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Offerings - Is there right and wrong?


Guest Minty
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I've had a search of the forums (took awhile, but I got there in the end) and I noticed that most of the threads about offerings are a least a year old, and we've had new peeps start since then so I thought I'd have a go at asking this now.

 

 

I sometimes make offerings, usually apples or candles, though at Samhain it was white wine, and I was just wondering what, if anything, people offer during craftwork (either to the gods, wights, ancestors... whomever you are honouring)?

 

Do you leave it outside in the open, bury it, leave it indoors and then simply throw it in the bin... what?

 

For some reason I always get the urge to make an offering whenever I eat Jaffa Cakes (so I am about to go outside and make that after I write this). Whether it's the confusion about "cake or biscuit" or whether I just have sweet-toothed gods/ancestors, I have no idea :) but they seem to like Jaffa Cakes (can't say I blame them, but why wait until it's dark!! lol)

 

 

Anyway... so... what do you do, and is there a wrong way to make offerings, or a wrong thing to offer or is it always simply to follow your own gut instinct regardless of what is said to the contrary?

 

Sorry if this sounds quite silly, only I remember being told once that the only silly question is the one not asked, so I'm just biting the bullet and asking now ;)

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I think it really depends on your own gods and on the tradiiton you're working in. In my path there are strict rules as to what should and shouldn't be offered to certain spirits - for example some Loa love alcohol and others are insulted to be offered it. There's a degree of fluidity within these rules though, as everybody's spirits like different things. For example, my Baron Samedi loves cinnamon pastries but I haven't heard of this with anyone else!

 

Here's a list of some of the things I like to offer some of my spirits:

 

Baron, Brigitte and the Gede - strong black coffee, homemade bread, the aforementioned cinnamon pastries, hot spicy chicken, dark rum. I also have a Gede who likes greasy cheeseburgers drowned in chilli sauce with chips, served in a brown paper bag.

 

Legba - peanuts, rum, cake, sweeties, sweet black coffee

 

Erzulie Freda - cakes made with rose syrup

 

Metres Dayila - neat whiskey, or cocktails

 

Ogoun Badagris - brandy, rum, rare roast beef

 

Ogoun Feray - rice and beans, rum, beef

 

Erzulie Dantor - red wine. She doesn't tend to eat much.

 

Erzulie ge Rouge - red wine, cornmeal porridge with honey and chilli flakes, raw meat along with any blood drained from the packaging.

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There's a degree of fluidity within these rules though, as everybody's spirits like different things. For example, my Baron Samedi loves cinnamon pastries but I haven't heard of this with anyone else!

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I was thinking about this the other day. It doesn't surprise me that the same spirit/god would want different things of different people. If everyone offered the same thing it would surely get dull. Like if every time you went to a friend's house you got macaroni cheese, it would get boring, then imagine you have 3 million friends and more!

 

So I reckon, if they ask for it, or they seem to like it give it to them, whether they ask it from someone else or not! Maybe it could be that your home-made apple pie (for instance) is better than anyone else's!

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Hello Minty :o_bolt:

I always listen to my instincts..tonight i have shared my wine with mother earth, its been a long and stressful day(little grandson in hospital) and i am home late and now on my own it felt right to share my wine ;) ...i do often make an offering by burying an apple or coins by trees that i feel drawn to.. I have apple trees and alot of elder in my garden and i will often share either red/white wine with them..i give thanks for their fruit and their protection from the sun in the summer(i can`t tolerate the heat) so it just seems right to thank them and share what I am having...simple but meaningful to me anyway :)

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I often leave offerings in thanks for a productive hunt or forage though not to any particular god or other. Generally, I'll spread some apples or damsons where they don't normally grow in a local hedgerow or leave an animal carcass fo the local fox. It's just my way of giving something back to nature so that it's not all take, take, take.

 

There's a wood where we camp a lot too and I have left a small drink as an offering to the spirits of the place as a thanks for using their wood. Not too sure why, but it very much felt like the right thing to do. :o_bolt:

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Oh yes, in answer to the question about what to do with offerings I always reckon put them outside. In a hedge, under a bush or just generally around. I don't personally believe Gods or spirits eat these themselves but I'm sure they're happy that you're feeding their wildlife! For this reason I wouldn't burn it and have never offered something non-biodegradable.

