Offerings as Nourishment — an Addendum

By now, my last two posts on the topic of offering practice are already a couple of weeks — or at the very least a number of days — in the past. In the meantime, several things happened that have nothing to do with offerings, but I think it’s an important topic and so, I’ve decided I’ll dig some more there.

This is going to be about offerings of food and drink specifically, and, to a degree, about blood offerings, too.

What I describe below is an expression of my understanding of things; I am no expert in offering etiquette, as you will have easily noticed reading the previous two installments in the offerings series. If there’s a sound like a brick being dropped? You’ll know where to find me. (Hint: in the immediate vicinity, sporting a deep red facial colour). So, again: I am not an expert! I don’t call myself one, and what little I know, I know from personal interaction. Hence, the maxim is: this was meant for me to know and listen to, so it has meaning and importance primarily for me. Beyond that, I can but hope. Whether or not this meaning can be transferred, must be completely your business to decide. I would just like to share my perspective here.

Due to certain community skirmishes (in the US communities mostly) I feel obliged to say this. For shame, really, as it should be obvious. But as it’s not ideal to be completely on my own in isolation, for better or worse, I have to deal with this.

What I really do not want at all, is to tell anyone to Whom, how, or what to offer. Just so we’re clear.

Personally, I’m for the practice of offering food and drink to the Gods, and I do practice it regularly. I know that there are a couple of friends in my “spiritual circle” that cannot offer food, or will not, or, for some reason, find it weird and strange to do so. It would make me really happy if someone read this and thought, hey, maybe it’s not so silly after all. And if not, that would be also perfectly fine.

The previous offering post containd a rather random thought tangent, an excursion into “theobiology” — the thought that Gods can feel hunger, and do feel hunger.

That sort of begs the question if offerings of food and drink are in any way special offerings, doesn’t it? Do we, therefore, owe Them food offerings in particular? I think we do. Not because They have a physical body that They need to maintain, but because food and drink are essential to us.

I believe that there is a very primal potency to food and drink offerings. The food and drinks we ingest keep us alive, and that is exactly why they contain a very special brand of “energy” — the kind that isn’t measured in kilojoules. Food and drink are “programmed”(?) with the intention to nourish: we know that bread and butter nourishes and that water will quench our thirst, and therefore they contain that sort of energy.

There really is no difference between this knowledge and the knowledge of a magician who uses a tool to achieve a specific effect. Likewise, the magician knows their action has a certain effect, and this knowledge is what will bring about the effect in the first place.

A work of art, a picture painted with loving care, a blog post, a letter, time, a piece of music, a poem, a dance… all these are offerings that are highly appreciated. At least according to my experience, they are. It is a very special feeling to place a gift for a Deity on Their altar, and to feel Their acceptance and appreciation. It is a very special feeling to sit on the floor, breathing heavily from dancing, and to know that the Deity is taking part in every movement, every drop of sweat on your skin.

But food offerings are even more primally potent. The Gods want them — out of love, devotion, reverence, gratitude. Because I believe They are hungry, and I believe that in the past, humans used to know this.

More essential than food offerings, I think, are only blood offerings. Blood is something I personally haven’t offered yet. So naturally, my elaborations are limited to the theoretical sort. Just as a caveat.

Blood is life. Food maintains life, but blood is psychologically linked so closely to life that it itself becomes a symbol for it. Of course, today we know a lot more about metabolism and how life-support works, but still: the emersion, the loss of blood is associatively linked to the violation, jeopardy and loss of life.

Not only that: blood also contains the essence of what we ingest through our food and drink; nutrient matter, liquid, oxygen, energy. All that our food and drink already contains (except of the oxygen, I know… breathe!) is contained in our blood, only in concentrated and purer form.

That’s why blood offerings are very powerful offerings. That is why they bind, whether they’re given in conjunction with an oath or not. You give of your life to a Deity. Through receiving the blood offering, the Deity holds a part of your life in Their hand.

Any thoughts? (the comment line wants to be fed, but please dont blót for it!)

About Myriad

Myriad Hallaug Lokadís
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4 Responses to Offerings as Nourishment — an Addendum

  1. beanalreasa says:

    I am in total agreement with you here, concerning the Gods and hunger. They do hunger and thirst for our offerings.

    As I seem to be wired best to feel physical sensations from Them only (touches, change in temperature, change in pressures, etc), I will say that a lot of my UPG centers around the sensations that They give me.

    At times, I have felt the brush of fingers against my skin, the warmth of a hand against my neck, the weight of a body against my hip, but especially, I have felt hunger and thirst from Them…and the hunger and thirst of Loki has been especially keen, in my experience. (An example of this is described in my blog entry, “Holding the bowl”, wherein it was a powerful experiential lesson concerning Their level of hunger during Their ordeal in the cave.)

    • Myriad says:

      Hi, gotta say sorry for the late reply… thanks for sharing your opinion/experience. I think I know what you mean by “physical sensations” — in my experience, Loki in particular is very physical. I don’t know how to put it right, but He has this kind of sensual intensity about Him that translates into physical sensations relatively easily.

      You are right about the cave, I’ve made a similar observation there, too…

      Anyhow, I’m glad that you found you could relate to what I was writing. I mean, I’m reasonably sure I have understood some of the main points correctly when I was told, but I still have a tendency to feel like I’m talking out of my backside. Seeing that there are people who have had similar experiences makes it less so, so thanks again!

  2. moonfire2012 says:

    This is why I blooded my runes when I made them. And the menopausal state I’m in makes those opportunities few and far between as I have not bled for 3 months. I put the runes on Loki’s altar so they’re especially powerful, but I still leave Him food and drink on His altar. Yesterday, He told me flat out “I want you to make o/Our home a sacred space.” I’ve been taking this very seriously. One of the things I’ve decided, and felt pushed to do, is not announce and talk about it every time I set an offering out, as this is something that means more if it’s kept between Loki and me. And I’ve decided to truly sacrifice, to not eat what I place there after it’s sat awhile and throw it out instead. So He is nourished with my food, my drink, my blood and my love.

    • Myriad says:

      Sounds like a series of good decisions to me. re:not talking — it’s good (essential if you ask me) to keep some things to yourself, as your prized possession and the secret you share only with your Deity. Sometimes, I think, a secret can be let out after a while. After you have enjoyed it to its full potential, maybe. But it’s important to have them; after all, any relationship with a Deity is a treasure of immeasurable worth. I recently read something somewhere about keeping quiet that resonnated a lot with me; unfortunately I’ve forgotten the source. It was an offline source at any rate.

      Regarding offerings — not eating/drinking what has been offered is also my preferred modus operandi. I know a lot of people do it differently, but that’s what felt right when I started out, and that hasn’t changed since.

      I’m (well, not 100% of course, since I’m not Him, but still, reasonably) sure Loki appreciates what you’re doing for Him.

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