Offerings

Offerings
Offerings: picture by David O.

Offerings

Why do we give offerings and what are they?

Offerings are small gifts we present to the Gods. They can be many things from candles to wine. You can even offer up your time to a good cause for a deity. I used to volunteer at an animal shelter, for example. More often I offer candles and incense up as offerings. I take a candle and hold it up and say something like: “Here is a candle, please take this offering as thanks for ______”.

Then I light the candle and place it on my alter to burn down completely. Never extinguish a candle once you have lit it for an offering to the Gods. This is considered taking back the gift and is insulting to the deity. Always let it burn down completely down and out on a safe heat proof surface.

You can also do this process with incense and other herbs. Burn incense and or herbs to the Deity you want to honor. Besides burning candles, incense and herbs you can pour a libation (a liquid offering) out onto the earth. You can use anything: wine, juice and blessed water.

Why do we present offerings to the Gods? We say thank you for the Gods help on things we have asked for. After a spell is successful, we will make an offering to say thank you for their help.

Some Popular Offerings:

  • candles
  • incense
  • wine
  • herbs
  • seeds
  • ground corn
  • hand made objects
  • fruit
  • milk
  • bread (cakes)
  • time (volunteering at an organization)
  • crystals
  • coins
  • donations of clothes or other things to a shelter (animal or human)

So say thank you to the Gods.

They help us every day.

Blessings,

Moonwater SilverClaw

The Element Air

Air
Clouds Represent Air

Air

Associated with the direction East, air is a masculine element. Air represents the flowing thoughts of our minds. We take in new thoughts like we take in a new breath into our lungs. Air goes hand in hand with fire, which is also a masculine element. Without the air (specifically oxygen) to support it, fire dies.

What is the elemental of air? It’s the sylph, often depicted as a human figure sporting wings. Numerous people report seeing Sylphs in cloud formations.

Representations of Air include feathers, birds of all kinds, clouds, dust devils, wind chimes, and incense smoke. Any of these items can be placed in the East quarter of your circle. Be creative.

Blessed Be,

Moonwater SilverClaw

The Wiccan Altar

An Example of a Wiccan Altar
An Example of a Wiccan Altar

When I first started to learn from my mentor, it took me forever to remember where everything went on my altar. I would feel self-conscious about making mistakes. My mentor smiled and simply moved the item I had misplaced to where it should reside on the altar. So don’t beat yourself up if you need to use this picture for a while.

There are about just as many ways to set up an altar as there are people. Each person or group may have a certain way of doing an altar setup. Here’s an example of a Wiccan altar. Let’s start with the right side of the Altar.

  • As you can see at the top right is the “Cakes/Bread” You can use bread, cupcakes, cookies or a power bar for that matter. It should contain carbohydrates to nourish the body to replenish the energy you used during ritual.
  • Below that you can see the “Censer & Incense“. This incense burner has cone incense inside it. However, you can burn any kind of incense in this burner. Remember that incense, when burned, represents air on your altar.
  • You can see the “Taper (a long wick),” which is used to help light the candles. You light everything from the working candle. You can use the Taper to transfer the flame to another candle to light it.
  • To the right is the “Lighter” which is used to light the working candle.
  • Below that is the “Bell/Chime” that you use for ringing, when appropriate.
  • Continuing around in a clockwise direction is the “Pentacle”. You use the pentacle to help you focus your attention on your goal.
  • To the left of the pentacle is the “Athame” used to cast circle and to direct power.
  • Above the athame is the “Water in Bowl.” Water is one of the four elements and is used with the salt to make your holy water.
  • Continuing around we have the “Salt in Dish“. Representing Earth, Salt is put into the water.
  • Above the salt is the “Wine Filled Cup”. The cup as you remember is a female symbol and holds the wine/juice to be blessed.
  • Above this are the “Offering Dishes.”
  • Next you see in the middle the “Goddess Candle” and the “God Candle,” which are used to represent the deities.
  • Between the God and Goddess candles, find the “Working Candle,” which you use to light everything else during ritual. The Working Candle represents fire on your altar.
  • And flowers are always a nice touch for nature and the goddess.

