Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Offerings to Gods and Ancestors: The Basics

  1. #1
    Funding Member
    "Friend of Germanics"
    Skadi Funding Member

    Nachtengel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Ethnicity
    German
    Gender
    Posts
    5,914
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    95
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    770
    Thanked in
    423 Posts

    Offerings to Gods and Ancestors: The Basics

    Why Give Offerings to the Gods?

    The tradition of giving offerings to the gods dates back to prehistoric times. We can see the reflection of this in the Bible and other ancient holy texts, as well as through archaeology, cave paintings, etc. It was thought by our ancestors that giving offerings to the gods would gain their favor. Today, people give offerings in a variety of places where religious rites are performed.

    As a pagan, you might wonder whether you should give offerings to your gods and ancestors. There is nothing wrong with this, and should actually be a part of your tradition on at least a seasonal basis. Though many pagans claim they don't "worship" their gods or ancestors, they tend to use the phrase "work with" or "revere" their gods and ancestors. So we can view it as more of a friendship or working relationship and so to give an offering to a god or ancestor is simply like making an exchange or a deal. "I'm giving you this in exchange for that." On the contrast, you can also give an offering if you are simply wanting to thank the god or ancestor for their help / support / love, etc. Offerings are not required by gods or ancestors, but they are helpful and appreciated. Think of it like this, if someone you loved gave you a thoughtful gift just to say thank you or make your day, wouldn't you accept it? Wouldn't you be grateful and more wont to bestow gifts upon that person, too? It's the same thing with deities and ancestors.

    What Do I Offer My God or Goddess?

    Many people get confused on what type of offerings to give to their gods, goddesses, and ancestors. This is not a difficult task and should be a fun part of your practice as a pagan. The key to giving good offerings is to simply be mindful of what you are offering.

    Here are some things that can be offered to the gods and goddesses:

    Incense - research what type of incense your god or goddess would like the most.
    Bowl of herbs or flower petals - research what type of herb/flowers your god or goddess might like then leave it on your altar.
    Foods - certain types of foods can be used as offerings to your gods. These can be left on your altar or set aside on your dinner table.
    Drink - a bowl of water or some other form of beverage associated with your god can be left on your altar.
    Candles - you can dedicate a certain candle's flame to the energy of your god or goddess.
    Song - sing a special song or play a special song dedicated in your god/goddess name.
    As you can see, there is no major limit as to what you can offer up to your gods. With any of your offerings, you should research what kind your god or goddess would prefer before giving the offering. But, if you don't have a special kind of incense or you can't afford that particular offering, give what you can give. The gods aren't jerks and will understand if you give an offering with pure heart and good intention.

    Examples of Deities and Appropriate Offerings

    Aphrodite
    Osiris
    Brigid
    Cernunnos
    Roses
    Cedar
    Red clover
    Acorns
    Perfume
    Dates
    Poetry
    Coins
    Myrtle
    Myrh
    Candles
    Evergreens
    What Do I Offer My Ancestors?

    Ancestors are a bit different from the gods and goddesses as far as the types of offerings you give. Obviously our ancestors are a part of our bloodline and look out for you in a unique way, so therefore we should put extra thought into the offerings we give to our ancestors.

    If you have an ancestor altar or shrine of some kind, it's best to leave their offerings on their altar. But always do what feels most appropriate to you.

    If you are giving an offering to an ancestor that you knew personally in life, think about what that person liked while they were alive. For example, maybe it was your grandfather and you know that he smoked cigars. You can offer a cigar or a bit of tobacco. Or maybe it was your great aunt and she loved tulips, you can offer a vase of tulips to her. Maybe your great grandmother loved caramel candies, leave a few of these on the altar for her. The options are endless and it is really about being mindful and thoughtful of what you are leaving as offerings.

    If you didn't know the ancestor while they were alive, and let's say you are giving an offering to your ancient ancestors, think about your ancestors' heritage. Think about where they lived and what was common as far as foods back then. Perhaps a bowl of milk might be appropriate for those who lived in Europe in Medieval times. Or maybe leaving a bit of dried plant matter or herbs that were common to your ancient ancestors in those times. For example, red clover for Irish ancestors, Elder berries for English ancestors, etc.

    Follow the guide to the gods' offerings listed above for further ideas as to what kinds of offerings you can leave for your ancestors.

    How Do I Dispose of the Offerings?

    Many people want to know what they're supposed to do with the offerings once a sufficient time has passed. This is an easy enough question to answer. Do what you feel is best. However, it seems somewhat disrespectful to throw away certain things.

