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Author Topic: Multiple Gods, multiple offerings?  (Read 6462 times)
Nehet
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« Topic Start: November 01, 2009, 11:46:13 am »

Just a question on the logistics of how some of you handle offerings if you are honoring multiple Gods at a time. 

Do you feel that your Gods like to "share?"  Or do they prefer to have separate offerings? 

Do you find that some Gods are more amenable to sharing than others?  Are there some that are okay with sharing with certain other Gods, but not others? 

If you are offering the same thing to several Gods, do they each need their own bowl?

I'm sure this is going to be very different based on each person's individual relationship with their Gods.   Wink 
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« Reply #1: November 01, 2009, 11:55:34 am »



I tend to make more offerings to local spirits than to gods, but I have to admit that it has never occurred to me to combine offerings.  If it's for a single family or genus of being, then yeah, it's usually one bowl or one serving of a thing and they can split it up as they like, but otherwise the offering is specific to the being.  The milk left for the brownies is not combined with the milk given a household spirit.  (I don't think I could handle the chaos if they decided to fight over it Cheesy).

I don't litter the landscape with offerings, either, though.  I make a specific one every three days or so on an indoor altar, and I don't currently have a proper back step for outdoor gifties.  If I'm doing anything fancy it's usually a one-off or a quarterly/yearly/some reasonably infrequently timed thing, and it is specific to it's purpose.  No grab-bags for the gods here. Cheesy

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« Reply #2: November 01, 2009, 12:22:36 pm »

Just a question on the logistics of how some of you handle offerings if you are honoring multiple Gods at a time. 

Do you feel that your Gods like to "share?"  Or do they prefer to have separate offerings? 

Do you find that some Gods are more amenable to sharing than others?  Are there some that are okay with sharing with certain other Gods, but not others? 

If you are offering the same thing to several Gods, do they each need their own bowl?

I'm sure this is going to be very different based on each person's individual relationship with their Gods.   Wink 


I think it depends what you're offering, how much, and to which deities. I don't think you would need separate bowls if you are offering the same thing to different gods. You just need to distinguish what you are offering to whom, verbally or however. If the gods have a favourable relationship with each other, then I think you should be okay with giving offerings to them at the same time, but if they are at odds, you might want to separate what you offer them.
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« Reply #3: November 01, 2009, 12:39:25 pm »

I think it depends what you're offering, how much, and to which deities. I don't think you would need separate bowls if you are offering the same thing to different gods. You just need to distinguish what you are offering to whom, verbally or however. If the gods have a favourable relationship with each other, then I think you should be okay with giving offerings to them at the same time, but if they are at odds, you might want to separate what you offer them.

Adding to this, there are occasions where you offer to two or more deities in the same ritual but would need seperate offerings.  For example, if someone were to have a general agriculture ritual honoring Demeter and Dionysus, wine would be a welcome offering to Dionysus but Demeter won't touch the stuff.
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« Reply #4: November 01, 2009, 12:40:19 pm »

Just a question on the logistics of how some of you handle offerings if you are honoring multiple Gods at a time. 

Do you feel that your Gods like to "share?"  Or do they prefer to have separate offerings? 

Do you find that some Gods are more amenable to sharing than others?  Are there some that are okay with sharing with certain other Gods, but not others? 

If you are offering the same thing to several Gods, do they each need their own bowl?

I'm sure this is going to be very different based on each person's individual relationship with their Gods.   Wink 


Right now I've got a pomegranate split up between three Goddesses, mainly because one's statue is on top of my computer desk, one's statue is on the mantelpiece & one is in my room. I could, for simplicity's sake, give them all one half of the pomegranate I ate in the same bowl, but... the communal plate thing doesn't work for me so I don't expect it to work for my deities.

Some of the lwa of Vodou & the orisha of Santeria are very jealous of one another, their shrines can't be in the same room, they cannot be honored at the same ritual, and heaven forbid you try to feed them at the same time. It's like having siblings eternally stuck in the 'Me Me Me No No No His piece is bigger than mine' stage.
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« Reply #5: November 01, 2009, 12:54:26 pm »

Just a question on the logistics of how some of you handle offerings if you are honoring multiple Gods at a time. 

Do you feel that your Gods like to "share?"  Or do they prefer to have separate offerings? 

Do you find that some Gods are more amenable to sharing than others?  Are there some that are okay with sharing with certain other Gods, but not others? 

If you are offering the same thing to several Gods, do they each need their own bowl?

I'm sure this is going to be very different based on each person's individual relationship with their Gods.   Wink 


It depends for me. I have a silver dish on my main indoor shrine, where all of my deities are represented together, and I tend to keep different foods or other consumable items in there, changing them every few days. I know that Pan appreciates the effort mostly, but some of the things are more pleasing to him than others. I don't expect that Kali takes much of what's in the offering bowl, as I usually give her separate offerings (of smoke, and a dollhouse sized pitcher full of honey), but if she does it doesn't upset her to share.

