Question 6: Offerings to Odin
From Dreaming in Smoke and Fire:
What types of offerings does Odin like? Do you think he prefers smoked salmon or strong whiskey?
— Do you prefer smoked salmon or strong whiskey?
— Do you like pina coladas?
I’m sure He likes pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, eating salmon, drinking strong whiskey, and making love after midnight, but I am unsure if that is all at once or in stages.
All jokes aside, a good number of my offerings to Him are alcoholic drinks. Among the drinks I offer to Him He seems to particularly enjoy mead and the strong alcohol such as whiskey, vodka, etc. He especially likes mead, and from me He likes Viking Blod where I can afford it. Sometimes He prefers local varieties, and I find He especially likes good homemade mead.
For me, I am sure He would rather have strong whiskey than salmon. I am not practiced at cooking fish, and I would not give Him an offering if I doubt my family would eat it. That said, I love salmon, especially salmon steak, but I have only cooked it all of one time, and that was with help. I have not had pina coladas in awhile; might be time to again.
What types of offerings does Odin like? He has accepted water and crackers where I could not afford much, hard drinks when I could, and a cup of coffee when I made a pot for my Gods and Ancestors. He appreciates time, time spent not just praying to Him, but talking with Him. I asked Him once why, if He could sit on Hlidskjalf and see all, and have Hunin and Munin bring Him news the Worlds over, did He want me to tell Him about my day?
His answer was something akin to this: is it better to talk to your father through your mother or friend, or is it better to talk with your father?
The offerings we give are intimate to our relationship with the Gods. We may have lists of traditional offerings, but unless I slaughter and butcher a horse, or order horse meat from a specialty butcher, the likelihood is that Odin will not have an offerings of horse meat from me. So I give what I have at hand, whether that is water, mead, or beer, crackers, bread, or cake. I give offerings of incense somewhat frequently because leaving out food offerings sometimes is not possible, not appropriate at the time. The same goes for offerings of food and/or water. When I lived in a dorm room I frequently left offerings at trees’ feet since I could not have fires in the room. There is always singing and/or talking with my Gods, and especially listening to Them.
Sometimes He wants something special, or I am inspired to give Him special offerings. Sometimes it is the spontaneous nudge in the wine aisle, and sometimes it is a month of devotional poetry written to Him. It may be that some weeks all He wants is regular contact at the altar, the usual prayers, and not much more. Some times He wants intense devotional work, intense communication during a trance session where it is less about me speaking with Him, but listening very intently to Him. At other times it may be hailing Odin during a public ceremony, especially where the ritualist gives space to call to our Gods.
So there are a great any ways to give offerings to Odin, certainly more than I have listed here. I hope that this post has helped others find new ways to offer to Odin, or to their own Gods. Regardless of how you offer, may Odin, and the Gods, always be hailed!