The Rape of the Well Maidens

"We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done."  Book of Common Prayer

Long, long ago, even before the reign of King Arthur, the land was blessed with enchantment and great fertility.  Throughout the realm, maidens stood guard over the sacred wells, offering their healing waters in golden cups to any journeyers who might pass.  Indeed, some say that these waters were the very waters of inspiration, offering transport between the worlds.  The maidens themselves may have been Otherworldly, but the tale does not say.  In those days, when the veil between the worlds was thinner, these distinctions were not so sharp.

All was well, with the land bounteous and the people content, until the King conceived a desire to possess one of the well-maidens.  He stole her sacred cup, carried her off, and raped her.  His men followed his example, raping the other well-maidens.  In response to these unheard-of acts, these violations against nature itself, the maidens withdrew themselves and their magic from the world.  The wells dried up, and the regenerative powers of the land were destroyed, leaving it barren and devoid of enchantment.  By seeking dominion over others, the King and his men had diminished the world.  

[from: Arthur and the Sovereignty of Britain: King and Goddess in the Mabinogion, Caitlin Matthews, London 1989]           (for MC, "...some people get religion, some people get the truth.")