Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Goddesses and Gods Feast Days and Offerings
Good Afternoon My Witchy Reader,
Many who come to the magickal world, whether they call themselves witches, Wiccans or Pagans often choose to work with a Goddess, some choose a general Goddess energy and some a more specific, traditional Deity from an ancient culture. These ancient Deities have been personified over the centuries and as a cultural Goddess or God, worshiped by entire cultures or smaller tribes or villages, they have been given certain days of recognition called feast days, and many have developed specific offerings over hundreds or thousands of years that their followers feel would gain their Goddess' or God's special favor if given.
Many people give offerings to their Deity in different manners, but basically an offering is a gift of thanks. After working magick with the help of Deity and when the spell manifests then I give an offering of gratitude to give thanks to my Goddess or God. I do not give an offering before I work magick with the help of Deity as it is not a bribe. I ask Goddess to help me, I speak of my needs or desires, I may burn a candle, or mix together a herbal spell mix, perhaps a potions or even cord magick, whatever I choose for that particular spell. After there starts to be even the slightest manifestation, is when I give an offering of thanks. Some common offerings can be foods or drink, stones, crystals, jewelry, chocolate is a modern day offering to Goddesses, and hard liquors for Gods, even burning a simple candle anointed with oil and infused with your energy is a lovely gift, as the energy is sent to the Deity as it burns.
Offerings can be placed upon the altar, or placed outside on the ground or poured upon the ground. One note of caution, whether the offering is placed inside on an altar or placed out of doors, make sure it is not a food item that will poison or kill an animal if they can get to it and consume it.
I have read articles on offerings to the Gods and some have suggested that you do not allow wild life or passing animals to consume the offering. I totally disagree, as that is how the Gods will actually consume the gift to them, if they desire. So if a squirrel comes along and grabs up the piece of cornbread you left at the base of a tree as an offering, and scurries up the tree, to happily munch on it high up in the branches, you can be sure your offering was accepted.
Another concept I want to touch upon in this discussion is most Gods and Goddesses each have their own feast days, days of celebration and feasting. Some have more than one feast day. It is a Christian concept to have a period of fasting and sacrifice and of going without. The ancients, most especially the Celts, whom I am most familiar with in history, would not have understood a day of fasting and sacrifice by giving up and going hungry for some spiritual concept as they spent too much of their Wheel of the Year, doing just that, starving and going without and trying to survive until the next harvest season.
Each year, Celtic tribes and villages lost people due to starvation, sickness and maladies made worse by malnutrition. These ancient cultures were not civilizations that suffered from obesity, just the opposite. So they celebrated spirituality, their Gods and Goddesses and their celebrations of Life with Feasts, a form of sympathetic magick, as when their bellies were full during a Sabbat they hoped they would not go hungry by the next Sabbat 6 weeks later. That food were to remain abundant.
I was asked, aren't all Goddesses Goddesses of fertility and abundance, and the answer is no. Remember there are Goddesses of death, war, chaos, destruction, child birth, home and hearth, so if you are not really aware of what your Deity's focus or purpose is spiritually for the culture or civilization it is or was worshiped in, then some research is necessary and that is always fun!
Some offerings and feast days for your favorite Gods and Goddesses can be the following:
Goddesses and Gods of Nature such as Diana, Artemis, Dionysus, Gaea, Bacchus, Lupercalia are just a few. Some offerings may be suitable:
Foods: Fresh made whole grain breads, sheath of grain, such as wheat or rye, cornmeal, fresh fruit
Drinks: wine, mead (honey wine) sparkling grape juice, spring water, fresh milk
Herbs or plants: parsley, sage, fresh flowers, and flowered circlets worn as crowns
Other: small crescent moon cakes would be offered to Artemis along with tiny candles, a wish would be asked, the candle blown out then the cake would be eaten. This happened in her temple in ancient Greece and was the origins of our birthday cake/birthday candle celebration of today.
Lupercalia is February 15
Diana is August 13-15 encompassing a 3 day feast day or on the August full moon
Dionysus has a 12 day celebration that stars on December 25th
Gaia is January 31st - February 2nd
Goddesses and Gods of War, today unless one is an actual soldier, the art of war is waged in the area of business. In the boardrooms, the conference rooms, in the stock market and in offices across the country and across the globe. Business is the modern day battle field for most people, and the Goddesses and Gods of war will aid you in this area of your life.
These Deities may be: The Morrigan, Lugh, Mars, Ares, Athena, Nike and Apollo just to name a few. Some appropriate offerings that may be considered: For these Deities, offerings in groupings of 9's is suitable.
Foods: tiny cakes covered with honey, parsley cakes, bacon, meat, pastries
Drink: wine, ale, water
Herbs or Plants: cedar, oak, peony
Other: iron items, weapons, armor, blood meal (found in garden stores)
Mars is March 1st and March 14, March 19th, March 23rd. (This demonstrates that some Gods or Goddesses had more than one feast day, depending on how important and significant that Deity was for the people of that culture.)
