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Sacrifice

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Sacrifice

Postby JuniperBerry » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:25 am

Thoughts? Studies? Historical usage in your path? Let's discuss.
The Gods we worship write their names on our faces; be sure of that. A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson



As believers in the folk-religion we are studying, we seek after mysteries that expand the scope of our gods and our understanding of them, not reductionist theories that reduce them to manageable and socially productive "functions".

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Re: Sacrifice

Postby JBRaven » Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:43 am

Sacrifice of what? That answer changes my response.
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Re: Sacrifice

Postby JuniperBerry » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:49 pm

Blood sacrifice; humans, animals.

It's usually a controversial topic the generates a lot of discussion, which could be interesting. (I'm not posting in the sense of 'Hey, thinking of trying this out, what are your thoughts on it." :lol: ) But...why do you think sacrifice was seen as so powerful to early man? Do you think that animal sacrifice should still be allowed under religious freedom? What about animal sacrifice connected one to the gods?


I think one of the biggest misperceptions that I've seen is the idea that a worshipper would just pick a random animal and kill it in service to the gods. Usually an animal was picked from birth (because of it's color, markings, etc) as being sacred to the gods. It would be kept separate from the work animals, would be fed exceptionally well and treated as an agent of the god, until that time when it was used for sacrifice. White horses, for example, were usually chosen as a sacrificial beast and were never ridden or used to pull a cart, but left to graze in the field. Anyone that desecrated the purity of the animal (i.e riding it) was put to death. Does this make sacrifice seem less cruel and wasteful to you?
The Gods we worship write their names on our faces; be sure of that. A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson



As believers in the folk-religion we are studying, we seek after mysteries that expand the scope of our gods and our understanding of them, not reductionist theories that reduce them to manageable and socially productive "functions".

-Our Troth
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Re: Sacrifice

Postby Kitty » Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:35 pm

I can definately see why it was seen as important - It's like a gift and in the past you would be giving up milk, meat and possibly money to give it to your gods
I don't know much about it but I find it quite an interesting topic
I don't really think it should be completely legal but that allowances should be made maybe for priests etc - it could be argued as a part of freedom of religion I guess
xx
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Re: Sacrifice

Postby spook » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:05 pm

what's most precious and 'expensive' than life itself.
never mind the blood and the purity that are also powerful elements.
I think we think of things like that as wasteful and unthinkable now because we also don't see death up close everyday the way past cultures once did.
not many of us these days know first hand what it's like to go get and prepare our own meat.
we all expect to live to a ripe or over ripe :wink: old age and haven't had much experience with seeing family members up close and personal dying in th bed beside us.
I've seen talk of this difference between then and now in shows about the gladitorial arena matches of Rome. the folks interviewed reminded the audience that back then death and violence were a little closer at hand.
things like war for most people here on this board,those who don't live right up close to war zones and hanger gone off to war themselves is a far off idea and not right there in their face with it's stink and sounds and flies.

what I was getting at was I think back when those kind of sacrifices were more common I think it was also a different mind set.
so it's not fair for us to turn up our noses if we were going to at the idea and wonder how could they have done such a thing.

*ponder*
I'm not sure I made the point I was trying to.
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Re: Sacrifice

Postby JBRaven » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:21 am

I think that the early man saw these types of sacrifice as sacred because of the importance that animals and humans were. For example a farmer has a calf that is pure white and deemed sacrificial. Not only does that put a burden on the farmer of having to take care of the animal in a way that no animal on the farm is treated; it also means that the meat from the animal is not being taken as substance for the family. In a time where people depended on the harvest, food was sacred. To give up that calf was denying yourself and family for "God" (whoever that may be).

I see nothing wrong in blood sacrifice if done properly. No, I am not for a bunch of teenagers going to a cemetery at midnight and skinning 13 black cats from the neighborhood. As I am not a farmer and not dependent on the animals that I raise, I do not see animal sacrifice as relevant to me. If anything, I value myself above anything I own, so if I find the need great a personal sacrifice of blood would be more meaningful to me. As for governmental approval, I don't think that the government should be able to tell me how to (or not to) practice my faith.

As for human sacrifice, I just don't know. I see the value, but my social morals have been set that killing another human is wrong.
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Re: Sacrifice

Postby Asch » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:23 am

Many jurisdictions approve or allow animal sacrifice as long as it is humane and hygienic. Personally as long as the slaughter is humane and the meat isn't wasted I don't have a problem with it, so long as it's a legitimate act and not as JBRaven said a bunch of anti-social teens.
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Re: Sacrifice

Postby JuniperBerry » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:14 am

I agree with Spook that we're alot more squeamish today about death. People performing sacrifices on animals lived a life in which butchering was a normal occurrence. They always had to kill their animals for food and furs, so killing one on occassion for a gift to the gods seems less severe. Also, JBRaven brought up a really good point that not only is it a sacrifice of life but that it went on a deeper level; sacrifice of time/commitment, sacrifice of a resource. It really becomes a self-sacrificing act rather than a sacrifice for the symbolics of blood/life when looked at from that perspective. Especially in a time when livestock was vulnerable to illness, injury, seasons and when it was crucial to try and have as much as you could. (Relevant to those sacrifices burnt and not eaten.) Is this type of sacrifice still relevant today when we can run down to McDonalds and pick up a hamburger afterwards? For me, this is why I think an offering of a baked good would hold more import in modern times. It's personal, it's something you put your time into to.

There was something about blood, though, that was important to the gods and the ancients. After a sacrificial kill (in germanic tribes) the crowd would sometimes be sprayed with the blood. The human sacrifice in the Cimbri tribe (possibly Celtic) would be hung over bowls and the priestess would cut the throat and collect the blood in the bowls below.

Human sacrifice is a bit different. Some people went willingly (though no doubt with fear), some were prisoners given to the gods as spoils of the war, some promised themselves as a sacrifice due to their gods if they could have so many years of victory. Some were the elderly or sick looking to escape a dishonorable straw-death. (A death from disease or age rather then from glory and bravery). Some were the slaves of masters, and they were sacrificed upon their masters death to follow them into Hel. Some were children, built into the walls of a home and given a candle and a toy to occupy them unto death took them. (During the construction of the London Bridge, children were built within it.) In a time where sacrifice was a given, when most tribes in an area worshipped the same deity, being sacrificed may have been an honor.
The Gods we worship write their names on our faces; be sure of that. A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson



As believers in the folk-religion we are studying, we seek after mysteries that expand the scope of our gods and our understanding of them, not reductionist theories that reduce them to manageable and socially productive "functions".

-Our Troth
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