Image: Tellus mater,
detail from the Ara Pacis in Rome. Image
Reading an account of a Pagan remnant in rural England, I came across these words: “.. the waters dark beneath the earth ..” It refers to a ritual called “Dressing the Wells” that occurs at May Tide. The celebration centered around the crofters and thorp dwellers who - using natural materials like pebbles, grass, bark, feathers, clay, and the like - would create pictures from folk lore and life. Traditionally these festivities were led by the local Landlord; later by the village Vicar. The focus of these rites was to bless the water of the wells visited. In all accounts, the local folk made reference to “She,” meaning the Earth Goddess. Naturally, my thoughts turned to Nerthus. These are those inspired words, put to song. The first stanza is “burden”, meaning chorus. It is meant to be repeated when seen.