One of the questions we get more often from our customers is – “How do I make an offering?” Well, it’s as easy or as complicated as you want to make it. It does not matter how much you know of afro-caribbean religions or not; an offering is a representation of love and devotion, and that can be expressed in many forms.
I thought the best way to show how we do it was taking some pictures of today’s offering, so you can see how easy it can be to honour your Orisha or any other deity. Today was the day we purchase our weekly dose of fresh fruit from a local grocery; we just created two beautiful plates of fruit salad, sprinkled them with sugar and cinnamon and filled the bowls created with carved fruit with honey rum, a type of rum made in the islands that is Eleggua’s favourite.
We also offered incense, a coconut scented candle and a sweet potatoe cake from our local bakery. In all, I don’t think the offering costed more than 10 euros, a very small price for an Orisha’s blessings and protection. The most expensive item is the rum bottle, but it goes a long way and we drink and cook with it too.
Tips To Make A Good Offering:
- Do not offer what is left, offer what is best – even when you take a part of your regular shopping, as we have done today, make your offering before you consume any of the food you have purchased. If you bake, offer the first slice of cake, not the last one.
- Take your time – carving, slicing and ornating the plate is an offering too, an offering of your time and dedication.
- Don’t leave your offering at the altar forever. Letting food rot on the altar is very disrespectful. Keep an eye on it and retire it as soon as you see any sign of spoiling; we leave cooked foods only one day, and fruit for two days at most.
- Be creative! Food is only one choice. Make paper flowers, decorate your candles, prepare spiced tea or chocolate, mulled wine, etc.
- Be responsible – if any of your offerings can be eaten by wild life around you, don’t throw it away! Fruit, cookies and bread can be given to birds and other animals, or simply added to the compost bin; if that is not possible, put it in a paper bag and give it to Exu Okkada, the avatar of Eleggua that lives in the garbage – he will love it, and will give back to you unexpected dumpster finds.