15 June 2015

About Offerings

I'm not a huge fan of alcohol. I'm extremely picky about what I drink (food I'm fine with so long as it's vegetarian) and over the years I've developed a weird aversion to every kind of soda, mineral water, and most forms of alcohol. Needless to say I order nothing interesting at pub gatherings and socials. If there's an occult stereotype of pouring more booze into the ground in libation than you actually consume, I definitely fulfill it.

Drink is of course a popular offering. Most of the shrines I keep have a glass of water (including the white table, of course, which has several) that is refreshed weekly on the appropriate day provided that it did not get murky before then because of spiritual activity. The shrine's candle is also lit during this time. Food and alcohol is given on special occasions, namely to thank a spirit for the work it has done for me after it has carried it out or beforehand in anticipation of results to empower its abilities.

Probably the most important thing I learned from reading Ritual Offerings back then was to not "over-feed" spirits. I trust the spirits I work with and I know that if for some reason I was to make regular heavy offerings that provide an immense amount of energy (like food and drink) for no apparent reason they would not become lazy and inactive and simply expect constant gifts from me. At the same time I can completely understand why giving spirits may more energy than they have a genuine use for is both unhelpful and unproductive. Offering is about establishing and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships. Bombarding spirits with purposeless excess would only result in having all this extra power floating around that isn't being put to use (and could easily begin manifesting unintended consequences). This applies even for over-feeding a spirit when asking them to carry out a task for you—they could easily finish the job with less, and the extra power could end up either floating around, manifesting superfluous (and often unhelpful) bonus effects.

The whole concept of over-feeding as it was detailed in the first essay of the book was something that took time for me to agree with. At first I just thought it didn't apply to myself and my court. It wasn't that I was over-feeding all the time, just that I couldn't imagine it ever being a genuine issue with the spirits I'm working with. With minor, contracted familiars, earthy imps, and created servitors, yes, for sure, but not with the sophisticated guides and guardians who make up my inner court. So I spoke with them and other sorcerers I know and eventually we came to a simple conclusion. The key to offering is, as we see it, effective payment that is both pleasing to the spirit (such that they enjoy it) and helpful to them (such that they can manifest their powers more concretely on the physical plane and carry out the required tasks). As such, giving permanent gifts like dedicated jewelry, figurines, and tools signals both the growth of your friendship (one that is built upon reciprocation and trust) and your understanding of each other (knowing what they like, how they like it, and in which quantity).

All of this is essentially exactly what was already written in the book, just in slightly different terms. I'm glad it inspired such discussion, however. I've definitely seen immense tangible results in changing my philosophy to this now from the previous "give lots of gifts just because". Even simple requests I've made in correspondence with the appropriate offerings have come to fruition infinitely more quickly (sometimes even in hours rather than days) as a result of this.

No comments:

Post a Comment