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Author Topic: Offerings and sacrifice-what do they mean?  (Read 9229 times)
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« Topic Start: October 11, 2009, 09:43:57 am »

Hi everyone.I haven't been on in ages.I do wonder though,in seeking to know god forms whether polytheism will ever work for me.
I read the thread a few hours ago on Wicca and Polytheism and other threads.I see that the all Gods are one God/dess is the result of misguided study and that BTWs worship in a different way and is more polytheistic than Duotheistic.This makes me question Neo/Ecletic Wicca.Using Magic in a religious context does not appeal to me.However,looking back through these books I have,Cunningham,Valiente etc.

 I see the high/complex ritual and flowery language that I dislike and also the offerings/sacrifice part.I have also seen the later on certain Hellenic/other Recon sites.Many feel that the Divine must be given certain rituals because they are certain Gods,that they like/dislike certain things,that we must offer foodstuffs/drinks when requesting things.Due to my RC background,which I've talked of a lot,I still feel the Divine has no need for these things and it feels silly and like bribery to me.I am much more prayer and emotion-focused than that.I feel intent means more than offering something.What are other people's takes?

I feel this would probably exclude me properly from pagan-centred worship.I also have a problem with Gods being of a certain culture and having to respect all Gods,particularly if one is not called to serve him/her.I feel that in some way,that certain Gods are seen as stern and so on.I have never seen deity as anything except loving and non-judging and so such beings would not exist for me.I have no problem with magic,angels/fairies/nymphs and so on,nor the feeling of catching intagible spirits at certain times.I do wonder that I won't find a ritual basis for things though.   
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happy
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« Reply #1: October 11, 2009, 09:46:49 am »

I should add that I still feel a huge draw to nature/seasons,maybe just the changing of the four seasons and Samhain for its magic.I like Christmas/Yule for the wintry feel and family connection.Both times feel magical/happy for me.I probably take more note of these than others. 
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Waldfrau
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« Reply #2: October 11, 2009, 11:29:38 am »

What do you mean with RC-backround? Reclaiming?

I'm not sure what your bother is exactly. Do you not want to work with deities at all or do you just not want to make offerings? So you're not sure if you'll find a Pagan path fitting to you?

For the offering-question I can only answer from my own standpoint. I offer to my deities because I love them and want to give gifts to them like I do with dear friends. It doesn't feel to me like bribery although sometimes deities request something specific in return to something I want. I don't see anything bad in making deals either. That doesn't mean that they don't like me or I don't like them, some things in life just aren't completly for free IMO. Wink

As for the 'Pagan' path problem: I'm no BTW, but as much as I know offering/sacrificing is an obligatory part of BTW practice, but there are other pagans who don't even work with deities in any way, so I don't see why you should work with them in a specific way (offering) if you don't want to.

What sort of deity-related stuff do you do?

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« Reply #3: October 11, 2009, 11:33:23 am »

I am much more prayer and emotion-focused than that.I feel intent means more than offering something.
Maybe you're working with a very tight definition of offerings? I think prayers and any kind of commitment can be considered as offering too, because you offer at least time. So it's offering something physical (drink, food etc.) you don't want to?
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« Reply #4: October 11, 2009, 11:40:32 am »

Hi everyone.I haven't been on in ages.I do wonder though,in seeking to know god forms whether polytheism will ever work for me.
I read the thread a few hours ago on Wicca and Polytheism and other threads.I see that the all Gods are one God/dess is the result of misguided study and that BTWs worship in a different way and is more polytheistic than Duotheistic.This makes me question Neo/Ecletic Wicca.Using Magic in a religious context does not appeal to me.However,looking back through these books I have,Cunningham,Valiente etc.

 

 

Sorry, what's a BTW?
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« Reply #5: October 11, 2009, 11:41:36 am »

By RC I mean Roman Catholicism.I just feel that from leaving that and still being drawn back to it,that I still miss the ritual,prayer and devotion,as I have said quite a bit in my previous threads.I've been drawn to paganism with it being different and the acceptance of nature and magic more common there.I think I just have a problem with the concepts of Gods and sees things as spirit of the larger concept of God maybe.I just find it hard to see.Yeah,maybe that's why the offering thing comes up too,Waldfrau.I also always gathered it was always physical things as a hard and fast rule,which I don't like.I don't know if things would fit so much with lore which was written by Christian sources in many paths.It all feels incomplete and lacking in a way,not really guided.I did make an offering to Hecate a while back and felt something,but it's such a huge shift.I just miss connecting to something more tangible and so keep bringing this subject up,nothing seems to fit.
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« Reply #6: October 11, 2009, 11:42:39 am »

BTW is British Traditional Wicca Smiley.
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« Reply #7: October 11, 2009, 12:05:20 pm »


Hm. If the sacrifices and multiple gods don't speak to you, then I would think that's not your path. Are you looking for a 'school', a tradition you want to join?
Because -- why don't you just practice your spirituality the way it feels right to you? Create your own path, your own school.


