Lost In Time: Initiation Wells are a Mystery – Barcroft Media

The Masonic Initiation Well of the Quinta da RegaleiraThe Masonic Initiation Well of the Quinta da RegaleiraOne of Quinta de Regaleira's most fascinating feature is located beneath the ground – a pair of wells spiraling deep within the earth. The wells were never used, nor intended for water collection. Instead, these mysterious underground towers were used for secretive initiation rites.

The ‘Initiation Well’ or ‘Inverted Tower’, consist of ‘winding stair’ architecture, which carries symbolic meaning including the death/rebirth allegory common to many hermetic traditions.

The well contains nine platforms, which are said to be “reminiscent of the Divine Comedy by Dante and the nine circles of Hell, the nine sections of Purgatory and the nine skies which constitute Paradise.”

Toronto-based photographer Istvan Kadar visited the wells at the Quinta da Regaleira estate in Sintra, Portugal. Upon seeing the wells, Istvan was struck by their enormity and the contrast they struck between dark and light. 

Kadar said: “Looking down into Initiation Well, a powerful connection to a mysterious ancient past overwhelmed my emotions. The contrast between the oppressive darkness inside and the bright hopeful light from above made me think of Hell and Heaven."

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