There’s been a huge brouhaha over the correct way to give offerings and libations to the Gods; there’s been impassioned posts written about how we are supposed to do it and not very much is being said on why offerings and libations are given. When reasons on why we should give are stated, it is “because it is required“.
We are to give because it is required.
The Gods require us to give to Them in order to curry Their favour, love, acceptance.
If you have children, let me ask you this: do you require your child(ren) to give you things? If your child(ren) doesn’t/don’t give you things, do you love them any less? Do you shun them, ignore them, give them a proverbial smacking?
Or do you love your child(ren) unconditionally?
When your child(ren) do(es) give you something, do you want it to be an act of pure love or because it is required of them?
I know this might be a radical message for some reading this. It’s okay. Just take a deep breath and let it sink in:
The Gods love us. Every single last crazy one of us. It’s not about what we give Them, but who we are to Them. They love us unconditionally.
Now, that doesn’t mean They like everyone. There is a distinctive difference between “liking” a person and “loving” a person. There are times you may not “like” your child because of their behaviour, but you still love them unconditionally.
I think that’s what it’s like for Them. They get fed up with the dumbassery of some humans and their behaviour, but it comes from being very disappointed in the choices a person whom They love has made. Because, Their love isn’t contained to these little human bodies, but to our immortal Souls and They know how much better any number of us could be better.
The Hellenes have a words for this sort of love: Agape
(ἀγάπη agápē) means love in a “spiritual” sense. In the term s’agapo (Σ’αγαπώ), which means “I love you” in Ancient Greek, it often refers to a general affection or deeper sense of “true unconditional love” rather than the attraction suggested by “eros.” This love is selfless; it gives and expects nothing in return. Agape is used in the biblical passage known as the “love chapter,” 1 Corinthians 13, and is described there and throughout the New Testament as sacrificial and spiritual love. Whether the love given is returned or not, the person continues to love (even without any self-benefit). Agape is also used in ancient texts to denote feelings for one’s children and the feelings for a spouse, and it was also used to refer to a love feast. It can also be described as the feeling of being content or holding one in high regard. Agape was used by Christians to express the unconditional love of God.
(Sorry for having to use Wikipedia for this definition and the heavy use of Christian theology, but I still like how it’s defined here).
So, here’s my non-shocking confession: I don’t actively participate in the giving of food offerings and libations. I’ve been walking with the Gods since my age was in the single digits, and I have never been required to do so in order to have Their love.
They love me unconditionally.
They love you unconditionally.
Start giving to Them from that same point of unconditional love instead of thinking you have to continue buying what you already have for free.
Better yet, spread love like it’s an infectious disease amongst your fellow humans. That’s the greatest thing you could give Them.