I am new to the Craft and so far, my explorations are mostly in the areas of candle magick, ritual bathing, energy play, and rituals to God/Goddess, which so far have been directed to the Orishas.
As the Orishas receive offerings of food, I'm wondering if it's ok to consume the foods you offer them after the ritual is over and/or when it's time to change the offerings.
For example, on my shrine I currently have an area set up for Elegua. I offer him sweets, rum, toys, etc. Monday is his day. So yesterday, being a Monday, I brought him new offerings, removed the old ones, and ate one of the chocolates that had been sitting at his shrine for the last week. It seems to me if the food is suffused with my energy and the energy of the Orisha, eating it should be ok. I plan on doing a ritual to Oya at the next new moon and her fave foods are eggplant and red wine. I'd like to make my Simple Feast after the ritual to include wheat cakes (pita bread), eggplant that I'll cook prior to the ritual and serve to Oya in a small copper bowl, and red wine that I use in the ritual. Is this ok? I have read that you're supposed to bury offerings in the ground after working certain spells, but I live in a city where this isn't really practical.
I am a newbie, and I realize this is probably a very basic question, but any help would be much appreciated.
Thank you and may the God and Goddess fill your being with energy and light.
Personally I would never make an offering to someone, then take it back and eat it myself.. Does that still seem like an offering to you?
As to burying offerings, or any act of magic being practical.. I guess it's up to you, how serious you want to be and how important things are to you.
I live in a metropolitan area where "buying graveyard dirt," aka exchanging silver for it when you dig a grave, is not practical or easy, either... But it's important enough to me, and I'm serious enough in my practice to make it happen.
You don't NEED to do anything, really... but if you do, you may find that you have better results.
Yes, you DO, in fact, eat the food offered to the Orisa unless it's the generally inedible parts of an ebbo (which you should not be doing anyway, of course). Most ile consider it an offense to the Orisa if you do not. I have a bit of experience in Lukumi and was taught a great deal of it under the guidance of a good Babalawo. It was one of the first things that I learned.
Candies and such, such as to Eshu-Ellegua may not be opted to be eaten. They can be deposited at a crossroads or other places depending ON the road of the Eshu. Meats and veggies, however, are almost always consumed. It's really best to seek guidance under a Santero/a or Babalawo in these matters to confirm proper feeding and any taboos that may be associated.
The same applies to many of the ATRs and the Dharmic religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, too. The deity or spirit accepts the offering, absorbing part of the energy thereof and blessing it with a return of their energy- the aché in terms of the Orisa. Thus, eating it, you eat it in thanksgiving, understanding that in the roots of the tradition, a plate of food may have been a genuine sacrifice. The major exception tends to be when working with the Eggun/Ancestors, however. Don't eat whatever the Dead has eaten...
In Hellenic polytheism, the sacrifice or offering is usually eaten with only a portion of it or the inedible parts actually given to deities by being disposed of through burning or burying. Commonly, this is done for the Olympians. Chthonic deities usually are offered libations (which you don't drink or sip) or sacrifices that are burned thoroughly.
Of course, since you are asking specifically for the Orisha, Sang's advice is the most fitting. :)
i have never studied the Orishas, but personally i would never eat the portion i gave to the Gods or to Ancestors or to the fey folk. But i understand that some paths are very different. Sang is site expert on the path you are learning so take his advice very seriously. What an awesome question though it sure made me think. disposal of offerings is tricky where i live now as it is in a city (a smaller one)but we have a raccoon who will eat anything left outside and they are not safe animals to have near my pets 3 dogs and 4 cats so i have yet to figure out a way to dispose of food offerings outside in a safe way and not feed the raccoon. If anyone has ideas on this please feel free to let me know!
This is a fascinating subject, thankyou, Dakini, for bringing it up. It had never occurred to me that people could eat their offerings. Whenever I leave offerings, I put them in the outside shrine if they're food/biodegradable and let the animals eat it. If it's not edible, or dries up, it's usually on the kitchen altar, and I burn it when the time comes around for a clean out.
People eat their offerings? Wow. =D
I WAS NEW TO THE WICCAN CRAFT ONE DAY TOO,SO i KNOW HOW IT FEELS.Asking questions you thnk aren't good or just the opening up as I am Solitary. I'm more then delighted to be your friend ,or any questions I can answer,Gr8.
Hope to cjat soon ,t
I'm in the same boat as Asdea as far as what I do personally with any offering that I make. I partake of a small portion of it, and then I pour the rest of it or whatever is biodegradable into my herbal garden. I figure, if I am going to use that sage or lavender in ritual later on to honor my deities, then really they are getting that energy from the feast or offering more than once. Plus, it does help my herbal garden out a bit.
While you may be new, your question is a very good one and one that got me thinking, so thanks.
thank you very much for your replies. As Sang pointed out about prasaad, in the several pujas I have been part of, we always eat a little bit of the sweet cake or other food left for the diety. I guess this is where the idea first entered my mind. Also, in the Scott Cunningham books, he writes about the "simple feast" at the end of a ritual and along with the outdoor offerings, says the food used in the ritual can then be used in the simple feast.
My practical sides says," Waste not."
My Buddhist grandmother would yell at you and possibly smack you. She almost did that to me for eating a grape from a offering to my grandfather before my mother intervened. I was not taught to be Buddhist. To be honest I think my grandpa would have gave me the grapes after the offering was done even though I had never known him. In his picture he looks like that kind of person.
I can see the validity of eating the offering after as possibly taking the Orisha into you? I have no idea to be honest as I am very new to all this.