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Ethical Offerings

By Rixboudicca

[Snip] Yesterday, I made an herbal tea from various plants around campus. I asked each plant permission, took only what I needed, and thanked the plant as I left. But I also gave an offering, as gift for a gift, in line with the practices of ghosti. I took a peppermint tea bag from the office kitchenette and sprinkled a little on the plants. At the end I had a foil package that the tea bag came in, the tea bag, string, and little piece of coloured paper attached to the bag. So, I took a factory produced tea bag, with a plant probably grown in pesticides, produced garbage, and gave it as a thank you? That actually sounds pretty dumb, especially considering the tea bag was from a national corporation, and mint grows wild in this area. So what, I should pick wild mint and give it as an offering? I take from nature to give to nature, so I can take from nature? This makes no sense. It would be like having company over for tea, and my guest takes a candle off my coffee table and gives it to me as a gift? I would make this face: o-O .

This is not a new debate for me. I’ve had this mental struggle before. Especially in ADF, giving silver to the river always felt like littering. It didn’t sit well with me, nor does taking back an offering after the ritual is finished. Giving alcohol works as an offering to Celtic deities, but I don’t live in Celtic lands. Any genus loci I am working with are native to this land, in which case offering alcohol to the local fae is a form of poison. My whole spiritual practice, including the name of this blog, has been trying to balance honouring the land of my ancestors with the land on which I stand, the land that supports me now.

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