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Since this weekend is Memorial Day, many of us in the USA will be inaugurating the summer cook out and grilling season.*

As such, especially with Memorial Day being a time to remember the men and women who died in the Armed Forces, it’s a good time to do a little covert Druidry at your cookout. Once the main meal is cooked, stop by the grill with a handful of loose herbs or incense (crumbled incense sticks work too), and offer them to the fire as an offering to the Ancestors of the land and the warrior Ancestors (or any Ancestors, if you are not celebrating Memorial Day). Say a prayer thanking them for their service to their community and to their upholding their virtues. (You don’t have to be all RAH RAH PATRIOTISM to appreciate these Ancestors, but if you’re more comfortable, you can make an offering this way to ancient warrior ancestors instead, or any familial ancestors, as Memorial Day was developed out of earlier Decoration Day customs where people picnicked and decorated familial graves. )

This works best if you’re cooking over charcoal, since there will be hot coals to use. I’m not sure how you’d do it over a propane grill, but maybe just place the incense/herbs on a piece of foil on the grill over the heat?

You can make an offering to the “fire” any time you’re grilling or cooking out, especially over charcoal. I make land spirit offerings this way, just to help me remember that I can build my religious practice into my everyday life.

*Note: grilling hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, and chicken is not a barbecue. It’s a cookout. Barbecue involves slow cooking and smoking meats, and is a specific food. This is an important distinction, regardless of whether you put a bottle if barbecue sauce on the table as a condiment.

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