The focus for today’s post is on common offerings made to Zeus, both historical and UPG. Some of these are relatively easy to do in the modern era, where others are less so. In general, incense is usually acceptable to the Theoi.
Zeus is primarily offered storax according to several sources, both ancient and modern. The Orphic Hymns honoring Zeus generally indicate storax, although one of them indicates powdered frankincense instead. In their book Hellenic Polytheism: Household Worship the group LABRYS from Greece also lists storax as one acceptable offering to Zeus. Merriam-Webster defines storax as being a fragrant balsam obtained from the bark of an Asian tree (Liquidambar orientalis) of the witch-hazel family that is used as an expectorant and sometimes in perfumery — called also Levant storax. This balsam seems to also be known as styrax.
Other offerings that LABRYS lists as being acceptable are oak, tokens of eagles, carnations, and olive branch. I would also add pine to that list as a UPG of my own for areas where the oak is uncommon. I have also had UPG that Dragon’s Blood incense is acceptable for Zeus, at least in the Americas.
In ancient times, a white bull or ram without flaw was an acceptable offering in most cases. Also, Zeus is often offered wine mixed with honey and water. This is from both classical and modern sources. Interestingly enough however, there is documentation of an altar to Zeus on the Acropolis in Athens where the only offering that was allowed was a specific type of cake made from grain and oil.