Well as my good lady might say , I am seriously off on one again.
I read yesterday of the woes and stress of a man I know in Glastonbury who has become sick and tired of picking up rubbish left as offerings around his home town, on this occasion it was the wire frame of, wait for it, a dream catcher, I can only wonder what use nature might have for that.
"Its only a bit of wire, and will rust away at some point" could be an excuse , but maybe it might wrap itself around something else before it does, the legs or neck of a bird or animal perhaps,or a dog or child, and this does happen.
When you leave an offering to your gods do not leave something that you value by modern western standards, it is pointless, bake an extra cake or leave some wine, a portion of your picnic lunch or some other food stuff, you know the stuff that you need to survive , live, breathe, you know, a real not hollow sacrifice, something a bird might eat. As the man said , this item was left by someone with at least a rough idea or the beginnings of a spiritual belief, all be it one from an alien culture that has little relevance to Glastonbury .
I tend to be a little defensive about this part of the west country as it is the area I grew up in, I also feel that the area has kind of been" hoisted by its own petard", as it has grown with that monster they called the new age, mostly physically and commercially, although to some degree it has grown spiritually, you will have to scrape below the surface a little to see this ( remember there is always more noise in the shallow end of the pool).
There are and always will be good people that live and work there, but over the years the town has been dominated by the kind of new age follower that would A. purchase a dream catcher and B. leave it in a hedge as an offering, it is due to this kind of person that I feel unable to return to the places of my childhood, I cannot cope with all those who are there to "reclaim" their pagan heritage, mostly under the guise of visiting the shops, and I feel that the dream catcher has come to represent this side of human nature, far away from its American homeland.
I should be totally honest here, I am guilty of making a few bob from the pagan public, when I am not working in the woods, I make wands and staffs for those who want them, my wife also sells her artwork to the spiritual shoppers of Glastonbury and like the shop owners we all need to make a living.
What angers me is the fact that "pagan" people are leaving a bigger footprint on this land than those who go to pay homage to the holy thorn, that those who claim to have reached a certain degree of enlightenment are the ones leaving the mess.
So, go to Glastonbury, walk up the hill and admire one of the most beautiful and historical landscapes in this country, visit the chalice well, the Abby and King Arthur's grave, have a cup of tea or a pint of west country cider with a cheddar ploughman's, meet the colourful locals and browse all the esoteric shops in the town, treat your self to some witchy supplies or quality artwork( www.victoriamacleod.co.uk ) or even buy a dream catcher if you really feel you have to, but don't tie the bloody thing to a tree or leave it in a hedge, when you realise you don't actually want or need the thing, take it home and put it in a bin with the other rubbish.
Now that is off my chest I can resume thought about my next rantings, Good and Evil, Curses and Cures!!! That's if something else isn't making a play for my goat..