Association Of Fairies With Wells
The association of the Fae with wells, both man-made and natural, has a long history. When one considers the liminal (border related) nature of the fairy, it’s unsurprising that wells would attract them and be a place they’d choose to dwell.
Wells are a portal into the underworld, going from the over-world of the light, to the dark unseen places in the earth. They are a place where the flowing nature of water comes into connection with the solid qualities of the earth.
Wells, in particular, are sacred to the Aine, the fairy queen of midsummer. She is known as Leannan Sidhe, or “fairy lover”, for her relationships both with mortals and other fae. It is thought that her relationships with mortal men led to the foundation of a faery-human hybrid race, which would account for the many people in the world who have a connection with the fae.
During midsummer, wells are visited and blessed, the waters drawn forth are thought to have healing properties, given by the blessing of Aine. The waters drawn from a well at midsummer are known as Tobar-Na-Aine, or the “Waters of Aine’s Well”.
The fairies that are often associated with the wells are known as ‘sprites’, though there are many water spirits and fairies throughout the world. There is much discussion on whether or not ‘spirits’ and ‘fairies’ constitute the same thing. This is further confounded by the multiple cultures the stories are drawn from.
Water sprites protect the wells from those who would foul them, and they make their home in, on, and around the wells. Among the fairies, those that are involved with wells are primarily of the ‘elemental’ type of spirit. Rather than being associated with a garden, or a particular flower, elemental fairies are responsible for tending to the raw elemental forces in nature.
Like all fairies, if properly respected you can find yourself with a greatly beneficial situation on your hands. The fae who guard the well you tend and care for, will in turn care and tend for you.
The waters will be sweet and unspoiled, and many blessings will come to the ground that well serves. But take caution, if you disrespect the well you may find it befouled, spreading illness through your home. The well may not give water, or it may collapse in the spring floods.
Like most fae, the water faeiries appreciate sweet things. Leaving offerings of honey, milk, and berries by their well can win their affections. Decorating with flowers in the spring, and ribbons throughout the rest of the year will also be welcome, and, of course, they adore sparkly things like coins and pretty stones, so it would not be amiss to throw such things into the well.