Ganesh and Saraswati are a different story - I don't work with them everyday, but rather when I need them. If I'm writing/painting/working creatively, Saraswati will be there looking over my shoulder and prompting me to move forward. Ganesh is the same way, except I usually petition him for a specific result. He's usually content with whatever's in the offering bowl, but if I have a specific sweet or dessert I've made or bought, he'll often ask for some of it. It doesn't go on the altar though, but rather some hidden spot like the top of the refrigerator. He's the only deity I work with not represented on my altar right now, so that might be part of it. He's also the one who makes the most physical impact on offerings I leave - once I left him some unwrapped hard candy on a temporary altar, and it had almost completed melted by the next morning. The altar was in a cold house with no light shining on it.

In rituals I often give them offerings separately. I also give offerings to the local spirits and any ancestors or etc. that might be hanging around, but that never goes on my main shrine. My main shrine is only for my tools, my deities, and issues between us.
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« Reply #6: November 01, 2009, 04:55:01 pm »

Do you feel that your Gods like to "share?"  Or do they prefer to have separate offerings?

Do you find that some Gods are more amenable to sharing than others?  Are there some that are okay with sharing with certain other Gods, but not others?

If you are offering the same thing to several Gods, do they each need their own bowl?

Well, the two main deities that I call to are Sekhmet and Ma'at. When it comes to Ma'at, I don't think she would mind sharing. After all, she is considered the "food of the gods" in ancient Egyptian lore. So, if I am giving her a lotus blossom or something like that but have also decided to give offerings to other deities, then they'll share. However, when I give offerings to Sekhmet and the more vengeful/warrior-like deities, there is no sharing. Sekhmet is not a big "let's share" kind of god, if you ask me, so she gets everything all by herself.

However, I do find that certain triads do not mind sharing. Last night, I had offerings for three deities (Ra, Bast, and Sekhmet) and they all had their own offering, although all offerings were placed on the same plate. However, when I have used Asar, Aset, and Heru, I tend to allow sharing as this is a closer family triad than say Sekhmet, Ptah, and Nefertem. I also allow similar deities, such as Djehuti (father of language) and Seshat (patron deity of the scribe), to share the offerings as they tend to be the same anyway.
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« Reply #7: November 01, 2009, 07:05:58 pm »

Just a question on the logistics of how some of you handle offerings if you are honoring multiple Gods at a time. 

Do you feel that your Gods like to "share?"  Or do they prefer to have separate offerings? 

Do you find that some Gods are more amenable to sharing than others?  Are there some that are okay with sharing with certain other Gods, but not others? 

If you are offering the same thing to several Gods, do they each need their own bowl?

I've found it to depend not just on the Gods, but on the offering itself.

Water, can be in the same bowl, and I can say, this is for all of you, or this is for you three. Frankincense joss stick, same. Anything more specific, even if they would all like it, they want me to be more focused with my thoughts and with my offering practices. I think there are just some offerings, like water and frankincense/myrrh, that are allowed to be used as 'offerings to the Gods'. They have a special status.

I don't often find the pressure to 'focus' to be malicious, demanding, or jealous. I think it's more to snap me out of it. It's easy for me to throw a general offering down. That's bad for my spiritual health, really. It's a nice gesture, and it reminds me to *be* spiritual, but it doesn't get me talking *to them*. If I am made to break up a chocolate bar and say piece 1 is for deity A, and piece 2 is for deity B, and think of them individually, if I am forced to accept that my dragon's blood incense is only acceptable to one God at a time, I am forced to pay more attention to them, spend more time face to face with them, not just paying lip service to a group of statues in a shrine.


That established, some Gods are more likely to cause trouble and want to have my attention solely on them, want to have offerings solely thought of for them and dedicated to them. Aset, for example. Wepwawet too, though he is not as demanding about it. He is more of the, "if it isn't done with enough kick for me, why are you doing it at all?" viewpoint. Bast, by comparison, seems to prowls in the background and sample everything. She is happy to share.
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« Reply #8: November 01, 2009, 10:07:14 pm »

I've found it to depend not just on the Gods, but on the offering itself.

Water, can be in the same bowl, and I can say, this is for all of you, or this is for you three. Frankincense joss stick, same. Anything more specific, even if they would all like it, they want me to be more focused with my thoughts and with my offering practices. I think there are just some offerings, like water and frankincense/myrrh, that are allowed to be used as 'offerings to the Gods'. They have a special status.

That makes sense.  I agree, they haven't seemed to object if it's just a bowl of water. 

I don't often find the pressure to 'focus' to be malicious, demanding, or jealous. I think it's more to snap me out of it. It's easy for me to throw a general offering down. That's bad for my spiritual health, really. It's a nice gesture, and it reminds me to *be* spiritual, but it doesn't get me talking *to them*. If I am made to break up a chocolate bar and say piece 1 is for deity A, and piece 2 is for deity B, and think of them individually, if I am forced to accept that my dragon's blood incense is only acceptable to one God at a time, I am forced to pay more attention to them, spend more time face to face with them, not just paying lip service to a group of statues in a shrine.

