How to fall into a well

From Household Tales, by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, 1909-1914:

“Once upon a time there was a widow who had two daughters; one of them was beautiful and industrious, the other ugly and lazy. The mother, however, loved the ugly and lazy one best, because she was her own daughter, and so the other, who was only her stepdaughter, was made to do all the work of the house …

“Her stepmother sent her out every day to sit by the well in the high road, there to spin until she made her fingers bleed. Now it chanced one day that some blood fell on to the spindle, and as the girl stopped over the well to wash it off, the spindle suddenly sprang out of her hand and fell into the well … in her distress she jumped into the water after the spindle.

“She remembered nothing more until she awoke and found herself in a beautiful meadow … ”

… where she met Mother Holle.  Dame Holda, associated with Habondia, one of the witch goddesses described in Huson’s Mastering Witchcraft (but then I did warn you that this blog’s been highjacked for the duration of our book discussion!)

It comes as no surprise that wells are liminal spaces; entryways to the Otherworld.  And what better way to get there than to ride a distaff — not just a tool for spinning thread, but an excellent trance inducer.  Often ridden to the sabbat, perhaps before the broom gained that honor.

Don’t have a well or a distaff?  No problem.  We witches are nothing if not pragmatic.

Take up a bowl.  A plain dark one worked best for me.   Fill it with water, which you have exorcised/consecrated in your usual fashion.  Add a drop of your own blood.  In a pinch, a little of your own spit works just fine.  One of your own bodily fluids to link you to the water.

If it’s daytime, drape a shawl or thin towel over your head, so that you have some light, but no reflections upon the water.  If it’s night or you’re in a darkened room, fiddle with the candles or lights so that you have just enough light to see by, but again, no reflections.

Call to the water, saying:

Thou the well and I the Moon,
I flow within Thee.
I see my face upon Thy face,
Fall in,
And by my light, have knowledge of Thee.


Breathe your question onto the water, saying “Show me …”  Using your finger, draw — above the water — a triangle with a dot in the center.  Then “dive” headfirst into the center dot.

Let your consciousness fall through the well and into the Otherworld.

The spindle’s optional.



Filed under Crooks and Straights

6 responses to “How to fall into a well

  1. Spindles? Distaffs? Liminal spaces? I. Must. Read. This. Book!
    This is a really lovely post about a charming tale. Thanks for the post.

  2. Every time I work on scrying with water, as opposed to fire or a black mirror even, when I “fall through the well” I always end up pulling myself out of it by thinking “I’m Doing It!! It’s Happening!” just as it’s starting to get good. And then of course I have to start all over.

    Any advice on how to stop doing that?

    • trothwy

      For me, sometimes I could/can redirect my attention before I lose the thing entirely. If not, I tell myself (out loud) “I’m not going to lose focus this time,” and try again. At some point it stops being novel, and I don’t pull myself back.

      You could also try touching the surface of the water with a fountain pen. Unlike a drop of india ink (which makes an instant black mirror), the fountain pen leaks just enough ink to make mesmerizing swirls on the surface. Maybe that’ll provide enough of a focus to get you past that first “Aha!” moment.

      Good luck with it. I’d love to hear how it goes for you!

  3. I’d not thought of using ink as a way to help with water scrying, but I love the idea. Scrying is something I am (admittedly) terrible at – I’m good with cards, but not so good with going “out of focus” and scrying.

    On the other hand, I’m pretty good at spinning. Perhaps there’s a link there that I should be exploring!

  4. hocuspocus13

    Reblogged this on hocuspocus13 and commented:
    jinxx ♣ xoxo

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