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Giving away offerings

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Giving away offerings

Post  Momos on Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:45 am

I might have done something stupid, so I need your opinions. I gave away some coins to a beggar which were essentially my previous offerings to the gods. I know once you offer something to the gods it belongs to them so is this morally wrong?

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Re: Giving away offerings

Post  xxChella21xx on Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:31 pm

Momos wrote: I know once you offer something to the gods it belongs to them so is this morally wrong?

-I personally don't believe that the gods would be bitter over a good deed. As long as you offer something to them as well in apologies.
As long as it's something just as good or perhaps a bit better than your original offering,
then I don't see a reason for them to be cross.
It's not as if you just took it back to buy a lottery ticket or to gamble or something selfish as that.
The gods are not simply selfish beings meant to just be held on high forever and praised while they oversee humanity. They are teachers as well, and in history there are many stories of there presence on earth in disguise to help teach mortals the lessons of their ways.
In short, who knows. The ways of the gods are indeed mysterious.
For all you know, that beggar could've been one of them. And this could've all been a test.
I would say Trust and Believe,
You did a good thing. : )
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Re: Giving away offerings

Post  Erodius on Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:50 pm

Momos wrote:I might have done something stupid, so I need your opinions. I gave away some coins to a beggar which were essentially my previous offerings to the gods. I know once you offer something to the gods it belongs to them so is this morally wrong?

No, of course not – not unless you had dedicated it for some religious purpose and then taken it back. That would be, essentially, stealing. 

A dedication is not the same as an offering or sacrifice. All three of these actions demonstrate kinesis toward the Gods (to which the Gods respond in kind). A sacrifice is totally given up to the Gods – that is, it is literally made to no longer exist in this world by being burnt/broken/buried etc. An offering might be consecrated to the Gods and then ceremonially 'profaned' (usually done simply by touching it and taking it from the shrine) and then used for some special purpose, like an offered food item being eaten as a specially blest meal, or, in your instance, perhaps some offered coins being given to a donation jar or a needy person. Finally, a dedication would be something like promising an item to the Gods permanently, though not sacrificing it – Classical examples would be things like dedicating a column to a temple, or a sculpture, or a sacred tripod, or paying for some renovation, or even building a temple or shrine, or a colonnade or other kind of monumental structure.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

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All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
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Re: Giving away offerings

Post  Momos on Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:08 am

Thank you guys, it makes me feel a lot better because I had a bad conscience after giving away an offering, I knew I was doing a good deed but at the same time I couldn't shake the feeling off that the gods might get angry with me. I guess I acted on impulse after hearing that my friend gives away her coins to charities so maybe it's not so uncommon after all, I don't know.

For all you know, that beggar could've been one of them.

I haven't really given much thought to that, the ancients sure did believe that beggars could be gods in disguise...maybe I should just keep coins with me wherever I go in the future. :-)

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Re: Giving away offerings

Post  holden1420 on Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:25 pm

I offer coins a lot to Hermes and after a while I take them from the my offering plate and put them in a safe place, then i can use them to donate to charity and give to beggars. material offerings like coins cant be consumed like food of drink so I have always thought giving the coins, after a certain amount of time of course, to those in need is a great way to dispose of them.

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Re: Giving away offerings

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:22 pm

holden1420 wrote:I have always thought giving the coins, after a certain amount of time of course, to those in need is a great way to dispose of them.

Indeed, it is. Herodotus once told the story of two boys who, in an attempt to escape becoming eunuchs, took sanctuary in a temple of Artemis. The priestesses offered food to Artemis, knowing full well that the boys would eat the food and survive.

Kindness toward others is the purest offering there can ever be.

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