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Author Topic: Giving a Proper Sacrifice.  (Read 3504 times)
homers_child
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« Topic Start: April 06, 2011, 12:39:35 pm »

I've always felt a little shaky when giving sacrifices to the gods. (Hellene, BTW.)

I prefer to use things from nature or things I have at home since I don't have the money to buy any special supplies unless they are real cheap. I'd rather give something from my heart rather than "money".

I'm not exactly sure how to give a sacrifice. In my own way, I use my gift of poetry and writing oftentimes. Writing poetry or short stories based on certain myths about the god and offer it up to them. But if I can't write that day, what would be a good sacrifice to give? (Note: can't do food. My mom is not used to my beliefs.)
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Juniperberry
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« Reply #1: April 06, 2011, 12:53:44 pm »

I've always felt a little shaky when giving sacrifices to the gods. (Hellene, BTW.)

I prefer to use things from nature or things I have at home since I don't have the money to buy any special supplies unless they are real cheap. I'd rather give something from my heart rather than "money".

I'm not exactly sure how to give a sacrifice. In my own way, I use my gift of poetry and writing oftentimes. Writing poetry or short stories based on certain myths about the god and offer it up to them. But if I can't write that day, what would be a good sacrifice to give? (Note: can't do food. My mom is not used to my beliefs.)

Well, a sacrifice is a sacrifice. It's buying things to give even if you can't really afford it. It's going out of your way to give back or to make a good impression. It's giving something up that you  want or could use.

My husband gets annoyed that I leave perfectly good food out for the landvaettir, but I do it anyway, and that's a sacrifice. It has unpleasant repercussions but I do it to honor them, and they know that. I buy special foods for them that I don't plan on eating at all, and that's a sacrifice. Poetry and the like are nice gifts, but they aren't sacrifices.
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Ellen M.
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« Reply #2: April 06, 2011, 01:48:25 pm »

Poetry and the like are nice gifts, but they aren't sacrifices.

I would argue - you ARE sacrificing the time it takes to make a poem, dedicating yourself to a craft. You might not be giving up an object or spending money, but you've made something for a deity and give it to them. Now, I understand we might want to get into a discussion about offerings versus sacrifices, and I'd wager that our definition of those two terms might differ with our own practices.
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OpenHands
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« Reply #3: April 06, 2011, 03:22:20 pm »

I've always felt a little shaky when giving sacrifices to the gods. (Hellene, BTW.)

I prefer to use things from nature or things I have at home since I don't have the money to buy any special supplies unless they are real cheap. I'd rather give something from my heart rather than "money".

I'm not exactly sure how to give a sacrifice. In my own way, I use my gift of poetry and writing oftentimes. Writing poetry or short stories based on certain myths about the god and offer it up to them. But if I can't write that day, what would be a good sacrifice to give? (Note: can't do food. My mom is not used to my beliefs.)

How about pouring a libation outside?  It's very traditional in your religion, it wouldn't be something left out to make your mom uncomfortable, and it doesn't have to be expensive.  I used to offer sparkling grape juice as a replacement for wine when I lived at home and was under 21.  Honey, juice, oil (like olive or almond), milk, or tea would be very easy to get and only cost a few dollars. 
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homers_child
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« Reply #4: April 06, 2011, 04:05:20 pm »

How about pouring a libation outside?  It's very traditional in your religion, it wouldn't be something left out to make your mom uncomfortable, and it doesn't have to be expensive.  I used to offer sparkling grape juice as a replacement for wine when I lived at home and was under 21.  Honey, juice, oil (like olive or almond), milk, or tea would be very easy to get and only cost a few dollars. 

Great idea! How come I didn't remember this?  Tongue
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Juniperberry
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« Reply #5: April 06, 2011, 04:08:38 pm »

I'd wager that our definition of those two terms might differ with our own practices.

Probably Smiley
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OpenHands
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« Reply #6: April 06, 2011, 04:27:22 pm »

Great idea! How come I didn't remember this?  Tongue

I have had many of those "duh" moments over the years when I asked questions here.  Smiley  Forums like TC are nice for getting suggestions and perspectives you might have missed.  Hope your offerings are a success!
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Ellen M.
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« Reply #7: April 06, 2011, 04:28:34 pm »

How about pouring a libation outside?  It's very traditional in your religion, it wouldn't be something left out to make your mom uncomfortable, and it doesn't have to be expensive.  I used to offer sparkling grape juice as a replacement for wine when I lived at home and was under 21.  Honey, juice, oil (like olive or almond), milk, or tea would be very easy to get and only cost a few dollars. 

Libations are FANTASTIC. In a pinch, you can make it look like you're just watering plants. (Yesterday I offered a bottle of beer to a tree - I can only imagine what I looked like to passersby.)
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« Reply #8: April 06, 2011, 04:42:48 pm »

Libations are FANTASTIC. In a pinch, you can make it look like you're just watering plants. (Yesterday I offered a bottle of beer to a tree - I can only imagine what I looked like to passersby.)

Yes, a libation can be very low-key so you don't necessarily have to freak out the neighbors.   Grin  Good point.
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homers_child
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« Reply #9: April 07, 2011, 10:17:17 am »

Well, a sacrifice is a sacrifice. It's buying things to give even if you can't really afford it. It's going out of your way to give back or to make a good impression. It's giving something up that you  want or could use.

