Feeding the Holy
The practice of making offerings to the Holy in any and all forms is a beautiful and foundational practice that awakens great magic.
Music, poetry, prayer, words of praise (not for bribery, but for nourishment), and all things made by hand are what little we humans can do to give back just a little crumb of deliciousness in exchange for all we receive to sustain our lives.
This is a little insight about how to give back and feed everything that's greater than us that wishes us well.
The most ancient offering (and cross cultural) was shell beads (which is what the logo for my nonprofit, Living Wisdom Church, represents). Mounds of shell beads have been found in many places across the world where ancient indigenous people called home.
The making of a shell bead starts with harvesting shells, but first it's good to make an offering to the ocean and the shells in exchange for what you are taking.
My first shell harvest, no shells were visible after searching up and down multiple times until I started to sing and then, all of a sudden, there they were.
Next, find a rough stone to grind the shell and make the shape of the bead (usually a circle). Then use the sharp corner of a stone to make the hole in the center.
There is deep meaning to each of these steps, and if you drop into a prayer of gratitude, and truly desiring to give back and feed the Holy, Wild in Nature, some of those mysteries may just open up for you. But simply dropping into prayers of gratitude while you create this offering will do.
Once you have the round shape on the outside, and the hole at the center, you have your offering and it is time to give.
Always go to the ocean with an offering. Always go into Nature with an offering. Always give an offering before taking something.
Let the offering be a gratitude, not an agenda to get something more than you've already received.
Sometimes you will find that Nature, in Her great generous state, will send you a message, a song, or even a sweet shell or other sigil to take with you, but always ask if this is truly for you. Your body will know the answer if you listen.
Other offerings can be things you used to make as a child, but have since forgotten about.
REMEMBER and start it up again: God's Eyes, origami with gratitudes written on the inside, a little "Spirit plate," that has a tiny bit of everything you are about to eat at mealtime, a special poem or song from the heart of your gratitude that won't later be posted on social media.
On Beltane, you can REALLY activate the Muse and Faerie presence in your life by making Faerie bundles: a little collection of sparkles, rhinestones, lacy bits, little candies, dried flowers all bundled up in beautiful paper or cloth and tied with a lovely bow. Tie them in a tree. Make sure they are safe from any critters who may try to ingest them.
Again, this isn't in exchange for getting something you want, but to make an attempt at offering back just a little for the great bounty already in your life.
Making this a daily practice for a whole month will change your life for good.
If you're really overwhelmed with the idea of making something every day to feed Spirit (consider making room for it), make a commitment to start making something monthly and then do this daily practice instead . . .
Pick a song or two to learn (or better yet, make up your own), and sing it to someone, or something every day.
When you're out around strangers, push yourself to just sing. It doesn't have to be pitch perfect, and you don't have to have the words just right. Just sing.
And if you're really daring, do a little dance or movement with it.
You'll feed the Holy by allowing yourself to be untamed and free from social constructs of "normal." You'll also likely bring some a-muse-ment to those who get to witness your offering, and you'll find you take yourself less seriously, and lightness will enter your heart.
I want to acknowledge my esteemed teacher, Martin Prechtel, whose profound teachings inspired this practice.