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5 Senses & the Gaelic Well of Wisdom

By Heather Awen

In the Celtic Lore (which we don’t call Lore, but why not? Heathens do.), there is the story of a well with five streams flowing from it. (There are also salmon eating the nuts from hazel trees, other Gaelic symbols of wisdom.) The human male who sees it asks what it means and a God (Manannan mac Lir?) says that the well is the well of wisdom and the streams are the five senses by which wisdom is acquired. I don’t have my stacks of Celtic history and myth books here, but that is the jist of it.

The first times I read this, I rejected it as useful for me. Being all 6th sense, and very ungrounded in the 5, I thought, as many spiritual teachings tell us, that wisdom comes from detachment, from the Otherworld, from dreams and visions. I was still suffering from the dualism of spiritual vs material, or as Wiccans used to put it, the magickal vs the mundane.

Now that I have read about indigenous peoples and how in tune they are with their bioregion due to using all 5 senses very, very well and worked with mindfulness meditation, I understand how true this well and streams vision is. By paying attention, full attention, to life, you learn. And you learn. And you learn. And then you start to be wise.

Read the original article at: Adventures in Animism

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