Holding the bowl
Yesterday, my offering was to hold the bowl for Sigyn.
(I try to hold the bowl for at least 15 minutes, or longer, if I can.)
Usually when I am in the space, holding the bowl, I think about many things, but mostly about what it must be like to be in the cave with Them. The space that I use is somewhat small, and I keep it dark, or mostly so, sometimes with only the light of Their candles on the altar.
So, I think about the dark, as I begin my mental wandering: Is it cold? Is it wet? A desolate, gray place…
Sometimes, I visualize things – long shadows in the flickering light, the flash of reptilian eyes and movement above me…sometimes, I can almost see Loki’s face. Almost.
Sometimes, I think about the sounds: Ragged breathing. The hollow echo of water. The soft hiss of venom hitting the bowl. Fshht. Fsssht. Teeth grinding, the muffled gasp upon the sharp intake of pain…
Mostly I think about how it must feel: the tight twinge in muscles shifting, the weight of the bonds, the sweat of effort beading down the back of the neck…but most often, Their fathomless grief and loss that mingled with the fatigue of time.
But yesterday, I found myself feeling something entirely new.
Now usually I eat before doing this ritual, as I often make offerings of a portion of whatever I had for dinner, for Them. Sometimes, I’ll put them on the indoor altar, if there’s room, or I will leave the offering for Them on the outside altar, much earlier in the evening.
But, yesterday, in my hurry, I did not bring the food offerings to either altar before I began, even though I had eaten, and I had set aside a portion, as usual. (There was also the bread, beer, and fresh water that I’d meant to bring to the indoor altar – but I’d forgotten that, too in my haste yesterday.)
So, there I was holding the bowl, and oddly enough, within a few minutes, I was suddenly hit with an overwhelming wave of hunger. My stomach knotted and rumbled, and even though I had eaten a full meal less than a half hour before, I felt struck with hunger pangs as if I hadn’t eaten in days.
And then it quickly dawned on me. Here was a situation that, strangely enough, had never really occurred to me before: The incredible level of hunger and thirst that They must have felt while in the cave. Perhaps I was feeling a brief portion of Their hunger…?
So, I’m almost ashamed to admit that I broke off from the devotion after only ten minutes…but when I did return, moments later, I was certain to bring all the offerings, including the bread, the beer, and the water before I took up the bowl again.
Hail Loki! Hail Sigyn!