    Here's some tips on how to dispose of offerings in appropriate ways:

    Food - if it was vegetable or fruit matter, throw it in the compost or throw it outside for the birds and wild animals to eat. I believe the gods and ancestors would be appreciative of such a gesture.
    Water/Wine/Liquid - can be poured as a libation outside on the ground. Don't drink it after you've offered it.
    Dried herbs and plant material - again, can be given back to nature or used in the compost.
    Trinkets, jewelry, knick-knacks - you can keep these on your ancestors' or gods' altars and switch them out with the seasons (see section below on seasonal offerings).

    Note
    Never eat food offerings after you've given them as offerings. Their vital nutrients and energy have been drained and therefore will provide your body with zero nourishment. Plus, it's disrespectful to partake of an offering.


    5
    Exemplore»Paganism
    Offerings to Gods and Ancestors: The Basics
    Updated on March 18, 2017
    kittythedreamer profile image
    Nicole Canfield more
    Kitty has been following a pagan spiritual path for seventeen years. Because of this she encourages others to follow their own paths.
    Contact Author
    Offerings should be left on altars if inside of the home.
    Offerings should be left on altars if inside of the home. | Source
    Why Give Offerings to the Gods?

    The tradition of giving offerings to the gods dates back to prehistoric times. We can see the reflection of this in the Bible and other ancient holy texts, as well as through archaeology, cave paintings, etc. It was thought by our ancestors that giving offerings to the gods would gain their favor. Today, people give offerings in a variety of places where religious rites are performed.

    As a pagan, you might wonder whether you should give offerings to your gods and ancestors. There is nothing wrong with this, and should actually be a part of your tradition on at least a seasonal basis. Though many pagans claim they don't "worship" their gods or ancestors, they tend to use the phrase "work with" or "revere" their gods and ancestors. So we can view it as more of a friendship or working relationship and so to give an offering to a god or ancestor is simply like making an exchange or a deal. "I'm giving you this in exchange for that." On the contrast, you can also give an offering if you are simply wanting to thank the god or ancestor for their help / support / love, etc. Offerings are not required by gods or ancestors, but they are helpful and appreciated. Think of it like this, if someone you loved gave you a thoughtful gift just to say thank you or make your day, wouldn't you accept it? Wouldn't you be grateful and more wont to bestow gifts upon that person, too? It's the same thing with deities and ancestors.

    Offerings of various fruits and vegetables left on a pagan altar.
    Offerings of various fruits and vegetables left on a pagan altar. | Source
    What Do I Offer My God or Goddess?

    Many people get confused on what type of offerings to give to their gods, goddesses, and ancestors. This is not a difficult task and should be a fun part of your practice as a pagan. The key to giving good offerings is to simply be mindful of what you are offering.

    Here are some things that can be offered to the gods and goddesses:

    Incense - research what type of incense your god or goddess would like the most.
    Bowl of herbs or flower petals - research what type of herb/flowers your god or goddess might like then leave it on your altar.
    Foods - certain types of foods can be used as offerings to your gods. These can be left on your altar or set aside on your dinner table.
    Drink - a bowl of water or some other form of beverage associated with your god can be left on your altar.
    Candles - you can dedicate a certain candle's flame to the energy of your god or goddess.
    Song - sing a special song or play a special song dedicated in your god/goddess name.
    As you can see, there is no major limit as to what you can offer up to your gods. With any of your offerings, you should research what kind your god or goddess would prefer before giving the offering. But, if you don't have a special kind of incense or you can't afford that particular offering, give what you can give. The gods aren't jerks and will understand if you give an offering with pure heart and good intention.

    Examples of Deities and Appropriate Offerings

    Aphrodite
    Osiris
    Brigid
    Cernunnos
    Roses
    Cedar
    Red clover
    Acorns
    Perfume
    Dates
    Poetry
    Coins
    Myrtle
    Myrh
    Candles
    Evergreens
    What Do I Offer My Ancestors?

    Ancestors are a bit different from the gods and goddesses as far as the types of offerings you give. Obviously our ancestors are a part of our bloodline and look out for you in a unique way, so therefore we should put extra thought into the offerings we give to our ancestors.

    If you have an ancestor altar or shrine of some kind, it's best to leave their offerings on their altar. But always do what feels most appropriate to you.

    If you are giving an offering to an ancestor that you knew personally in life, think about what that person liked while they were alive. For example, maybe it was your grandfather and you know that he smoked cigars. You can offer a cigar or a bit of tobacco. Or maybe it was your great aunt and she loved tulips, you can offer a vase of tulips to her. Maybe your great grandmother loved caramel candies, leave a few of these on the altar for her. The options are endless and it is really about being mindful and thoughtful of what you are leaving as offerings.

