Join Date: Dec 2004
We seem to still disagree on how far you can stretch an explanation, like Webster 2, to give it another meaning.
The main purpose of an offering is to bribe, pay tribute or make the "spiritual matters" indebted to you (compare the Roman principle of do ut des).
Itīs the reciever of the offering that maybe will produce magical and miraculous effects, not the object, by itself, that is being offered.
Source: One of the greatest researchers on magic etc., Marcel Mauss, covers sacrifice, reciprocity etc. in his classic book The Gift or even more specifically in Sacrifice : Its Nature and Function (written together with Henri Hubert).
PS Maussīs student Jeanne Cuisinier specialised in Malay Magic etc. If you read French her books are IMHO even better than those of Skeat and Gimlette and at similar level as Winstedt and Annandale when it comes to this topic.