Offerings

A place to post stories, pictures, experiences and engage in druidic discussion of areas throughout the world that are considered to be sacred places. These may be ancient man-made structures, natural sites of great power and beauty, places of religious devotion, modern secular sites or individual private places that inspire awe and devotion.
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WrenWyrd
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Offerings

Postby WrenWyrd » 15 Dec 2013, 18:10

I'd like to have something with me at all times that I could use as an offering when I feel the need. I've thought of tobacco or pollen but they're both Native American and I try to avoid cultural appropriation, so I've imagined other options:

- nice stones that I would collect somewhere then leave as offerings
- herbs or medicinal plants, perhaps ground
- powdered incense

I am curious to know if other druids have developed similar rituals and would love to hear what you use. I also wonder if anything is known to have been used as offerings in Europe (apart from coins and other metallic objects) that could be emulated today.
Hedge-bandit, song-bomb, dart-beak, the wren
hops in the thicket, flirt-eye; shy, brave,
grubbing, winter's scamp, but more than itself–
ten requisite grams of the world's weight.
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Oakapple
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Re: Offerings

Postby Oakapple » 15 Dec 2013, 19:22

I tend to leave a couple of strands of my hair as an offering.

A part of me, biodegradable, and I don't have to remember to take it with me!
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Re: Offerings

Postby Alwin » 15 Dec 2013, 20:09

I sometimes use Tea-leaves as an offering.
Or what about honey? Ok, the handling is a bit sticky - er - tricky!
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Re: Offerings

Postby Summerhawk » 16 Dec 2013, 00:39

I am extremely fortunate, as I work at a facility that "boards" small animals while their parents are away. I could literally create whole birds with naturally molted feathers, bunny fur (shed), bird eggs (some lay with no male...have you ever seen how tiny a finch egg is??), snake skins, etc. So I pretty much carry enough offerings for a year.

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Re: Offerings

Postby elementalheart » 16 Dec 2013, 13:19

I usually take a wee stone or some oatmeal but have also used various leaves, berries, a few raisins even a mint on occasion, whatever I have or find when I'm drawn to do the work or visit the place. There is a stone circle in Co Donegal and another in Tyrone that have jelly beans liberally offered during my visit - don't ask me why, it's what called to me as suitable and I went with it!
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Re: Offerings

Postby ShadowCat » 17 Dec 2013, 11:07

Organic/degradable stuff is most appropriate. Examine any potential offering for the harm it might do. Birdseed can contain invasive species, ribbons and stuff can harm wildlife that tries to eat it or gets caught in it, tobacco is a powerful pesticide so it can kill microorganisms and bugs.

An alternative offering can be the cleaning up and recycling/disposing of junk other people leave behind.
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the callings of the universe

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Re: Offerings

Postby WrenWyrd » 17 Dec 2013, 16:14

Thanks for your replies. I love this thread! I can see there is a wide variety of things that people leave behind. Perhaps organic flour could be an option.
Hedge-bandit, song-bomb, dart-beak, the wren
hops in the thicket, flirt-eye; shy, brave,
grubbing, winter's scamp, but more than itself–
ten requisite grams of the world's weight.
Carol Ann Duffy

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Re: Offerings

Postby D'Arzhur » 17 Dec 2013, 16:56

I also leave behind (in nature) some of my hair as offering...
Since I navigate between two countries I was wondering if it is ok or not to move stones from one place to the other and leave them behind as offerings...
For wildlife I often leave dog dry bits ...if someone knows that this could be harmful please let me know...
I collect trash on my daily walks when I find some...
On the other hand my dog(s) also leave their own kind of offerings (in Nature) behind :grin:
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illion
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Re: Offerings

Postby illion » 18 Dec 2013, 05:43

An alternative offering can be the cleaning up and recycling/disposing of junk other people leave behind.
Oh, I never thought of this as an offering :idea:

I've been pondering a lot about this, because I don't like leaving traces after myself out in nature. This is something that I feel is very important to me. To clean up everything after myself, so that no one should notice that I have been there. Of course, it doesn't matter if it is food that will be eaten by animals or that will be washed away by rain, and is biodegradable, but anyways... Hmmm. I've never really liked it. I don't know why.

