I did my dark moon circle by myself, this past Friday....out by my oak tree in the backyard. I have built a cairn at the base of the tree and I have turned that awesome oak into a clootie tree. I had seen several in my travels, and always thought they were beautiful.
In parts of Britain, Ireland and northern Europe, there is a tradition of fastening a piece of cloth to trees, usually oaks, near the holy wells. The oak tree is a symbol of long life, wisdom and health. I did see them in many those places but I also saw a version of it at Ephesus, in Turkey. An entire wall by the House of Mary. Here’s a picture.....very impressive!
In Celtic traditions, a ‘Clootie’ or ‘Cloot’, ‘Clought’ or even ‘Cloughtie’ is a strip of cloth, rag or ribbon is dipped in the water of the spring or well and offered to the tree or Deity. This is done as prayer or wish to cure an illness or solve a problem. The cloth is tied to the tree, and as it fades and disintegrates over time, so does the sickness or issue. Another way to incorporate this into a practice is to make a Wish Tree, where offerings are hung on the branches or placed by the spring or well. These offerings may include a coin, stone, charm, necklaces, medals, beads and any symbol of your faith.
My tree is a bit of both, it has cloth, beads, shells, whatever strikes my fancy. I only started doing this about 6 months ago, so feel free next time you visit my home, to bring something to the tree. I can see it from my dining room window, and it never fails to make me smile. Here is a picture of my tree. Please ignore the huge blue rain barrel. :-)
So, last night, I stood out by the tree, cast a circle and then just stood there...listening to the night sounds of my backyard. I didn’t ask for anything or do any ritual...just hung out with the tree and in that way, was one with nature and my God and Goddess. I did say Thank you for all my blessings, and friends and the all around great life I have been given.