Pagan Blog Project: D Is For Daily Offerings.

I’m not sure if this is normal for all pagans, but when I started this, I really didn’t think that I’d be paying much attention to my gods. I figured it would be a weekly thing, maybe. Or, maybe a “I need something so I’ll turn to the gods now” moment here and there. I think I kind of thought of it as something akin to what I did when I was a Christian: be angry most of the time and pray only in moments of extreme clarity or extreme distress. In reality, I don’t know what I was thinking or what I thought my practice would be like, however what I have now is not what I had pictured.

A while back, I was going for a more Reconstructionist look to my practice. As someone who is in love with ancient Kemet, it seemed like a good idea at the time. With that, I did daily offerings for my goddesses: I’d get up, feed them breakfast (so to speak), say a few words and be on my way. This got old real fast.

The thing is that in Kemetic practices, you’re pretty much choosing your breakfast as well as that of the gods. A lot of people have this issue, actually. The whole point in the offerings spiel is so that we can revert them into ourselves after the gods have finished with it. Especially for those of us who are up at ungodsly hours, it makes it that much harder. You have the choice to deal with it, you have the choice to stop, you have the choice to revert offerings in a different way, and you have the choice to use stand-ins for the food you would give them. (This practice is quite common in Kemetic practices.)

When I started this daily stuff, I really was at a loss. I was up at four or five in the morning. I was giving my gods random items that didn’t feel quite right just to offer things. I didn’t know what to do. I ended up stopping because I couldn’t give things that I wanted to and because I felt exceedingly guilty for not reverting the offerings in the customary way. This caused a crisis of faith. It may sound silly: a crisis happened because of food? But it was a big thing to me.

I’ve gone back and forth on the daily offerings thing repeatedly.

When the Old Man showed up in July, I was at a complete loss as to what to do with him. It took me a while before I began to give him daily offerings on his own. For the most part, his daily offering consists of a fresh cup of steaming hot coffee every morning. This seems to be all he’s wanted from me with an occasional touch up on his glass of rum or something shiny that I’ve found that he’d like (he has quite the penny collection going).

I’ve come to think of my daily offering to him in conjunction with the ones that I leave for Sekhmet. After all, they both want something given on a daily basis and it was because I had begun giving to Sekhmet that it occurred to me to do likewise with Papa Legba. The thing is that it’s simple to brew some coffee for the Old Man while it’s harder to come up with more than a glass of water for Sekhmet. And it’s because of the ease of his desires that I find myself still very content to give, whereas with Sekhmet, I find it more and more an added chore.

And to be completely honest, this bothers me greatly because it makes me feel like I am a failure in the eyes of Sekhmet. Obviously, I haven’t heard this from her but feelings are still pretty important, even if one is contending with [possibly imagined] ones in relation to the gods.

One day, I’ll figure all of this out. In the mean time, I’m just stumbling along until something feels right.

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16 thoughts on “Pagan Blog Project: D Is For Daily Offerings.

      • It’s only a passing relationship, and one I haven’t developed that much. I also honor her through my time spent with the cats and felines in my life. Shekmet and Bastet are the same deity, just two different faces. Thats why what you use for one can be used for the other,.

        I got to know her through her aspect as a healing deity. When I heal I like to imagine destroying and removing the illness from the body. That is how she heals. That is our connection.

        I don’t have a deep Kemetic practice yet, though I do see some calling there. I have mostly been focused on Nordic practices.

        • I’m a hard polytheist, so you’ll have to forgive me for disagreeing about Bastet and Sekhmet being the same. :) Hetharu and Sekhmet are more in line with being one coin from what I’ve learned and felt. (And Hetharu is actually one of my other patrons.)

          • All the lore and research I have read show that they are the same being. In Egypt it wasn’t uncommon for various deities to be considered the same any way.

            • And that’s true. However, to me, syncretism is more two gods coming together for a brief time as opposed to always being the same. :)

              The differences between Bastet and Sekhmet are later additions (I believe) to the complicated ancient Egyptian mythos. It’s been shown that Bastet was once seen as a lion-headed goddess just like Sekhmet. There’s a going theory that Sekhmet and Bastet are the separating of one deity. (I can’t recall the name… begins with a P, though.)

  1. She also likes alcoholic beverages (one fellow follower offers her a 6-pack of beer after working with her), bits of raw or rare meat, and blood if you are up for that (not yours though).

    • I’ve found that all the Egyptian deities like beer. It was in that area that the fermentation of alcohol became known and practiced. Beer I believe is directly traced to Kemet. So it would make sense.

      I wouldn’t offer rare meat unless I had a pet near by that could physically consume it as a vessel for the Goddess.

      • I don’t feel comfortable with giving an alcoholic beverage as a daily offering, honestly. And as I said to Cheshire in my response, even though beer was one of the dietary staples of Kemetic life, water was more important and precious. That seems more fitting, to me.

        Also I’m always at a loss as to the type of beer to give. I bought Irish Red the last time and knew she wasn’t overly thrilled with it.

