My Landscapes of Understanding project – the Well landscape element
Text and illustrations by Frits Ahlefeldt ( FritsAhlefeldt.com )
The well is often used as a symbol of resources – both limited and unlimited. People go to the well, both to meet, to socialize and to wish
Well as resources
Resources are often limited in the open land, but in some places they are more plentiful, and we see those places as more attractive. The well is one of the archetypes of this kind of place with plenty of resources.
The wishing well might be seen as the wishful thinking logic of investments – Wishing wells has been in use through history, at least since the Nordic God Odin sacrificed his right eye into the well of wisdom, Mimir’s well, to be able to see across the illusion of time and gain insight and knowledge and become a better leader
Odin was the top Chief and CEO of the overall well being in Nordic mythology, and well-being is an interesting word here… closely related to wellness and welfare… these are actually real words often lingering around the wishing well of modern society
Wells as symbols of money and control
The well has long been an important place and in many societies and communities. It is a place of resources and to be able to control the resources, and charging people for them is one of the oldest kinds of trade on the planet, still going strong.
Money and prosperity are also often associated with the well, with water, liquidation, seeding, growth, thrive and other well and water related metaphors queuing up around them.
Even in a scientific way wells seems to create well-being by attracting money, at least if you throw in silver coins, as silver helps purify water from harmful bacteria and substances in a way that can actually help make you well, when drinking the water… from the well…
Wishing wells build on investment-logic to create a unique kind of wishful thinking: Throw your money ( or in Odin’s case, an eye) into the water inside a pitch dark hole, leading into the ground, and magically, eventually, something good will come back to you.
Magical well creatures
In many societies a creature inside the well could be sought – or was feared for its magical powers.
Eyes as wells
Looking into the eyes of a person are sometimes compared to looking into a well, where feelings, emotions, understandings or love can be found