Another Anthesteria has come and gone. Dionysos and the Gods were praised, the dead were honored, and the house has been cleansed. Thinking back on the festival, I’d like to reflect a bit on the role of flowers as offerings, both in this festival, and at our shrines and altars1 more generally.Continue reading “Renewable, but not Reusable: On Flower-Offerings”
I recently encountered the practice of making so-called “apotropaic offerings”: offerings made, at some distance from the site of one’s primary ritual practice, to placate potentially disruptive beings.
Such offerings as described above are not a part of my own religious or spiritual practice. And looking in from the outside, something very quickly seemed “off” or not-quite-right about this. Hence this blog post, which I present in the spirit of (a) working out a bit more precisely my own understanding of why we make religious offerings, and how such offerings work; (b) clarifying exactly what my concerns are with the “apotropaic” practices described above; and (c) opening a space for conversation, where others might help me refine this understanding and/or resolve some of these concerns.Continue reading “Apotropaic Offerings?”