There is a real difference between giving a gift, buying something and making an offering... A gift is something that enhances the life of the recipient. Even when we speak of natural gifts and talents (e.g., artistry or athleticism), it is clear that these innate abilities add value to the one who possesses them. Likewise, when we buy something, the exchange is defined as a transaction, whereby one party pays a specified amount and is entitled to the product or service they have paid for. But an offering is really a gesture that functions as a tribute or a recognition of a particular law. This is especially the case when we speak of ancestral offerings.
Contrary to popular belief, I would like to suggest that an offering is NOT an exchange. That is, when we offer food to the ancestors, for example, we are not declaring that because we gave the ancestors THIS they must give us THAT... Not at all. Instead, when we offer food, for example, we are recalling the proverbial prayer that says, We offer you food while you reside in the heavenly realm so that you will not allow us to want for food in the earthly realm. In that sense, an offering is really a reminder of the divine laws of RECIPROCITY and INTERDEPENDENCE.
So, in my estimation, offerings reaffirm the fact that ancestors get fulfillment through providing for their descendants. The same is true of elders, who are fulfilled and satisfied by their ability to guide and protect the youth. Even more importantly, you have the ability to activate the laws of reciprocity and interdependence in all of your relationships. It requires that you recognize the NATURE of each relationship, what both parties need from that relationship, as well as what you have to offer. Live the Medicine.
Obafemi Origunwa, MA | www.ObafemiO.com
Live the Medicine
Obafemi Origunwa, MA
Thought leader, Ifa priest and author of four definitive books, Obafemi Origunwa inspires metamorphosis through living the medicine that will heal your life and heal the lives of the people you're destined to serve.