So we’ve talked about fundamental stuff like Idols and Altars and Prayers, now we need to talk about stuff just as fundamental: Sacrifices and Offerings. Offerings and sacrifices are gifts we give to the Gods and Goddess, either collectively or individually. This is at the heart and soul of Germanic and Norse culture, the Gift for a Gift. The Gods look out for us, and in turn we give them things in return to show our thanks.
Offerings are things given that don’t have to cost us a lot. A prayer is an offering, so is dedicating a portion of your food to them, either sharing it in spirit or leaving aside a physical portion for them. Playing a song, or hearing one and saying “I dedicate this to X” is an offering too, as are things such as candle light, incense, or scented oil.
Sacrifices are things that tend to come with a price for us. Now, this can depend on your personal economic or other situations, but there is always an element of greater cost. Some of the above items I mentioned can be a sacrifice. To a person who doesn’t have a dollar to their name, a twenty-five cent candle given an offering of great value, while to a rich man such a thing would be at best an offering. For instance, I have a home made tarot deck that I made with a bit of help from my girlfriend. This is both an offering (I dedicated it to be a tool of communication between me and Hel and Freya). The time I spent collecting the images, the ink and paper I used to print them, the card stock I bought and the tape used to laminate them all had a cost, especially considering the hard economic times I’ve been under. This made it closer to a sacrifice, though I thought of it as an offering. So intent is a part of it too.
Now, one is not superior to the other, at least not inherently. Certainly, the cost of a sacrifice gives it greater power, the more it costs you the more power. But Drops fill a cup as good as a flood, and too many sacrifices can cheapen the act of sacrifice to the point where it can become meaningless.
Since you’re just starting out, focus on offerings of things like prayers, light, smoke, incense, drink, and food. Doesn’t have to be anything big or fancy, just needs to come from the heart and go with faith. These are thank yous for the things the Gods have given you, even if you didn’t realize they were already gifts. Yes, more things may follow, things might get better as the Gods take a greater and greater interest in your life, but those aren’t things you need to worry or try to obtain. Good things come in time, for now, focus on the good things you have and share them with your Godkin. 🙂