Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Sacred Waters

Decuman’s Well at the church in Watchet

Deep well, clear water,

May you hear this prayer from your sons and daughters:
As you swell,
Go deeper,
And sweep our grief away.

— Nancy Conescu

Today is the feast day of the Celtic saint, Decuman. Decuman is said to have been born of noble parents from Rhoscrowther in Pembrokeshire, Wales, where there is a church dedicated to him.

Decuman was a hermit of the seventh century. Wishing to leave behind worldly matters, he travelled from Wales to the little fishing village of Watchet in Somerset. According to legend, he, together with his cow, made the voyage on nothing more than a raft made of rushes.

Decuman was martyred by decapitation. However, it is said that he placed his head in a nearby sacred spring. The waters at this holy site had been known since pre-Christian times to give strength, wisdom, and healing to all who drank from them. So, having washed his head in its waters, he then placed his head under his arm and returned to Wales.

Being understandably impressed, the local folk built his church at the site.

The well for this spring is still to be found below the church. It produces clear water and was a place of veneration long into the 16th century. It has recently been restored jointly by the church and the local Pagan community, and is still used for ceremonies and as a place for quiet contemplation.

Today, I suggest that you take a moment to consider the miraculous powers of water: the powers that cleanse, that heal, that give life. These are the waters that flow in peace through the centuries. And regardless of faith or creed, they offer their blessing to us all.

Let us raise a glass today to the sweet, ancient waters of life, and sip slowly the gift of their divine magic.

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  • August 27, 2008, 10:04 am Cosette

    Because you are so fabulous, I’ve nominated you for a little blog award. Stop by mine for more info.

  • August 27, 2008, 10:33 am Beth Owl's Daughter

    Thanks for your lovely nomination, Cosette! To abide by the rules, I am going to bend them a little and have my seven nominees simply be the list I offer in “Weaving Our Web” on my sidebar.

    Blessings to you!

  • August 27, 2008, 1:45 pm Hecate RavenMoon

    Blessed be.

    That was a great post. very informative. I have never really studied much of the Celtic lore and legend before, but I will now. I did not know that they (Celts) had saints as well as the Catholics.

    I am going to work on some research for this to learn more.

    Thank you for sharing, and have a great week.

  • August 27, 2008, 1:55 pm Beth Owl's Daughter

    Oh, well, not to be misleading, he was Celtic Christian, you know. In fact, he was murdered by a Pagan, supposedly.

    Of course, we never know the real stories of these things, for often, they are just an overlay of Christianity upon an older tale.

    I just think it’s really fascinating as this is precisely the time when there was real strife between Christians and the Old Religion.. yet in some places, the Celtic faith simply absorbed the new God as an adaptation (until later, when the Roman church became more powerful and territorial about their dogma in the British Isles).

    So here you have a story where a Christian is resurrected by the waters of a Pagan spring, and the site becomes a holy place for Christians, and more lately, reclaimed by Pagans with the cooperation of the former.