    If you didn't know the ancestor while they were alive, and let's say you are giving an offering to your ancient ancestors, think about your ancestors' heritage. Think about where they lived and what was common as far as foods back then. Perhaps a bowl of milk might be appropriate for those who lived in Europe in Medieval times. Or maybe leaving a bit of dried plant matter or herbs that were common to your ancient ancestors in those times. For example, red clover for Irish ancestors, Elder berries for English ancestors, etc.

    Follow the guide to the gods' offerings listed above for further ideas as to what kinds of offerings you can leave for your ancestors.

    A Chinese ancestor shrine with offerings of fruit.
    A Chinese ancestor shrine with offerings of fruit. | Source
    How Do I Dispose of the Offerings?

    Many people want to know what they're supposed to do with the offerings once a sufficient time has passed. This is an easy enough question to answer. Do what you feel is best. However, it seems somewhat disrespectful to throw away certain things.

    Here's some tips on how to dispose of offerings in appropriate ways:

    Food - if it was vegetable or fruit matter, throw it in the compost or throw it outside for the birds and wild animals to eat. I believe the gods and ancestors would be appreciative of such a gesture.
    Water/Wine/Liquid - can be poured as a libation outside on the ground. Don't drink it after you've offered it.
    Dried herbs and plant material - again, can be given back to nature or used in the compost.
    Trinkets, jewelry, knick-knacks - you can keep these on your ancestors' or gods' altars and switch them out with the seasons (see section below on seasonal offerings).
    Note
    Never eat food offerings after you've given them as offerings. Their vital nutrients and energy have been drained and therefore will provide your body with zero nourishment. Plus, it's disrespectful to partake of an offering.
    Seasonal Offerings and Conclusion

    You might find that as the seasons pass you will get the urge to change your altar decorations. This can also include seasonal offerings to the gods and ancestors. For instance, if the summer solstice is on its way, you might want to take down your Spring décor (eggs, rabbits, etc) to make room for summer décor. This can include switching out plants, flowers, bowls of dried herbs and stones all dedicated to the gods and ancestors.

    Often when I clean and reorganize my altar, I am thinking of what the gods associated with the coming season would enjoy. This typically includes different stones, dried flower petals and herbs, and even boughs or branches of evergreen trees. Depending on what gods you work with or what branch of paganism you follow, this will influence how you set up your altar and whether or not you change your offerings and altar décor with the seasons.

    The choice is ultimately up to you what you want to offer to your gods and ancestors. The key to giving the best offerings is to simply be mindful and intentional of what you are giving. You wouldn't invite an honored guest over for dinner and throw out a bowl of two-day-old leftovers, would you? So treat your gods and ancestors with just as much respect, if not more. Think about what you are giving them and whether or not they would really enjoy it if they were sitting across from you at your dinner table. While I'm sure most of the gods and ancestors are just happy to be recognized after years of being ignored, we still want to be respectful, polite, and thoughtful.
    https://exemplore.com/paganism/Witch...-and-Ancestors

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Nachtengel For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Last Online
    11 Hours Ago @ 05:58 AM
    Ethnicity
    Anglo-Australian
    Ancestry
    Scot, Swedish, Austria
    Country
    Australia Australia
    State
    Queensland Queensland
    Location
    Sunshine Coast
    Gender
    Family
    Grandparent
    Occupation
    artist
    Politics
    EOne Nation (Australia)
    Religion
    Germanic Heathen
    Posts
    54
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    414
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    22
    Thanked in
    14 Posts
    As a reiki practitioner I am required to be grateful to the "source" for using the reiki flow, many of us make offerings to the
    source, the masters of our lineage and our ancesters. The ancesters include gods like Heimdal whose exploits in Midgard
    are expressed perfectly in season 1 of "Vikings". Reiki is a Zen Buddist/Shinto tradition and Zen has no gods, we are free to bring our own! A bowl of reiki charged water is an ideal offering when placed in a garden environment where the gods and ancesters are free to partake of it in any form they choose, dog, bird, snake etc.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Hawx For This Useful Post:


Similar Threads

  1. Old Norse Death Rituals / Offerings ?
    By Dvergr in forum Germanic Heathenry
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Friday, January 20th, 2012, 04:01 PM
  2. Atheism: The Basics
    By Thorburn in forum Agnosticism, Atheism, & Irreligion
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010, 02:03 AM
  3. Do you practice River Offerings?
    By Bodi_Donarsson in forum Customs & Rituals
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Monday, August 21st, 2006, 09:54 AM
  4. Honoring the Gods of your Ancestors
    By mothdust in forum Germanic Heathenry
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: Friday, January 20th, 2006, 09:30 AM
  5. Catholicism: The Basics
    By Milesian in forum Catholicism
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Sunday, February 15th, 2004, 01:45 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •