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Author Topic: Practice Basics: Offerings and Meditation  (Read 5726 times)
Lusiphelia
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« Topic Start: February 28, 2008, 12:06:27 pm »

It seems typical to offer deities wine, mead, or other alcoholic beverages as an offering.  Especially Norse deities, because recently I have felt called by Skadi, but perhaps all pantheons enjoy it equally.  Now, my husband is a recovering alcoholic, thus we don't drink and generally don't keep alcohol in the house.  Would another offering, whatever substitute, be less accepted than alcohol?  It may require a simple answer, but I ask because I do try to keep somewhat to the traditions of the pantheon, and (what is known) of the original system of belief and practice.

Also, I am wondering how regularly and what methods of meditation you all use.  I never seem to have much luck sitting still and breathing and trying (in vain) to quiet my mind.  I blame this on bipolar disorder, what with racing thoughts and all, but maybe I need to find another method?  I wonder if any of you have similar problems and perhaps don't meditate.  If not, what practices do you use and in stead?

Thanks,
Kerry/Lusiphelia
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« Reply #1: February 28, 2008, 01:24:37 pm »

It seems typical to offer deities wine, mead, or other alcoholic beverages as an offering.  Especially Norse deities, because recently I have felt called by Skadi, but perhaps all pantheons enjoy it equally.  Now, my husband is a recovering alcoholic, thus we don't drink and generally don't keep alcohol in the house.  Would another offering, whatever substitute, be less accepted than alcohol?  It may require a simple answer, but I ask because I do try to keep somewhat to the traditions of the pantheon, and (what is known) of the original system of belief and practice.

I use sparkling grape juice. (I'm not old enough to legally buy alcohol yet...so I have to 'make do').
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« Reply #2: February 28, 2008, 01:37:06 pm »

Would another offering, whatever substitute, be less accepted than alcohol?  It may require a simple answer, but I ask because I do try to keep somewhat to the traditions of the pantheon, and (what is known) of the original system of belief and practice.

Also, I am wondering how regularly and what methods of meditation you all use.  I never seem to have much luck sitting still and breathing and trying (in vain) to quiet my mind.  I blame this on bipolar disorder, what with racing thoughts and all, but maybe I need to find another method? 

No I donít think any offering would be less acceptable.  Practical needs do need to take precedence often over ideals.  You could perhaps offer non alcoholic beer or just use any other liquid. 

You could try doing meditation through movement, but Iím not sure how any sort would be effective if youíre manic.

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« Reply #3: February 28, 2008, 03:45:07 pm »

It seems typical to offer deities wine, mead, or other alcoholic beverages as an offering.  Especially Norse deities, because recently I have felt called by Skadi, but perhaps all pantheons enjoy it equally.  Now, my husband is a recovering alcoholic, thus we don't drink and generally don't keep alcohol in the house.  Would another offering, whatever substitute, be less accepted than alcohol?  It may require a simple answer, but I ask because I do try to keep somewhat to the traditions of the pantheon, and (what is known) of the original system of belief and practice.

Also, I am wondering how regularly and what methods of meditation you all use.  I never seem to have much luck sitting still and breathing and trying (in vain) to quiet my mind.  I blame this on bipolar disorder, what with racing thoughts and all, but maybe I need to find another method?  I wonder if any of you have similar problems and perhaps don't meditate.  If not, what practices do you use and in stead?

Thanks,
Kerry/Lusiphelia

If alcohol is a problem try milk, cow or otherwise.  I don't think it is the alcoholic content of the offering that is significant to the dieties but the value of it to the person providing the offering.  If you offer something that has no value to you, are you really sacrificing anything to your diety?  If alcohol holds no value to you it will hold no value to your diety.  Heck, maybe in this day and age you could offer gasoline...lol...its pretty valuable!  Although, keep it away from an open flame...

As far as medition goes, I get my most fulfilling meditations while doing the dishes or folding the laundry.  I find the repetative motion and the mindless task and easy way to let my mind wander in meditation and it helps me relax, especially with the warmth provided by the water or the dryer warmed clothes.  I've solved many of my problems while meditating in this manner and I've learned many things about myself to boot.  Good luck finding the peace of mind to enter a meditative state, I know it took me several years of practice before I really reached true meditation.  I am also an antsy busy body.
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« Reply #4: February 28, 2008, 06:02:34 pm »

Would another offering, whatever substitute, be less accepted than alcohol?  It may require a simple answer, but I ask because I do try to keep somewhat to the traditions of the pantheon, and (what is known) of the original system of belief and practice.

Yes, there are all sorts of other alternatives - precisely which ones make the most sense may take some more research, though. I'd start with 'why alcohol' and 'why *this* alcohol' as questions.

For a lot of cultures, the 'why alcohol' is in part because it was safer or otherwise healthier than drinking the water (at least in some places) or tasted better. But I think there are also other factors: it takes some work to produce, it takes patience to make, it takes a certain amount of ability to have excess materials you can ferment, that you are not just living on the edge of survival. But there are varying approaches to this, depending on the culture and the time period.

