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The Mother Source: The Well As Source

by Megan Don

The Well has long been a universal symbol for the feminine, known as the presence of The Mother, who sustains her children with the purest and most vital form of nourishment. We can understand this as an ancient physical presence, where people came for their daily water supply, and at the same time, shared community news. They were also places where women gathered and sang heart songs dedicated to the Mother Spirit, knowing that in tending to The Well, they would be sustained in all manner of their lives, spiritual and material. Wells were also places where holy women and men came to offer their wisdom and spiritual teaching and where healings occurred. In some countries, one or more of these aspects are still undertaken.

What does the well mean to us today in the contemporary United States? We are clearly far removed from such a tradition with our turning on of taps, going to the local acupuncturist at their office, and roaming the internet for our community news. What is the spiritual and energetic resonance of the well that we can access? In my pilgrimage journeys I have come upon the spiritual and physical presence of the well, especially in Ireland, where wells are still tended, and by tended I mean they are visited and energized with prayer, devotion, offerings, and an absolute knowing of the Mother energy and Her healing power. They are sacred places where The Mother is honored, often in the form of St. Bridget. Sometimes Bridget is related to as daughter, and sometimes as Mother, the two blending together to give an outpouring of blessings for the people.

Another place where I found the spiritual aspect of well was in France, oftentimes located in ancient Goddess sites, and later where The Mother appeared and gave great healing and teaching to the people. I also turn to the Sophian Gnostic Teachings where the more esoteric nature of the well is revealed. They look back to the time of Moses and his sister Miriam, who was a prophetess, and who found, or called up, a well wherever the people went in their wanderings in the desert. On one level we may understand this as a physical gift of divining water, which in such barrenness of land was quite a gift! On another level we may say that Miriam was The Mother to the people, sustaining them with the feminine energy of God.

It is said that when Miriam died that the angels hid the well on the shores of Galilee, and it was prophesied that she would find it again some day. In the Sophian Gnostic understanding Miriam reincarnated as Mother Miriam (or Mother Mary) whom spoke these very prophetic words, “The water of the well will be my son, and the well will be his bride.” Through this it is understood that The Mother (represented by Mother Mary) is the very source of the well, Yeshua is the living water, and Mary Magdalene being the container or the well itself.

Amongst all the apostles it was Mary Magdalene who was able to receive in full the supernal light and love of Yeshua, embodying the Christ spirit and acting equally as the one who liberates. It is understood that only through purifying her vessel of mind, heart and body, her well, if you like, was she able to embody such a great love, and Yeshua was able to give her the purest of all living, spiritual, water.

There is also an interesting play between Mother and Daughter. In this case, Magdalene is understood to be daughter through the act of receiving, but upon imparting and giving out this living water to others, she becomes Mother. This play goes back and forth, and is it not like this in life for us? We receive and give, give and receive, and some of us are literal daughters and then become literal mothers, and so on.

In Saints Maries de lar Mar in Southern France, where Magdalene and others first arrived in France, there is a magnificent church there, which I liken to the womb of The Mother – or perhaps the Well. There are many images of The Mother, of Magdalene, of the women and daughters who were with her. Spending much time in meditation and contemplation here, I could never really separate The Mother from The Daughter; one seemed to be inside the other, or constantly swirling in and out of one another. It was a very intriguing experience and feeling, and one that ties into the dance of St. Bridget as both Daughter and Mother.

One morning while in contemplation in the church, Yeshua appeared before me. This visitation took me by surprise as I was so immersed in the feminine energy, and my startled reply was, “What are you doing here?” His ever patient and loving reply was, “Wherever the Mother and the Daughter are I am not far away.” When this visitation happened I was sitting right next to the well that is in the middle of the church. It is something of a miracle this well, as the town is right by the ocean and is predominantly salty marshland where natural pure water is unknown. The well has been there since the time of Magdalene, and it is said she healed many from this living and pure water.

It begs one to ask, “How pure is my vessel, my well? Am I able to receive the pure living water? And if not, what am I receiving and filling myself with?”

It seems this mystery of Mother, Son, and Daughter run very deep. May we dance freely with them, allowing ourselves to receive, and allowing ourselves to give, knowing ourselves to be, and ever becoming, the source, the well, and the living water.

Megan Don is an Award-winning author, spiritual mentor, and pilgrimage leader. She has written: Meditations with Teresa of Avila: A Journey into the Sacred (New World Library); and Sacred Companions Sacred Community: Reflections with Clare of Assisi. She leads pilgrimages to Southern France, Spain, Ireland, and Italy. She is currently studying with a Gnostic Master. www.mysticpeace.com

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