My strongest Magick is not operative but, rather relational, so that is how I work.
When something compels me to act, engages my will to actually use power, I go to my Gods and to my Ancestors and to my Allies. I go to Those with Whom I have relationship.
I make offerings to my Gods and to my Ancestors and to my Allies as a part of my daily practice, as a part of building and maintaining relationships. Speaking to Them and listening to Them and spending time with Them is also part of that. I rarely ask Them for specific gifts or blessings or “intervention”.
They are not generally disposed to interfering in the world in that way, and it would be insulting to ask Them for what I should be doing through my own hard work. But when I am moved (and there must always be a strong emotional compulsion for me to engage my will), I will commit Rites of Petition and Propitiation for Their intervention in my world and in the lives of those that are mine own, or in the life of one whose story has moved me so. I do not ask Them to act in a situation but rather, for an individual.
I believe that propitiation works, I believe that petition, made on the behalf of another, works. And if my warrior’s heart is engaged (because that is what it takes for me to use power) if my will is compelled to act, I believe that They will hear me and will answer.
My offerings might be of my own food supply, spirits (alcohol) that I know They will enjoy, an act of service to my community, or perhaps my own blood. Whatever is of value to them and to me (for if I do not value that which I give, They will never be moved to grant my petition) .
My petitions will be for the highest purpose I can articulate. I make an impassioned argument for the rightness of my request. I argue for the need and for the benefit to the family or to the community, and to Them and the work They wish to be done. I get downright demanding, and when They make demands in return, I make the vows that They require, and then I live up to those vows.
I have even been questioned during a Rite, about whether or not I would still want that which I was asking for, if it meant making a sacrifice (of something I desire, not something that would cause harm) . I answered yes, and yet that vow was never required. Sometimes they just want to test your commitment, your conviction., or to teach you.
Understand that Rites such as these are not to be undertaken lightly. Intercession has a price. If one is going to begin to make petition, one must be willing to pay the price requested. I have never been denied, however propitiation is never only that which I have offered. There is always a cost that is determined by Them.
That being said, the price has always resulted in more understanding and growth for me and deepening of my relationship with Them. They never stop teaching me. And I give thanks.