Giving offerings to the house and land wights (spirits) has always been a really important practice of ours as Heathen Homesteaders. Working with them, giving them offerings, respecting their space and asking for their help and support in the home and on the land is much more common a practice for us rather than running to the gods. We see the gods as our ancestors. We honor, respect, give offerings and talk to them as well as the wights but their presence in our lives is much different. My husband has a different spiritual background than I do and on this topic we both have come to find our history of practice gears more towards working directly with local spirits. That isn’t to say the gods are not part of our lives. They very much are.
In the home my practice has generally been an offering of milk and honey. Preferably local and the milk fatty. Cream is even better. Words of thanks and other offerings have been done but that has been an unwavering form of offering for around 10 years now. When we wish to change something in our lives that comes back to the home, move things around, find ourselves unbalanced when at home, things become lost, etc it can sometimes by helped with an offering and a few words to the wights. Just don’t piss them off too much! You can only apologize SO much.
With the land it depends on where we are. My mother taught me to ask before taking something from nature growing up. Now I leave coins, food or other random offerings if I had gone out not intending to take anything. Always asking first. In the places we have lived giving things the land will take back has been a practice of ours as well. Pumpkins, plants, bouquets, etc. Not food so much unless it’s something raw and untampered with that the animals can eat after. Other food would be better composted if possible.
Why give offerings to something other than the gods? It’s simple. These beings are there too. Your home is their home. Your land is their land. They may not have a deed or pay the rent but they are vibrant and alive. Even if you can’t see them. More so if you can’t see them should you seek to work together. You could be asking for trouble by not caring or failing to appease them. How would you react if someone took from your tree, fed from your stores of food, plopped a mattress on top of your home? That’s how I see it at least.
Making peace (or at least coming to an understanding) and developing relationships with the wights is and always will be an integral part of our practice. The gods have their place but that is for another blog post.