Water and The Sacred

Water divinities of various kinds appear in the mythologies of many cultures. And not surprisingly, the world abounds in sacred springs, rivers, and lakes. Even within the Judeo-Christian tradition, which generally avoids the veneration of the various phenomena of Nature, there are numerous examples of sacred springs or wells, and rivers. In most cases, the spring or river has acquired sacredness through connection with a significant or miraculous event. The water of the River Jordan is sacred because Jesus Christ was baptized in it by Saint John the Baptist. The spring at Lourdes is sacred because of its healing properties in connection with the appearance of the Virgin Mary to Bernadette. In some cases, such as the holy well at Chartres, or the Chalice Well at Glastonbury were probably already sacred in pagan times.