Part 2 of well and water worship in Germany
Travel guides sometimes refer to the region around the Externsteine in the northwest of Germany as “the healing garden”. This characterisation does not only refer to the wealth of healing herbs, growing along the gentle slopes and in the broad-leaved valleys of TeutoForest , but also to the healing properties of many of the numerous wells in the area.
The most famous of them are the three wells of Bad Pyrmont, Bad Driburg and Bad Meinberg. Folklore recommends the water of these wells as a cure for all diseases of the skin, exhaustion and anaemia. Modern science has found out, that the water of these wells contains a surpassing amount of sulphur and some iron. Sulphuris known as a helpful in the treatment of many diseases of the skin. Natural mineral led water, which contains iron may help to cure exhaustion, if it is caused by anaemia.
All three wells are fed from the same source, hidden deeply under the green hills of TeutoForest.
Psychic individuals may find the strong healing powers of the wells of Bad Driburg and Bad Pyrmont too overwhelming, as a well guide for the region from the 19th century mentions. This is to the case with the Bad Meinberg well. Although it springs from the same source, it has the same healing values, only more subtle, but not at least less effective.
These three wells are by far not the only ones in the region. The magical wells of the Pader have been described in my blog on the sacred landscape of Paderborn: https://goddessworldblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/three-hares-a-cathedral-woden-and-200-sacred-wells/
If you go for a walk in the woods, you may find more than one magical well and babbling rivulet, and, meandering it’s way through some forested valley, bubbling along and whispering tales of the fairies, of dreaming spirits and the half forgotten magic of the land.
Join me for a walk in the Hasselbachtal, the valley of the foals’ brook. “Hassel” is an old dialect word for a foal; and until the beginning of industrialisation in the early 20th century the half wild Senne horses, a breed of strong work horses, nearly extincted nowadays, lived in the valley.
The brook, Hasselbach, is fed by many small wells, some of them bringing the water from the neighbouring moorlands.once the wells had been famous for their healing properties, and one of the wells with it’s reddish ferreous water got a vase shaped basin and two small pools at the end of the 16th century.
The place is sunk into forgetfulness, but the basin and the two pools are still there, bearing witness of the healing properties of the water – the gift of the river nymph of the foals’ valley.
Travelling backwards in time another layer in the valley’s history may be unveiled:
Walking into the forest you may find so e burial mounds from the late bronze and early Iron Age. Not far from those relics from a prehistoric hunter gatherer encampment have been found, too.
Visit the valley on a summer evening, when the sun is just disappearing behind the gentle hills and the moon is rising. Now the whole environment is clad in the unique mystical light, which you can enjoy only in this land of magic. Now you may hear the music of the valley: the singing of the nightingale and the song of the river nymph, awakening your spirit sight, and now you perceive the mythic and mystical landscape.
Once this had been a borderland between the world of the living and the dead, as all land, where the ancestors’ burial mounds once were raised.
This is also the home of the seeress, who gave her oracles by the sacred well, where she could hear the advice of the Goddess in the murmuring water.
Time is spinning….the sun has disappeared behind the treetops. Now the time travelling pilgrim may hear the noise of galloping hooves and neighing of horses. The rising moon is pouring her light over the land.. Before the eye of vision now a herd of white and silvery grey horses are galloping in the river bed. These are the horses, which had been hold as sacred horses by the Saxon tribes, settling in the area at the end of antiquity until the 9th century AD. For them the forest became a grove for their horses, sacred to the Goddess and the God. Here Herne, The Lord with the stag antlers crown mounts his moon stallion to lead the Wild Hunt.
Forced conversation between the 8th and 11th century and -even worse- expanding Lutheranism in the 18th and following centuries seem to have made the mythical landscape sink into forgetfulness.
But the veils of time are always thin for pilgrims on the quest of the heart, as these are knowing that neither numbers nor physiques are the key to the magical secrets, but that in tales, legends, songs and folklore lies hidden the key that unlock the gates to the Land of Heart’s Desire.
In the moon stallion’s valley near the Externsteine you may hear the sweet song of the river nymph or listen to the oracle of the goddess of the land, and you realise that for the spirit ancestors the burial mounds are only ages into the Otherworlds, and that it is only our limited perception, which makes us blind for the gates, which are half open in twilight , an entrance into the Land of Heart’s Desire. Nothing is forgotten….
Part 3 is about the magic of ladling sacred water