I was asked to piece together six things that I do when entering into a new well space. As I put thoughts forward to myself I realised that for me, I innately trust my body in connection to the water. It is the five senses that guide me in my interaction, my waters resonating with the water in the well.
Firstly I use my eyes, I see the condition of the well, the debris in or around, algae or plants clogging, leaves, plastic or glass inside or around the well. I note the colour of the water. I notice if there is silt in the well. I watch to see how the water flows, where the entrance and exit might be. I look again for the colour of the water. Water should be a rainbow spectrum. I draw some water into a clear glass bottle, set it aside and over a period of time observe how clear it is, if there are particles, bubbles or anything unusual about the water. As time passes so will the sediment the water carries fall to the bottom. You can start identifying what mineral content the well has by the colour or residues in the stones and earth around. Orange is iron, white is lime, green is usually copper. I also seek to discover if there is run off into the well, anything that might impact on the health of the water. Any oil or septic tank discoloration in and around the water, that telltale rainbow of discolour.
I tune to my sense of smell, putting my nose close to water and smelling the land around. Smelling any smells that do not smell of nature or that cause a wrinkle reaction to my nose. It must be noted that gases that can be contained in the water can be odorless. A rotten-egg or sulfur smell or taste suggests the presence of hydrogen sulfide. That's often caused by a certain type of bacteria in the water. Sulfates can also cause the water to taste salty. Such aromas and tastes may be caused by decaying organic matter in the channels or in the source water itself
Hearing: I close my eyes and listen. Listen for the sound of the flow of the well, where does it come from, where does it flow to. This will help you identify where the inlet and outlet channels are. You should be able to tune in and hear if they need to be cleared and cleaned. There will be a blocked sound of water meeting resistance, sluggish in resonance. The water will guide you in how its health is by how it sounds. As you clean wells the sound builds until the well with it gurgles and bubbles finds and sings its own song.
I touch and hold the water, experiencing it's texture. The more stillness it has the thicker it will feel. Wells are living beings, they are fluid in character and will clean themselves with a gentle helping hand. Water, to me feels as it contains gentle electric type pulsations that are damp in feeling. Many people tune into water in different ways, so when the water is in your hand, tune into how your body is in response to the water. You can experiment at home with holding tap water, well water, spring water and contaminated water. Tune in completely to the sensations you feel within your body.
Similar to using a fine wine, savoring a sip and allowing the water to touch against your taste buds. Good water should taste as summer meadows feel.
Trust your gut, your body will guide you. Often I have felt reservation about drinking a water source and discovered a valid reason such as stillage run off nearby. Use your practical sense, is the well near a graveyard, farmyard or factory.
I spend much time in body and in patience. Trusting that if I am present and aware the knowing of how to care for the well will arrive. Time is needed to observe and get to know the well. Each one has its own personality.
Usually to clean water, it is practical. Remove the silt from the bottom. Scrub the walls, extract the debris and overgrowth. Clear the channels into and out of the well. Take your time and go gently, disturbing the structure of the well can impact on how the biodynamics of the engineering harnessing the water's power. Trust that those who built these sacred spaces have the same eyes as ourselves. We all have the opportunity to positively interact with these spaces with active participation and care.
You can explore other natural methods to clean water from around the world through here. If you are interested in finding out more to use the senses to identify potential issues with the water you can do so here.