Btw, I am wondering about sacrifices myself. I actually like to offer something to deities and spirits, but I can't help wondering if a goddess or a god really wants (needs?!?) that, or if it's something for ourselves, to feel connected.



I can't offer an answer, I can only add my own questions.
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« Reply #8: October 11, 2009, 12:10:52 pm »

I've also been brought up Catholic and I felt a bit awkward when I offered cake for the first time to my spirit guides. I put it where birds could eat it because I've learned 'wasting' food was bad. When I started to work with a Greek deity years later, I hadn't any problem to offer incense, food or drink, but I never had the idea to offer meat. I knew they like it from my history lessons, but it never crossed my mind to do it until one deity clearly requested it and I felt compelled to do as not to make her angry. It wasn't even a big thing, she just wanted me to share my fried saussages.

I think as long the gods don't say otherwise it's perfectly okay to offer non-food stuff like work, art, commitment, prayer, incense...whatever fits to the deity.
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« Reply #9: October 11, 2009, 12:16:22 pm »

Btw, I am wondering about sacrifices myself. I actually like to offer something to deities and spirits, but I can't help wondering if a goddess or a god really wants (needs?!?) that, or if it's something for ourselves, to feel connected.
Just my personal UPG, but I have the impression they like the energy of it and that they like it when we humans put it up for them because we have a body and bodily senses, which they have not.
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« Reply #10: October 11, 2009, 12:23:00 pm »

Hi everyone.I haven't been on in ages.I do wonder though,in seeking to know god forms whether polytheism will ever work for me.

What do you mean by "seeking to know god forms"?

I read the thread a few hours ago on Wicca and Polytheism and other threads.I see that the all Gods are one God/dess is the result of misguided study and that BTWs worship in a different way and is more polytheistic than Duotheistic.This makes me question Neo/Ecletic Wicca.Using Magic in a religious context does not appeal to me.However,looking back through these books I have,Cunningham,Valiente etc.

Okay, so Neo/Eclectic Wicca aren't your thing, is that the conclusion here? If so, sounds like you have a couple of possibilities to cross off the list.

I have also seen the later on certain Hellenic/other Recon sites.Many feel that the Divine must be given certain rituals because they are certain Gods,that they like/dislike certain things,that we must offer foodstuffs/drinks when requesting things.Due to my RC background,which I've talked of a lot,I still feel the Divine has no need for these things and it feels silly and like bribery to me.I am much more prayer and emotion-focused than that.I feel intent means more than offering something.What are other people's takes?

It's not bribery, it's reciprocity, or as some believe, a symbiotic relationship- that the gods do need us to give them certain things so that they can, in turn, help us. Do ut possus dare, I give so that you may be able to give. Personally, I don't believe that the gods entirely need things from us (I think that they could survive just fine without us, though I think there would be a certain degree of diminishing), but I do believe that they deserve them if we want to have any sort of relationship with them.

You have human friends and family, right? You don't take, take, take from them and never give anyhting back, right? It's much the same with the gods.

I think that intent is still very important, but it's a different thing from an offering. They both have their place.

I feel this would probably exclude me properly from pagan-centred worship.

In most pagan religions, yes.

I also have a problem with Gods being of a certain culture and having to respect all Gods,particularly if one is not called to serve him/her.

I don't understand the problem here? What's wrong with having respect for them? It doesn't obligate you to worship or do anyhting for them. Having respect for them is basically just not being a jerk towards them.

Also, what do you mean that you "have a problem with the gods being of a certain culture"? You're going to need to clarify this one.

I feel that in some way,that certain Gods are seen as stern and so on.

Different gods have different personalities, much like different people have different personalities.

I have never seen deity as anything except loving and non-judging and so such beings would not exist for me.

Okay, so then I guess you don't believe in the gods? Or, if you haven't yet made up your mind, I have a question for you...

If you believe that deity can be loving and caring and nurturing and all that, why don't you believe that it can be the opposite? If it is capable of one feeling, why shouldn't it be capable of the other?

