Left to Right - River Boyne- River Shannon - St Ann's Well
The Sacred Well
'By gazing into the well and entering a place where everything co-exists, where land and water (Boan and Dagdha) mingle, where the sun and the moon are one; we hear the still primal voice of our ancestry echoing in the chambers of the womb which is in the deep of the earth.'
In this meditation we seek to awaken the essence of the sacred wells and connect to the waters of the world. Before the meditation we lit a candle , honoured the sacred land and made offerings to the ancestors of the land known in Irish lore as the Sidhe.
We then arrived at the sacred well:
'Where the water whispers mid
the shadowy rowan trees
I have heard the Hidden People like
the hum of swarming bees:
And when the moon has risen and the brown
burn glisters grey
I have seen the Green Host marching
in laughing disarray.
Among the nuts in the hazel tree, I sing to the salmon in the faerie pool,
What is the dream the salmon dreams in the well of Connla beneath the hazel?
Green fire of joy, Green fire of life, be with you through stress and strive,
be with you through shadow and shine, rejoice in the Green fire of life.'
'Graceful be the apple tree I behold her adornments of fruit raiment of gold,
as she shines forth, luminous in moonlight,
I catch a glimpse of rebirth of magic, a place in my heart that can never be banished,
A cauldron stirred, a flagon of mead,
I celebrate her warm embrace.'
The three sacred trees of rowan, hazel and apple surround the the well and we then call to the four directions, four deities (please see the Meditation of Elder article) and the four hallows, the sword, spear, cauldron and stone.
This is followed by calling to the spirit of the well in its centre, the female power that resides in its depths to connect to the waters of the world. Her name may be Boan or Sinend the source of the rivers and senses of the world.
We chant: Boann awake x2 Connect the waters of the world and recite the following words which have been adapted from the works of Fiona MacLeod and Eleanor Merry:-
'There is no law set upon beauty, it has no geography, it is the domain of the spirit. All are welcome for what they bring, nor do we demand that they be dark or fair, Latin or Teuton or Celt or say of them that their tidings are lovelier or less lovely because they were born in the shadow of Gaelic hills or nurtured by Celtic shores.
Each should learn the Mother song of their land at the cradle place of their birth. But it is not well that because of the whistling in the wind of the heather that nowhere else does the wind suddenly stir the reeds and grasses in its incalculable hour.
Every nation of the world has its soul and every nation can find it, if it will, and the soul of every people who lineaments may be found not in the mythical Gods themselves but in what they represent, destined each to find it’s alter of its brother and sister soul in the temple of the grail- which is the world. '
We imagine the power of the well as a feminine force connecting all the waters of the world through the rivers, lakes and streams bringing healing to the world soul and love to all lands and nations.
We discussed the importance of connecting with your own local well or waterway which brings healing to your own sense of place while the well of Connla and the well of Segais can be the archetypal or otherworldly sources to your own special place, this in turn honours the spirit of the well more profoundly, as we are not travelling to one sacred spot but honouring all water courses, therefore lessening our impact on the dear earth.
In our next Woodland Bard evening we will explore the deep meanings of Yule through Celtic mythology tracing the creation of the world through the river Goddess and her union with the land itself which instigates a divine child.
Poetry of flowers
Join me to explore the flora of the British Isles on this blog. My intention is to attempt to capture the unique quality and beauty of each species of flower, tree or shrub. For every species featured I will be growing many more wildflowers to celebrate the joy of their existence, their intrinsic conservation value and bewildering array of uses. For nearly 30 years I have noted, studied and explored wildflowers in the field much to the patience of the walker beside me. To share this passion is a heartfelt plea to respect, preserve and care for all British Wildflowers no matter how common they seem.