The Morrigan is not known to have a feast day, but Samhain November 1st could be appropriate
Lugh's feast day is Lughnasadh August 1st
Athena's feast days are held in June, over the centuries at various dates
Godesses and Gods of Love and Passion, such as Aphrodite, Cupid, Eros, Pan, Hathor, Rati, Oshun Yuruba, Freyja are just a few as love and passions Gods and Goddesses are of the most numerous Deities in ancient culture.
Since the beginning of time, one of the most compelling needs of humans seems to have always been the desire to be loved, needed and wanted in a romantic way. As necessary as food, water and shelter to the human condition, love and being needed by another has always been a desire that humans have asked the Gods to bring to them. Wishes, offerings, magickal spells, and prayers have been fervently sent out into the universe for centuries with the hope that they return and with them bring happiness.
Some appropriate offerings that may be offered when the petitions to the Gods start to be answered may be:
Food: eggs, honey, apples, apple cakes made with honey, tiny jelly donuts
Drink: apple juice, apple cider, strawberry wine, sparkling water
Herbs: roses, lavender, rosemary, thyme, apple blossom
Other: rose quartz, crystal quartz, amethyst
Frejya October 14-15th
Yuruba or Yemaya September 7th
Aphrodite February 6th
Gods and Goddesses of Ancestors: Many people are not aware that some ancient cultures have Gods and Goddesses that rule over the land of the Ancestors and our ancestors. From the ancient Celtic culture, African culture, to Norse culture as well as others. A few are mentioned here: Danu, The Cailleach, The Dagda, Bile.
These Deities are honored to remember and bring respect and memory to our ancestors who have passed, some many years or even centuries before we were born, but we are still connected to them through our blood. Ways to offer our thanks to them can be done with the following:
Food: Fava beans, whole grain bread, whole grain pastas, casseroles, family traditional dishes, corn
Drink: Honey Mead, Ale, Cider, a special drink that may have a special significance to your loved one
Herbs: sweet grass, sweet tobacco, rosemary, thyme, sage
Other: petrified wood, otheroceras stone, jet, amber, any fossil
Cailleach February 1 February 5th
The Dahda is Samhain November 1st
Danu January 18th
These are just a few ideas to help you get started working with a Goddess or a God. You may work with any number of Deities depending on what your desire is, simply go to that Deity and ask for the help you need. You do not need to dedicate to a specific Deity, but be warned if you do, that God or Goddess may turn your life upside down, as you are drawn down a path to do the work they wish you to do. Many find the demands too daunting and still others simply do not realize that after a lovely dedication ceremony to their favorite Goddess like the Morrigan or Hekate or Kali (I am mentioning some of the more intense, demanding Goddesses) that the chaos and challenges that suddenly enter their lives are actually what they wrought by dedicating to such a Goddess.
Unless you wish for intense life changing experiences and lessons, then think long and hard and carefully about choosing a Goddess to dedicate to. For She will work with you. Yet, it is not necessary to dedicate to a Goddess. Simply asking for a specific Goddess to come to you for Her special attributes and help will suffice, and being respectful and remembering to give thanks when the desire starts to manifest, is appropriate and all that is necessary.
You can research the legend and lore of a specific Deity as well as appropriate offerings and Feast days. Even doing some meditation and getting in touch with your God or Goddess can help you decide what She or He would like.
Some Deities may ask that you make an offering of another kind. I had a dream several months ago. I heard a woman's voice, my Goddess, spoke to me and told me to purchase 4 backpacks. Then she showed me the items I would gather, purchase or find to place in each backpack. She showed me a thin, silver plastic looking material I had never seen before and explained to me it was a special material that emergency personnel used to keep accident victims warm. I as able to find these on line, in thin packets that opened up as blankets to keep people warm in the cold.
She also showed me other items, such as socks, scarves, boxes of granola bars, bottles of water, chemical hand warmers, flash lights and other items. I put these backpacks together and asked a Priestess I know who works in a job that puts her in contact with homeless people, as the Goddess told me that these four backpacks were to be distributed to four homeless people last winter. This is what she helped me do.
When I was putting these together, my husband asked, why four? I said, I don't know. That is what I was told, and I do not question, when She gives me a direction to follow. I had a feeling of urgency until this task was completed and then a sense of relief and calm when it was done. This was an offering to the Goddess I work with. Perhaps for all She has done for me, She wanted something more than a simple candle or flowers? Regardless of why, She got what She asked for.
If you pay attention to your dreams, and the omens around you, you will glean many things and more will come to you.
Blessings, Ms. Faith
Live, Laugh and Always Love
© 2010-2017 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.
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at Tuesday, April 25, 2017