Saturday, September 13, 2008

21st Cee - Clootie Tree

" Clootie wells... are places of pilgrimage in Celtic areas. They are wells or springs, almost always with a tree growing beside them, where strips of cloth or rags have been left, usually tied to the branches off the tree as part of a healing ritual.
When used at the clootie wells in Scotland and Ireland the pieces of cloth are generally dipped in the water of the holy well and then tied to a branch while a prayer of supplication is said to the spirit of the well - in modern times usually a saint, but in pre-Christian times a goddess or local nature spirit. This is most often done by those seeking healing, though some may do it simply to honour the spirit of the well. In either case, many see this as a probable continuation of the ancient Celtic practice of leaving votive offerings in wells or pits. "
(from Wikipedia)

So what form would a Clootie Tree take into the twenty first Century?

In a modern era when so few of us (in North America at least) actually write by hand any more, what form would our petitions to 'the Powers' actually take? One of the impacts of computers on writing has been the quite noticeable effect of the lengthening of any message. The inclusion of more and more raw information, often presented quite poorly. Massive volume over clear content. We save on hard drives or CD-ROM disks, we are driven to fill the vast spaces with something.

How will the ancient spirits react to our compulsion to employ the latest technological gadget? Our quickly eroding abilities with even the most basic of traditional skills? At root, our disassociation with the natural world itself?

21st Cee - Clootie Tree was installed just across from the entrance to the Celtic Festival park site in Goderich the week of August 4 - 11, 2008.

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February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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