I think I was confusing giving a sacrifice with giving an offering. I guess the only sacrifice I've given is a libation. I've been mainly making offerings of my writing and such.
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Carnelian
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« Reply #10: April 07, 2011, 10:31:07 am »

I've always felt a little shaky when giving sacrifices to the gods. (Hellene, BTW.)

I prefer to use things from nature or things I have at home since I don't have the money to buy any special supplies unless they are real cheap. I'd rather give something from my heart rather than "money".

I'm not exactly sure how to give a sacrifice. In my own way, I use my gift of poetry and writing oftentimes. Writing poetry or short stories based on certain myths about the god and offer it up to them. But if I can't write that day, what would be a good sacrifice to give? (Note: can't do food. My mom is not used to my beliefs.)

Sacrifice doesn't require giving up something important like its modern connotations, it is about honouring to the gods by sharing what you have with them. Writing your own hymns and poems is an acceptable offering/sacrifice, as are libations like OpenHands mentioned. You can also burn incense or herbs for the gods, or offer a small part of your meal by burning it or leaving it outside. Sacrificing to the gods is not about going broke to provide them with lavish offerings, it's just about sharing what you have with them as a sign of respect. A few drops of your drink or a pinch of food from your dinner is enough. Candles, incense and hymns are nice offerings too.
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Gwiwer
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« Reply #11: April 08, 2011, 06:44:59 pm »

I've always felt a little shaky when giving sacrifices to the gods. (Hellene, BTW.)

I prefer to use things from nature or things I have at home since I don't have the money to buy any special supplies unless they are real cheap. I'd rather give something from my heart rather than "money".

I'm not exactly sure how to give a sacrifice. In my own way, I use my gift of poetry and writing oftentimes. Writing poetry or short stories based on certain myths about the god and offer it up to them. But if I can't write that day, what would be a good sacrifice to give? (Note: can't do food. My mom is not used to my beliefs.)

As a writer and a poet, I think writing poems and stories is an excellent idea. I don't think people who aren't serious about writing ever really understand how much time, effort, and energy can be required to write even a simple poem or story. As long as you are really putting serious effort into your writing and not just dashing off something quick just to get it done, I don't think you have any reason to feel self-conscious or think of your poems and stories as something trivial or insignificant. You're taking your time and energy to put an intimate and significant part of yourself into that piece of writing, and that's not something you, or anyone else, should feel the need to denigrate or take lightly. In fact, in many ancient cultures, poetry was considered to be an incredibly powerful thing. To the ancient Celts, poets were some of the most powerful members of society because poetry was so highly respected that everyone was quite keen to stay on the poet's good side lest they should decide to use their poetic powers to compose something negative about you. I don't think the ancient Greeks were quite that intensely respectful of poetry, but they still had a fairly high amount of respect for the poet. So, I personally think what you are doing is quite good. I mean, just about anyone could go to the supermarket and pick up some various inexpensive food items. How many people could write a good poem or story, though? Not quite as many. Poetry and storytelling are very special talents and I don't think you should ever allow anybody to try to lessen the importance of those talents. I would suggest you continue on dedicating yourself to honing your craft. It's something that makes you special and unique and I think that's certainly something worthy of respect. 
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NatureMade
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« Reply #12: April 08, 2011, 09:38:15 pm »

As a writer and a poet, I think writing poems and stories is an excellent idea. I don't think people who aren't serious about writing ever really understand how much time, effort, and energy can be required to write even a simple poem or story...

...So, I personally think what you are doing is quite good. I mean, just about anyone could go to the supermarket and pick up some various inexpensive food items. How many people could write a good poem or story, though? Not quite as many. Poetry and storytelling are very special talents and I don't think you should ever allow anybody to try to lessen the importance of those talents. I would suggest you continue on dedicating yourself to honing your craft. It's something that makes you special and unique and I think that's certainly something worthy of respect. 

As an artist and writer I definitely agree with this. I don't know how many times someone has said to me -- something along these lines, not quoting exactly -- "You are so lucky to get to spend your day making art. How fun!"

I want to scream sometimes! Making art is hard work!!! I get so frustrated that people don't want to pay what actually amounts to a mere fraction of the value of a work (after figuring in my time, materials and overhead) because I should "be happy that I get to play all day" while other people have REAL jobs. I wish they could be a fly on the wall for about a week and see what goes into that so-called play.

My husband is a sculptor as well, and we often collaborate. One day a man told us that though he really loved a dragon figure we created, he wouldn't pay the asking price of $175 because it was made of plastic. (We usually cast in metals but this piece was sculpted straight up from a particular kind of very expensive self-hardening epoxy designed for sculptors that we had wanted to experiment with.) The thing was indistiquishable from metal unless you tried cutting into it, and took about 200 hours of painstaking work, but all he cared about was the fact that it was technically plastic -- therefore cheap.

What value did he put on the artwork? He loved it and gushed over it, but did not value it enough to pay for it. As for the value he placed on the artistic abilities of the creators? Apparently there was none assigned. We were just playing.

It is only my two cents worth, but I think a well crafted bit of writing is a perfectly acceptable offering or sacrifice if it takes as much time and effort to create it as I know some of my work does.
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