It’s been said before, it will be said again. The Proto-Indo-European Religion is cobbled together from the similarities between descendant religions and languages. From my point of gnosis, the Deiwos are real, and just as present as Thor or Zeus, but that does not change the fact that the beliefs and practices of PIE religion are a “best guess” based on what information we have currently. Some things have been lost. Some things have been altered to fit the sensibilities, morals, and laws of the time. It is possible that some things are along the same vein as 3000 years ago, but because it’s the only surviving example among all of the cultures we have to pull from, it has been overlooked or ignored.
One thing I will not give up is my daily offering to the Gods and Spirits. We have ample evidence to assume that offerings were given, and – I think – enough evidence to assume that offerings were made every day in devout households. I believe this because of European cultures, specifically the Pre-Hellenic Romans. The first center of Roman religion was the hearth, not the temple, and while a temple was utilized with all the pomp and circumstance we’ve come to associate with Rome, the Ancestor cult and the veneration of the land was one of the primary aspects of Roman religion. This remained unchanged during the Republic, and on to the early years of the Empire [Jones & Pennick, 35]. It’s funny to notice that the movie Gladiator got anything right at all! Trust me, most of that movie was a load of historical garbage.
So, I give offerings daily to the spirits, or I drink daily to them, sometimes both. Poured libations seems to have been common, from the Greeks to the Celts, and probably everyone in between. I have, however, offered whatever I can, from food (a major aspect of my practice) to drinks, to alcohol, to water, to salt (yes, salt). When I say the ties that bind these diverse cultures together, leading back to the PIEs, I am referring to these offerings, which are central to Indo-European practice. For all I know, they are central to all deific or animistic religious practices.
There are other ties, however. Names are an interesting point. I don’t believe Zeus is Dyeus Pter, but I can see they share similarities in their name. I can look at Jupiter or Deus Pater and see the same. I can see the strange similarities between Pusan, Pan, and Paxuson, and I can see the possible cognate of Paxuson and Cernunnos [Serith, 59]. I believe these names have power, else they would not call these entities back from years in obscurity and silence.
A final tie I will speak of for today is the tie of language, which is how all of this is being reconstructed in the first place. Language binds people in ways they are often unaware of. Our language, for example, is loaded with Christian analogies, assumptions about the world, basic assumptions about gender and sexuality. Where we don’t have a word that would fit, we literally steal words from other languages: gesundheit (healthiness in German), rendezvous (a get-together in French). So, obviously, PIE words would have a similar effect upon their society, and these are the words that were handed down to us through the language families our languages belong to.
The ties that bind our current culture and religions to those of the past are part of what make PIE religion, and how we can reconstruct how they practiced and what they did, even when we have no direct record of it.