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Gary R Varner

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Publisher:  Algora Publishing ISBN-10:  0875867170 Type: 


Copyright:  August 2009 ISBN-13:  9780875867175

" excellent reference for anyone interested in folklore, history and the development of religion."

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Algora Publishing

A new second edition published by Algora Publishing. A look at the myths and histories of holy wells, springs and rivers around the world. One of a few serious works outside of regional studies which discusses, in depth, the folklore, mythology, and archaeology of holy wells and springs, as well as rituals that still exist today at many of the sacred water sites around the world. Sacred Wells is a fascinating look at the continuation of ancient pagan traditions into modern culture.

Emma Restall Orr, author of The Sacred Grove, says Sacred Wells "is a very sound source book for the adventurer seeking spiritual, mythological and historical springs of inspiration, whether around Britain, the USA or Europe."

A companion book to Sacred Wells, Water of Life--Water of Death: The Folklore and Mythology of Sacred Water is available from Publish America.    

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Professional Reviews

The Druid Network Reviews Sacred Wells...
There are so few books on sacred wells that this book is very welcome, not only as a guide but as a serious study as well. Giving plentiful notes and references for the serious student to follow further should they wish, Varner comes across as himself a quiet and reverent enthusiast. His love and wonder seep through his words like little spirits in the light of a lazy afternoon, peeking around corners, drawing your attention to another place of beauty. While not fully comprehensive, it is a very sound source book for the adventurer seeking spiritual, mythological and historical springs of inspiration, whether around Britain, the USA or Europe. There are even a few entries for sacred wells in Australia, the Middle East and Africa.

Book New 2009 Review
Since he completed the 2002 first edition, Varner has visited many more sacred sites around the world — some of them wells — and written several more books on folklore, mythology, and the history and environment of religion. This experience informs the second edition. Among the wells and other sites he examines are the Chalice Well in Glastonbury, St. Nectan's Falls in Tintagel, St. Bridgid's Well in Ireland, Lourdes, the birthplace of Buddha, the holy springs and water lore of Ethiopia, and Cenotés and other sacred waters of the Americas.


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Reader Reviews for "Sacred Wells: A Study in the History, Meaning and Mythology of Holy Wells & Waters"

Reviewed by Saleem Khan 12/13/2009
I am keen reader of books on various topics ranging from computers to literature. I just went through this book, Sacred Wells, (A Study in the History, Meaning, and Mythology of Holy Wells & Waters, 2nd Edition). I would like to applaud Gary Varner for the immense research he has done in compiling such information. I was however very much upset and unwilling to believe that he had missed one of the most famous and important wells in history which is known as Zamzam well in the holy city of Makkah, Saudia Arabia. According to history this well exists from the times of Prophet Abraham's son Ismael (May peace be upon them).

Even today after several thousands of years Muslims drink and bath from it for reasons of its sacredness. Millions of Muslims perform Hajj and bring this water to their home countries for relatives and friends.

I would like the author to explain the reason for excluding this most important well.
Reviewed by Erin Elder 12/8/2002
Ah, Gary, you are a kindred spirit! I am definitely putting your book on my "to buy" list! Looks fascinating in various aspects; both sociologically and nature-wise as well.
Reviewed by Sharon 7/24/2002
Sacred Wells is an excellent reference on holy wells and springs around the world. Photos taken by the author complement the text and make it an enjoyable read. I recommend to to anyone with an interest in the topic.

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