Your (mini) Guide to Offerings

Hello everyone! Today I have an article for you that I wrote last year for another blog, which has since been taken down. I decided to share this with you for a variety of reasons, mainly because it is still relevant to me!

This is going to be about giving offerings to deities. Every night for just over 2 weeks I have been making an offering to three beings: a Goddess and two guardians, and I have seen such a powerful change in my spirituality just from giving some prayer and candlelight to these amazing forces. I think that offerings don’t have to be elaborate and this article, from November 6th, 2014 may help you guys out. Enjoy!

Note: This post mentions my best friend and circle mate, Ivy. Also it mentions “my owl.” As cool as it would be to have an owl for a pet  thought I should clarify that my Spirit Guide is a snowy owl, and I also work with a gargoyle. Thought I would add this info in for clarity.

YOUR (MINI) GUIDE TO OFFERINGS

Hello everyone! I hope life has been treating you well since we last chatted.
Today I’m going to be talking about offerings. Many people incorporate these gifts to their Deities, Spirit Guides or to the Earth in general. When browsing forums a lot of people ask the same question that looks a little something like: “I want to give an offering to [insert name of Deity/Guide etc] but I don’t know what to give them, and I don’t want to be rude so what should I do?”
First, some of you might be asking why people give offerings? There’s a good argument that I’ve heard that states that many Pagans have a more open, direct path to their deities. Many Pagans see themselves as equals with their deities and have no problem talking to them as friends, parents, and even lovers. So, why should we give offerings or gifts to someone that we don’t need to grovel to?
Good point, and I wondered the same thing. When I first thought of offerings I thought of someone sacrificing things in order to gain the Gods’ attention and love. Instead I started looking at it in the way that my fiancee stated. She said “no, it’s not like groveling, it’s like they’re your friends and you know when you’re at the store and see something really cute for Ivy and you just have to buy it for her? You’re not getting her stuff to buy her affection, but just because you love her and want to.” Which is true. Ivy and I have been known to get each other random things just because and that’s how I look at many of the offerings that I give to the God and Goddess, my owl and more recently my gargoyle guide. I don’t do it because I necessarily have to, but because I want to.
So, if you feel that you need to give some gifts to your deity, guide etc then hopefully these quick tips will get you on the right track. Feel free to leave suggestions, questions and general comments in the comment section of the post – I’d love to hear from you and see what you have to say on the topic!
1. Research If you want to know what your deity likes – then do a little bit o’ research. A lot of correspondence charts, or books on certain deities will have what they like listed right in them. Or, you may be able to infer what the deity/guide would like based on other factors. For example, if you were to try to find an offering for a fire deity, you can infer that ashes from an important spell done in Their name, or an incense that you blend specifically for them with spicy notes might be good for them.
2. Use Common Sense On the flip side of the inferring point above, you wouldn’t offer a bowl of water to a fire deity. Instead of getting wrapped up in the moment, take a step back and make sure the offering makes sense. In the same vein, make sure that anything you’re offering is legal in your area. If you’re too young to buy alcohol for example, then please, skip it.
3. Ask them As easy as it may sound, just ask the deity/guide what they would like. I’ve currently begun working with a gargoyle spirit guide and I had no clue as to which offerings I should be giving him. So, I asked and he very specifically told me beef jerky and whiskey. So, after doing some research, approach them in meditation and politely ask what they would like.
4. It doesn’t have to be physical Many times when we think of offerings we think of a tangible item. Some folks have been known to offer fasting (do research, be safe and get a doctor’s approval for this). Other folks offer sexual acts and orgasm to deities. Be safe if you are using this option, do research, make sure the deity is ok with these kinds of offerings. (You wouldn’t offer an orgasm to a virgin deity would you? Also, if engaging in relations with a partner, have their consent to utilize the energies for this reason, make sure they understand what’s going on etc. I know you guys are smart, but I still wanted to cover bases.)
Giving energy is a good option if you’re offering to the planet. One circle I fondly remember is raising energy in circle and then channeling it into the Earth for some good healing vibes to help Momma Gaia out.
5. Basic List of Offerings. In most cases these things will do the job: milk, honey, bread, eggs, incense, herbs, water, candles (even a small tea light will do.) If you want to get a little more specific I recommend this article by PaganWiccan.About.Com
What do you guys think? Not as intimidating as we first thought right? Nah, you guys are awesome and totally knew all this.
Love and Light
Ristoria
Edit: November 6, 2014
A friend of mine brought up a good point that I forgot to say what to do with the offerings.
Some people leave offerings on their altars for a set length of time an then dispose of the offering. If it’s a food item then normally I leave the offering outside so that there’s no chance of it spoiling on the altar. Recently I offered apples and instead of letting them sit on the altar and get funky I went outside to a quiet area and said a few words and then left them on the ground. If it’s safe for the animals to eat outside, then this is normally what I do.
If it’s inedible, like a candle, then I’ll let it burn all the way down and dispose of of the metal tin since I normally use tea lights. If it’s something that can’t spoil, like a piece of jewelry then I’d either leave it on my altar or pack it away with care so that it’s not disturbed and can’t be misplaced or batted away by my cat.
Hope that helps a little more!

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