Thursday, 14 February 2013

The Life Giving Spring Water Of Jorox

The weather has prevented me from working lately, so I decided to take a walk around our hamlet Jorox with my camera and bottle of home poured spring water. On previous walks I have seen a pair of Spanish mongoose, a toad as big as a small football and recently a family of Ibex, of course the best sights I see are only when I have left my camera behind! So you will just have to take my word for it!
At the top of Jorox is this unremarkable hole in the rock covered in a concrete ‘prison’ structure. As you can see it is a spring, a spring that supplies the whole of Jorox with spring water for drinking and irrigation.

Yes we drink that! Straight out of the mountain, as did the Jorox cave dwellers over 30,000 years ago. Jorox has many caves in which evidence has been found to link humans living here from the Palaeolithic period, sharing the cool clean spring water with Sabre Tooth Tigers and Woolly Mammoths.
Later on in human development, long after the Sabre Tooth Tiger had disappeared the Muslim Moors drank  this spring water, and cut water channels in the Jorox hillside rock to irrigate the land.
 After the Moors were removed by the Catholic Spanish, mills were built along the Moorish irrigation canals to capture the power of this spring to mill locally grown grain.
 During the time of Franco milling grain here was illegal, a proud Jorox ex resident who keeps his old family mill like a museum told me the grain was brought by the noble Andalucian Mule along secret tracks at night and milled in secret as if it was a drug.
There is only about twenty houses here now, and only two other houses are lived in the whole year.
This spring, the source of the river Jorox has been supporting life here since before history and throughout the history of man, it has seen species come and go, and possibly a few ice ages and still it flows all year round giving life.
In the centre of the village is a Catholic shrine, lovingly tended while the spring is ignored and left alone encased in its ugly concrete prison under a road bridge, no one goes there to give thanks or receive its healing secrets, well not any more but how different it may have been.

The earliest known undisputed burial of a shaman (and by extension the earliest undisputed evidence of shamans and shamanic practices) dates back to the early Upper Palaeolithic era (c.30,000BP) in what is now the Czech Republic.”

As I stood next to the spring in the rain I could imagine early humans drinking the spring water, revering this gift from the earth. From the dark underworld as if from nowhere this never ending source of life flows out to daylight.
Historically Pagans see water as a portal to the Other-world and a source of wisdom and healing.
In a way, Brigid, the Celtic Goddess associated with healing wells and spring water is a bridge between the Catholic faith and the shaman-ism of pre history. St Bridget is the Catholic equivalent.

On February 1 or February 2 Brigid is celebrated at the Gaelic festival of Imbolc when she brings the first stirrings of spring to the land. Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians and some Anglicans mark the day as the Feast of Saint Brigid; the festival is also known as Candlemas and Purification of the Virgin”

When the Catholic faithful tend our little shrine on Candlemas I will walk on to the spring and stand a while by an unbroken link to humanity’s beginnings. Imbolc is a time of purification, I will wash in the spring waters and meditate on what I would like to grow in the coming year for me my family and this earth.

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