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The water of life or the living water is a very common element in the Bulgarian folklore tradition. In the stories the living water can heal anything, can save people's life and can even create immortality. Usually the hero or the heroine of the story is about to die tragically, but a mythical creature feel sorry for him/her, because of his/hers many qualities and gives him/her living water. The moment when the living water touches the lips, all physical problems disappear. Sometimes there is a heroic young man send to impossible mission to find the living water's spring in order to marry the princess.
The living water is not from here, which is the reason for its magical powers. It is something that comes in our world from the other one. It is guarded by dragons and used by forest spirits. For humans is a forbidden fruit, although in some cases we are allowed to it.
In Bulgaria there are many places that are associated with magic and countless springs known for being healing.
There is but one spring of the living water in the mount Vitosha. It is this magical (in a very real way) place, where the living water comes out of the rocks. Not only that, but someone long ago has put a dragon's head on it in such matter so the water comes out from its mouth. It is a known place, all the aria is called after it. The local people are proud of having it nearby and gladly tell stories about living water.
I find it fascinating how this tradition has survived the ages. How in a land of an ancient people the old believes find their new lives. In our modern cynic point of view is like there is no room for the old wisdom, which we call superstition. For me the truth is that the ones before left us all the knowledge we'd need in the legends, the stories, the myths. This is the core of their existence. After all, we have long ago marked them as just fairy tales, but we still tell them to our children.
The connection with our origins is important and makes us who we are. Not just by telling the stories, but by showings us truths and by uniting us in this common realization of the world's order. It is simple – the living water comes from the other world, makes you immortal, the dragons protect it and the spirits drink it. After all we know where the spring is, don't we?