[Fair warning, I’m a bit ranty about this topic, so if you aren’t in the mood, just move on.]
Please, by all that is holy, stop making offerings at sacred sites. Just. Stop.
The image above was taken at the Rollright Stones, UK. At first glance it’s lovely, right? Handmade offerings, hanging elegantly from a branch . . . Yeah, but the copper frame for those stones will rot away in the weather, leaching into the ground and damaging the root system of the tree it’s hanging from, and the shamrock charm and ribbon are made of plastic, which will never decay. Nor will the yarn holding the thingie on the left. The only ok offering in this picture is the bundle on the right, made from local grass and herbs.
There were many offerings on the trees near the stones, and almost all of them were horrible. Take a look.
Plastic, plastic, plastic. From ribbons tied around branches, through the “sun cross” made of acrylic, to the latex balloons . . . the whole site was a bunch of garbage offered to the spirit of the land. Downright horrifying. Even the food and vegetation offerings aren’t great, if only because if everyone does that, the site will get denuded.
At the heart of it is this truth: the genus locii aren’t interested in your offering; they really and truly aren’t. You know what they WOULD like? For you to take trash away, or donate some moolah to the Trust that maintains the site and repairs the damage done.
Promo moment! I talk about this a little more in my most recent book, Travel Magic (links to book on Amazon).