An Offerenda

On the last Full Moon, I performed an *offerenda*. This is something used by
Peruvian and South American shamans to give thanks to the plant spirits that
help them to heal others. Of course it is also performed on The Day of The Dead,
to thank the ancestors. In essence it is a rite of thanksgiving and
gratitude.

So, despite all the ups and downs I’ve been having I really
felt it necessary to perform an offerenda, and what better time to do it than on
the Full Moon and the one nearest to Lughnassadh, a time of thanksgiving
also.

In the first picture you can see some of the offerings I gave,
which have to be formally arranged in layers. You can’t see all of them but it
consisted of grains, chocolate, frankincense, herbs and flowers as well as oak
bark. In the picture you can also see my letter of thanksgiving to the
spirits.

Offerenda 22July13FullMoon pic1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now here is my offerenda all wrapped up and placed on my
outside altar, covered with a sprinkling of calendula and rose petals.

Offerenda 22July13FullMoon pic2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The time of burning. Whilst it was burning I gave thanks
to the Three Kindreds – the green clan, the ancestors and the shining
ones.

Offerenda 22July13FullMoon pic4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It took a while to burn but while it was burning the
smoke smelled delicious – all that frankincense I’d given. When the flames had
completely died down and it had finished smoking I doused the whole thing with
water as it has been extremely hot here in England and we’ve had a lot of grass
fires and I didn’t want to start one in my own back yard!

Offerenda 22July13FullMoon pic7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This offerenda gave me the opportunity to really thank
those who have helped and supported me and continue to do so, whether they are
humans or spirits. It gave me a chance to thank the Universe for all the
wonderful things I am given on a daily basis. And while I was physically alone
while doing this rite, I was definitely not spiritually alone because while I
might not have seen the spirits and some of my loved ones, I definitely sensed
them. It was a really special time and one I shall definitely be repeating in
the future.

 

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4 thoughts on “An Offerenda

  1. How absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! I can see your LOVE flowing through each stage of this sacred ceremony!! THANK YOU for sharing!! You have truly INSPIRED me!!

  2. What an amazing ritual! How did you think of what to offer, (the herbs, flowers, etc.?) and can this be done on any day besides the day of the dead?

    • Hi there
      Sorry I did not see your reply until today – it’s been a busy week for me so far. Well as far as what to offer is concerned I thought about who I was thanking and chose items that I know they will like. To find this out you should connect with the person or entity/spirit and ask them. They are usually only too happy to tell you. If it is to be a general offering of thanks then items of food, herbs that are associated with abundance or happiness are appropriate. The offerenda ceremony is performed on the Day of the Dead in a lot of South American countries but it is also performed on auspicious days and these can be chosen by you. For example, I chose to do mine on the Full Moon nearest to Lughnassadh because this is a time of thankfulness and abundance as it is harvest time, and this is usually a time of giving thanks for our blessings. But it is up to you to decide. Personally I wouldn’t do this ceremony at the waning, dark or new moons because this is a time for letting go that which does not serve, and new beginnings. Then you might decide to do a *despacho* ritual. Hope this helps 🙂

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