As I mentioned in my last post, I make a lot of offerings in my daily practice 🙂 Five or six times a week, I make devotional offerings to various Kindreds. Most of the time, I’m making offerings to the gods that I work with more closely, some of the times it’s to my ancestors or to the local nature spirits.
Offerings are not intended to drive you broke, or be a huge sacrifice all of the time. Offerings are more like when your friend comes over and you offer them a drink, or some food. Much of the time it’s something that you can easily afford, but you still pay attention to your guest’s needs and desires. I wouldn’t offer salami, cheese and crackers to a vegetarian, for example, but something more appropriate for them like carrots and hummus. Larger sacrifices are appropriate sometimes, but not every time.
I think that it’s very important that the offerings that you make come from you in some way. Maybe you purchased the offering, maybe you made it from purchased components, maybe you grew them … the idea is that you put some of your own energy into it. This energy can come in the form of money, time or attention – and is most commonly some combination of the three.
Much of the time, I make offerings from combinations of dried plants (sometimes from my garden, sometimes not), gemstones and incense. These kinds of offerings are most often gathered in a dish on my altar then later are scattered on the ground or offered to the fire. Other times, the offering is in something that I have crafted – usually these are donated to charity, but sometimes they go to the fire. When it’s appropriate, I will often also offer drinks – alcoholic and not, home made and not.
The key thing about offerings is that it’s personal. What you give must have meeting to you and to the being to whom you are making the offering. If you’re ever wondering what offerings to give to a being – ask them, do some research, do some divination or trance work, and see what feels right.
If you’d like to dig further into the idea of Sacrifices, I recommend “Sacred Gifts: Reciprocity and the Gods“ by Kirk S Thomas. Thomas goes into the history of offerings and sacrifices and why we would want to do them.