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The online home for Lisa McSherry, author and priestess

Please, I Beg of You . . .

. . . Take your trash — ehem, sorry, I meant *offerings* — with you instead of leaving them at special sites.

We all love sacred sites, like the Rollright Stones or Boa Island. We love the serenity, the freedom, the feeling of being closer to our ancestors, spiritual or blood. Sacred sites are special in so many ways.

Over the last few years there has been an increased volume of offerings being left at sacred sites, even tied to trees in a perverted attempt to make every tree a “clootie” tree. Which, as an aside, was an ancient healing practice of tying a cloth dipped in healing water to a tree. This is fine when you’re dealing with a village, but not when 100s (1000s?) of people are doing it. Because then it looks like this:

“Trees full of Clooties at the Clootie Well Munlochy Scotland rags tied to bring healing from the water Scotland” by amanderson2, licensed under CC BY 2.0

(A good summation of the practice, and problems, can be found here.)

Calling it an offering or prayer or wish does not make it OK. These are not wishes – if you are tying something to a tree you are littering. Here are some pictures from my recent visit to the Rollright Stones in August 2023.

As you will see from the photos nothing that has been tied to these beautiful trees is environmentally friendly or needed by the trees. That silver ribbon will kill the branch eventually, as will the ties for many of the other objects because they will prevent further growth. The copper of the “dreamcatcher”-like object will leach into the soil, poisoning it. The acrylic yarn on the sun star, the deflating balloon, the *mask* . . . none of them will ever dissolve, potentially harming birds and other creatures who can choke on it. Even the cloth bags (some of which were synthetic) will take 100s of years to fully decompose.

Please stop!

The genus locii don’t want your trash, any more than you want strangers to walk into your house and dump their trash any where they want. Pour wine on your sofa, blow cigarette smoke into your curtains, picnicking on your kitchen table and scattering the leftovers all over your rugs. Rude, right?

Wishes can be said out loud. Offerings can be made of tears, pure water, your energy . . . even by cleaning out the trash from previous visitors. That’s the kind of positive gift the genus locii will appreciate.

🌳 Leave no trace

🌳 Bring only your footprints

🌳 Let your wishes be whispered the wind

Please, I Beg of You . . .

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