|Tea as an Offering|
Tea is a wonderful thing. It’s one of my favorite beverages and there’s something deeply soothing, healing, and even spiritual to it. Indeed, many cultures have surrounding tea drinking with ceremony. What about Druids?
Based on how many folk remedies from Europe involve herbal tisanes, I don’t doubt that Druids knew about hot infusions. Who knows if they ever tasted actual tea plants from Asia. Many modern Druids, on the other hand, love tea. Black, green, white, red, herbal… Yum, yum! The Maple Tree: Canadian Druidry recently posted about how tea is such an important part of the author’s hospitality (an extremely important virtue to Druidism)*. It made me contemplate the other ways Druids (or Pagans in general) can use tea. Healing, calming, tasseomancy, hospitality….
A few days ago, I had a nasty headache but I couldn’t sleep. I like to keep busy so I found some sewing to do. Now, whenever I do arts and crafts, I make offerings to Brighid as she is my patroness and deeply connected to inspiration and craftsmanship. I usually light her some incense but I was worried it would aggravate my head. I was in the process of brewing myself a cup of tea to help alleviate my pain, and I thought it would be perfectly appropriate to make a cup for Brighid. I used a small cup I have and some dried, floral herbs for the offering to be sure a pleasant scent rose to her on the steam. It really is a wonderful offering for a deity associated with flame and healing waters! I usually make offerings of “fiery” scented incense – cinnamons, amber, etc. Perhaps next time, I will make a cinnamon flavored tea for her! I will certainly be on the lookout for a special teacup for Brighid.
* The Maple Tree's entry also goes into how to brew an excellent cup of tea in the British tradition. Some great tips there! I also encourage you to read about the many other ways different cultures prepare tea. The ritual behind it all is so interesting.