At some point in the future I’m sure that there will be a post that does into the nuts and bolts of what exactly it is that I believe and what I practice and how that differs from my public priestessing. I have no doubt on this. At the moment however this is not that post. So instead I’ll just give you the bits you need to know. I’m a Gaelic Polytheist, I believe in many gods, I came to reverence of the gods of the Irish pantheon through the reverence of ancestors. As such the act of offering in worship has always been a corner-stone of my practice. Little things, big things, singing while cooking a meal and offering a portion. Water on all the altars. Bread, flowers bought and picked, artwork done in honor. Honey, coins, the list goes on and on. The change came when we moved out to the Lodge. Living out in the country, above a horse stable, I suddenly felt more connected to my gods than ever before. Being able to step outside and feel dirt, see creatures, plants everywhere. Doing ritual outside I felt more charged, more power in the connection. I started leaving offerings outside more and more, making little shrines to the creek sprites and the crows. With these offerings came little gifts, feathers, bones, a gnarled branch of oak, horse hair. The power and the beauty in these natural things really took my breath away. I’ve always been a little averse to artificial things in spiritual practice but this really solidified it for me. Then came Samhain…lol
As I said I am a public priestess aside from my personal practices. With my coven we put on eclectic drop-in rituals for a diverse and thriving community. Our Samhain ritual is aspecting heavy (I believe that some people call it “Calling down”) and last Samhain I was asked to aspect Macha. For some good information on the various Macha’s in the Irish tradition you can start here. Another bit you need to know is that I am dedicated to the Morrighan, and I’m sure at some point I’ll have to go into how I see the Morrighan and work with her (is it a Title of several goddesses? A triple goddess? Some combination thereof?), but suffice to say that I have and do work with all the names and goddesses that fall under the Morrighan name. It was in working with Macha that opened up a new look at what to offer, it had just never occurred to me before to give any of my deities meat, or blood. But it fit, a heart for Macha (ok in actual fact she wanted a head but that was trickery to get and I ran out of time). The quest for the heart brought its own revelations, on how ridiculous “butcher shops” are now a days (they don’t “butcher” anything other than a tenderloin into steaks) and the mere reaction the thought of raw meat as an offering garnered. But that first offering was the stepping stone to a deeper more fulfilling path and I haven’t looked back since. Even though I have since moved away from my peaceful Lodge and back into the urban world of the City, I still feel that strong connection. I just have to work a little harder for it.
Now I go to the sea. Where the land, sky and sea all meet and lay my offerings down after a climb over the mighty rocks to the perfect spot. This time it was a HIGH lofty rock jutting out into the sea, it was a glorious view from up there. Breathing in the clean air with a bit of adrenaline (it would have been very dangerous if I’d slipped climbing up) Under the watchful eyes of the Ravens, I pray, sing and loving prepare my offering. This time, since it was not only the dark moon but an eclipse, it was a beautiful whole beef heart with homemade oatmeal drizzled with honey and mixed with yogurt, and my always offering of an apple, a token of my love and appreciation. When I was done, turned to be greeted by the watchful gleaming eyes of the Raven Brothers. They know me well enough now to know that I have delicious for them and are impatient for me to leave, but not without swooping down gloriously close and showing off their beautiful selves.
I live for these days. The care and preparation that goes into deciding the next offering, gathering the items blessing and caring for them. The drive out away from the city in itself revitalizing. Then being there at the nexus where all the worlds meet. Watching the Ravens come in greeting, and the pelicans in the distance. Building a fire, having a simple meal, communing, worshiping. It is simple, it is glory.