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Stereotype of the Month Entry

Another Stereotype of the Month entry:

November 28, 2007

Purification That Comes in a Bottle:  Water Takes on New Responsibilities


There are those who say that while it may be hard on the planet, bottled water is good for the soul. Whether that means printing prayers on their labels, vibrating water at frequencies meant to stimulate health, or imbuing it with good vibes aided by Native American incantations and healing crystals, a small cluster of new water brands are offering salvation along with rehydration. It may not be a coordinated counteroffensive, but it is clear that one corner of the water industry is in the midst of a spiritual renaissance.

"I think there's a revolution happening," said Claire Brightwater, producer of a new spring water that shares her last name. "I really believe that spiritual people like myself want to make a change, with all the suffering in the world now."

Ms. Brightwater, who calls herself a psychic, healer and medicine woman, and who owns a Native American crafts gallery in Queens, applies the New Age healing techniques she has used on crystals for three decades to transfer what she claims is palpable "good energy" to her water and those who drink it.

It is a complicated process. Once the bottles arrive from their source near Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Ms. Brightwater said, she lays out tumbled stones that she has "programmed for love, health and prosperity" around and on top of each case.

She burns sage and sweet grass, herbs used by the Native Americans, to clarify and purify the energy of the water, and prays for its drinkers to experience good health, good luck and prosperity. She said she then asks "the Great Spirit to help feed the hungry children, keep the waters clean and to protect the two- and four-legged on this planet."

She plays CDs of Native American and Buddhist healing chants for 12 hours a day, until the cases of water are delivered.

Ms. Brightwater has found a powerful distribution channel for her water: two Whole Foods Markets in the city have started carrying it this year. Bottled water, measured in units, is the company's top-selling item, and she said she is already hearing from appreciative shoppers. "So many people have e-mailed me to tell me they can feel the energy flowing through them when they drink the water," she said. "I'm astounded."

Related links
New Age mystics, healers, and ceremonies

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