Maybe you haven’t decided on a deity yet. Maybe you haven’t felt the right call or connection. Maybe you believe nature itself is divine. Or maybe you just don’t believe in deity and instead wish to connect with the universe in a deep and meaningful way. No matter the reason, this guide exists to help you see new ways to dedicate yourself to the universe.
How to Make an Offering to the Universe?
As a modern witch you might find yourself muttering, “okay. I know I want to make an offering, but everywhere I turn I see people talking about pouring wine as libations or leaving other food offerings such as milk, fruit and nuts onto the Earth. There is only one jungle within miles of me, and that is the concrete jungle, so what is there for me to do?” I get that. Trust me. Every day the longing to offer something concrete to the Universe gets you, and every day you feel frustrated about not making the time, not having the right means and resources. So many witches give up entirely because it all seems too expensive and all about consumption. But if you think about it, though, hyper-consumption is antithetical to nature and Earth loving beliefs. Loving the Earth means wanting to protect it and keep it safe, and overloading it with more plastics and wastes couldn’t be further from that ideal.
Make Artistic Offerings
Draw. Paint. Sing. Write. Whatever your medium, it will suffice. If you can go out into the outdoors or a more “natural” setting (like a park or garden), do so. Alternatively, you can also look out the window at a beautiful view (the distant mountains, a gorgeous sunset) or if you prefer to visualize the beauty and mysteries of nature, feel free to do that. Meditate for as long as you are able. Focus on only the feelings and thoughts that flutter by as you put yourself as one with the mysteries of the Earth and the Universe. Meditate on aspects of the Universe that you most treasure, the ones that fill your heart and mind with awe, serenity and a sense of unreleased, unbridled power.
Once you are done meditating, immediately begin the creation process. If you are a writer, just put pen to paper and write. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t seem coherent, doesn’t seem “good” or seems to ramble. Let your body direct the process here, not your mind.
If you are an artist, draw or paint away. Again, it doesn’t matter if this isn’t your usual art style, if the colors are too wild, if there is no “story” or coherence here. You are painting from the heart and soul – the Universe is guiding you. Your greatest challenge at this stage is to keep your mind from caging your inner creativity and magical power that is unleashing.
Finally, once done, if you have an altar, leave your work there or recite it with a brief incantation/affirmation: “Universe, with you as my muse and creatrix, I have created this work to express my gratitude and love for you.” If you don’t have or use an altar, you may repeat whatever process you did earlier to get in touch with the Universe (being outdoors, visualizing, etc) and make your offering that way.
Plant Something You Cherish, and Take Care of It
If you don’t have the yard or gardening space, there are many in-door plants you can grow that will bring some magic into your home (and could be used for kitchen witchcraft, herbalism and hedge magic). Consider growing herbs such as basil (associated with courage, protection and money), mint (associated with offerings to spirits, prosperity and blessings), rosemary (associated with mental clarity, peace and invigoration) or chives (associated with banishing, lust and divination). You might find it surprising, but lovely strawberries (associated with love, fertility, success and good fortune) and mushrooms (associated with healing, immortality and spiritual/magical growth and development) can also be grown in an apartment with relative ease.
Plants are part of the Universe and nature, and in loving and caring for them, you are loving and caring for nature itself. As you plant a new seed for your offering plant, offer an incantation/affirmation: Oh Great and Powerful Universe, this humble plant that represents your life and vitality and my love for it are a symbol of my devotion to you. As I love and nurture it, I wish to love and nurture you, too.
Consume Food Offerings
An important question that has occurred to many witches is, “how to dispose of food offerings?” or, “what to do with food offerings AFTER ritual?” There are a number of things to be said here, namely that, while yes, gods and goddesses have unique personalities and tastes, and as such will respond more or less favorably to your offering depending on what it is and how it relates to their preferences (for this I encourage you to read and familiarize yourself with the relevant mythology and folklore); in general, though, intention matters most – and most, though not all, goddesses and gods will accept your gift if it comes from a place of sincerity and candidness. Another relevant point to make here is that while we often tend to view the divine as separate from ourselves, those that worship or revere the Universe/the Earth/nature in a non-deified manner often come to the conclusion that we are just as much part of the Universe as the idyllic trees and serene rivers that often come to mind when thinking of nature imagery.
As such, you, your family and friends, and your pets are all part of nature and consuming an offering made out to the Universe achieves the goal of sending the Universe a gift. In fact, it would be wonderful if you incorporated the second suggestion of planting your own herbs and utilized them in this step in creating the perfect food offerings. Balance is key here – mix and match flavors, textures, nutrients and food groups and even temperatures. Your offering can be as simple or as complicated as you want, but remember that intention and symbolism are key to each and every step here. Put your own meaning into the specific ingredients you choose; as an example, I sometimes like to make a mix of cream, rose and saffron together as an offering and the ingredients all together represent richness, love, prosperity and success.
Whatever you make, be thankful to the Universe for all its bounty, be mindful of why you are incorporating the elements you are incorporating, be mindful of the fact that this is not an ordinary meal but an offering, and before you consume what you have made, make a clear affirmation: Eternal Universe, I have made this sublime offering in your honor but the glory is not mine – it is with the richness and beauty of your bounty that I have created. And it is your bounty that we all seek to celebrate and cherish today.
Having made your affirmation, celebrate the Earth’s bounty by eating and sharing your offering creation.
No matter what you choose to do, remember that you yourself are the Universe and part of nature, and through that connectedness you can offer your thanks and appreciation without any material manifestations. You will never need rampant consumption to achieve greater connection with the Universe. At the end of the day, the Universe (and the gods) can hear you whether you are screaming at the top of your lungs, or whispering inside your own mind. Blessed be.