Monday, October 18, 2010

Ancestral Offerings

As my household gets ready for Samhain, I get to thinking about what would be good offerings for our Gods and Ancestors, as well as the local land spirits and the other spirits we work with.

We do make regular offerings to all listed above, and what we offer depends on the personal taste of whoever we are offering it to. Things such as tobacco for local land spirits, mead for the Gods, and whiskey or flowers for our Ancestors all seem to be appropriate offerings in our case.

During certain times of the year though {like Samhain} we also make offerings that take a little more thought, time, or effort. For example, I am making a fruit cake using the recipe of an Ancestor as an offering to her. I have never made a fruit cake before, so I will have at least one practice run before presenting one to her. The ingredients would have been a lot more expensive for a farmer's wife back during the Depression compared to now, but we still need to budget a little for it.

Besides actual tangible offerings, we often find that making donations {whether it be monetary, goods, time, or talent} to certain causes or organizations to be very fitting. We are already pretty active in our community, so these offerings would generally be something outside of this. An example would be making a donation to an organization that we would not have thought of supporting before, but do so because they helped out a particular Ancestor, or it is an organization that they supported themselves.

The whole idea of offerings and sacrifices probably seem very odd to many folks, and for people who think this way it can be very difficult to explain why we do it and have it make sense to them. So I usually just say that the ritual of offering and sacrifice is a sacred one to us and we benefit from it as well, even if it only makes us feel closer to Those we leave the offerings for.

For my household, it is one of the ways of showing how thankful we are for the blessings that we receive. A gift for a gift.

Anyhoo, I suppose that is enough nattering for now. Here are a few nifty resources on the topic:

Making Offerings and Types of Offerings from Tairis {a Celtic Reconstructionist site, but may be helpful to others as well}.
The Dumb Supper on Free Thoughts of Free Dragon blog {a great source of info for Ancestral offerings}.
Ancestors podshow on New World Witchery {the whole show is definitely worth a listen and they have info on offerings in the show}.
Contacting Our Ancestors on the blog of Carolina Gonzalez {a great post with a focus on Hoodoo and there is info about offerings}.
Feel free to share your thoughts on offerings and any good resources that I have missed! :)



Bek said...

Some great ideas - and on a sidenote, I love how the Tairis blog got its name!!

nefaeria said...

Thanks! Yes, it's quite a cute story. :)

Cammie said...


perma_culture said...

Thank you for sharing =^)