Say you decide that the 'it takes patience' part is important. You might then decide that you grow herbs, and leave a few snips from your plants with your offering. You might make bread (especially something like a sourdough, where the mother requires regular tending). You might make herbal oils, or vinegars, and include a little of them in whatever you give as an offering. Or you learn to make cheese.  Or say you decide that the important part is a connection to the physical cycles around you: your offerings might be a small clipping from a plant, items you get at a local farmer's market, or milk or cheese you get from local dairies.

(There's obviously all sorts of levels of intricate this can get: I don't make my own wine, but after several years of baking bread, I consider homemade bread to be pretty much a requirement for my actual formal offerings at ritual. If I do have to do store-bought for some reason, I try to make sure it's unusual in some way, or from another really good baker, not just the local grocery store. Or, for example, I did a ritual a few years ago where I was working closely with Artemis, and she *really* wanted baklava as part of the offerings, and that's way outside my scope to make, and that got bought.)

There's the other approach - there's a lot of magic and lore about honey, and mead shares those associations. If a common offering is mead, then would honey do the same things? Or wine and grapes, or beer and bread, or a number of other common and closely-related food and drink stuffs. If you follow the ingredients through, you can find all sorts of fascinating connections.

Quote
Also, I am wondering how regularly and what methods of meditation you all use.  I never seem to have much luck sitting still and breathing and trying (in vain) to quiet my mind.  I blame this on bipolar disorder, what with racing thoughts and all, but maybe I need to find another method?  I wonder if any of you have similar problems and perhaps don't meditate.  If not, what practices do you use and in stead?

When your mind races, is it worries, or is it distractions? There are some different methods that might help.

The 'sit and clear your mind' is only one possible form, though. Some people do better with walking meditation, or dance/moving meditation. Or washing the dishes. Or pathworkings/guided meditations. If you talk a little more about your goals, and what you'd like to meditate to do, I bet we can come up with good suggestions.
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« Reply #5: February 28, 2008, 06:25:36 pm »

It seems typical to offer deities wine, mead, or other alcoholic beverages as an offering.  Especially Norse deities, because recently I have felt called by Skadi, but perhaps all pantheons enjoy it equally.  Now, my husband is a recovering alcoholic, thus we don't drink and generally don't keep alcohol in the house.  Would another offering, whatever substitute, be less accepted than alcohol?  It may require a simple answer, but I ask because I do try to keep somewhat to the traditions of the pantheon, and (what is known) of the original system of belief and practice.
I agree that alcohol is traditional because of the reasons stated by Jennett. I think that any sort of offering should be personal. So because your husband is in recovery, alcohol would have very little value to you personally. I like Hopecraft's suggestions of gas. lol. If you like the idea of offering alcohol because of the fact that it is traditional, consider non-alcoholic variations. Especially for the Norse pantheon, you might consider making mead. I'm not sure how common this is, but the local pagan shop in my area offers mead kits that you can make alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Smiley I haven't picked one up yet, but I definitely plan to!

Quote
Also, I am wondering how regularly and what methods of meditation you all use.  I never seem to have much luck sitting still and breathing and trying (in vain) to quiet my mind.  I blame this on bipolar disorder, what with racing thoughts and all, but maybe I need to find another method?  I wonder if any of you have similar problems and perhaps don't meditate.  If not, what practices do you use and in stead?
There are a lot of threads about meditation... try doing a search.
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« Reply #6: February 28, 2008, 06:51:29 pm »

There's the other approach - there's a lot of magic and lore about honey, and mead shares those associations.

Not sure why only this bit got quoted...moving on...

The reason I want to use real wine offerings when I am legally able to buy the stuff is just because it IS traditional. The reasons for it being traditional don't really matter to me, but the tradition is. However for practical reasons I have to use something else for now. Sparkling grape juice being my first choice, but it's not available to me at this time. Cry

Honey is a good idea. I can't think of a single deity that would complain about honey! Ever heard of the "land of milk and honey"? Well, there's a reason...milk and honey tastes GOOD. I used to have easy access to a whole foods store and was able to get raw milk, and raw honey. OMG yum... (in fact I drank raw milk for so long that I still tend to shake the milk carton before drinking. Cheesy my mom laughs at me.)
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« Reply #7: February 28, 2008, 08:55:13 pm »

The reasons for it being traditional don't really matter to me, but the tradition is.

I'm the opposite.  'It's traditional' doesn't mean much to me unless I both understand the reason for the tradition in the first place and agree that that reason is still valid.  Something completely new or non-traditional that makes sense to me and is consistent with my understanding of 'what is required' will get preference over an older procedure, especially if I see the older one as counter-productive or too automatic.

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« Reply #8: February 28, 2008, 08:56:50 pm »

Not sure why only this bit got quoted...moving on...