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For some reason I always get the urge to make an offering whenever I eat Jaffa Cakes (so I am about to go outside and make that after I write this). Whether it's the confusion about "cake or biscuit" or whether I just have sweet-toothed gods/ancestors, I have no idea :o_bolt: but they seem to like Jaffa Cakes (can't say I blame them, but why wait until it's dark!! lol)

 

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I really, really hope, when making an offering of such a sacred food you use the traditional invocation "Full Moon, Half Moon, Total Eclipse" with appropriate fake french accent! ;) :)

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For some reason I always get the urge to make an offering whenever I eat Jaffa Cakes (so I am about to go outside and make that after I write this). Whether it's the confusion about "cake or biscuit" or whether I just have sweet-toothed gods/ancestors, I have no idea :o_bolt: but they seem to like Jaffa Cakes (can't say I blame them, but why wait until it's dark!! lol)

 

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I really, really hope, when making an offering of such a sacred food you use the traditional invocation "Full Moon, Half Moon, Total Eclipse" with appropriate fake french accent! ;) :)

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*Chuckle* :lol:

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When I went to the cemetry just after Samhain, I took monkey nuts with me for the squirrels :o_bolt: Its such a beautiful, serene place to be at any time of year but Autumn is just gorgeous.I sat on the bench near the crab apple tree where I have scattered ashes and was rewarded by not only grey squirrel visitors but also a pair of jays, a robin, loads of crows, pigeons, some kind of tit and of course maggies ;) All affording me their company it really lifted me.Whenever I go there I always leave an offering to the tree in appreciation and I tidy it up too but thankfully litter is not a problem.Next time I go back I'll definately be bringing more food and I always bring water.

There's a hill at a place I used to take my late father.We use it as a family to release balloons in memory at special times.We always feed the geese at the lake and I always have a tidy up and a little water round.I suppose I'm just trying to be respectful. I just try to give something back as I receive so much

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I've not actually made any offerings as of yet, but I agree very much with what other people have said about leaving biodegradeable things out in the wild for the animals and plants to enjoy.

 

As one of the deities I am drawn to is Frigga, I am also able to offer domestic things up to her (as one of her roles is goddess of the home), so I will be offering my stitching up to her when it's finished and probably any baking endeavours I'm involved in over the Yule-tide period. My Yule celebrations themselves, will partly be a symbolic offering to Holda (another goddess I'm drawn to) who is a winter goddess.

 

In terms of other things, I guess the main reason I've not engaged in this so far is a fear of not doing it in the right way because of not knowing the right way in which to do it - if that makes sense? Hence this thread is a useful one for me :o_bolt:

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Idon't do offerings, although the pears that drop from me tree nicely feed the local wildlife especially the birds. pigeons in particular.

 

I guess, making an offering is a personal choice, do itif you want to, especially if you get something satisfying out of it, feel a greater connection etc etc etc

 

fizz

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't feel right making food offerings regularily because I live on a road and don't want to attract wildlife to cars but I like hand feeding birds for some reason (on holiday I thought my nan was going to flip because I had a wild Raven on my lap feeding it bread) so mine go to animals x

 

I donate and work for charities too and collect my 5p pieces for a year then at Yule I drop them in different donation boxes so my offerings are less tradition but I don't think they mind x

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I sometimes make offerings, usually apples or candles, though at Samhain it was white wine, and I was just wondering what, if anything, people offer during craftwork (either to the gods, wights, ancestors... whomever you are honouring)?

 

I don't make offerings during spellcraft. Just as well, as the gods would get offerings! :P

 

Like Crow, it depends on the god/ddess what I offer. For wights outside the house, it's usually chocolate cake, or something sweet. Muffins are a favourite. The wight inside the house likes cider or calvados, for some reason. :blink:

 

Tiw (to whom I rarely offer now) liked me to give him a very good, single cru brandy. I gave him a dagger once, as well. He seems amenable to having his offerings in running water, when that's possible. Dunno why. It may be just with me. YMMV.

