I bring all manner of offerings to the Gods. Mead and wine most commonly but also food, flowers, honey, beads, anything that means something. It can even be time, or an effort dedicated to Them. What matters is it is offered, or sacrificed, in an honest act of giving.
But what does it mean? No, when I bring Nótt a cup of dark red wine it is not because I think a star clad Goddess will pick up the cup and sip away. When I bring Odin a tasty slice of beef it’s not under the illusion that He will pop up from another realm and stuff his mouth with it. When I bring honey to Ochún it is not because I think she’s run out and her bowl needs a refill. Then why?
It is the very act of giving that matters. It opens a connection or strengthens one that is already there. It builds and nurtures relationships. It’s not matter of payment, I do not demand anything in return. I may wish for something in return but it is never a demand. First and foremost I give because I want to give. Then come what may, the offering stands either way as a representation of my devotion and respect.
The process of giving does not begin and end with the handing over. All of it plays a part, from the moment of decision to the steps of preparation, be it to cut up a slice of bread or fill a cup with wine, to the aftermath. Behind the physical actions lies an intention, and there is the key. It doesn’t end after leaving the offering on the shrine either, the warmth of giving lingers far longer.
Sometimes I lack words, and that is alright. The intention is still there. It’s not about grand gestures to impress anyone, it’s about the connection built within. Nor lies the value of the gift in it’s price tag, but in the spirit it is given in. The effort and intention.
And with those words, I go to bring an offering of wine to Nótt. Mother above, star clad darkness, depth and the truth beyond. I am not yet out of my seat but the process has begun, intention has settled and with it a calm warmth and joy. So I go.