It is a tradition in ADF to make offerings. We give these offerings in a practice of hospitality. There is a re-constructed Indo-European phrase, *ghosti, that talks about the duties between guest and host. In this relationship, we give gifts to the gods and spirits so that they may provide us with gifts in return.
The idea is that we give the gods what we can, and they give us their Blessings and Favor in return.
We often give material gifts that cost money – oil and incense, alcohol, and flowers. But what if you don’t have the money to spend?
Offerings don’t have to be physical. You can offer your time volunteering for a charity, or by writing and performing a song or poem. You can create a prayer and share it, or you can recite a set prayer and offer up your energy and blessings. These things don’t cost anything but time and attention. Members of the Anglesey Druid Order offer up words and song as their offerings – a selection of set prayers, songs, and spontaneous prayer. There is no reason that you can’t do that.
You can also make offerings of water. Water is the one thing that every living thing needs. You can make a small bee bath with stuff that you might have around your house or garden, or set out some water for birds and butterflies. If you are in a desert area, you can share water with trees and animals. Just be careful that you are not disturbing their natural cycles when you do.
You can make offerings of plants or flowers that you grew. I will often take herbs or fruit that I have grown and offer them to the Kindreds – fresh or dried. Just make sure that you had something to do with the care of the plants, so your energy is part of it. Think of it like giving a friend flowers. You can share flowers that you grew, selected with intentionality, or that you purchased, rather than picking random flowers off the side of the road or from someone else’s garden. You need to put some of your energy and attention to whatever you choose to offer.
You can share part of your meal or your drink. I do not recommend leaving food or drink for very long, so make sure that you come back to clear away anything that remains the next day. I was taught that the Spirits take the essence of an offering within 24 hours, so it’s a good idea to remove the food the next day before it can rot.
As you can see, there are many different ways that you can make offerings without spending anything but time and attention.
Make your choices with intention, and put your attention to them and your offering will be worthy of the Gods.