There’s a small beach on the Inishowen Peninsula at the northernmost point of Ireland where the Irish Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. Like most of Ireland’s northern beaches, it’s scenic and rugged while having a sense of calm about it. Just above the shoreline are small caves in the rocky hillsides. Most are shallow with the sea creeping in on the cave floors at high tide, but one cave sits on higher ground behind the ruins of a roofless church and a holy well.
The legends that are attached to this little cave center around an 11th-century Irish saint named Muirdhealach who is said to have used the cave as a hermitage, and blessed the water in the well just outside the cave. The waters were believed to have healing properties, and for 800 years, pilgrims have been visiting the cave and well hoping to gain spiritual and physical healing. At one time, there was even a small hotel nearby to house the pilgrims.
This cave is known as the Malin Wee Cave. And now it is still a place of pilgrimage. The cave faces out to the sea and offers a slight shelter from the rain and wind. The dimensions are no more than a crescent-shaped imprint about 10 or 12 feet deep at its deepest point. But carved into the cave is a perfect little bench tracing the semi-circular wall from one end to the other. The old legends and folklore associated with the Malin Wee Cave are that no matter how many people come to the cave, there is always room for one more.
The last time I visited the Wee Cave, the circular bench was covered with stones – each with the name of a person or wish written across the stone…. Tokens of devotion, or intention. At any rate … there was no “sitting” on that bench.
The other amazing feature of this site is that the shoreline and surrounding caves are littered with semi-precious stones. When the seawater covers them, the greens, blues, pinks, purples, oranges, and reds of the stones all appear.
The site has that “thin place” quality where time stands still. Time eludes people. 10 minutes – 20 minutes – 2 hours … it’s all the same. Time isn’t noticeable once you release your spirit to the landscape and the universe.
My Stone from Malin Wee Cave
The first time I went to the Malin Wee Cave was with a tour group I brought there in 2014. I had a guest on that tour named Claire who, with her sister Bertie introduced me to the healing power of crystals. I was chatting with her near the door of the bus when I saw an interesting white stone on the ground in the roadway. I picked it up and looked at all the impressions in the stone. It looked like any gravel road stone except that it had all these little inclusions that sort of looked like tree branches. And then there was a very clear heart-shaped indentation in the corner. On the other side, it was speckled with dozens of little floating dots.
I showed it to Claire. She said, “Oh my. That’s the Universe in there.”
It turns out that the stone was Dendritic Sage Jasper, and why it was lying in a gravel roadway is beyond me. It looked like it had been dropped there. I looked up the meaning from one of my favorite stone dealers – Earth Speak out of Chester Springs, PA.
Dendritic Sage Green Jasper Generator~CRDSGJ06. Dendritic Sage Green Jasper is a beautiful sage green jasper included with fern like growths of manganese. It is a heart chakra centered stone that can be used in meditation to merge with the consciousness of the Earth, one can also connect with the energy of sacred places around the globe. It can facilitate all manner of inner journeying, and resonates with seeing through “illusion”. It stimulates the “Earth Angels” to lovingly, creatively, and efficiently work together to save the planet. It is an excellent anti-procrastination / motivational stone. It is said to provide increasing inspiration, motivation, and energy the closer one gets to the completion of a goal. It also has a grounding effect which can balance and ground one during times of stress. ~ Earth Speak
To say this stone was meant for me … well ..it was meant for me.
I keep that stone on my desk and look at it every day. And in a millisecond I can remember Claire and that moment at the Malin Wee Cave and its magical gift to me.