Each week the White Spring is sanctified. Incense is burned and powerful prayer is spoken; that this place be for the good of all who pass through. Sometimes I sing a song that helps to clear the atmosphere, it is always a profound feeling when I take part in this ceremony.
Every 6 weeks the pools are emptied and cleaned, the pipes are flushed through and the floor of the whole building gets washed. When both tasks are done together, it is a very powerful process.
It is wonderful to let people come in and see what we do when we cleanse the place, so we left the doors open. We let people know that the building would soon flood, advising them of the best place to stand. Just before we pulled the plug we had a surprise visit from a keeper who moved away a few years ago; before the pools were built. She sang a beautiful and energetic song whilst we went about cleaning the pools.
When the plug is taken out a torrent of water rushes from the healing pools, flooding first the Brigid bower, then the central chamber in front of the central pool, and then right round to the shrine of The King of the World of Faery. We follow with brooms, pushing the water into all of the corners and sweeping out any loose leaves or twigs. Once we have swept everywhere, Max climbs into the empty pools to clear out any silt. He often finds coins and crystals, as well as some more unusual offerings. These are usually gathered and placed either on the seasonal altar, or outside in the garden, with all respect to the offering or prayer of which it might have formed part.
I took some of these crystals outside and a young boy, of about 10yrs, was reminding his mother of the last time they had visited and he had found a crystal in the garden. I asked if he likes crystals and he told me that he has lots of crystals that he uses for different things. So I told him where the crystals I was holding had come from and that if he wanted one he could choose one. He was elated. He took a piece of quartz crystal, washed it under the water and put it in his own water bottle to charge the water. It was lovely to see him look after the crystal so well and see his delight.
I went back inside the building and lit some frankincense to clear and sanctify. This is a spiritual blessing that takes on a form of its own in accordance to what the building seems to require. I sang to each of the directions and at each shrine, asking that they lend their energy to the intent that this place be for the good of all who pass through here. That these spirits guard, guide and protect, and that this place be sanctified so it may reflect true sanctuary and fulfill its sacred purpose.
I went to the back chamber that is not easily accessed beyond the pool. This is a place where no candles are lit, we keep it dark and separate. Like the holiest of holies in a sanctuary. The depth of the place can often be felt here and it is good for deep inner ritual. I opened up my voice and sang. This opening the voice and allowing the spirit to sing through is an amazing thing to do. It calls to mind the Scandinavian shaman women who would sing enchantments to the land and spirit of place as part of their magical practice. It is a practice that seems to take me to a place ‘other than’. A feeling impossible to put into words, but which has the practical impact of not really being fully aware of the people around me.
The song started gently and sweetly. Facing the back wall, I surrendered to it. Other voices joined in, people singing and intoning with me, it felt perfect, as if their voices were floating in and lending their power to the song. Then the sounds became loud and discordant – something was going on and I sensed a huge shift of some kind. It felt like hard work, almost using the voice to pull something through.The other singers in the building matched the pitch and intensity of the sound. Then it settled again to a soft and gentle tone.
I was heady with incense and from the singing when I climbed up and walked through the central pool, now empty of water. Max had finished clearing the healing pools and had put the plug back in so the pools would now refill with lovely fresh water.
On the next afternoon, our friend, a previous keeper of the Wellhouse, came early to bathe. She was so moved by the experience. Although she had not seen the pools, she had dreamed of bathing here and it evoked strong emotions for her, and an acknowledgement of how much she had grown in the last few years. It was a profound healing moment. I was, yet again, touched by the impact that this place has on people.
Often visitors arrive as if they are carrying a burden, and leave with a sparkle. It is inspirational and uplifting, it is dark and foreboding. It is powerful and intense, it is gentle and peaceful. It is a Temple of Life, and as such, it changes in aspect frequently. Most people pass through and see just one or two aspects, but when you are here often, you see the shifts in energy, the tides of change through the seasons and you feel the reflective nature of the place.
Very occasionally, people see something in the place that they don’t like – perhaps the singing is not to their liking, or they are offended by the No Photography rules, or a spliff is passed in the garden; maybe a challenging visitor is causing seeming disharmony, or is drunk and harrasing people. I feel saddened when this happens, and more-so if they allow that to put them off visiting again, because I know if they did, they would most likely find a very different vibration.
Myself and Max have inadvertently upset a few folk who have misunderstood our intentions in this place, or have a different idea on how it should be operated. This is difficult to manage sometimes – yet I know I have integrity, so I just keep doing what I feel to be right, following my heart, being guided by the Spirit of place. I remind myself, I work for the White Spring, not any one person.
The keepers all play their own part, giving their time and energy to the place. All part of the ‘Spirit of The White Spring’, we maintain the temple and make it available to others; For the Love of It … whatever ‘It’ may be. We all put our love into it – and over the years more and more of that is reflected back in the nature of the place. The dedication that the team put in to looking after this place can be felt and seen and that has created a transformation. Not just in the physical look of the building, but also reflected in it’s very essence.
I hope you are enjoying these candid tales from the temple. I am really getting a lot from the process of writing it all down, so thank you for reading. Next time, I will be exploring the concepts of ‘the wounded masculine’ and ‘seeking balance.’