Personally, I find it completely illogical that capability of love and caring come without capability of any other emotions such as apathy, dislike, hate and all others, positive, negative and neutral.

I have no problem with magic,angels/fairies/nymphs and so on,nor the feeling of catching intagible spirits at certain times.I do wonder that I won't find a ritual basis for things though.

I don't know what to tell you here.
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« Reply #11: October 11, 2009, 12:28:30 pm »

Just my personal UPG, but I have the impression they like the energy of it and that they like it when we humans put it up for them because we have a body and bodily senses, which they have not.

Oh, I definitely agree that they like getting offerings from humans- or there would have been far less of it throughout history. Though, I personally disagree that they have no ability to experience the senses, maybe not in the exact same way we do, but I wholeheartedly believe that Dionysus tastes his wine and Apollo smells the smoking bay leaves.
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« Reply #12: October 11, 2009, 03:16:14 pm »



Offerings and sacrifices can mean just about anything you want them to, or be just about anything. 'To sacrifice' means 'to make sacred'. When you sacrifice something, you have made it sacred and fit for use in spiritual context.

Say you sacrifice a goat. Well, goats are smelly and dirty. So you give it a bath first, comb its hair, shine its hooves, drape some flowers around its horns, say a prayer over it dedicating that goat's life force to a God. Maybe it was the God's sacred day. Maybe your first born child just got over a bad illness & you want to say thank you. Maybe it's payment for a promise the God delivered on, or maybe you are indeed trying to bribe the God into throwing some good fortune your way. So, you kill the goat and offer its life to the God...

In most cultures and societies, that goat isn't left to rot. It gets eaten. With zest, and usually shared by the entire community. Now, did the God actually come & sit at the table & say, "Hey, pass me some of that goat?" Probably not (unless you're in a Vodou or Santerian community, in which case someone possessed by that spirit may actually do so), but that doesn't mean the God didn't partake in the event, and isn't enjoying the goat by proxy of the community.

You're right in thinking that not all Gods want this kind of visceral, physical action. Some, like Brigid, may appreciate a poem written in Her honor, or Apollo may appreciate an act of heroics or maybe a night of music. Sometimes, just saying "thank you for this our daily bread" is enough for a God.

Sacrifice can also mean giving something up. Lent is a whole season dedicated to sacrificing something pleasurable or enjoyable in atonement. Usually, it's a period of fasting or abstaining from meat, which is a very common practice to aid in spiritual work. By abstaining from meat you are preparing and purifying your body for a spiritual connection with a deity - you are making yourself sacred and reconsecrating yourself to a God.
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« Reply #13: October 11, 2009, 05:14:03 pm »

I also have a problem with Gods being of a certain culture and having to respect all Gods,particularly if one is not called to serve him/her.

I'm not sure I understand you here.  Are you saying that you think to some all Gods from the same culture and you don't beleive that?
Also, what is wrong with respecting a God you don't feel called to serve.  I may not feel called to serve Bast, but that does not mean I don't repect her, and the people who do serve her.  I just don't routinely include Gods who are not in my tradition in my daily life.
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« Reply #14: October 12, 2009, 07:18:47 am »

Hi everyone.I haven't been on in ages.I do wonder though,in seeking to know god forms whether polytheism will ever work for me.

 I see the high/complex ritual and flowery language that I dislike and also the offerings/sacrifice part.I have also seen the later on certain Hellenic/other Recon sites.Many feel that the Divine must be given certain rituals because they are certain Gods,that they like/dislike certain things,that we must offer foodstuffs/drinks when requesting things.Due to my RC background,which I've talked of a lot,I still feel the Divine has no need for these things and it feels silly and like bribery to me.I am much more prayer and emotion-focused than that.I feel intent means more than offering something.What are other people's takes?


I do get what you mean about the offerings. It just seems innappropriate for me personally, I will offer them a drink if I've had a few though.  :)But I am not a big fan of presents myself nor is my family. I offer the gods prayer and a thank you and I feel that is enough for me. I do give to a lot of causes though and for me it is part of my belief system to give to those in need so I do sometimes feel that is for my God/dess. I also agree about intent being what counts.

If you are not a fan of polythesim just pick one god and work with him/her. Or just work with a nonspecific  "God" if that suits you better.

Personally my God/dess has always been a basically good but frequently irritable and can be nasty. (maybe I'm projecting here Smiley )If you don't believe deities can be bad it seems a little narrow to me. Maybe you should work out another cause for your own peace of mind.

Cheers
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