 

Freya will make do with Baileys, or likes a good mead. However, her favourite with me seems to be a Dark lady or Black russian (I think that's what it's called, but I'm not sure): vodka and Tia Maria. But it has to be top notch vodka. She'll settle for Smirnoff blue. :D And she much prefers orange Tia Maria, when I can get it. But that's an old story, to do with her favourite colours. Come to think of it, she also likes me to buy clothes in her favourite colours. Oh, and she likes raspberry vodka (another one of her colours!)

 

Loki's will drink most things, but, with me, his favourites are malt whisky (there's a favourite brand, but he'll come with others, though her prefers Speysides). I also try to keep a bottle of absinthe and a bottle of citron vodka for him. That latter was a funny story, as he insisted I had something he wanted in my drinks cupboard, a few years back. I pulled out everything, and he kept saying 'no', and I said there wasn't anything else, but he insisted there was. That's when I found the bottle of citron vodka. I'd long since forgotten about it, as someone gave it me as a present and I don't drink it. But he does. :(

 

Another funny story about that. I was on my way to visit a friend, who's patron is Odhin, and I had no alcohol in the car with me (very unusual - I usually carry a selection, for various gods), and I stopped at a supermarket to pick some up. I saw a bottle of vanilla vodka and tried to tempt Loki with it, as I thought I'd quite like to drink some. His response was "Do I look vanilla?" So i tried to pass some off on Freya, and she was very amused. "Do I look vanilla??" she said. I gave up.

 

Odhin gets some perry made by one particular local farm, offered in one particular place in the county, once a year. Apart from offerings at the friend's house, if he fancies whisky or raspberry vodka, he might - very, very occasionally - get something in the house.

 

All of them have their own offering bowls. Freya's is an elegant glass in many colours. Loki's is a tea-light holder in spun green and with deep blue bowl. Odhin's is an onyx bowl, and Tiw's is an earthware goblet. They (not Odhin, though) also have things on my altar. The drink offering is poured away after a few days (if there's any left!) and the bowl washed.

 

Mr Forester is different: no offerings in the house, only outside, in a big, white, ceremic bowl - large enough for a pint of beer. And always good, bottled beer. he has favourites. Or else the first thing I'll do when I've made a long journey is pour some beer in a garden for him. (and he usually likes it shaken, as he likes the froth for some reason... :D )

 

Oh, and make other offerings, as like as not. When I go to see Pomona it's hilarious, as I take offerings for my gods and for hers, so we have about seven offerings to make, front and back. And I'll take some cider from of Odin's preferred farm for Vert. Then one of Pomona's gods wanted a bit of the cider...

 

And at Beltane, at John & Kitty's, Loki gets some whisky on the Beltane fire. And for everyone to drink a toast to him. that's how he ended up sabotaging TTT's satnav - that's another story. ;)

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Indoors, a little drop of wine for the house spirits.

 

Outdoors, something very small, seasonal, and local for the White Lady at the well.

 

My rule of thumb for outdoor offerings is that if someone could come along afterwards and notice it, it's too much. Nothing worse than sacred places overwhelmed with heaps of rotting flowers and fruit!

 

gwyn eich byd

 

Ffred

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First glass out of every bottle of wine goes to the Gods, usually Pomona.

 

Vesta gets milk and honey - hers is the only offering that gets made indoors, in the kitchen.

 

Herne gets bottled beer, whatever he wants me to pick when I'm getting some. Once or twice I've been musing at the shelves and a bottle has tipped off the shelf into my basket: that's usually my hint :lol:

 

Fortuna gets sparkly stuff, and the other night I gave her a half bottle of Champagne in thanks.

 

Minerva likes Bacardi Breezers - Orange :lol: She also likes silver and I've made a few offerings over the years in that form.

