Votive Offerings

Rag Trees & Clouties






The tradition of Rag Trees and Wishing Wells goes back to the distant past of our Pagan roots. Votive offerings have been left at water sources for thousands of years, with the intention of being blessed with good luck in some form or another.


Votive offerings were often expensive items of jewellery or weapons, Goddess images or simply pins. These were given as gifts to the Gods or spirits associated with the locality.


The rag tree is a specific spellworking in so much as it is used for banishing, or getting rid of something that is unwanted, chiefly ailments. It is  traditionally performed by tying a piece of cloth around the ailing part as a bandage then, when visiting the sacred place, tying or hanging it on a branch of a tree. As the material decomposed the illness was reduced or eliminated.


The Pagan traditions associated with sacred waters and rag trees in various forms are international, even associated with orthodox churches in many places, and does not appear to be waning. However please note that plastics do not decompose, and it is the disappearance of the material that works the spell and not the pretty colours in the trees.



Rag Tree at West Kennet Long Barrow


Coins in a Tree at Bolton Abbey


Coins in a Tree Stump at Portmeirion


Objects Being Petrified at Knaresborough


Cloutie Tree in the Long Meg Circle


Apparently a Cloutie Made up of Flotsam

Collected on Bardsea Beach?





Britain Tour