We will discuss more on how to use an altar later. Have a great week!

Blessed Be,

Moonwater SilverClaw

Offerings

Leaf Offering
Leaf Offering

Offerings

Why do we give “offerings” to our Gods and what is an offering. When we ask the Gods for their help, and we receive it, we offer them thanks through offerings; so an offering is our way of saying thank you for the Gods’ help.

Now what is an offering? Offerings are things we sacrifice up to the Gods in thanks for their help.

Offerings can be things like:

I find the more I say “thank you” with an offering, the Gods really appreciate the gesture, after giving an offering, good luck often finds me. I have even made offerings just to show them how appreciative I am of all they do for me. Just because.

So how do I make the offering? Take (for example) a candle and state the name of the deity and why you are offering up the candle to him/her.

Here is an example of what you can say:

Squat, I thank you for the parking spot you gave me! I honor you with this candle.”

Then light the candle making sure to burn it all the way down.

This also helps us create a stronger bond with our Gods.

Offerings, Gratitude and Good News

Many of you have noticed the donation button on the sidebar of the blog. This button is there to help me keep this blog the Hidden Children of the Goddess going. It pays for helping keep the ads off the blog and maintenance fees, and recover registration fees.

Offerings, donations and gifts are an uplifting way to participate in life and in our community. Well, good news has come. Arthur has donated funds so we will be free of ads for one whole year. So I put out a big thank you to Arthur! I know a number of people who feel good when they are kind and helpful to another person or cause outside themselves. Helping others by being of service is why I blog. I am grateful to Arthur for his wonderful donation to help us and to help me continue my service.

Wondering how to donate to this blog? All you have to do is click the donate button on the sidebar and you can enter in any amount you like. It’s that simple, and it really helps the site.

Again, thank you Arthur!

Blessed Be,

Moonwater Silverclaw

The Tools of Wicca: Incense

Merry meet and welcome!

We talked about salt in the last post. Now we will talk about air.

Incense
Incense

Incense represents air when burned, and is the last of the four elements represented on our altar. We burn incense in an incense burner, which we will also talk about in this post.

There are many types of incense which we will discuss in later posts. But three main forms include raw, cones, and stick incense. You have a choice of various burners, used for burning each different type of incense. Incense has these forms:

  1. Cones – You can use a specific type of burner specifically made for cones, or you can use a generic fireproof container. Fill it with sand or small stones. Such a fireproof container can be used with all types of incense.
  1. Sticks – Sticks have specific burners, usually with a hole at one end. You can slide the bare end of the stick into the hole, while the coated end remains visible. Tending to be long in shape, these burners catch the ash of the incense as the stick burns.
  1. Raw – Raw incense usually comes as a form of resin, but not always. Myrrh and Frankincense are well-known resin incense. You need charcoal to burn resin incense, and you can pick up some at your local metaphysical shop. The charcoal usually comes in a round tube shaped package. Each piece of charcoal looks like a round pad with a indent for the raw incense. Raw incense should be burned in a fireproof bowl or a cauldron. Be sure to fill the container with sand or small stones. Then place the charcoal on top of the sand and light the charcoal. Now wait until the whole charcoal piece smolders. Then carefully drop the incense on it.

Now back to air, which is a masculine element. We combine our incense with the other masculine element, fire, to create the smoke that represents air. This incense smoke is then used to charge and bless things and people. Each element on the altar proceeds to be  blessed and combined with the sibling element. Add feminine salt with feminine water. Apply masculine fire to masculine incense to create smoke. The process is you cleans with salt and water, and you charge with fire and incense. Both are utilized at the beginning of our rituals, to help clear the mundane space to make way for sacred space.

Now we’ve completed our discussion of the elements that we use on our altar. But we are not done. There are still other tools to discuss. Next will be the wand.

Blessed be,

Moonwater Silverclaw