On Dreamland, the sacred land of the Green Mountain Druid Order (GMDO,) there are a few sacred sites. There is the Dragon temple which is a stone circle, the labyrinth, and the faerie Well. The faerie Well has recently been redesigned and turned into a temple, with smaller stone circle built around it. It was originally a Well in the forest dating way back and likely used as the water source for the farm and maybe surrounding locals. It’s presence reminds us of how important water was and still is to sustain and maintain life for animals, plants, and humans alike. Now-a-days we take water for granted. We simply turn on our facet and have as much as we need. We can even make it warm without having to boil it. Imagine back to the time when this Well was the water source. People would have to trek a ways into the woods with buckets, no matter the weather, and haul their water back to their homes. If they wanted it hot they’d need to build a fire and wait patiently for it to boil. I’m not sure about Well traditions here in the United States. But we know that our ancestors in Europe recognized the absolute need for water and therefore honored and respected it. Around Wells in the UK we find trees covered with clooties, prayer bundles. In the UK Wells are places of pilgrimage. We can imagine how wonderful it would be to finally come upon a Well and clean water source after traveling in the forest for hours or days.
But there is more to the story of the Wells. They were also seen as places of magic, where one may slip between the worlds more easily. Thresholds between water and earth. It is believed that there used to be women who were “seers” that would guard the Wells and act as Oracles for visitors to the Well. Offering them readings, insights into their futures, or spirit communications. Perhaps they even gazed into the sacred Well water itself to divine? These women were seen as sacred. They were cared for, and protected by the community. Later, with the invasion of the land by Christian soldiers, these women met very painful and horrific fates. It is said that their spirits may still haunt the sacred Well dwellings that they were meant to protect. Perhaps this is another reason for visitors to pilgrimage to these sites and to leave offerings? These stories are symbolic of the loss of a culture, and a spiritual practice. I’d argue to say also a loss of the embrace of feminine wyrdness. Which thereafter become feared. Instead of seen as sacred, it has become societies endeavor to repress, separate, cleanse and control this type of feminine power.
On Dreamland, the Dragon temple is placed high on a breezy hilltop where there are beautiful views of the neighboring mountains and and valleys. There is often a fire at it’s center and the elements of Air and Fire are present strongly there. This feels like a very masculine space of worship. The Well which instead lays down low in the deep, dark forest, provokes a sense of feminine depth. The elements represented here are Earth and Water. I made this mandala to reflect this more subtle and gentler energy. I used fungi, and wetter plants that grew near the Well. At it’s center I used a huge welch shell that I had found on the beach in Maine years ago. This is to represent how all water is connected to, and leads back to the sea itself. The mother of all water sources.