But what I do like is to clean up after other people. I do that every time I go for a walk in the woods, and if that could be called an offering, I am happy to say that I do offer to the Nature spirits. I guess they must like it :D

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Re: Offerings

Postby ShadowCat » 18 Dec 2013, 07:53

Stones are a nice way of connecting energy. I know of a group of people that do the same with water, connecting sacred wells by transfering water between them. I also sometimes leave small gemstones in the woods. Especially in places where kids might find them, like in a hollow tree. To me this feels like adding a bit of magic to the world. I've also left small unobtrusive figurines in places like that sometimes.

I don't see any harm in leaving dogbiscuits or kibbles out. It's inert, so it either gets eaten or it rots into the ground.

And I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one cleaning stuff up. I really do consider it an offering and I do it with intent. It's an offering of effort and energy.
Three sounds one should treasure:
the whisper of the wind through the leaves
the songs of one's heart
the callings of the universe

Golden Harps are like cookies, you can never have just one
Sacred spaces and places

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Alwin
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Re: Offerings

Postby Alwin » 18 Dec 2013, 09:37

Since I navigate between two countries I was wondering if it is ok or not to move stones from one place to the other and leave them behind as offerings...
I have mixed feelings towards leaving stones from a complete different place or even gems in the wood. A friend of mine works as an archaeologist. Not long ago some fossiles found by a child caused a great stir among the experts because these findings must not belong there according to the theory. After a while it tuned out that most probably just someone has dumped his huge fossil collection in the old stone pit some ten years ago! Definitely not a good idea! :huh:

But I like the idea of cleaning up a place as an offering. Thanks for sharing! :hug:
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Re: Offerings

Postby ShadowCat » 18 Dec 2013, 09:52

After a while it tuned out that most probably just someone has dumped his huge fossil collection in the old stone pit some ten years ago!
I personally think this is quite funny. Archeological work is important to understand history and where we come from. Yet, there always has to be a meaning behind things. The way things are often interpreted as "important find" makes me rase my eyebrows. Sometimes things just are the way they are. If someone in 1000 years finds one of my surprises embedded in an ancient tree, I wonder what they will make of it :grin:
Three sounds one should treasure:
the whisper of the wind through the leaves
the songs of one's heart
the callings of the universe

Golden Harps are like cookies, you can never have just one
Sacred spaces and places

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Re: Offerings

Postby Aphritha » 18 Dec 2013, 17:02

[I've been pondering a lot about this, because I don't like leaving traces after myself out in nature. This is something that I feel is very important to me. To clean up everything after myself, so that no one should notice that I have been there. Of course, it doesn't matter if it is food that will be eaten by animals or that will be washed away by rain, and is biodegradable, but anyways... Hmmm. I've never really liked it. I don't know why.
Maybe its an instinct similar to the one many animals have so as predators cannot track them.
[I personally think this is quite funny. Archeological work is important to understand history and where we come from. Yet, there always has to be a meaning behind things. The way things are often interpreted as "important find" makes me rase my eyebrows. Sometimes things just are the way they are. If someone in 1000 years finds one of my surprises embedded in an ancient tree, I wonder what they will make of it :grin:
I think on that too. If something horrible happened and my area was wiped out tomarrow, yet rediscovered in thousands of years, what would they assume I had been upon recovering my skeleton? That I was a cat worshipper because there were so many cat skeletons around? Or that I raised them for food? And what would they think of some of our appliances?


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Re: Offerings

Postby Fire oak » 18 Dec 2013, 17:21

I never take anything with me rather walk in meditation asking for anything that wishes to be given as an offering. Something always offers itself and so I am never without.
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Re: Offerings

Postby ShadowCat » 18 Dec 2013, 17:41

Grossly offtopic
That I was a cat worshipper because there were so many cat skeletons around? Or that I raised them for food?
Probably that cats kept around humans as pets, door- and canopeners.
Back ontopic

I just remembered that I know of a elderly woman who would make mandala's in the woods with materials she could pick up from the ground on her walk that day. So twigs, pinecones, dried grass and maybe just some fruit or a flower or two picked from a tree or bush nearby. This loving attention feels like a great offering too, and it does ad magic, without importing foreign things into the environment.
Three sounds one should treasure:
the whisper of the wind through the leaves
the songs of one's heart
the callings of the universe

