Keeper of the Mine

The Keeper of the Mine is waiting for you. She knows that it is your time to work the Alluvial Mine. But first you have to be prepared. The mine can be very dangerous and needs to know who you are. Let me explain!

In the Forge and the Crucible by Mireca Iliade, Eliade says that “A mine or an untapped vein is not easily discovered; it is fror the gods and divine creatures to reveal where they lie and to teach human beings how to exploit their contacts.” Eliade goes on to explain in Chapter 5, Rites and Mysteries in Metallurgy, that these beliefs were held in European countries until quite recently.

“The Greek traveller Nucius Nicander, who visited Liege in the sixteenth century brings back the legend of the discovery of the coal mines of northern France and Belgium. An angel had appeared in the guise of a venerable old man and had shown the mouth of a gallery to a smith who had until then fed the furnace with wood.”

“In other traditions it is also demi-god or a civilizing hero, a divine messenger, who is the originator of mining and metalurgy. This comes out very vividly in the Chinese legends of Yu the Great, the ‘piercer of the mountains’. Yu was a happy miner who gave health to the earth instead of disease. He knew the rites of the trade.”

It is important to understand that the sinking of a mine or the construction of a furnace (in which to contain your work) are ritual operations. Mining rites persisted up to the end of the Middle Ages.

Acquire a second hand copy of The Forge and the Crucible by Mircea Eliade and learn more about these rites and ceremonies.

Soul Food’s Alluvial Mine is under the order and protection of le Enchanteur who must be appeased. To appease her you need to leave a gift (of your work on the site) in the Keeper of the Mine’s wooden box.

Your gift might be a new ceremony for Enchanteur to present to new miners in the future. Make sure to make it very clear WHO you are and how you will honour the mine.


The Alluvial Mine is the property of Heather Blakey and Miners who have generously shared their work. Please do not replicate any part of this mine without written permission.