On my birthday every year, I give an offering to the Gods. It’s often something small — until the pandemic, my birthday usually happened while I was at a library conference, so the most I could do was a quick prayer with my travel ritual tools (a small libation bowl) and images of the Gods pulled up on my computer.
On Thursday, I turned 34 — still at a conference, but virtual, so I had more flexibility in what I could do. Demographically, it’s my final year in the “young adult” category, and I’m hoping to make the most of the year to set myself up for good momentum when I reach 35. Aside from that, being born in June is an advantage in some ways because it provides a natural six-month check-in point for the annual goals I set for 2021. I have hit some and missed others, and the good thing about most of these goals is that I can onramp myself back into them very easily.
I honored the Gods with incense this year — frankincense. I thanked Apollon, and then I thanked the Gods I have followed iteratively: Bast and Brigid of my childhood and early teens; Iris and Mnemosyne of my mid- and late teens; the Muses (especially Ourania) who have been present in my life since I first fell in love with Ourania in the 1990 Pegasus movie; Hermes and Athene; my guardian spirit; and the other Gods who must have been present but who may be unacknowledged and unremembered. As a girl worshipping Gods, I was fascinated by Goddesses associated with rainbows because I was born during a double rainbow, according to my mom; that is the root of why I worshipped Iris for a while before drifting back to the Muses and Apollon.
I had a dream a week ago that an Athene statue that I ordered from Sacred Source had come in via their biannual shipment from the statue workshop abroad and that this statue would be shipped to me on my birthday. It turns out that their biannual shipment did come in this week (but no word on whether the statue is in that crate; I bet it takes a while to process such things, so who knows!), but the dream got me thinking about the lucky symbol of a Goddess’ icon coming to a person on a birthday. Birthdays are symbols of fresh starts, renewal, and growth. I’ve decided that it makes sense to honor Athene more this year, centering her in my practice alongside Apollon. I will see where that decision leads, and may the Goddess guide me to what is best.
Aside from being a general update, I hope that this post demonstrated how simple a birthday prayer can be and how to go about showing gratitude to the Gods. Know who you will give offerings to (water, incense, tea, or whatever you have), and speak your gratitude prayer from the heart.