Offerings and Ma’at
One of the reasons I added “food” to the tagline for this blog is because food is a big deal between me and my Name. I love food (often more than is healthy, but I’m working on that) and cooking, and offering Her nourishment that I’ve created is very satisfying. I don’t usually do a formal reversal of food offerings; I prefer to share the meal with Her as we talk.
Everyone does their offerings differently and there are as many thoughts processes out there about offerings as there are Kemetics. To me, however, it is important to only offer things that were made in accordance with Ma’at. Or rather, the closest we can get in our modern lives. Remember, we’re feeding the Gods with our offerings, and we’re not giving them the mundane aspect but the spiritual one. They deserve the best we have to offer, even if the best is ‘only’ clean water.
I think sometimes there’s a pretty relaxed vibe to Kemeticism and I think that’s awesome. It’s one of the things I love about it. But perhaps now and then we buy in to that a little too far, and we forget about sacrifices. Sometimes, we’re asked to make sacrifices for our own good and for the good of our gods. Cutting out foods we have become dependent on can be one of those sacrifices. When we do this the very act becomes an offering, too.
(In light of the Poor as Fuck Polytheism dust up, I’d like to point out that I am coming at this from the perspective of a person below the poverty line who lives on disability. I want you all to know that I’m not preaching at you from on high. There’s no ivory tower here. This is what I’ve discovered from a lifetime of poverty. On with the show).
What choosing food offerings in line with Ma’at looks like for me personally is avoiding products made by unethical companies, like Nestle. I also avoid big corporations that process animals because it’s a guarantee that they are promoting animal suffering. When numbers and dollars become more important than lives, you can bet corners are being cut and a living being is paying for it in agony. I’m not against eating meat–I come from traditions and thought processes (animism, shamanism, Cernunnos worship) that are big in to hunting and taking in the vigor of killed animals, etc–but there is a right and a wrong way to do it.
There are many unethical companies we can’t avoid, like energy companies, crappy Internet providers, and the like, but usually we have at least some choice over food. If you’re looking to cut out companies who promote
isfet, start by re-evaluating what you really need. Going down this path WILL cost you more money and it DOES require you to make sacrifices, but both the Gods and us, Their devotees, are worth the extra effort.
Some places to start:
1) Soda and cereal. These are two items that no one needs. Full stop. Soda is not food and cereal is often lacking in essential nutrients.
Both of these items are also very costly, if not upfront (though last time I looked at a box of cereal it was at least four dollars) then in long term health care terms. Scientists are now starting to figure out that added sugar has a lot to answer for. In short, it makes people sick and contributes to obesity. Soda and cereal can both be cut completely from your diet. Replace soda with water for two weeks and see how you feel. Replace cereal with whole grains. I’m very fond of hot porridges. Also if you have a crockpot and some pinhead oats, overnight oatmeal will change your life. I’d be very shocked if you didn’t feel a thousand times better, and these items are often dirt cheap.
1 a.) Yes, I know there are some what soda to offer to which Name guides out there and I’m not even going to touch that. What’s appropriate between you and your Name(s) is not my business. (I thought offering Cheetos was the height of disrespect but my Name just seems amused when I ask Her about it). But I will point out that They’d probably be just as happy with clean water, and you’d be healthier and out less money. Of course having a treat every once in awhile isn’t going to kill you, either, especially if you keep the amount small, so do keep that in mind. My Name seems to love chocolate and desserts, but we both try and keep it reasonable.
2) Educate yourself about food and companies that want to sell you food products. Even if you live in a food desert like I do, you might have a farmer’s market or a food bank that you can get to. If you have friends, you might even be able to combine forces to get out there. If one of you has a car and everyone contributes a dollar for gas money, well you’re on your way.
Check in to delivery services, as well. I believe Amazon Fresh only operates in Washington State and California, but even Safeway and QFC deliver now. While these companies are very questionable in and of themselves, they’re often the only choices we have through no fault of our own and I believe our Names do realize the constraints of the modern world. Furthermore, we can order products from these stores that nourish us and our Gods to the best of our ability. This is great if you’re disabled too (like me) because gods know if you can’t drive it often becomes outright impossible to go shopping.
Here’s the official government Food Plate (replacing the Food Pyramid). It will give you the basics of good health, though keep reading and learn more on your own as well.
3) Get some help from apps and websites! If you have a Smart Phone, here are some good apps: BuyCott will tell you whether the company in question gives money to causes that you don’t support, which is obviously a very handy guide to living in Ma’at. Fooducate is a good app, though it’s more for personal health.
4) Learn to cook and bake. I can’t recommend this enough. Even if you’re totally hopeless at it now, you can learn. In fact, if you want help learning get ahold of me and I will help you. Being able to cook and bake gives you control over your life and self (which I like since my whole Morrigan thing kind of requires autonomy and self care) and that’s a good thing.
4 a.) We’re Kemetics and we love bread, dammit! Watch a cute as hell little kid make No Knead Bread, so easy even he can do it. It also costs pennies to do, so there you go. That, in my eyes, would be a wonderful offering. Offerings don’t have to be big and elaborate. I think ideally they’re items that come from your heart and your hands.
5) If you need help with food and/or cooking, well maybe we could get an exchange going. There are communities out there on the internet that do that sort of thing, and it could be a great way to support each other when times are tough. Let me know what you think of this idea. I’ve worked in professional kitchens for a long time myself, and I can certainly teach people how to make some basic meals if there’s a need.
Thanks for reading! Senebty!