Physical Offerings.

Every day that I’m home, I make one offering of incense, at least one and usually two offerings of food or drink, and put out three cups of fresh water. It used to be two cones of incense a day, but stuff happened and we had to cut back financially. I also light a candle for an hour most days.

Husband puts out offerings to Jörð every time he goes to help out with The Conservation Volunteers, a group that do stuff like making hedges and dredging ponds to help wildlife, to thank Her for Her help and for just being generally wonderful. This comes to one or two food offerings a week. He’ll also randomly make food offerings when it occurs to him that he has something Someone else might like; Loki is the prime beneficiary of this, since they are both clinically addicted to candy and cinnamon (seriously, I’m beginning to wonder if Husband is being possessed by Loki. How much cinnamon can one man eat?! I don’t even bother to measure out spoonfulls any more; I just take the lid off the jar and *tip it* in to whatever I’m baking. And what does he say? ‘This is lovely, babe…next time, could you add more cinnamon?’ Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked here).

I know other people who make many more offerings than I do, who make offerings only at celebrations, and also people who make no physical offerings at all.

I don’t think any of us are wrong or better. I think the Deities and Spirits W/who are involved in your life, and your relationships to T/them, dictate these things – as well as your understanding of what Deities and Spirits actually are, of course. If you think all the Gods are mental archetypes and Spirits are symbols from your subconscious, obviously pouring out mead into the grass for Them makes no sense whatsoever!

The same can be said for the kinds of things we offer. I don’t usually buy things specifically to give as offerings (except incense cones and candles), I just share the food and drink that we have. That makes sense for the family-style relationships or friendships I have with most of the Deities and Spirits I honor, and I like how it makes T/them an integral, daily part of my life. That’s another reason I like daily offerings – it puts my focus on T/them every single day. For me, this is what’s appropriate.

Husband’s Deities and spirit guides don’t seem to be asking for this sort of thing. I don’t know why we’re so different, and I don’t think it matters. So long as T/they’re happy with what he’s doing, that’s all that counts. I do wonder if this will change in the future as his health improves and he is able to engage more with his spiritual life, or if physical offerings will never be an important aspect of his relationships with T/them. Either way, it’s between him and T/them.

It has to be said that neither of us make much fuss about giving offerings. Even on holy days, when we will cook offerings specially and often also give flowers, this is done in a fairly low-key style of ritual. I can see why a big ceremony and elaborate offering is important to some people though, and there are a bunch of reasons why their Deities and Spirits may prefer this from them – could be a lesson of some sort that they need to learn, could be to do with the type of relationship they have with their Deities and Spirits, could be anything. Again – different, not better.

I’d be really interested to read some of your thoughts on this, and what you do yourself (if you don’t mind sharing).

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