Water is the next rung on the elemental ladder and is represented by the Chalice. Otherwise known as a cup, the Chalice is an implement used for holding water or other liquids during a magickal ceremony or ritual, in the building of an altar, or during the casting of a spell. The element of water represents our emotions which we must learn to recognize and meter with intellect to keep them from taking over our lives on every level. This level of development for mankind comes just above Earth on the ladder of necessary lessons.
Surrounded by many ancient myths and legends, not the least of which is that of the Holy Grail from which Jesus and the disciples supposedly drank during the Last Supper, the chalice is seen as the womb of the Great Mother, the secret vessel that holds the primordial waters. From ancient Egyptian times to present, this vessel is seen to contain the oceanic abyss of Creation. A chalice is also a handy drinking tool and can be used as such in a Lammas Rite dedicated to Bacchus, the God of Grape and Grain. In this ceremony, wine or apple (pomegranate) juice can be consumed as a part of the Communion as well. It is still used in Christian ceremonies to hold the ‘Blood of Christ’ during communion, an adapted Pagan ritual, as well as in those rituals staged by more alternative worshippers.
In the Pagan community, the Chalice is used as a tool in many ceremonies, not the least of which is the Great Rite. The Chalice represents the Divine Feminine in this rite where the Athame, a phallic symbol and a masculine tool of Air (or Fire depending on the tradition), is dipped into the Chalice as a symbolic act representing the union of the Goddess and God. This is symbolic of the duality of all things in Creation and in our equality in receipt of magickal awareness and gifts; we were meant to live this life partnered with others who possess both masculine and feminine strengths, talents, and perspectives in balance to our own. Thus, we can achieve all things under the Moon and the Sun. This is also a great time for hand fastings, as the happy couple are believed to be linked with the mated Goddess and God through the Great Rite (procreation/sexual passion).
May your Cup always be full as you grow in your knowledge of the Goddess and God!