Offerings for Deities
It’s been a while since I’ve made a post. I’m going to address one of the most frequently asked questions I receive: How do I give offerings? For some reason, many beginner books don’t dive into the specifics of this religious practice which many are unfamiliar with. Hopefully this will help.
- Offerings are given as thank-yous, as little gifts to say that you appreciate the deity’s existence. They don’t have to be expensive, but they should be special in your eyes. For example, I often offer donuts or wine simply because I don’t buy those two things often.
- Offerings should be appropriate for the deity you’re giving them to.
- You’re allowed to get creative with offerings–in fact, the Gods even prefer that you do!
- How often you give offerings in accordance to your practice is up to you.
- You may give apology offerings for any offense you think you may have made.
- Prayers, songs, playlists, and there intangible gifts still count as offerings.
- You do not need an altar to give offerings. You can give offerings anywhere, at anytime.
- Simply saying “This is for you” makes the object an offering.
- Most food offerings are eaten after being offered. The main exceptions are Greek chthonic deities, and ancestors, in which case you do not eat the offerings. Research your specific pantheon to make sure if eating is appropriate or not.
- There is no set amount of time to leave out food offerings. In fact, many worshippers will eat said offerings right after they offer them.
- If you do not eat food offerings, you may throw them away, saying something like, “Though I discard these physical offerings, the spiritual offering remains”.
- You may also bury the offerings. Make sure that the offerings will not harm the surrounding environment or animals. Do not bury them in a jar or plastic bag.
- If you offer herbs, you may either burn them using a charcoal block or cauldron, or you may throw them out/bury them. While burning is certainly traditional in many pantheons, do not feel the need to if you will be bothered by the potent smoke or handling fire.
- Liquid offerings are handled in the same way food offerings are, with the exception of oils.
- You do not have to drink oils after offering them. (Drinking straight olive oil is pretty gross, and please DO NOT drink harmful essential oils!) I recommend pouring them into the ground outside, or into the trash can.
- You may pour liquid offerings into the offering bowl, or, you may keep the liquid offering in a cup. I have a special teacup that I often use for offerings such as tea, but any regular teacup will do. After all, you are offering the liquid, not the cup.
Incense and Candle Offerings:
- According to tradition, these offerings must be left to burn out on their own. I recommend lighting small tea light candles for these offerings, as big candles burn for a long time. However, some modern Pagans may blow, rinse, or snuff them out early to prevent a fire hazard.
- Make sure to be present while the offering is lit, and make sure nothing catches on fire.
- If you are bothered by incense smoke, using an essential oil diffuser or unscented candle works fine.
- Although many Pagans recommend incense as a general offering, you do not have to offer it, or any candles, if they bother you.
- If you offer a plucked flower, you may leave it on an altar or table until it withers. Afterwards you may throw it away. Basically, you handle it as any other friend would had you given them a plucked flower.
- If you offer a growing or potted plant, tend to it as you would your other plants. If it dies, that’s okay. Simply discard it as you would normally. The Gods understand that plants die, and They appreciate the beauty of plants while they last.
- For objects such as stones, shells, or family heirlooms, keep them on the altar or somewhere else special. Ideally, you will not need to throw these away. If they get damaged somehow, and if you cannot repair them, you may throw them out, but give an apology offering and try to replace them.
- For artworks or crafts, place them on the altar or hang them somewhere. Don’t sell your offerings; they are gifts you gave to the Gods and not yours to sell.
- For songs, play or sing them anytime you’d like to connect or give something to your deity.
- For writings, you may keep them, or some people might burn them to “send” to their Gods. Whichever way is up to you.
- For e-shrines or other technological offerings, keep them saved in their own folder, keep them nice and up-to-date.
- For magical tools, such as grimoires or wands that you dedicate, feel free to use them as normal. Just take care of them, and remember to thank the deity you devoted them to once in a while.
- For daily or private actions, such as cleaning, giving to others, etc., simply think “This is for you” or send your energy to the God, and finish the action.
- You may say prayers out loud, write them down, or simply think them in your mind. All are perfectly legitimate.
I hope I got all of this. Feel free to reblog or message with corrections, since I know I don’t know everything about every pantheon. Have a beautiful day, and have fun worshipping!! (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