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Ritual Offerings – Sacred or Debris?

By Damh the Bard

[Snip] I remember being at a Pagan conference some years ago where one of the custodians of a stone circle was giving a talk about this topic. They had brought a carrier bag full of what they called ‘debris’ they had collected from the stones. They un-ceremonially upended the bag and tipped out the contents which they then picked through, holding bits and pieces up to show the audience. They said, “There are crystals, ribbons, lots of aluminium nightlight remains, and pieces of paper, including bad poetry for dead boyfriends”. They picked up a little scroll of paper, then tossed it back onto the pile of ‘debris’. I was shocked. Shocked that people would leave offerings that might damage the stones like candles, but also shocked at the callous way some of these offerings had been not only dismissed, but treated so horribly by a person who, as a Pagan, seemed to have no respect for the emotion behind some of the offerings. They might not have been sacred to her but to the partner of that dead boyfriend, who had written their heartfelt words onto a scroll, then left it in what they obviously considered a sacred place (as a Christian might light a candle in a Church) it was important. Some of this ‘debris’ was devotional.

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