Sacrifice and the Gods

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Sacrifice and the Gods

Post by gillyflower on Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:49 am

After this subject came up on another thread, I thought it deserves its own. What place does sacrifice have in your religion or practices? Do you sacrifice to your gods, if so what and why? What does it mean to you?

_________________
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. Marcus Aurelius
avatar
gillyflower
Admin
Admin

Posts : 3400
Join date : 2009-04-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrifice and the Gods

Post by John T Mainer on Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:45 am

Sacrifice means to make sacred, or to dedicate to the gods, a physical object. There are five forms of sacrifice that I have taken part in.

1-Symbel; the horn offering to the gods. The most common heathen ritual, the symbel is what our society remembers as toasting. The first toast raised is to the Aesir, the gods of the spirits, the second to the Vanir, the gods of the physical realm, the third to the fallen, those who have gone before, the last is spilled upon the ground for the wights, or spirits of lands and waters that host us in this sacred gathering. Further toasts are offered to give thanks for blessings received, to boast of promises kept, of deeds of worth. Other toasts include apologizing for oaths not yet fulfilled, and offering to the gods and ancestors your renewal of purpose to fulfilling them. Lastly comes the promises of deeds to come, before the gods and the folk staking your honour and sacred name to new and worthy goals.

Blot-animal sacrifice. At high feast times when enough of the folk are gathered together, the finest of animals is chosen and brought before the folk. It is praised for its strength, and thanked for the gift of that strength. The animal is killed painlessly, and its throat cut over the blot bowl. The animal is butchered immediately, and every single part of the animal is used to feed or serve the folk or its flocks right down to hide, horn, and hoof. Waste of that which is made sacred is an insult to the animal and blasphemy to the gods. Blood of the blot is sprinkled with a blot twig (evergreen) upon those guests who wish to take some of the luck and favour of the blot with them when they leave.

3-Dedication-to set aside an object for sacral purpose only. Statuary, oath rings, blot bowls or knives, alters and other physical objects whose use is reserved for the sacred are so dedicated.

4-Bogging-to destroy that which was dedicated but now is flawed. Only the best, the unblemished can be offered to the gods. Any object that was dedicated, and has now become broken is seen to have released all the sacral energy that was given to it, back to the gods. Like a human corpse, it is now buried. It is traditionally physically broken, that all will know the sacred object is now empty and returned to the earth.

5-Human. In the old days, when those dedicated to Odin fought not for themselves, but for the folk, they would toss a spear above the battlefield to dedicate the fallen from both sides to Odin. After making such a pledge, no looting of the bodies would be permitted, as sought the Victory Father's blessing for the protection of the folk, and did not fight for personal gain. In UN rules of engagement, we were required to fire a warning shot over the enemy, and only if they persisted in direct fire against our positions were we allowed to engage with deadly force on any unit observed in direct fire against our position (and if it sounds like we had to take a lot of free shots before defending ourselves, well yeah). We fought for the safety of folk not our own, for what ephemeral periods of suspended mutual murder are termed "peace". Those who sought battle against us were offered to the Battleglad, that their warrior spirit find a worthier banner under which to fight, this time for the benefit of all.

Sacrifice is to make sacred that which is to be used, consumed, or slain. Sacrifice is to give meaning to loss, to make aware of the costs of the survival of the folk. Sacrifice is to teach us, and to show the gods that we have learned, the price of this life we are given. Sacrifice calls upon each of us to be worthy of that cost, and to be mindful ever to cost no more than we must, for waste is blasphemy.

_________________
Fiat justitia ruat caelum
"Let justice be done, though the heavens fall."
avatar
John T Mainer
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 1004
Join date : 2009-04-01
Location : Maple Ridge, BC Can

http://community.bc-freehold.org/news.php

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrifice and the Gods

Post by Davelaw on Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:39 pm

Gilly, in the other thread you mentioned sacrifice as i hope understood this as way of forcing a bargain with the gods or God. I think you are close but the focus needs to shift a bit.

Many of the ancient cultures were concerned with enforcing contracts. Sacrifice was often viewed as a "sealing of the contract"-the "notary seal" if you will that made a human contract approved by the forces of heaven.

