deck — the invitation for a narrative flow — that made it feel watery, despite the fact that there might not be any water all in the cards?

But what about the water element itself…. Not the humans who lived around it, or the creatures who lived in it. But the magical, shapeshifting, life-giving element that sustains all forms life on earth?

It is the element that makes up more of Earth than earth itself does, after all.

The ancient element of water has been here since the beginning of our planet and will be here till the end of it. It is the same water, since the beginning of time, being constantly renewed. The water that runs through your fingers at your kitchen sink is the same water that dinosaurs drank.

Water is the strongest force on earth, able to crumble continents with its waves and drive apart mountains with its ice. It is the universal solvent, capable of dissolving more substances than any other liquid.

About 70% of the human body is made up of water. Coincidentally, more than 70% of Earth is covered in water. And the human body is little more than a vessel for water, walking around separated from its source.

Water shapes everything around us. It falls as rain, then freezes suddenly, piles high in snow, only to melt again in the spring. It moves gently through cycles or crashes against the land. It can force things to stop under the weight of its snow, or force things to speed up in the free dive of a waterfall. Seasonal floods reshape the land in cycles. And the loss of water leaves the ghosts of waves imprinted on the dusty earth.

Water moves through us all the time, waking or sleeping. We consume fresh water and cry salt water. A few days without water and we’d die just as a tree in the desert.

If we could have a conversation with the ancient element of water — in all its forms — what would it tell us? If we brought our problems, our hopes and fears, our most cherished desires or deepest grief, what advice would it lay out before us?

Water shapes every aspect of our lives. If you listened to this ancient element, one that has seen and will see all the sunrises and all the sunsets on the land you call home, what would it say to you?

Water is your birthright. You are part of it, and it is part of you. Open up to the water inside and around you. Let the images become a portal. Feel the water spray on your cheeks, the waves lapping at your toes. Let the words written on the cards become a channel of communication, a common language of symbols and intention, connecting you to the eternal element of water.

Water is your guide, your friend, a part of you that is constantly flowing around you, through you. The element of water is not separate from you — it is a part of you that has been before, is now, and will be again.

Ask what message this ancient element that knows you so well might have for you.

And let the flow of water transform you.