A Guideline for Good Offerings

offeringOne question I get asked quite a bit is whether a particular object would make an appropriate or good offering. I have to be honest, this question always surprises me. While there are some things that seem to be obviously good choices while others seem to me to be obviously bad. The problem with this immediate reaction is that it is based on my own interpretations of only a few words and not an entire picture of the situation. It also relies on my own subjective opinions on what has worth and what doesn’t. It also doesn’t take into account unknown intangibles like the relationship a person has with the recipient of the offering or individual predilections. It is with this in mind that I want to lay out the guidelines I consider when deciding if something is good enough to be an offering. This isn’t a comprehensive list of objects or ideas but this is a general way of analyzing something’s fitness as an offering and is indicative of the things I consider.

Sustenance – The very things that we consume ourselves, particularly food and drink. These are the very things that sustain life and allow us to keep up our own might and health.

Economics – Symbols and representations of our financial well-being. It can be money, jewelry, gemstones, precious metals, or some other item of monetary value.

Tools – Things that allow us to engage in crafts or professions. These are items directly related to our livelihood.

Weapons – Means of protecting our families, homes, and societies. Tools of defense and warfare.

Craftworks – Goods we have made ourselves, often by hand. These are things we have poured effort into and are part of ourselves and manifestations of who we are.

Pleasure – Sweets or other consumables that don’t have value as sustenance but bring us joy and satisfaction.

Sentiment – Strong, positive association with an item. Something that has deep personal meaning to us can be more valuable than financial worth.

Quality – Offerings should always be of the highest quality possible. To offer something lesser than what we would have for ourselves would be an insult.

Legality – Social order matters to our folk, and part of maintaining social order is abiding by the law, even if we don’t always agree with it. This makes the legality of a substance something to consider. This is, without question, one of the most personal of considerations and should be given the utmost attention.


Comments

A Guideline for Good Offerings — 1 Comment

  1. This is a pretty good set of guidelines.

    A personal note on Quality: As you say, it should always be of the highest quality… The gods don’t get our cast offs. As a second measure myself, when it comes to consumables, I will usually take a small measure myself before offering. If I’m going to offer drink I take a sip before pouring, or a bite if it’s food. I feel this reinforces both the aspect of quality AND hospitality. After all, if I’m willing to eat it, it’s good enough for my guests.

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