        • Its not a daily offering for me either. Its not even something I offer on a regular basis, its just something I offer when I have it and think about it.

    • I’ve given her alcoholic beverages, although rarely. Though beer was a major dietary staple in ancient Egypt, water was more precious. That’s why she always has a glass of water.

      As for the blood, I donate blood on her behalf. :)

  2. I have a list of traditional offerings, if you ever need them. The most common things offered were water, beer, and bread (as I’m sure you know). However, I don’t care for bread… and I, too, had many problems with things to offer daily. Hell, I still have problems. Shinto practice has a set form of offerings that you have to give, and in turn, have to use. And I find it hard some days to consume all of the offerings I give. I suck at it. So I don’t think you’re alone in this problem.

    I think starting with water is good. However, if you find that offering her food isn’t fulfilling you- perhaps it’s not what you need to do. Maybe enough people are offering her food items that you don’t really need to worry about that. Maybe she needs something different from you. Hell, if everyone only ever offered her water and bread… imagine how shit would fall apart. We all have different roles to play, different jobs to do for the gods. Maybe food ain’t yours in regards to her. I think it’s very easy to be a good ‘follower’ of a deity and never give them food, or perform standard/regular rituals. Perhaps you need to ‘look outside the box’ as it were.

    Another thing you could do (if you cook for your family) is to say a blessing or prayer over it, and offer it to her that way. Or even offer it to her as you are plating your food… etc. I did that for a while. I think it’s about being creative with what you do have. Some effort is better than giving up and doing nothing at all, imo. :)

    Also, were you thinking of “Pakhet” above? That’s the only P name that comes to mind. I’ve read of sekhmet and bast being related or the same. They overlap a lot for me. And my hathor and aset overlap. I’m all messed up :P

    • I think a lot of people are finding it difficult to consume the offerings. I’m not sure why. I know that, obviously, the problem I’ve found has been due to the fact that I don’t like to eat in the AM. That’s the start of the issue, actually. Since I’m not a huge breakfast person, it seems beyond ridiculous to have to consume the offerings. And then, my solution (giving the offerings to Nature) seems to go about halfway. If I remember to bring the offerings with me on a walk, then we’re good. But, I’ve got a small pile of fruit that I’ve forgotten to revert in any way. And, you know, it doesn’t help that animals do NOT come into my yard so I have to give them on walks.

      I think the reason that I want to give food is because it’s “supposed” to be the way. I give her bread, apples, oranges (she likes these a lot and will keep them for a day or two), and sometimes grapes if I’m willing to share. XD And of course, I give her water or coffee. But, these food staples are so difficult to revert in some form or another, as I said. And you know, it’s possible that you’re on to something with the whole “maybe it’s not for you” thing. Maybe it isn’t. Sometimes, I feel like she’s “full” and she only wants incense. Some days, I go to give her incense and I feel like she’s full from that, too.

      I’m giving serious consideration to Re-Ment like you have.

      Yes! Pakhet! I kept thinking the name was something like, “Pachect” or something. Close, but not quite.

      I think I see Bast as a tamer version of Sekhmet. Sekhmet, to me, is more wild and desert. She’s more angry lion roars and soul-searing stares. Whereas, to me, Bast is the cat version. She still has an unsettling gaze and the ability to live happily amid scrub grass and desert sandstorms, but she prefers comforts that Sekhmet would be uncomfortable with.

      I think the reason, to me, Hetharu and Sekhmet overlap as much as they do is only due to the fact that I’ve read the Destruction of Mankind myth so many times that it’s stuck in my head. :)

      • Perhaps we all have food issues now. I think the mindset has changed. Back then, you didn’t have an abundance of food. You ate what you got because you weren’t sure if you’d have enough to go around (obviously this wouldn’t necessarily be ALWAYS, but the point still stands). Now adays, we have so much food we waste a LOT of what we buy. It’s odd how things have changed. Have you considered taking what is left over from your Sekhmet offerings, and taking them to the local graveyards and offering that up to that local OTHERS?

        In regards to Bast, she used to be in a lion format, in the OK. She also used to seek out the enemies of Ra, or the pharaoh, rip out their hearts, and present them to Ra, or pharaoh. That’s pretty fiesty! For me if I had to align the three into one-ish deity, Bast would fall in btwn Sekhmet and Hathor. She has traits of both, imo.

  3. Maybe a silly idea, but… what about giving cookies? Or small cupcakes? It’s food, but just one won’t feel like a whole meal. If you don’t like to eat in the morning, I mean. Besides, they are small enough to stuff in your lunchbox or whatever to have for later :) Just thought that it would be sort of like a bread offering.

    • I’ve noticed that Sekhmet isn’t big on sweets. I’ve given her cookies and things that I’ve baked before. She’s always given me a “oh, that’s nice” kind of vibe. I appreciate the recommendation, though!

      I think that Devo may be correct in thinking that, maybe, food isn’t what she wants from me. It’s just a matter of figuring out what the replacement is…

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