I’ve been leaving a formal offering at a pool on the American River for the last few years. Usually in September around Oshun’s saints day, this year I went on 9-9-09. So I thought I would share my examples for leaving offerings outside in nature.
The pool is in an area of the canyon that is abused in an on-going basis by film crews, people partying, and the homeless. This time of year is also when the controlled water releases are at their lowest, and water quality suffers for it. Visiting this pool throughout the year, I pick up trash going to and fro. I had my fullest bag on this trip.
With offerings left in nature I try not to leave any cups, plates, or similar non- biodegradable items. When leaving food I’m sure not to do this too often or in the same place. (I’m also removing more trash than anything I might bring to the area.) With fire hazards being what they are I use an anointing oil or spray, light incense or candles some other time at home, or do without.
I mentioned Oshun, but the spirit of this pool does not recognize that name (nor Venus or the like). Maybe there is a local Maidu name for her, but I haven’t found it; my offerings have been accepted regardless. I can only hope that if others can’t perceive this presence that they at learn to keep their own ‘backyard’ clean.
[Note: I’ve since written more about offerings here.]