Mysteriously elegant. Magically artful.
Chalice Well is a holy well situated at the foot of Glastonbury Tor in the county of Somerset, England. The natural spring and surrounding gardens are owned and managed by the Chalice Well Trust, founded by Wellesley Tudor Pole in 1959.
Archaeological evidence suggests that the well has been in almost constant use for at least two thousand years. Water issues from the spring at a rate of 25,000 gallons per day and has never failed, even during drought. Iron oxide deposits give water a reddish hue, as dissolved ferrous oxide becomes oxidized at the surface and is precipitated. Like the hot springs in nearby Bath, the water is believed to possess healing qualities.
In addition to the legends associated with Glastonbury, the Well is often portrayed as a symbol of the female aspect of deity, with the male symbolised by Glastonbury Tor. As such, it is a popular destination for pilgrims in search of the divine feminine, including Neopagans. The Well is however popular with all faiths and in 2001 became a World Peace Garden.
Wells often feature in Welsh and Irish mythology as gateways to the spirit world. The overlapping of the inner and outer worlds is represented by the well cover, designed by the church architect and archaeologist Frederick Bligh Bond and presented as a gift after the Great War in 1919. The two interlocking circles constitute the symbol known as the Vesica Piscis.
The most famous example in nature of the vesica piscis during a total solar eclipse, when Moon's apparent size is the same as that of the Sun. As the Moon moves to cover the Sun, at a certain moment it forms a vesica piscis. In many ancient cultures, the Sun was a male god and the Moon a goddess, and the vesica piscis symbolized an opening or gateway between these two polarities through which creation can take place. The ancient Egyptians practiced sacred geometry based on "As above, so below". Architects and artists copied the solar eclipse/vesica piscis and its mathematics in their sacred buildings and artwork to reflect their religious beliefs. This ancient tradition was passed on through the centuries by the Freemasons.
In the well lid design, a spear or a sword bisects these two circles, a possible reference to Excalibur, the sword of the legendary King Arthur, believed by some to be buried at the nearby Glastonbury Abbey. Foliage represents the Glastonbury Holy Thorn. Bligh Bond wrote that the vesica design for the well cover was "typical of many early diagrams, all having the same object – the rendering of spiritual truth by means of the purest, most intellectual system of imagery conceived by the mind, namely, truth which is ‘aeonial’ or eternal, of which geometry is the best interpreter, since it can figure for us with remarkable suggestiveness those formative principles upon which the Father has built his Creation, principles which shall endure when heaven and earth have died ." (Ref. Central Somerset Gazette, Friday, November 14, 1919)
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This powerfully potent and extraordinary pillar measures 2 x 3 inches. Each candle exhibits a uniquely mottled crystal pattern.