In some of the Vedic stories, horses are sacrificed to seal peace treaties. In Genesis, the Noah story could be viewed as ending with a peace treaty between Noah and God with sacrifice on Noah's end and rainbows from God-just a Christian view-with a bit of a historical perspective.
avatar
Davelaw

Posts : 1684
Join date : 2009-07-18
Location : Houston Texas

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrifice and the Gods

Post by gillyflower on Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:12 pm

Sealing a bargain seems to me to be a beginning rather than an end. It would seem more fitting to plant a tree, something that signifies a beginning, rather than killing something, which is causing an end. Now if the killing of something to eat is quickly followed by a celebration of the beginning of something then it makes more sense to me.

_________________
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. Marcus Aurelius
avatar
gillyflower
Admin
Admin

Posts : 3400
Join date : 2009-04-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrifice and the Gods

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:58 pm

(I'm reposting some of this from the other forum)

From a (general) IE perspective the purpose of a human sacrifice had nothing to do for attonment, or the correcting of wrongs so it differs considerably from the Christian model. Human sacrifice, at least as can best be guessed from the available sources had to do with cosmogony and anthropogony; the making of the cosmos and the making of humans. Most of the IE cosmogenic myths had some degree of death and dismemberment as literally forming the cosmos or earth (the castration of Ouranos, the dismemberment of Yimir). Often humans are made from these pieces, or literally spring out of the earth. This establishes a sort of cycle of death (dismemberment), renewal, creation and most of the litterture I've read on human sacrifices in IE cultures (like Bruce Lincoln's "Death, War and Sacrifice") posit this model as the theological basis for human, and later animal (as substitution) sacrificial offerings found in IE cultures.

There are other folk attestations to the use of animal sacrifice in particular in Ireland and some of the Scottish Highlands. In some cases, as Dave (and John T) mentioned, the sacrifice of an animal (usually a bull, ox or sheep) would be used as a method of making something sacred, through its life, blood and flesh. In some cases a bull for example would be killed, its blood collected and sprinkled on the base of a structure which would be built (this was done well into the Christian period in the above mentioned countries), not that this was done all the time, but accounts of such practices exist from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Dave mentioned the notion of clientship, and this is the basis of GRP's and our relations with deities, sacred contracts. Most GRP's give offerings (hospitality in most cases) to the deities, ancestors and fair folk in the form of food stuffs (meat, fish, cereals, honey, baked goods, milk, fat, offal, etc.) and so while this is somewhat different than animal sacrifice in a ritualized context, it none the less reflects the notion of giving thanks and recognizing the sustaining life which has been given up. In terms of ritualistic sacrifices, the shared meal concept is not uncommon in CR circles. There are of course votive offerings which could be seen in the giving something of value up as payment; coins, metalwork, sculpture, woodwork, poetry, etc. are all objects of craft which are given to deity, again depending on the circumstance and context.



Another aspect of sacrifice is that of humans. Erynn Rowan Laurie, one of the "founders" of CR, developed a ritual format for a human sacrifice, using specific plant materials in stead of a living human. The reason she (and others) consider plant material an acceptable substitue has to do with specific plants correlating to human anatomy. I'd rather not repost the whole thing here, but she has a good article on sacrifice in a Celtic context, which can be found here if you are interested.

_________________
If you approach the Gaelic gods with 'I'm not worthy', they're going to reply to you with 'Then come back when you are.

Coffee Three Shouts on a Hilltop
avatar
Gorm_Sionnach
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 838
Join date : 2009-04-02
Location : Toronto, ON, Canada.

http://threeshoutsonahilltop.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrifice and the Gods

Post by John White on Mon May 17, 2010 11:53 am

Hi friend
If you just want to answer that I cannot answer this question, and state why not, please do. Really its a very difficult question for every one. On my sense know one can scarifies his god. Because with out god bless know one can alive in the world.
http://www.ministerialseminary.com/

John White

Posts : 1
Join date : 2010-05-17

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrifice and the Gods

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Mon May 17, 2010 12:08 pm



Learn to engrish before spamming plz and tx

_________________
"I am often told that Divine Science is a difficult religion to live, and that other forms of religious belief afford an easier way. Perhaps this is true; for in Divine Science we never hold anyone else responsible for the things that come to us; we hold ourselves responsible for meeting the experiences of the day with power and of living our own lives divinely." – Nona Brooks
avatar
TigersEyeDowsing
Admin
Admin

Posts : 3854
Join date : 2009-04-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrifice and the Gods

Post by Sakhaiva on Mon May 17, 2010 2:10 pm

.... it sort of worries me that gods can be scarified.
avatar
Sakhaiva

Posts : 737
Join date : 2009-04-01
Location : Sunny California

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrifice and the Gods

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Mon May 17, 2010 2:26 pm





^ My idea of scarified.