Golden Harps are like cookies, you can never have just one
Sacred spaces and places

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Alwin
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Re: Offerings

Postby Alwin » 18 Dec 2013, 17:53

And what would they think of some of our appliances?
All ritual items of an ancient mysterious Cat-Magic-Cult!
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illion
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Re: Offerings

Postby illion » 19 Dec 2013, 06:59

Maybe its an instinct similar to the one many animals have so as predators cannot track them.
It feels like it is a combination of this instinct and a reverence for the Land.
I just remembered that I know of a elderly woman who would make mandala's in the woods with materials she could pick up from the ground on her walk that day. So twigs, pinecones, dried grass and maybe just some fruit or a flower or two picked from a tree or bush nearby. This loving attention feels like a great offering too, and it does ad magic, without importing foreign things into the environment.


I think I just found myself a new hobby. Now I dream of springtime, hikes and mandalas in the woods :cloud9:

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WrenWyrd
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Re: Offerings

Postby WrenWyrd » 19 Dec 2013, 09:02

I've been thinking that keeping dry oak leaves or a few acorns with me and giving them as offerings would be terrifically druidic :acornantlers:
Hedge-bandit, song-bomb, dart-beak, the wren
hops in the thicket, flirt-eye; shy, brave,
grubbing, winter's scamp, but more than itself–
ten requisite grams of the world's weight.
Carol Ann Duffy

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Re: Offerings

Postby D'Arzhur » 19 Dec 2013, 18:31

I have always thought of offerings as something coming from my person (hair, saliva) that I leave in exchange for something offered (feather, berry, stone, wood, leaves etc.), that it why I never thought of offering to Nature something I can find in Nature...but you got me thinking :)
The dog treats is an offering as a gift not as an exchange (although I get so much energy and joy just being in nature that I always feel grateful and in principle this is already an exchange :grin: )
I sometimes hide a stone I like in a tree I like (especially) and visit them both on my daily dog walk. I feel that the stone is charging with the tree energy...
For years I have collected offerings from nature on my walks or in the garden. Now I tend to leave those where they are although I acknowledge them... and sometimes I place back into nature a stone or feather or leaf when I take a new one in...
Nice thread! :hug:
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Re: Offerings

Postby HematiteScales » 15 Jan 2014, 00:47

(Just saw this and thought it was very useful! So I'm sorry for replying almost a month afterwards. :whistle: )

Personally, I've always been of the mindset of cleaning up as an offering, and Nature has always provided for me. To illustrate, on days when She particularly wants me to pick up, I always find an intact bag first or nearly first. When this happens, there's a lot of trash to fill it and sometimes even a second bag - also left for me when necessary! Trash always grabs my attention as being out of place, so while I know that I might be expecting to see more on those days, it really does seem that when there isn't a bag left for me or I didn't bring one myself (sometimes I get that feeling before we leave), there isn't really anything to pick up. For example, on our hike Sunday, I only found one Monster can and a cracker bag - easily carried with one hand!

Even though I've been raised to have a more "scientific" mindset (as my dad would call and view it), this just seems like an awful lot of coincidences. ;) Nature will make Herself heard.

Unfortunately, my university studies in Zoology and Natural Sciences have shown me that even the most innocent and well meant actions can precipitate into problems for the environment. The raptors at the nature center I volunteered for were stuck with us because they had been hit by cars while foraging along the road/sidewalks for mice who had been drawn to biodegradable items that people, like myself, had left. I used to think I was improving the soil quality, but unfortunately, those pesky little rodents get to that apple core first. Another common example are bird feeders. I won't get into all the reasons I've been warned away from them, but a major one is spread of disease.

However, I still keep a bird feeder for myself, but I take care to keep it washed and filled randomly with food so the local birds don't come to depend on it as a major food source then suffer when I'm away/unable to keep up with it.

This isn't to say that the ideas expressed are bad, of course! In fact, I find many of them to be really lovely and beautiful. I just mean to suggest that it's kind of incredible how a simple action can end up having consequences we don't consider. Making the mandalas with materials found at the site is a wonderful idea, and I think even just spending a few minutes admiring the surroundings can make for a meaningful, always-with-you offering.

In this case, I think you can say it's the thought that counts. :)
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