Some of my theory on offerings

The other day when I posted about an “unusual” offering to Asclepios and Apollo, I failed to clarify my feelings on what is and is not an acceptable offering. As Hellenic Polytheists we are called upon by our faith to be part of our civic/secular communities as well. It was pointed out by another person that if we are going to be doing something anyway, it might not actually qualify as an offering. I tend to differ on that in some instances.

First and foremost, the offerings of a daily praxis and honoring the festivals on the calendar are something that we must consider vital to our faith. It is through these things that we forge our strongest connections to the Gods. However, it was pointed out that our work (for example as a physician) is not necessarily suitable as an offering. I was raised with a different point of view, however.

We owe our very lives and talents to the Gods. Whatever we do with a mindfulness of that, in my opinion, can be an offering — as long as we consciously offer it to them. If I went to volunteer at a food bank and before I did, I lit a candle to Zeus Ktesios (as I would be helping people’s pantries), I feel that this would perhaps comprise an offering to him as I would be offering my time in a civic sense — the way that the priests and priestesses of the past offered their time to the Gods. There were very few full-time priests and priestesses in the past (the Vestal Virgins being a notable exception) and I see their actions as part of the example that I choose to follow.

I know that this is perhaps a controversial subject, and as such, I may end up reprising it at another time. However, if my theory of offerings makes sense to you, please share how and why. It may help stimulate civilized discussion of the topic.

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