 

On one memorable occasion, Freya asked me for a Black Russian. Which confused the hell out of me because (a) Freya's not one of "mine" and (b ) I'd no idea what she meant: I had to ask MH who was more than a little taken aback because it (Freya's liking for Black Russians) wasn't something she'd told me, or anything I'd read - anywhere, so it was all a bit of a shock - one of those weird and wonderful synchronicities.

 

And yes, MH is right, the first half hour of her visits are spent sloshing lots of alcohol around, much to Vert's resigned amusement and probably the neighbours' bafflement... :D

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And at Beltane, at John & Kitty's, Loki gets some whisky on the Beltane fire. And for everyone to drink a toast to him. that's how he ended up sabotaging TTT's satnav - that's another story.  :lol:

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Hmmm and having been there, witnessed it, drunk to Him..... I then find myself many months later, having paid no attention to Loki at all, on Perthshire hillside watching stags when the guide gives us all a wee dram. I had to pour half of mine away as I am not a big whisky drinker - and who should whisper in my ear expecting it poured out to Him...... :lol:

 

ED

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Once or twice I've been musing at the shelves and a bottle has tipped off the shelf into my basket:

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Aye, that's my excuse too, "It just put itself in my basket, the Gods made me do it!" :lol: :lol:

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:lol:  The difference is that I don't get to drink it!  :D    :)

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Yes, I can keep up the charade until that point! :lol:

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Njord likes brandy, preferably Greek (Metaxa is a favoured brand), which is a bit of a pain actually as I don't care for it. Flavoured vodka always goes down well as well. He's also got a thing about green candles. Once resulted in me jumping two red lights and getting a (thoroughly) deserved ticket. Huh. He thought that was hilarious.

 

Freyja usually wants wine - rioja - but at a pinch anything big and red will do. She's never asked for Black Russian, but maybe she knows that Baileys is a place I do not go for anyone - or saving it up. She does seem to be partial to the odd Pina Colada though, but it has to be mixed specially. None of your ready mixed rubbish. I don't like Pina Colada either.

 

I offer Odin beer - usually Black Sheep, or a very good cider, proper take your head off stuff which I get from a friend in Gloucestershire. He also likes stilton.

 

 

Frey

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  Flavoured vodka always goes down well as well.  He's also got a thing about green candles.  Once resulted in me jumping two red lights and getting a (thoroughly) deserved ticket.  Huh.  He thought that was hilarious.

 

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Hang on a minute....green candles make you jump red lights. There's a story here which I'm sure that I will find amusing (together with Njord). Please do elaborate! ;)

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A friend of mine gives mead and whisky for the Fae, (they only like expensive whisky though, apparently). If he doesn't, he (they?) end up spilling his own drinks all over the place until he does....

 

I rarely make offerings to specific Gods/Goddesses as such, but the Goddess Herself seems rather fond of red wine (on such occasions she's a rather plump and jolly fiftyish woman with a FILTHY sense of humour).

 

I'm often drawn to bodies of water, so will often drop something natural - more water, a particularly noticeable fallen leaf or stick or flower, a pebble in where possible.

 

One time, I was at a stone circle in the drizzle... hadn't gone up there with anything offering oriented, and found myself getting somewhat disapproving feelings from the area. I had to make do with a few pinches of tobacco and an apology that it wasn't particularly relevant to these shores. Since then if I'm in the vicinity of a palaeo or neolithic monument I always have something unobtrusive to offer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I give offerings most days to the wildlife. I am fortunate to have an enclosed garden and I will often leave out bits of fruit and left-over bread or cake.

 

I will sometimes use red wine as an offering. I have no idea why or how this came about, but it just has to be red wine.

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I've had the privilage of working in Thailand. On one occasion had I twisted my back just before flying. On landing I was taken to a pharmacist. The "Cure" was anti-inflamatories, pain killers, a herbal mixture, a recommendation that I have a Thai massage [no - a little old lady who took me to pieces and put me almost back together again.] and finally to make an offering to the spirit house in my hotel. [Every building in Thailand has a spirit house]

The Spririt house had joss sticks, soap stone beads, ribbons, fruit and flowers around it. I offered a bottle of coke.

I shuffled onto the outbound plane with a walking stick.

It was in my hold bag when I flew home.

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