Holy Well

from Gathering Stones

  “Pagan” Ireland used certain springs as places to sacrifice jewelry, coins, pieces of clothing, even swords, in hopes that the spiritual beings or gods of that place would accept their offering and bless them. Later, the Catholic Church took these “faerie springs” and, knowing the newly Christianized locals would continue to venerate the place, gave them the church’s blessing by naming them after saints and calling them holy wells. People today still leave photographs, cloth, money and candles at these holy wells in order to be healed or to petition God for help.

 

“Pagan” Ireland used certain springs as places to sacrifice jewelry, coins, pieces of clothing, even swords, in hopes that the spiritual beings or gods of that place would accept their offering and bless them.

Later, the Catholic Church took these “faerie springs” and, knowing the newly Christianized locals would continue to venerate the place, gave them the church’s blessing by naming them after saints and calling them holy wells.

People today still leave photographs, cloth, money and candles at these holy wells in order to be healed or to petition God for help.

Once revered, even feared,
this ancient spring bubbles
with life, though centuries
have run away with all but
weathered stones and nettles.

circle once face the rising sun,
even through falling rain


Don’t try to understand
just accept by faith, trust
this pool of holy water.
Unseen fount, forever refreshing,
forever cleansing itself.

circle twice and cross your heart

Look around, miles of space
graced with butterwort, chamomile.
Don’t be afraid to walk this path,
take this course, your voice loud
in the silence.

third time around kneel on the ground,
an attitude of prayer


Offer your coin, your cloth, yourself.
Remember those who used to believe.