"What do I have to offer?"

…and a few thoughts on the act of Circling…

“What do I have to Offer?”

This is a question a lot of us ask at different points and in during different situations in our lives…

The topic of offerings to the Divinities, or Spirits of Place, or to Ancestors; and the question of the title, have burbled up to my conscious mind from this evenings Internet wanderings.

I used to keep a clay mug on my altar filled with water… from Samhain to Beltaine it was for the Ancestors…from Beltaine to Samhain it was for the Fairy folk and the spirits of the land… (Just what part the realms of fairy play in my cosmology is still somewhat hazy for me… ironically enough given my increasing attraction to the term radical fairy to describe my spirituality…)

Anyhow as covered elsewhere on this blog, I don’t have an altar right now. I am Circling again though, and the act of pouring a libation of giving of something to the Powers and Principalities of the Universe that I am calling on just seems right… like good manners really. But what???

Wine, of course has a historical precedent or two… and given the shrinking of the tragically increasingly mis-named Everglades due to overpopulation and man-made drought here in Florida, Water seems rather appropriate… but how to fit this into my Circle?

Is Water or Wine enough? Do I offer up food as well? When Circling on my own I have rarely done the Cakes and Wine portion of things… not sure why though, will have to think about that…
Then there is the How of offering up Food and Drink to those (non-corporeal) that you have invited to your Circle.

Living in an apartment complex and Circling at home, I don’t have a lot of freedom of where to pour a libation or leave an offering…. never mind what I find to be the somewhat questionable idea of leaving edibles outside ones home… wild animals are meant to stay wild and if you leave food out they can become dependant on man for food and that invites conflict and usually a lot of trouble for the animals.

I like some of the ideas encapsulated in the Raven Kindred’s “What Happens at a Blot.” page, in terms of making an offering to the Divinity you are celebrating (or celebrating with as the case may be). Raising the chalice and offering it unto Them and seeing Them partaking of it in your minds eye until you ‘feel’ they have accepted the offering… then partaking of it yourself….

Not all that different from what many of the ancients did, at least if I remember my University Anthropology class info on Egypt…. They would set up an elaborate feast for the God or Goddess of the temple and after a time when the Divinity in question had ‘partaken’ of their fill the food was shared amongst those of the temple or under its care…

Then of course, going back to thoughts of the Asatruar…. and Druids for that matter… is the matter of the structure of my Solitary Circles. My friend, and occasional co-conspirator, Kym feels a need for relatively simple circles in her life right now… and I can’t say I disagree with her.

I ended up coordinating the 2005 Pagan Pride event back in Anchorage, Alaska right before I moved to Florida… as in the event was a few days before I was to fly out of town forever! (DO NOT EVER DO THAT TO YOURSELF!!) Anyhow, I didn’t want to be trying to organize the event AND craft a ritual… and also every public Pagan community ritual I had seen in Anchorage had been on a Wiccan/Witchcraft model… and I thought it was about time that some other traditions were represented so I asked a couple of friends and occasional co-conspirators Danielle and Guil, an Asatraur and a Druid respectively if they would be the ritual team for this event. They agreed; they crafted a rite that was simple, beautiful, and powerful. For me that ritual will always be one of the ones that comes to mind whenever I think of what a public ritual, heck what any ritual, should be. They did good!!!

I want my own Circles whether personal or public to be worthy of the presence and attention of the Powers and Principalities… why Circle otherwise?

The trick is that as little circling as I have done on my own the last few years… when I did things it was almost always with all the bells and whistles. There have been a few times I have used a simple pair of Tibetan bells (the ones that look like cymbals?! Ting-sha’s; I think is the name?!) to create sacred space… but my deeper self still wants something more… That’s another thing I will have to think about…

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So what do you think?! Opinions? Ideas? Beuller... Bueller?!

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