Whenever I visit a new place, there’s a protocol I have to follow. I always feel tremendously unsettled until I make offerings to the city spirit, the genius loci. If the flight has been a rough one, as long plane trips generally are for me, it can take me a day or so to fulfill this part of my working etiquette.
When I arrived in Eugene, I was uncomfortable and agitated until after breakfast the following day. I did a bit of quick divination and realized that a large part of my unease was that I’d not honored the spirits of the place yet so I immediately set out to remedy that. I poured out offerings to the spirit of Eugene but didn’t feel quite as though I was finished. There’s always the question of where to make offerings and for me, certain sites tend to resonate most strongly: any site connected with the military dead and, generally, cemeteries.
My husband lived in Eugene for many years and took me first and foremost after that to a memorial to honor those incarcerated in Japanese internment camps during WWII.
There were paving stones honoring individuals, and also soldiers and specific regiments. I gave offerings of tobacco and prayer there.
I also cleaned up some trash that someone had left. It makes me angry to see memorial sites desecrated. I think there should be more respect for our dead.
Later on that day we visited one of the local cemeteries. It was beautiful and serene and I was able to make offerings to the local dead (and to Hermes). The moment I poured out offerings to the dead in Eugene, I found myself feeling far more rooted and I was able to prepare myself for the weekend’s retreat ahead.
Posted on June 17, 2016, in Ancestor Work, devotional work, Lived Polytheism, Polytheism, Uncategorized and tagged Ancestor Work, city spirits, Devotional Work, Eugene, genius loci, memorials, Military dead, offerings, Oregon, Polytheism. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Memorial Places.