The reason I want to use real wine offerings when I am legally able to buy the stuff is just because it IS traditional. The reasons for it being traditional don't really matter to me, but the tradition is. However for practical reasons I have to use something else for now. Sparkling grape juice being my first choice, but it's not available to me at this time. Cry

Honey also has some other serious practical benefits - it's easy to store, you can usually buy local honey without too much trouble, and a little goes a long way. (I'm still working through the honey I bought this summer, and I use it heavily in baking and a few other uses.)

There's also a bit for me, currently, about supporting an industry that's having a really hard time due to hive deaths. I do my best to buy from my local farmer's market, where they tend to have non-monoculture honey, and are having better luck keeping the hives alive, but it's hard for everyone.
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« Reply #9: February 28, 2008, 10:55:48 pm »

It seems typical to offer deities wine, mead, or other alcoholic beverages as an offering.  Especially Norse deities, because recently I have felt called by Skadi, but perhaps all pantheons enjoy it equally.  Now, my husband is a recovering alcoholic, thus we don't drink and generally don't keep alcohol in the house.  Would another offering, whatever substitute, be less accepted than alcohol?  It may require a simple answer, but I ask because I do try to keep somewhat to the traditions of the pantheon, and (what is known) of the original system of belief and practice.

There are plenty of other offerings to be made. Look to the history and mythology of the deities for inspiration. Ask them what they want.

I offer most often, white wine, bay leaves, cypress candles and incense to Apollo. Red wine, rosemary and incense to Dionysus.

Yankee candle used to make wine candles- candles whose scents were inspired by wines. Unfortunately, they don't anymore, I would get those for offerings in a second :-)
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« Reply #10: February 29, 2008, 01:24:10 am »

It seems typical to offer deities wine, mead, or other alcoholic beverages as an offering.  Especially Norse deities, because recently I have felt called by Skadi, but perhaps all pantheons enjoy it equally.  Now, my husband is a recovering alcoholic, thus we don't drink and generally don't keep alcohol in the house.  Would another offering, whatever substitute, be less accepted than alcohol?  It may require a simple answer, but I ask because I do try to keep somewhat to the traditions of the pantheon, and (what is known) of the original system of belief and practice.



I've offered Skadi apple juice before and as far as I know, She accepted it. 

Other Non-Alcoholic Beverages:
Mead (non-Alchoholic kind) or beer
Grape juice

As Skadi is a deity of the hunt, perhaps some bow and arrow for her altar, or an animal skin cloth (fake or not depending on your taste or if it is legal, I guess), errm......wolf pictures or figures as she was associated with wolves, snow, mountains (her hall was in the mountains of Thyrheim (sp?)), skis, images to frame of her, snowshoes, etc.   

Maybe making something for her (like a picture for her) or making snowshoe cookies with honey!

Wow, I need to go away now.  I'm coming up with snowshoe cookies. 

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« Reply #11: February 29, 2008, 04:42:54 am »

It seems typical to offer deities wine, mead, or other alcoholic beverages as an offering.  Especially Norse deities, because recently I have felt called by Skadi, but perhaps all pantheons enjoy it equally.  Now, my husband is a recovering alcoholic, thus we don't drink and generally don't keep alcohol in the house.  Would another offering, whatever substitute, be less accepted than alcohol?  It may require a simple answer, but I ask because I do try to keep somewhat to the traditions of the pantheon, and (what is known) of the original system of belief and practice.


I can empathise with you here. I have a similar dilemma of my own.

There is strong evidence that the main offerings to Sul historically were cattle. As I am quasi-vegetarian and havenít eaten red meat for 20 years this is posing a bit of a problem. I canít see soya protein being acceptable somehow and I wouldnít insult her by offering it.

If I buy beef specially I will really not be offering the meat per se but actually my willingness to compromise long held principles. This to me is a much more significant offering than anything tangible.

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« Reply #12: February 29, 2008, 07:29:27 am »

Not sure why only this bit got quoted...moving on...

Sometimes (depending on browser, phase of the moon, the way you're holding your head, etc.) if you have a portion of the post you're replying to highlighted when you hit quote/reply, it'll just quote the highlighted portion.  Obviously it's not real dependable, though.  Smiley

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« Reply #13: February 29, 2008, 07:50:24 am »


Maybe making something for her (like a picture for her) or making snowshoe cookies with honey!

Wow, I need to go away now.  I'm coming up with snowshoe cookies. 



Haha, and I'm trying to figure out how the heck one WOULD make snowshoe cookies!!!   Wink
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« Reply #14: February 29, 2008, 07:56:08 am »

Quote

When your mind races, is it worries, or is it distractions? There are some different methods that might help.

The 'sit and clear your mind' is only one possible form, though. Some people do better with walking meditation, or dance/moving meditation. Or washing the dishes. Or pathworkings/guided meditations. If you talk a little more about your goals, and what you'd like to meditate to do, I bet we can come up with good suggestions.

Magickally/Spiritually, I'd like to be more 'aware' of what else is around me, open myself up to communication with the Gods, perhaps contact with the Fey (although I know this is likely a crapshoot, they'll show up if they please), and more mundanely, better awareness of the day-to-day, concentration, etc.
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