So when did we stop wishing well with sacred spring water, at waterways and sacred sites? Do the words, I wish you well actually correspond to wish you well with sacred water ?
In the last 6 months most correspondence both business and personal have begun with the words, “ I hope you are well?” It occurred to me that this term in our beautiful language, “well”, is a word for health and for the place once associated with healing, a water well. When I searched the word “well” in old English, Latin and in Germanic the word refers to “wish well”. So a little play on the words “wishing well”, how wonderful. In the present time that we have been in these challenging times and wishing each other well are we actually wishing each other well with an age old intentional act of wishing you well with healing water? Are the ancestors and the ancient ones right under our nose at this time, referencing us to wells, healing springs and old ways of healing. I believe we are being directed to think about the ground we live on, the meandering paths we have been walk on and the places that have been bypassed and forgotten….the ways of wishing and healing near sacred waters.
So my weekend project for the autumnal months is to go and look for some water wells of the land I call home.
So wish me well as I go exploring……
Image by Janice Turner Salmon here at Medicinalmeadows taken at Janet’s Foss, Malham, UK. “The name Janet (sometimes Jennet) is believed to refer to a fairy queen held to inhabit a cave at the rear of the fall.Foss is a Nordic word for waterfall, still used in Scandinavia” (www.wikipedia.org).
Our connection to the Land brings us to a relationship with our ancestors. It was their settlements and their community that became our towns and cities. We have a responsibility to pass on a place worthy of the ancestors commitment as they weaved their lives into ours. That also includes a responsibility for the challenges they experienced on the Land as well as the trauma. You see our ancestors knew how to be caretakers to honour, cleanse and clear the land of loss and grief. Their rituals have long since withered and the medicine for the Land bypassed.
Healing can be considered a place of self care but we also have a custodian relationship to the land that is our physical foundation. When we integrate the Land as we heal ourselves we truly known what healing becomes. We are actively responsible for the patterns and vibrations in relation to our locations. Think about remembrance, the last monument we placed for commemorating our ancestors. When did we last lay our thoughts and prayers to ground? When did we last position a plaque in gratitude? When did we grieve on the land? Clear the air with sounds and song, When was the last time we celebrated?
Healing the ground we live upon doesn’t necessary need to be done with with duplicated rituals and ceremony of old. I feel that oral handed-down traditions were most likely updated to be relevant to the next generation and time of relevance. Key features of gratitude to the ancestors would probably be upheld but the way in which this would be performed would be modified to the present time. Think about music, food and ways of clearing and cleansing would most probably have been meaningful for the community of the moment. It is the act of remembrance, the act of honouring generations past and generations of the future.
Is it time to recreate Land rites and ceremony? At this time of great loss, great change. Is it a time to honour the Land as Sacred, as Sanctuary? Is it time to clear a way for healing?, a cycle of remembrance so we have a sense of belonging not just to each other but to the place our feet caress every day?
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