Monday, 29 August 2011

St. Blane's Church & The Fairy Well

The ruins of St. Blane's Church lie on the site of an ancient monastery, one of the first of it's kind in the British Isles. The walls of the monastery and the foundations of some of the ancient monks' cells still exist in this secluded wooded location near the southern tip of the Isle of Bute.

I was drawn to the place because of it's healing fairy well and a strange circular enclosure called the Devil's Cauldron which archaeologists can find no real explanation for. Folklore tells that within the Devil's Cauldron grew a pine tree that had the magical power to give visions if a sprig of its leaves was left under one's pillow overnight.

I arrived at St. Blane's Church in the light of early evening, bright and breezy. The place was deserted so I had it all to myself!

The layout of the place was impressive, with the vallum that enclosed the original 6th century monastery still clearly visible and marking out the boundary of this ancient sacred space.

I could see the ruins of the 12th century church ahead.

I ignored the ruined church for now and headed straight for the fairy well, but I was disappointed to see that a very heavy iron grille had been placed over it, set permanently into concrete.

To me it was a desecration to treat such a sacred place in this way, it interferred with the spirit of the place, but at least the well was still there, even if it did have to be viewed through iron bars, and it still gave off a certain sparkly energy.

I next went over to the Devil's Cauldron. It no longer had a pine tree growing in it, or any trees growing nearby. Perhaps those eager for visions had destroyed the pine tree long ago? Now it was just filled with cropped grass and a few rocks, but it had a certain energy that made me wary about entering, it felt somehow powerful, glowing and golden.

I did some protections and then stepped through the entrance.

Inside it was filled with golden light, and I could see an even brighter light coming from a large being that stood inside there. It was a strange 'alien' creature, with a long head and long arms that stood stooped over me. I reached out to touch its long fingers, but it was like trying to touch a mirage, I was not able to communicate with it.

I stepped back outside the Cauldron and noticed many primrose leaves growing nearby. I picked 13 of them and rubbed them into my wand so that the juice stained the runes on there. Primroses are known from folklore to be a way to open doors to the otherworld, so my intent was to infuse my wand with this ability. Perhaps it would come in useful someday?

I next decided to get out my dowsing rods and I dowsed an energy line going into and of the Cauldron, but when I stepped inside the Cauldron to follow the line it formed a spiral going in to the centre. This was definately some kind of power node, a place of power and a place of visions. So I decided to lay down inside the cauldron and see where it would take me.

I was accompanied by a power animal that had been lurking around in the background for a while now, but who I'd never quite got aquainted with. It was a blue-eyed silver wolf. He took me to a crystal cave where a wise old bearded man awaited, some kind of god-like spirit guide. He showed me that the cauldron was a place of power, glowing with yellow energy, and he showed me the sparkly white energy coming from the well.

This is the reason why the monks chose this place and built a wall around it all. They wanted to harness the energy of this place and use it for their own ends, to employ its power and to have spiritual experiences and visions. These monks were more like druids than churchmen! But over the generations these powers were forgotten as the monks became more orthodox.

I was told that I should venerate the well, and focus my intention there to make it become a sacred and magical place once more.

I got up from the cauldron, feeling rather spaced out, and headed back over to the well.

I took a quartz crystal out of my bag and held it in my hand.

"With this crystal I hereby place my intention
That this place shall once again be venerated.
It shall become a holy place,
A magic place,
That folk will flock to
To worship
And receive healing, joy and happiness"

I placed the crystal into the well and then took out a corn dolly which I had bought in Glastonbury. I attached to to the metal grill so that people would know this was a special place.

"Let the magic flow forth
Flow forth from this holy well
Let it light up the sky
Let it draw folk here from far and wide
It's magic shall flow out
Flow out over the land
Drawing people here
Bringing the joy of nature
And Mother Earth to all
They will dance and sing and tie ribbons
Soon they will come
They will feel the magic
It will enter them
A place of ceremony and celebration
A new paganism
A new spirituality
Filled with joy and love
I will make this happen!
Old institutions will crumble
All shall be enlightened, renewed and refreshed
So mote it be!"

I felt like my work was done here at last, so I wandered around this peaceful and enchanted place in the late evening light enjoying the nature and the atmosphere of the place.


Rob Wildwood (Aurvandil) has now released a book containing hundreds of his own stunning full colour photos of many of the magical places he has visited in his travels. The images capture the magic and mystery of each place and are enhanced by extracts of local folklore that reveal the magical lore of each place and tempt deeper investigation. Every site listed has full directions and map grid references that can be checked online, so join Rob Wildwood as you discover Britain's magical places at


C said...

Erm, thats one way of doing leaf magic, I suppose, but not what I got shown at all! It wasn't 'leaves' in the physical sense, more using 'green' energy.

Aurvandil said...

Magic is making manifest your intention. Everything else is just a prop.

Mick Ludden said...

Completely barmy thou art!

Shady1975 said...

loved this ,recently went yo this cauldron and had lunch inside it ....