Talking about Tlaloc, 4

Last June, as our creek began to dry up, I blogged about building a little shrine to Tlaloc, “god of the hydrological cycle” as Craig Childs described him, in a big culvert under our county road.

It snowed, nearly a foot on October 26. The combination of trees pulling up less ground water after freezing weather came, plus the melting snow, started the creek running again. On Halloween night, M. and I were walking the dogs before bed, and we heard a gurgle in the creek bed. Slowly, rock by rock, tiny pool by tiny pool, it was coming back.

By yesterday, the flow had increased. While everything in the shrine was natural (rocks) or biodegradable (turkey feathers, etc.), I thought that I should retrieve the glass jar for the votive candles, before it washed away, broke, and became litter. So I pulled on a pair of rubber boots-of-many-names and waded into the flow.

There was the little shrine, still dry. But what’s this? Here was a bundle of herbs, tied with a string. And here was a bunch of dried-out marigolds. Marigolds, hmmmm. Very traditional, but we had not grown any this year.

I took the jar and left the rest. At night, as we set out on dog walk, I remembered to ask M. if she had left those offerings.

Blank look. No, she had not.

So who did? Not the bears and raccoons. One of the neighbors—and there are not very many of them—has joined in on the cultic activity. But which?

4 thoughts on “Talking about Tlaloc, 4

  1. Oh, I love that. It is so encouraging & mysterious to come across offerings & other ‘little signs’ of people participating in some way. This summer I found a tree in the woods nearby with beautiful wool ribbons & another in a local park with seashells placed at its base.

  2. Pitch313

    One of the amazing things that I discovered when I took up riding mountain bikes is that mountain bikers qua mountain bikers (that is, not because they take a religion with them) make altars along trails. Out of, by and large, parts and pieces and stuff from their bikes and bags.

    Altars to the deities and guardians and spirits and beings that involve themselves with mountain bikes and riding.

    This discovery, in which I became a rider-participant, extended my Neo-Pagan awareness.

    Looking at it another way, folks do enjoy dabbling with and venerating wayside and casual altars and what goes along with them.

    Lastly, I guess it wasn’t clear to me before that your creek had dried up. Hope it keeps flowing. If it needs the touch of Tlaloc’s hand, OK.

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