On offerings

I post on an online forum in the Pagan section frequently.

Today, a post came up where someone who worships many deities feels burdened because the offerings are too expensive. Each deity wants something different! What can they give to ALL of the gods to make it less of a burden?

My reply gives a glimpse at what my worship is like, which could be instructive for others. (Though I’m certainly no expert.)

Anyway, here it is:
“How often are you giving offerings?

Perhaps some of your deities don’t need as offerings that frequent or in a large amount.

If you’re offering alcohol, perhaps a shotglassful will suffice. Perhaps you only need to offer once a week or once a month. The gods, from my experience, are very understanding of your financial (and other) limitations.

They’re happy to receive whatever They get as long as it’s not something taboo to Them.

I’m not saying you should do what I do but just to give you an example..I’ll tell you what I do. This way you can think of ways that will work for you and your deities that fit into your living arrangement.

I have two main deities that I have a devotional relationship with: Sri Ganesha and Aphrodite.

Once every two months or so, I’ll buy a big bag of cheap Indian sweets called “laddoo” that Ganesha likes. Five days a week, Ganesha is offered water, a laddoo, and incense. (Indian incense can be stupidly cheap.) On special occasions, I’ll offer other treats if and when I get them. (When I bake some bread, for example, He gets a piece.)

Aphrodite gets offered incense every day. (A different kind than Ganesha. I offer Her frankincense and myrrh, the resin on charcoal kind.)

Then, once a week, on Friday…I buy a rose and some wine (usually, a single-serving tetrapak of red wine) and, before work, I go down to the nearby harbor and offer them to Her with devotion. She also gets that same offering on the 4th of every month.

Once a month, on the 2nd, I give offerings to Brigid. Usually prayer and also some beer or mead. But she also likes milk. Sometimes with honey in it.

I sometimes brew my own mead. If I have enough, I’ll often offer it to all of the deities I worship because I made it myself, with devotion. And thus it seems like the best possible gift I can give.

Other deities (usually Hindu) such as Lalita Devi and Shiva (parents of Ganesha), my offerings are in the form of mantras and, sometimes, mead.

The frankincense and myrrh also serves as an offering to my ancestor altar and to my house spirits.

What I guess I’m trying to communicate by telling you this is that it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. If you can’t afford to buy things, perhaps you can afford to make things. Or write poems or songs or prayers.

What it is doesn’t matter as much as the devotion you give. If you have food, give it. If you have time, volunteer to a cause that one of your deities values. (For example, because I can afford to give financially, I donate to Planned Parenthood because I feel their work is sacred to Aphrodite but you can also volunteer your time to a cause related to your deities.)

Maybe you can bake bread. I don’t know any deities that hate bread. If you don’t know, perhaps you can learn.

Figure out what works best for you and your gods.

It’s my heartfelt belief that the deities want your devotion but not to make your worship of Them a hardship. Do what you can.”


~ by R.M. McGrath on 06/02/2016.

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