_________________
"I am often told that Divine Science is a difficult religion to live, and that other forms of religious belief afford an easier way. Perhaps this is true; for in Divine Science we never hold anyone else responsible for the things that come to us; we hold ourselves responsible for meeting the experiences of the day with power and of living our own lives divinely." – Nona Brooks
avatar
TigersEyeDowsing
Admin
Admin

Posts : 3854
Join date : 2009-04-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrifice and the Gods

Post by DotNotInOz on Mon May 17, 2010 7:54 pm

YOU GUYS are scaring me!

::::: re-opens door bearing sign saying, "Topic Entrance" ::::::

[Hint! Hint!]
avatar
DotNotInOz

Posts : 2795
Join date : 2009-04-02
Location : St Louis MO burb

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrifice and the Gods

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Wed May 19, 2010 12:00 pm

?


I iz confuzzled.

_________________
Remember one thing about democracy. We can have anything we want and at the same time, we always end up with exactly what we deserve.

Edward Albee
avatar
sacrificialgoddess
Admin
Admin

Posts : 3199
Join date : 2009-04-01
Location : Oklahoma

http://kltompkins.wordpress.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrifice and the Gods

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Wed May 19, 2010 12:18 pm

It is the "scare-ification"

Very Happy
avatar
allthegoodnamesweretaken

Posts : 2700
Join date : 2009-04-01
Location : Some where in middle america

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrifice and the Gods

Post by Sakhaiva on Wed May 19, 2010 6:42 pm

Totally scarified (TED, you made me laugh out loud; great pix)

Taking DOT's hint and getting back to Gilly's OP, the topic of sacrifice is two-fold.... there is the sacrifice of something outside of one's-self (like a bull or some fruit) to deity and then here is sacrificing something within the self (like giving up a career to follow a more humble path.)

No matter how one looks at it, life requires sacrifice. Consider, women sacrifice to life monthly by the shedding of blood. (If that ain't a sacrifice, I don't know what is)
avatar
Sakhaiva

Posts : 737
Join date : 2009-04-01
Location : Sunny California

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrifice and the Gods

Post by gillyflower on Wed May 19, 2010 7:04 pm

I don't think that I ever answered this. I don't believe that I sacrifice to my gods. I share. I celebrate and appreciate their blessings and the gift of this world and the bounty it provides. Pouring out a small libation on the ground is sharing to me. Placing a flower on the altar is sharing, an offering of gratitude for all the beauty that I have been gifted, a desire to share some of the beauty of this world with them. I believe that what the gods want of me is appreciation of my life and this world, to value it, enjoy it, really look at it and see and feel what a wonderful gift I've been given and celebrate it.

I've always had a problem with sacrifice because I think some people are trying to bargain with their gods. They seem to be saying that if I give up X (something which I consider very valuable) then god Z will do what I want. I don't think the gods care about that and, in my experience, aren't very easy to manipulate.

_________________
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. Marcus Aurelius
avatar
gillyflower
Admin
Admin

Posts : 3400
Join date : 2009-04-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrifice and the Gods

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Wed May 19, 2010 7:20 pm

Sak I'm glad you LOL'd. I did too at those faces!!

I've not answered this either and I'm going to say that in our faith, we do do sacrifice, but it's a metaphorical metaphysical concept of sacrificing our human-like emotions and qualities to become godlike. Since God is a principle to us, we don't sacrifice "to" God to "appease" him/her, we sacrifice things that don't serve us on a higher level in order to serve ourselves (or, the expression/image/likeness of God) and make us better, in turn to make others better.

