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The Ritual behind Wishing Wells

Buying Favors and Good Fortune

By Beth

The modern Western world is familiar with the concept of wishing wells, or bodies of water in which currency, most commonly in the form of coin, is tossed with the intention of making a wish. Some towns even host a fountain in the town square or epicenter in which passersby drop coins in hopes that their desires will be fulfilled. While this practice is common knowledge, the origin of the tradition is not. In fact, when and where this practice began is somewhat unclear.

As with many traditions that predate recorded history, pinning down one particular event or origin related to the wishing well is difficult. Many ancient practices spanned more than one culture, varying according to the practicing people. But in regards to the phenomenon of the wishing well, there are undoubtedly age old customs that correlate to the tradition of wishing over sacred water.

Though the wishing well is considered to be a European tradition, it is important to understand the worldwide significance of clean water before the advent of indoor plumbing and water filtration.

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(H/T CW)

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