November 3, 2021
I mentioned in a prior post that the energy we encountered in many of Ireland’s sacred and megalithic landscapes was in turmoil and transition. In many of these places we were called to listen deeply and offer ceremony. And then we went to Ballynastaig where no ceremony we might offer that day could change what we found there. In all my time in Ireland I’ve never experienced, or thought I would ever experience, the demise of a sacred site. But here it was.
Ballynastaig is a sacred well thirty minutes from the cottage and a place I visit regularly when I’m in Ireland. It’s an extraordinary underground well in the middle of a rath or ring fort (also known as a fairy fort) on top of a hill. Over the years I’ve developed a strong relationship with the female entity of that place. Although the well is popularly known for the name of the Ballynastaig townland, I’ve been asked to name this place Tober nBan. The Well of the Woman. Not a woman’s well, but her well. The woman of this place.
Climbing down into the womb of the Mother where there is space to gather and a resonance for singing has been the perfect place to close our Ireland journeys. To speak our intentions of the wisdom we will carry with us and to gather some sacred water.
As we made our way through the surrounding stone wall, everything was changed. I stopped to pay tribute to the guardian tree. She was dead. Completely dead unlike any of the other nearby Hawthorns. As we entered the ring fort the energy was agitated, sharp and prickly. We were not able to find any of the pattern stones that surround the well in two concentric circles. And then we we climbed down into the well. It was dry. There was no water.
After our journey I returned to this place alone and with Mary O’Halloran who knows this place and the patterns. We were hoping that the recent rains would have brought the water back. But it was still dry. It was still holding an energy of trauma and turmoil. Mary and others on the September received a knowing that the water had been diverted. And Mary received a clear message that the water would not return. And it seemed, from the absence of the usual collection of mugs and cups used to gather the water, that the locals were aware of this change.
We were in shock. This has been a sacred place for thousands of years. I can imagine the amazing nature of water rising in a well on top of a hill caused the ancestors to build this place. And it’s now forever changed.
We knew that the human guardian of this place, the farmer who owned this land, died last year and his son has assumed stewardship, although according to Joe who lives across the road from the well the son clearly has no sense of what that involves. But this didn’t seem to hold the complete answer. So Mary and I drove down the road past the old farm house adjacent to the well. Long abandoned, it was now being refurbished and that refurbishment included drilling a well and that well drilling has clearly tapped into the well’s underground water table.
I will continue to go back to this place. The Woman wants prayers and song and support as she navigates this traumatic transition. But for now I don’t know if or when I will be taking others. Along with Mary, I will attend the energies and listen for how to hold this place and the Woman in a new sacred relationship…that there may be a rebirth from this megalithic transformation.
Judith – firstname.lastname@example.org