Two Lessons on Offering (1)

Originally, I wanted to write about something else today. Something very very personal, voicing some Unpopular Opinions (namely mine) on a popular subject. Best-laid plans, they say…

Recently, I have been journalling more regularly than I used to, about the things that happen between me and my Divinus. He requested it. And right after that, two events came about that, on first glance, don’t have anything in common — but on second thought turned out to both contain a valuable lesson on offering practice.

On a side note: German sucks for writing about offerings. The German word “Opfer” means offering, sacrifice, and victim. Yeah, those three. We have words for everything? Hah! Word recycling for the win… At any rate, at this point in the German post, there’s a paragraph which kind of “Opfer” I mean. But that’s unambiguous so I’m just rambling right now… back on topic!

I use the word “offering” in a broad sense that includes physical, material offerings (such as food and drink), as well as, e.g., energetic offerings or some sort of service. In my specific case, it was about service.

Regarding my offering practice, I’m fairly “traditional” — I give offerings to Loki regularly; I have an altar for that specific purpose that I tend to every day, cleaning it and using it for offerings, prayer and meditation (and all that lies in between). Some sticklers might say that’s a shrine rather than an altar, but frankly, I couldn’t care less about the semantics. It’s sacred space. The altar itself is decorated with rather high quality things, all in “classic” (what a word in the context of our modern Loki cult) shades of red and orange, with gold, terracotta, wood and (gem)stones. That is my preference, and Loki is quite taken with it. At least He’s never demanded anything of the cheap and garish plastic type. I know that He sometimes seems to like that sort of thing; I, however, do not, and so far He has been utterly fine with that. If you ever see a hideous monstrosity on my altar, you’ll know that it’s only gotten there after protest. But anyhow, my altar isn’t really the point of this post. Offering practice is. Specifically, why one shouldn’t do it.

The first lesson Loki gave me was less than a week ago. It was about something that might be considered service. To annoy me (or, as hindsight showed, much rather in order to teach me something), Loki asked me if I would actually perform said service at that time, spontaneously. It wasn’t an order, just the question, “would you…?“.

To be honest, I wasn’t exactly in the frame of mind. I was a little pressed for time, and to make a long story short: I wasn’t very keen on doing it. Not because it was per se unpleasant, but because I simply wasn’t in the mood. But, because I set a lot of store by serving Him as best as I can, I started to do what He’d asked. Not exactly the cleverest move I’ve made in my life, as I was about to learn.

Do not insult Me“, He demanded. Something dangerous was just beneath the surface, His anger was palpable. If He’d been corporeal, He would probably have grabbed and shaken me. But He doesn’t need to be physical to make Himself understood beyond a shadow of doubt. The mere contrast between this and the playful, comfortable “togetherness” that had preceded it, was more than enough to make me freeze in my tracks.

I learned something important that day, about the meaning of the phrase “spoiled goods” for Gods. What happened there, and the subsequent lesson, was very instructive for me, and perhaps one or two others may benefit from my experience.

I assumed, without Him having given me any reason to do so, that a “No” would be inherently a worse answer than a “Yes”. (That’s something one might ponder for its own sake right there: what’s the deal with the pressure attached to the “Yes”s and “No”s, and where exactly does it come from?)

So then, was “Yes” the better answer? Well, guess what: nope, not at all. If “Yes” was what He’d expected, then He would have flat-out told me to do this thing in no uncertain terms. But He didn’t. Instead, He asked me if I would do it, knowing (of course it’s always that obvious in retrospect) that I “wasn’t in the mood”.

And instead of honestly telling Him, “no, not at this moment”… I subsumed my will under what I presumed to be His. Not His actual will, but a vague (and wrong) assumption, and what is more, disregarding my own will in the process. That’s… really a rather stupid thing to do, right? Yeah. But that isn’t even remotely all there is to it. Because in subsuming myself under Him, I am ultimately rejecting responsibility for negative consequences. “I did it because I thought it’d please You”. Sound familiar? That isn’t simply “rather stupid”, but, to put it in plain speak: it’s opportunism and utilisation, of a God no less, to the purpose of rejecting the responsibility for one’s actions. See now why He became angry about it?

Well, I certainly did. But that’s exactly what I’d been doing the first 25 plus years of my life: anticipating someone else’s expectation, and conforming to it, at considerable personal loss. And ultimately blaming those other people for my loss.

Still, for the sake of proper demarcation: I need to emphasise that in no way am I putting my will above His. People who know me know that that’s not the case. It’s not about whether I would give His demand precedence over my wishes if there were a clash. That’s a very different situation that I don’t want to write about here today.

No, it was about my denial of the very existence of my will (not only the neglect of it). It was about myself emulating His will (and badly), and ultimately it was about my trying to reject responsibility for the negative consequences of my actions. Negative consequences what? one might ask. But I really think feeling bad about doing something that is an integral part of a fulfilled mystic relationship (namely mine), qualifies as “negative consequences”.

If that is how making an offering feels to you, it’s a clear indication that something’s amiss. And in that case, you should really ask yourself whether you should be doing something else at that moment. Like, take a walk, or call your friend on the phone. Or do a burger all you can eat, or watch a football game, or go to a pub quiz. Anything really, except make that offering. Loki told me that an offering like that is worth nothing to Him. It’s spoiled goods. And I know it’s toxic to the relationship between Him and me; it affects how we interact. Because the frame of mind it creates is just… wrong.

And here’s a personal piece of advice: journal. Write things down. It makes a difference whether you manifest them or not… you may find that at the end of the day, you have more to say on some issue than you’ve originally thought… which is also why I’m putting that other lesson about offering practice in a separate post. I know I can be wordy, sorry for that ;-)

Let me just say this in advance: there’s more than one way to botch up an offering! More about that soon…

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About Myriad

Myriad Hallaug Lokadís
This entry was posted in Devotional Practice, Loki and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Two Lessons on Offering (1)

  1. Pingback: Two Lessons on Offering (2) | Weaving the Net

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