Also known as:
Ban Naomha means “Woman of the Well” or “Lady of the Well.” She is an oracular spirit associated with the sacred well, Tober Kil-na-Greina, in County Cork. The well, whose name literally means “well of the fountain of the sun,” is located near the ruins of an old Pagan fort. It was hidden for centuries beneath overgrown marshes but rediscovered when a local farmer cleared the land. Based on carvings and artifacts found, the area was a holy Druid site. The well water allegedly has profound healing and blessing properties, and the well became a popular local pilgrimage until, possibly too popular, it was denounced by the local priest and public veneration ceased.
Ban Naomha is an elusive spirit who prefers to remain invisible. Only those gifted with second sight (psychic vision) can see her. She usually manifests in the form of a trout. Allegedly she will reveal herself and answer any question in response to this ritual at her well. If not conveniently located, try it in visualization and see what happens:
• Drink three cups of well water, then crawl around the well on your knees in a sun-wise direction three times.
• After the third round, place an egg-shaped stone on the altar by the well. (These stones, popularly called “stones of the sun” and found near the shrine, are white, shine when wet, and may resemble eggs.)
• Repeat twice more for a total of nine drinks and nine circumambulations. Three stones will be laid on the altar, and then Ban Naomha should appear.
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.