The Offerings

Though I may incorporate modern things into my shrines (like little star-shaped electric lights), I find comfort in using more traditional methods in my worship.

For example, in my previous post, I posted my Aphrodite shrine (a work-in-progress). It might be too small or obscured to be seen, but there’s a small glass with olive oil used as a candle with a wick that floats on a cork.

The glass, I picked up in a Kosher supermarket in a nearby city with a notable Jewish population. The wicks and cork, I ordered online from a Greek Orthodox Christian supply store (which sold it through Amazon).

I think ideally, I would like to buy a ceramic oil lamp in the ancient Greek style but the last time I used ceramic (for Hindu ghee lamps) the oil would leak through it, leaving an oil ring-shaped spot on my altar cloth.

Jews and Greeks still use olive oil lamps to light their prayer spaces. That sort of sense of tradition speaks to me. I’m neither Jewish or Greek (that I know of), but the gods of the Mediterranean have been worshipped with olive oil since before recorded history.

Obviously, if you’re in a dorm and you can’t have any sort of fire, that’s not a good option. (I also would not recommend the particular sort of oil lamp glasses that I have to people with pets or kids as they rest on a very short stem and can be knocked over easily.)

Still, I prefer it to candles. But you use what works for you and what you have access to.

I also try to use a censer and charcoal with resin incense when worshipping Aphrodite. I have some excellent Japanese stick incense. But, for me, there’s something about burning resinous myrrh that links me to the people throughout the ages that have burned myrrh to Her. Or frankincense (olibanum) or other resinous incenses.

Smelling this from a resin from a tree or plant is the same smell that my ancestors smelled. (Both in the ancient polytheistic world and in more modern days as frankincense and myrrh are often burned in Catholic censers as well.)

Of course, this isn’t primarily about MY experience. Light from an olive oil lamp is a traditional offering for these gods. Resinous incense over burning charcoal is traditional for these gods.

I hope that going the extra bit pleases my deities even more than it pleases me or gives me a connection to the ancients.

~ by R.M. McGrath on 08/04/2017.

4 Responses to “The Offerings”

  1. To avoid the oil leaking onto the altar cloth, maybe use a little discreet plate underneath? If it’s matching the oil lamp itself it could even look good!


  2. Wow! Cool! Thanks for the heads-up!


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