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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in offering

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Offer It Up

I stood on a subway platform as trains roared by, oblivious, paralyzed. I had been frozen by a brief, polite encounter with a former co-worker, a few weeks after I’d been laid off from my very first job, as a community college English teacher. My last set of students—young men in practical disciplines — had filled their evaluations with comments on my dress and appearance: “She should wear shorter skirts.” “She should wear more make-up.” It was decided my relationship with them had been “too personal", and my contract was not extended. Standing on the platform, remembering all this, a renewed sense of shame burned in my heart.

 

Over the years I would understand what happened better, with a more sophisticated eye. But at the time I was looking for emergency first aid. And I found it in the practice of “offering it up.”

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    loved that
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    Thank you. That's high praise from someone I so admire.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Offerings, Minoan Style

We're modern people, not Bronze Age Minoans. But in Modern Minoan Paganism, we do some things that ancient people would have found familiar. Among those is the presentation of offerings to the gods. We do this quietly on our home altars or a bit more loudly sometimes, in group ritual.

A while back, I wrote about the kinds of offerings we make to the various gods and goddesses - what they like and what they don't. But the way we make offerings, or more specifically, the kinds of containers we use for them, take their inspiration from the Minoans.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Life, Food, Beauty

As keeper of the coven temple, it's my responsibility to make the daily offerings and to pray for the well-being of pagan peoples everywhere.

The prayers are simple:

May the people have life.

So mote it be.

May the people have food.

So mote it be.

May the people have beauty.

So mote it be.

 

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    So mote it be.
  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #
    O firstborn, bring us to harmony. O naturekin, sustain our lives. O ancestors, guide our paths. O immortals, bless our world. O ou

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Offering to the Minoan Gods

Modern Minoan Paganism is a pretty broad path. People come to it from many different directions and backgrounds; our commonalities are the pantheon, the Minoan sacred calendar, and a few basic practices that we all share. Prominent among these is making offerings to the Minoan gods and goddesses. The image at the top of this post is a lovely three-footed offering table from Akrotiri decorated with dolphins. Perhaps its owner left fruit or flowers or seashells some other offering on it, maybe dedicated to the ocean goddess Posidaeja or another favorite deity (though I'd vote for Posidaeja because of the dolphins).

Solid items can be set out on the altar or offering stands or at an appropriate outdoor location. Liquid offerings can also be set out in a cup or pitcher, or they can be poured out as libations. A libation can be poured into another container (a bowl, for instance) or onto the ground. A libation can even be the centerpiece of a ritual for abundance.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I always say that you can't pour a proper libation if you're afraid of splashing your shoes.

It was Sparky T. Rabbit's Memorial. I had waded into the Mississippi up to my waist to release the death-ship with its garlanded standing picture, the flowers, the grave-gifts and the bowls of barley, ash, and ocher. As I pushed the ship out to catch the current, from the shore our friend Sirius poured out the grave-libation into the River. Because it was behind me, I couldn't see the libation being poured, but I could hear the voice of it as the wine kissed the water. I knew that Sirius was pouring out a full bottle of wine, but the pour just went on and on and on. I could have sworn that that bottle held three times the usual amount of wine.

And that's the right way to pour a libation.

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  • john stitely
    john stitely says #
    Steve , you often have excellent advice on authentic ritual and pracitce. Your contribution on How to Pour a Libation” was no exc
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks, John; a good, clear analysis as always. When I spoke of libations as "waste" I was thinking of how it must seem to an outs
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Steven - I love this post! My grandmother makes a great show of pouring the tea from her big brown teapot from a great height. On
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Back when I was a wine waiter, we did exactly the same kind of pour for exactly the same reasons. The Wielder of the Brown Pot (a
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    "'Sustained' pour" is the perfect description. Thanks!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Lunisol

Unlike the ancestors, modern pagans for the most part have little experience of temple worship. Here's an important bit of lore on the topic from someone who has been making twice-daily temple offerings for nearly 30 years.

"A gift for a gift” is the main theory underlying the practice of the temple offering. One brings the offering to the deity in the deity's place, and offers it. Some offerings—flowers, incense, and lights, say—remain with the god. (They then become sacred, something that belongs to a god.) Others—generally food offerings—are then returned to the worshiper, the god having partaken of his portion. This sharing of the sacred with the god constitutes a deeply intimate form of communion.

There's another difference between food offerings and non-food offerings. Generally food offerings are laid on the altar before the god for the duration of the offering, while the non-food offerings are “waved” before the god in offering as part of the worship.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    The Sun Calls sure do have a primal quality to them that speaks directly to the deeps. I'm glad they spoke to you too. Here's the
  • David Dashifen Kees
    David Dashifen Kees says #
    Excellent! This feels like it'll be something that I can fit into my own work. I appreciate that you shared it and I've apprecia

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Most of us grew up listening to song lyrics that proclaimed a lack of satisfaction. Here in mid-life I find myself increasingly satisfied, peaceful and content, or hetep – a fitting mood for today’s annual holiday of Thanksgiving.

The word hetep was also used in the classic “offering formula,” a standardized epithet placed on stelae commemorating the dead, on tomb walls and numerous other inscriptions. The formula started with the phrase hetep-di-nesu, “a gift the king gives.” Since the king was the priest for all of Egypt, any offering was thought of as offered by the king, even if it was just you ordering up a monument for your mom and dad.

Here’s what hetep-di-nesu looks like:b2ap3_thumbnail_htpdi.gif

And here’s a whole offering formula for a guy named Ky:

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