Simply put, an offering is a gift of gratitude.
The most familiar offerings are wine, beer and cakes. Full plate food offerings at Sabbats and hearty wines and beer on Esbats are routine. Using seasonal foods and libations satisfy the Gods and add to the spirit of the holiday.
Offerings are dictated by specific pantheons. Sacrafices that appease one God, may offend another. It’s important to know the history and myths of the Gods being worshipped.
Every year, the phone rings with a Witch confused about offerings. Q & A is the easiest way to address the most frequent questions:
Q. What do I give as an offering?
A. Fail safe gifts include flowers, fresh fruits, honey, vegetables, nuts and beer. Wine, meat and dairy products are NOT fail safe. Always research the God-form.
Q. How much do I give?
A. Learn to be generous within your budget.
Example: you are asking the Gods for $3000 because your car broke down. You decide to buy some medjool dates because you know the God Form will really like them. You spend $9.00 on a bag of dates, you think they are expensive, so you put one date on a tiny offering plate on your altar and ask for $3000. Think about it.....if you were the God- form, would you want to give this greedy self centered asshole $3k? Isn't the request worth an entire bag of dates? Plate them up beautifully and give them with a joyful heart!
Q. How much do I spend?
A. Stay within your personal budget. The Gods know your situation.
Q. Do I cut up the food, and open the bottle?
A. I encourage you to open the beverage and pour it into a cup reserved for the Gods. Food items should be washed if necessary, arranged on a clean and attractive plate dedicated for offerings.
Q. What do I do with the food and drink after the ritual?
A. When Gods receive food and drink, they consume the essence through “digestive fire”. The food offering can then be taken outside and given to the earth or what I like to do is offer the fruits to attendees for good health! Pour the libation into the earth. Generally, I leave flowers on the altar for a few days unless they begin to show signs of wilting.
Fruit Note: If you are giving fruit, I encourage you to leave fruit whole as these can remain on the altar after ritual. The next day, you can give this fruit to the hungry or add fruit to your meal. The food is blessed and actually raises vibration.
People never ask, but they should.... here’s a few extra tips:
* My mother always said “cleanliness is next to Godliness”. She was right. ALWAYS wash your hands before plating offerings.
* Use a special offering plate. Meaning, its clean (hopefully dedicated to your practice) and not used everyday.
* Keep the circle chalice separate from the God’s chalice. Always wash the chalices after ritual and return them to their proper place.
* Do not leave food offerings on the altar indefinitely ...
Planning and delivering offerings is a joyful expression of our devotion. Personally, I have found "Spiced Cider" to be a really effective drink offering. In my practice plates usually consist of dates, fruits, dried coconut, nuts and sweets. I know my Lords and Ladies are enjoying them!
Hail to the Gods!