Water, Life, and Death

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Throughout history, water has been associated with life and death. It is referenced as a symbol of wisdom, intuition, music, the abyss, chaos, darkness, and womb. Many ancient cultures believed that everything in existence was birthed from, and returns to, the metaphoric “waters of chaos”. Whether portrayed as a shape‐shifting dragon, an omnipotent god, a three‐dimensional geometry, or a subterranean river, water has always been understood to play a fundamental role in the creation and maintenance of the physical world and biological life. The post‐Renaissance view of water differed in many respects from ancient views, but water and its recognizable flow forms remained symbols of power, beauty, wisdom, and the essence of the natural world.