The Well of Slan
Journeying across the land on The Eastern Path you come to The Sunlit Sea. You gaze across its sparkling reflections, listening to it's gentle lapping on the sandy beach and the sound of the sea birds as they ride the currents of air above the waters. You begin to relax, to let go of your stresses, to center your being.
As you watch the birds skipping and diving in the air currents, your eyes are led south where, far away, the beach seems to curve and end in a high cliff. On top of the cliff are tall trees and what seems to be some kind of stone structure. Slowly at first, you start to walk along the beach toward the cliff and what is on top. As the sun warms you and the sweet salt air refreshes you, you walk a bit faster with more energy and better feeling.
Soon, you discover yourself at the base of the cliff. Just past where the beach ends the waves of the sea are splashing against the rock walls and casting their water into the air to hang there like a diamond mist. The whole base of the cliff seems to be almost shrouded in this sea mist... but it's warm and embracing rather than cold and damp.
As you look up the face of the cliff you notice for the first time that there are stairs cut into the rock. Stairs that are deep enough and wide enough to make for a safe passage upward ... and so you begin your ascension. Up and up you climb in a curving sunwise spiral which leads you around the side of the cliff and to its top. Climbing ever upward, you look out over the sea and rejoice in the beauty of such a day in such a place.
Arriving at the top of the cliff's stairs, you find yourself standing in a clearing, in the center of which is an ancient stone well. It is square in shape and large enough to dunk a fully grown man into. There are places to stand on all four sides as well as bullions around it on which offerings have been left. To the East the clearing is opened to overlook the sea. To the other three sides it is surrounded by tall fir trees and the air here is rich with the fragrance of pine and cedar.
As you begin to approach the Well, only then do you notice that on the ground is laid out the pattern of a labyrinth. The opening is there at the head of the stairs... the end is in the center at the well. You almost missed it because if was so much a part of the place that it looked almost as though it were a natural occurrence. It is only slightly raised between the well worn footpaths, and that part which is not for walking is covered with a fine moss and lichens. The stone of the pathway is smooth and gentle underfoot and you take off your shoes because you just know instinctively that you should only approach it barefoot.
There is a feeling of peace and reverence that deepens as you begin your journey along the path of the labyrinth. The birds are singing and animals move within the trees. This is an ancient place long honored. A soft mist hovers about the well. As you peer through the mist you see your reflection and then... strangely, you see a second reflection ... that of a woman's face that you've never seen before. You peer harder and then suddenly you realize that the face belongs to the person standing on the other side of the Well from you."Welcome. How may we be of service to you?" The tall graceful woman standing across the Well from you explains that she is one of the Healers at the Well of Sla'n; the place that you have come to. She tells you of their ways and customs and offers to take you on a tour of the Healing Center. As you agree, she leads you into the forrest where there is a Sidhe (mound) built by hands of only those who have drunk from the Well. The Sacred Waters trickle from the rocks inside and into a small golden bowl. It is here that the deeper teachings and healings are performed. At the border of the meadow is the Wishing Tree, a lone Tree in its own clearing. Tied to its branches are the cloths and gifts of the faithful and of those who need healing and as you look across the small meadow filled with tall grass and wildflowers you see the Holy Stone like the Men an Tol. Through this stone, children are passed for healing and protection. Often one of the local Healers will be sitting quietly, available, at one of these places. Sometimes little hedge schools and simple healings are done in the grass or under trees. Many times circles of people sing. Sometimes they play instruments and dance. On special days there are the Mystery Stories. By each sacred place is a special bell. Its ring brings the healers. For this is a community and many are the hands that heal. For the circle of Healers have found that there is healing to be found in ritual, in herbs, in movements, in sound, in color and in every art that can be done. Under sun or moon or tree, by stone or water you will hear the sounds of healing. Over time, this information is being gathered by many hands and offered in the Library for the use of all. The Way of Healing is the whole person: body, mind and spirit. The Method of Healing is Wisdom and Love. Feel free to explore the Well of Slan, the Meadow and the Forest, and stay as long as you like." Branfionn and Tairngiri