_________________
"I am often told that Divine Science is a difficult religion to live, and that other forms of religious belief afford an easier way. Perhaps this is true; for in Divine Science we never hold anyone else responsible for the things that come to us; we hold ourselves responsible for meeting the experiences of the day with power and of living our own lives divinely." – Nona Brooks
avatar
TigersEyeDowsing
Admin
Admin

Posts : 3854
Join date : 2009-04-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrifice and the Gods

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:30 am

gillyflower wrote:I don't think that I ever answered this. I don't believe that I sacrifice to my gods. I share. I celebrate and appreciate their blessings and the gift of this world and the bounty it provides. Pouring out a small libation on the ground is sharing to me. Placing a flower on the altar is sharing, an offering of gratitude for all the beauty that I have been gifted, a desire to share some of the beauty of this world with them. I believe that what the gods want of me is appreciation of my life and this world, to value it, enjoy it, really look at it and see and feel what a wonderful gift I've been given and celebrate it.

I've always had a problem with sacrifice because I think some people are trying to bargain with their gods. They seem to be saying that if I give up X (something which I consider very valuable) then god Z will do what I want. I don't think the gods care about that and, in my experience, aren't very easy to manipulate.

Well in this vein (and yeah, I've been absent for a bit, seemed like a decent topic to get back in on), that being that a sacrifice is somehow trying to manipulate the gods has more to do with a stigma which has come to be associated with the word sacrifice. Sacrifice in its common usage has come to be associated with the idea of loss for gain, yet I would argue that a sacrifice is still at its core an offering, and there is not always the idea of a "gain". Something that an individual owns or possesses is given to the gods for some reason, even if merely out of hospitality. Usually whatever is given has value, and one looses whatever the value of the object is (be it nutrition, monetary worth, aesthetic value, etc.). In GRP, the idea of the "substance" of a food offering is known as the tordah, and once something has been offered, it is no longer fit for consumption. This of course differs from ritualized slaughter as only a part of the animal would be offered, and the rest consumed, but often it is the best of whatever one has which is offered, as per the laws of hospitality.

I can not speak for every tradition or religion, however as I mentioned in my earlier post, GRP is largely based on the client-patron model, and so we as clients are obliged to provide offerings to our patrons (as well as the ancestors and spirits of the land) as a means of maintaining our obligations. It isn't that we expect to be rewarded or curry favour, it is simply how we interact with our deities. The gods are not beholden to us, we can not manipulate them, however they are under the same obligations and are also subject to the same "laws", so to speak. Certainly there are any number of "rejected" offerings, and simply giving an offering does not mean that a god need accept it, and context and the character of deities (of course gleaned through study and upg) are important aspects to consider.

As I also mentioned earlier the symbolism behind the notion of sacrifices, especially that of something living, is bound up in the cosmogenic base of a given cultures mythology, which has ritualistic significance.

_________________
If you approach the Gaelic gods with 'I'm not worthy', they're going to reply to you with 'Then come back when you are.

Coffee Three Shouts on a Hilltop
avatar
Gorm_Sionnach
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 838
Join date : 2009-04-02
Location : Toronto, ON, Canada.

http://threeshoutsonahilltop.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrifice and the Gods

Post by gillyflower on Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:41 am

You hit upon one of the major differences between our religions, I think when you said:

The gods are not beholden to us, we can not manipulate them, however they are under the same obligations and are also subject to the same "laws", so to speak.


In my religion, our gods are not under any obligation to us and don't have to reciprocate, or aren't bound by the same laws. They chose who they choose to favor for their own inexplicable reasons. I think it might be the difference in viewpoint between tribal gods and those who are not. In a tribal (and family gods fall into this category) gods and people have obligations to their family/tribe. In a newer religion, like my own, the tribal concept is not established yet but I'm willing to bet that a third or forth generation witch, one with a family tradition, would certainly feel that their family gods are in a reciprocal arrangement with them, the members of that family tribe. In traditions that have gods of the tradition that they honor, it is less so.

My viewpoint about offerings is based upon the belief that there is no physical thing I have that the gods want. I understand the concept of giving up the best of something to honor the gods whom you love and I admire that. The practical part of me abhors the waste of that however and I think the Greeks came up with a good myth and alternative because of that. Dedicating and joyfully enjoying an entire feast with the gods does make sense to me. I believe that they enjoy and appreciate the gift of my emotional response. Symbolically including them in the celebration is something that I do.

_________________
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. Marcus Aurelius
avatar
gillyflower
Admin
Admin

Posts : 3400
Join date : 2009-04-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrifice and the Gods

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum