Offerings to the Gods
What's an Acceptable Gift?
By Patti Wigington

In many Pagan and Wiccan traditions, it's not uncommon to make some sort of offering or sacrifice to the gods. Bear in mind that despite the reciprocal nature of our relationship with the divine, it's not a matter of "I'm offering you this stuff so you'll grant my wish." It's more along the lines of "I honor you and respect you, so I'm giving you this stuff to show you how much I appreciate your intervention on my behalf."

So the question arises, then, of what to offer them? Different types of deities seem to respond best to different kinds of offerings. For example, you wouldn’t offer flowers to a war god, would you? When making an offering, it's important to think about what the god represents. The Roman Cato described an offering for agricultural prosperity: Make offerings to keep your oxen in good health. Make the following sacrifices to Mars… three pounds of wheat, four-and-a-half of lard, four-and-a-half of meat and three pints of wine. While it's probably not necessary to go that far and offer up enough food to feed a small army to your god, the passage does illustrate the fact that our ancestors thought enough of their gods to take their offerings very seriously.

In general, bread, milk and wine are nearly always appropriate for any deity. Here are some ideas for specific offerings you can make to deities, based upon the types of gods they are:

Hearth and Home Gods:

Food: Bread and grains, cooking oil, salt
Drink: Milk, wine, cider
Herbs: Rosemary, thyme
Gods of Love and Passion:

Food: Eggs, honey, apples
Drink: Wine, fruit juice
Herbs: Lavender, sandalwood
Garden/Nature Deities:

Food: Bread, cornmeal, fruit
Drink: Milk, water
Herbs: Bay
Gods of Prosperity and Abundance:

Food: Grains, dairy products like cheese or eggs
Drink: Milk, beer
Herbs: Mint, pennyroyal, catnip
Ancestor Spirits:

Food: Any meal from your family's table
Drink: Drinks from the family table
Herbs: Sage, sweetgrass
Childbirth or Fertility Godesss:

Food: Eggs, baked sweets like cookies
Drink: Milk (including breast milk)
Herbs: Rose, sandalwood, apple blossoms

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