I think I've gotten lazy with my offerings, lately.  I've got some pretty serious mental health problems.  It's hard for me to focus with the whole bipolar-panic attack-possible ADHD cluster(er, firetruck) in my brain.  Some days its worse than others.  My anything-but-monthly cycle always makes it extra interesting.  I have *never* been regular so I never know when I'm going to get hit with a bunch of hormones and not know that they're contributing to the sudden mood swings.   Undecided

So, when I go through a rough patch, it's all too easy for me to put down one plate of fruit or glass of wine for everyone to share.  But when I do that, it seems like they're presence is a lot less immediate.  The connection becomes a lot less personal and a lot more abstract.  Even if it is just pouring a splash of wine into three bowls instead of one, it makes a big difference.

I don't use the same structure as the HoN Senut rite.  The libations never really resonated with me, to be honest.  I do always say the incense prayer (utt 269) that is always included in that ritual, and I've thought of addressing it to each God individually.  "May you love me, O Nebt-het.  I love you, o Nebt-het.  May you love me, O Wesir.  I love you, O Wesir." rather than "May you love me, O Gods." 

That established, some Gods are more likely to cause trouble and want to have my attention solely on them, want to have offerings solely thought of for them and dedicated to them. Aset, for example. Wepwawet too, though he is not as demanding about it. He is more of the, "if it isn't done with enough kick for me, why are you doing it at all?" viewpoint. Bast, by comparison, seems to prowls in the background and sample everything. She is happy to share.

You're not the only one who has made that observation about Aset, and I have had the same experience with her.  It seems like Aset is one that does want absolute devotion or nothing at all Smiley  She doesn't seem to even particularly appreciate sharing with Wesir.  Nebt-het seems a lot more relaxed about that.  Interestingly enough, I've found her more accessible than Aset.  I know that this is not common. 

Djehuty has been asking me specifically for writing materials, like nice stationary and quality pens.  I suspect he wants me to write more, as in physically write, not type. That's very interesting because it requires a different mindset.  You have to be more mindful about what you're saying because you can't backspace. 

It doesn't surprise me that Djehuty would ask for that, come to think if it   Wink
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« Reply #9: November 02, 2009, 09:08:13 am »


I actually had a relevant experience the weekend before last: I was celebrating a Bast festival and a Hethert festival on the same day, and I was pondering whether I could have one shrine and blended offerings for the two of them. The answer was a definite no: both got pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and raspberries, but each had their own plate on a separate table; Bast (my Mother ^_^ ) got all the lilies, while Hethert had the little green plants; and Bast was *not* going to share Her turkey breast.

I do sometimes offer to Netjer as a whole by way of Bast. So in that sense She's "sharing" with all of the Names. And I get the impression that, as Allati mentions, cool water and incense are okay as "group offerings." But aside from that, it's pretty much one god, one (or more) bowl.

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« Reply #10: November 02, 2009, 10:56:08 am »

Just a question on the logistics of how some of you handle offerings if you are honoring multiple Gods at a time. 

Do you feel that your Gods like to "share?"  Or do they prefer to have separate offerings? 

Do you find that some Gods are more amenable to sharing than others?  Are there some that are okay with sharing with certain other Gods, but not others? 

If you are offering the same thing to several Gods, do they each need their own bowl?

I'm sure this is going to be very different based on each person's individual relationship with their Gods.   Wink 


I have two altars in my house- one is for Setekh, and the other is for everyone else. They all get their separate area (it's box shelves- each deity gets a box, but Setekh is on his own little table). From what I can tell, everyone else (Heru, Bast, Aset, Anpu and Asar) is fine with sharing. However, Setekh likes to be "special" and have his own little area. So normally, I'll put one set of offerings on the large altar, and another set of offerings for Setekh. Just works out easier that way.

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« Reply #11: November 02, 2009, 02:15:34 pm »

I'm sure this is going to be very different based on each person's individual relationship with their Gods.   Wink 

Also the circumstances!

A general offering to all-the-gods is a general offering, and thus axiomatically shared.

A specific offering to a specific deity is, similarly, specific.

But, say, if I put a milk offering on my house shrine (for Bast and Brighid), that's a distinct place where it is agreed that is shared space and both the Ladies share in its presentation.  But if my Celt is offering to Brighid or I'm offering to Bast, that's a different circumstance entirely and not for sharing, because it's outside of the specific place where things are done for those two together.

I would say that in a circumstance or focus in which deities are being treated as a set, then the offering goes to the set (whether that's a pantheon, a triad, a working subset, the gods-of-this-festival, etc.), otherwise individually.  I would readily offer to Djehwty-and-Seshat as a working set or a married couple, for example; when I was in labor I offered to Set (for strength in ordeal) and Hetharu and Nut (as Mothers) and prayed to Wepwawet - three different offerings, because there were three distinct things involved, whereas I have been known to offer to those deities more singular-collectively as my particular patrons in life.

And so it goes.
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