In the Greek world, votive offerings were gifts given to the Gods either in thanks for blessings already received or in anticipation of “future divine favors” (Univ Penn Greek). These offerings were often made during a time of duress, a time when the speaker had need a specific blessing from the Gods, and were worded in terms of a vow: “if you [this], then I will [this]” (Burkett 68-69). There were often promises of tangible items that were given to the sanctuary of the God/dess for a set period of time and then ritually decommissioned. Typical votive offerings included items made from bronze or terracotta, lamps and vases, armor, weapons, jewelry, and even more costly marble works depending upon the means of the worshippers. Offerings not suitable for storage or display were also common, such as offerings of cut hair, and items that held great personal value for the giver (Burkett 70). For healing purposes, it was also common to offer replicas of the body part one wished to experience healing (Univ Penn Greek).
A Votive Offering to The Thunderer during a storm
Here in Colorado, sudden storms blown down from the mountains can wreak havoc on the Front Range, including massive damage from hail and flooding. Note on imagery: The “Twin Guides” are the two highest peaks in the northern Front Range: Long’s Peak and Mount Meeker. Since these high points are directly west of us, it is common for a storm to flow either to the north or to the south of the peaks and pass us by. The following votive offering is to be spoken into a storm not thusly diverted for protection from harm. The name of the affiliated Thunderer/Storm Deity may be substituted based on personal hearth focus. Promised offerings to be made after the storm.
The clouds have gathered, and the winds are blowing!
Mighty Thunderer, the ground quakes under the power of your storm!
Great is your strength, and greater still is your power to protect us from harm.
We, your servants and allies, come before you now and ask that you spare us!
Mighty Thunderer, though the storm may rage, may we arrive at the other end unscathed.
Protect us from the flooding and destruction that may be left in the wake
Of such fury flowing from the Mountains.
Though the Twin Guides have diverted the storm before,
This one will not pass us by.
As the waters are freed from the sky,
We call to you, Mighty Thunderer!
In return for your protection and safe passage,
We promise a gift of whiskey most fine
And of meat from our table,
Of sweet bread and ale
And of fire most holy.
Mighty Thunderer, may your rains fall gently and nourish the fields.
Spare us from harm,
We, your true worshippers,
That we may survive without hardship to continue to honor you!
So be it!