Today I wanted to address something that many new Heathens and even some older ones might not quite understand. While there is nothing wrong with that, it is important to understand this concept. So today we will be going over what offerings are, how to do them, and what to expect from the Gods afterward.
So let us start simply, why make offerings at all? Well, there are a few reasons, but mainly it is to receive the blessings of the divine. Be it on you, the crops, luck at your job or courage to face the day. The other reason is to thank the gods for the blessings that they have already bestowed upon you. Love, life, fertility, both in the field and the womb. That is why we make offerings.
Let's examine the blot, the foundation of Asatru. The blot, despite all the fancy dressings it might have, is an exchange of gifts. In ancient times humans or animals would be sacrificed to appease the gods. Today we use mead or other alcohol. One might think, how can they be even and compare?
Well, that is because the gifts are intangible, meaning the physical properties of the item, be it a human or mead, do not matter. What matters is intent. If you do a blot with the intent of honoring Thor, and you pour mead out in a libation in his name, he will know you have honored him, and if you are lucky he will bestow his protection upon you.
What we give the gods, and what they give back are not simply items or valuables, they are thoughts, love, devotion even. Trust me, the gods have enough mead, you pouring out a libation of mead is not something they care too much about, but the intent of your libation is what makes all the difference.
A gift for a gift, that is how Asatru works, we pray, we blot, we sacrifice, and we seek the Gods help, their blessings, and favor. It does not matter what you sacrifice generally (animal sacrifice is a whole separate story) as long as the intent is there, and pure.
The best blots are led by those clergy who understand this and are able to weave the strings of fate to create the desired outcome.
For example, I spend a lot, and I mean a lot of time working on TAC. It's my life, it's also my sacrifice and devotion to Odin and the other gods. My time, which is very valuable to me, I give to the community, and while I do not ask for anything in return, the Gods have been good to me and the Norns have woven a silver string for me. Point being, maybe a sacrifice is something you never thought of?
So how does one make an offering? Well, there are various ways, during blot, or if you make a libation, leaving food outside in a special place for the vaettir, or as I said things like your hard work and time dedicated to the Gods. That's what an offering is. Do not let anyone tell you your offerings are not enough, or won't gets the job done. It's all about intangibles. You give something of yourself, and the Gods will respond