The other day, Sig and I walked the short distance from home to the Chalice Well and Gardens, for their annual Companions Day. One of the attractions was a performance of the Avalonian Free State Choir; they happened to sing one of my favourite songs: “Come Down To The River And Pray“. I don’t have a clue where this song comes from, how old it is or from what kind of spiritual background it comes. I presume it is Christian, because the lyrics say at one point: “Good Lord show me the way”. Now I find no problem in singing: “Good Lady show me the way”, keeping in mind that I would go down to a river to pray.img_8958

For me water and the sacred feminine belong to each other; without the two of them there is no growth in me. They nourish both my body and the earth and they quench my spiritual thirst. Mother Earth is like the chalice, she is the vessel for this sacred water, a vessel too for holding the sacred feminine.

From times immemorial wells and springs are dedicated to the sacred feminine, here in Great Britain it is Goddess Bridget or Bride, and in later times, Saint Bridget, who is associated with them. Bridget is the bringer of healing and purification, although Bridget is a fire Goddess, she is also the Goddess (and Saint) of wells and springs. In Australia it is the female serpent that takes care of the rivers and other waters of that beautiful part of our Earth Mother. Mother Mary is our modern Goddess associated with many wells. These and other wells contain healing waters, think about the well at Lourdes and the Chalice Well. In The Netherlands is an important healing well in the northwest in a town called Heiloo. The name means: healing woods. All three are “active” wells, in that the water is alive, it is running and many people travel the earth to visit these holy wells.

An early Christian church father, Gregory of Nyssa, said about Bride in about 350 CE: “Now here is a very strange paradox. All wells hold still water; only in the Bride is there said to be running water. She has the depth of a well together with the constant flow of a river.
Gregory of Nyssa is maybe speaking of a natural spring here, flowing freely from within the earth to the surface, nourishing us, living creatures, walking on our Mothers’ skin, and at the same time she nourishes herself. There must have been church mothers too, but we have not heard much of and from them, although Hildegard von Bingen is one of those few Mothers with a strong voice. She made herself heard through the wall of sound of patriarchy.

When water is running underneath the surface of the earth, and a house happens to be on top of that flow, and an earth energy current is crossing that vein of water, that spot becomes a not so healthy place to spend a lot of time on. Geomancers can change the energies of earth and water and make that spot neutral again so the house will be a healthier place to be in.

When the undercurrents of the earth come to the surface in glorious streams of brooks and broad rivers and anything in between, they can help me to healing my soul and my body by drinking these waters, by immersing myself in it and by just sitting next to flowing water and listen to what it whispers in my heart and ear. Through water I feel one with the Earth, our Mother and the Universe.

It’s raining heavily in Glastonbury this afternoon. I feel blessed.

– Karin Schluter Lonegren