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     St. Brigid's Well   photo Mario Corrigan


Relax and close your eyes. Let the stresses and strains of the day drain away, down through your feet and into the ground.

Now gradually become aware that you are standing on a green hillside. The day is warm and sunny; it is the first day of May. In the distance you see a stone wall surrounding an ancient well, and beside it a stooping hawthorn tree which is covered with different coloured rags and ribbons, fluttering in the breeze.

Be aware of the sun shining in the east as you move towards the well. When you reach it, walk around it three times, following the course of the sun which in its movement brings warmth, growth and healing to the earth.

As you walk, recite an incantation to invoke the presence of Brigit and put yourself in a receptive state for transformation. The incantation may be as simple as "Brigit, I ask for your blessing" repeated nine times or it may be a charm or poem related to Brigit which is particularly potent for you. In the Highlands of Scotland repeating 'The Genealogy of Bride' was said to give protection against injury and death, you may like to use this :


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Sloinntireachd Bhride/The Descent of Bride (Scottish Gaelic)

Sloinneadh na Ban-naomh Bride,
Lasair dhealrach oir, muime chorr Chriosda.
Bride nighinn Dughaill duinn,
Mhic Aoidh, mhic Airt, mhic Cuinn,
Mhic Crearair, mhic Cis, mhic Carmaig, mhic Carruinn.

The genealogy of the holy maiden Bride,
Radiant flame of gold, noble foster-mother of Christ.
Bride daughter of Dugall the brown,
Son of Aodh, son of Art, son of Conn,
Son of Crearer, son of Cis, son of Carmac, son of Carruin.

Every day and every night
That I say the genealogy of Bride,
I shall not be killed, I shall not be harried,
I shall not be put in cell, I shall not be wounded,
Neither shall Christ leave me forgotten.

No fire, no sun, no moon shall burn me,
No lake, no water, nor sea shall drown me,
  No arrow of fairy, nor dart of fay shall wound me,
  And I under the protection of my Holy Mary,
  And my gentle foster-mother is my beloved Bride.


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After circumambulating the well three times, go and kneel beside it. Look deep into the water - see the surface of it sparkle and shimmer in the light but notice also the dark and mysterious depths.

Focus on your intent, the reason why you have come to the well. What is the healing you seek? How could your healing also benefit those around you. Take some of the water either in your hands or in a cup or other vessel which may be standing by the well. You may drink it, or bathe the affected part of your body with it. The water itself is a sacred element which has healing properties, and it also carries the healing energy of the sun which shines upon it.

As you look into the water you may see a glimpse of a fish, a salmon perhaps, or a speckled trout. If you do, this is a good omen.

blue salmon


Before you leave the well you may wish to leave a rag or ribbon tied to the hawthorn tree; a gift to the spirit or deity of the well, a witness of your visit.

When you feel ready, focus again on your breathing, on the movement of your breath in and out. Slowly come back into the everyday world.

© Hilaire Wood 1999


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