On Making Offerings

I’ve been working on some longer pieces of writing recently (an essay on Eleusis for a forthcoming collection, and others that will form part of a new book The Fool & The Mirror that I’m planning to release later this year).

This means I’ve got less time for writing on this blog, at least the moment, so I’m planning to share various musings and later practices via my Youtube channel Deep Magic (please like, share, subscribe and all that).


Echoes of devotion at St.Credan’s Well, Sancreed.

Here are a few thoughts on the practice of leaving offerings. These reflections were prompted by the image on this post of a tree hung with prayer ribbons (and some of the responses to this image).

I mention in this video the term ‘clooties’, have a look at the Wikipedia entry for more details. There’s also Wiki information on Madron Well in Cornwall. For examples of trees hung with ribbon style offerings outside of ‘Celtic’ cultural settings one might look to North AmericaChinaThailand (or pretty much anywhere…). Finally a lovely article with multiple examples, including images of St.Nectan’s Glen and one of my favorite sites sacred sites Sancreed in Cornwall.

As the light grows in the northern hemisphere of our planet, so we come out of our homes and more and more into the landscape. May we find respectful and responsible ways to enjoy the special places we inhabit, and take joy in our recognition of the sacredness of this earth.



Julian Vayne

6 thoughts on “On Making Offerings

  1. Lioslaith Rose says:

    The WHOLE point of leaving offerings was that you left a rag, and as it decomposed your wish or need for healing came to pass. Non-biodegradable materials are NOT suitable offerings.

    • Hi Lioslaith Rose. You are of course right that (according to some accounts) dipping cloth in the holy water of a site the and leaving it to decay was a common practice, often of healing magic (tho I remain somewhat suspicious that this Frazerian reading was the totality of what many individuals in different locations were up to). However it wasn’t til the mid 20th century that synthetic fibres became common, therefore whatever the exact process and motivation all the rags hung before that time would inevitably decay. Today people tie ribbons, and other offerings for many reasons. I do agree that biodegradable offerings are generally best. Best wishes Julian

  2. Fiona ni'Giollarua says:

    We are Canadian; I am 99% Irish descent and my spouse is 99% Scot. We stick our clooties on a thorn in the hawthorn trees in our back yard every year but we remove the previous year’s clooties first, which are then burned in the ritual fire.

  3. Lunam Grove says:

    Thank you for these excellent suggestions on enchanting the landscape.

  4. Thanks Julian for sharing your insights with this well thought article. We must think about the environment and use biodegradable materials whenever possible.

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