Print by Paul Bommer
Happy Mabon! Yes, this post is a little late, but I was, well, imbibing in Mabon spirits! In the Northern Hemisphere, this is the middle of the harvest season, and for Wiccans, this is Mabon, the second of three harvest festivals. The story of John Barleycorn exemplifies the spirit of the season: the sacrifice of one to save many. The story of Dionysus also contains the same spirit:http://thebackseatwriter.com/vine-and-ivy/. This concept relates well to Utilitarianism, which is in a nut shell: the greatest amount of help or happiness to as many beings as possible with the hurt or sacrifice of the least amount of beings possible.
Sacrifice is a concept that some Pagans are not at all comfortable with. They like to hide it down their pants or fluff it up so that something like burning a picture that he or she has painted carries the same weight as killing an animal. While burning something you have created and there’s only one of is indeed a sacrifice, it doesn’t, nor can it, compare to you taking a knife and slicing an animal’s throat—or even shooting one in the head in the name of your deity. And then there are those Pagans that will quote the “Charge of the Goddess”: Nor does She demand sacrifice, for behold, She is the mother of all living, and Her love is poured out upon the earth. It’s true, I don’t believe that our deities DEMAND sacrifice, but I believe that from time to time they urge us to do it, perhaps as a test of will (because even the Christian God did that to Abraham with Issac), and I believe that when a sacrifice is given that it’s greatly appreciated.
This was posted on an online Pagan group by a supposedly well know Pagan leader: I am just going to say this: I am against all animal sacrifice at all times and in all situations here in the modern Western world. Period. I see a day when this becomes more commonplace in NeoPaganism, and that is the day you will see me leave the community behind. This will split our community and cause more dissension than any other issue ever because there are a lot of us who simply will not put up with it, take part in it, or circle with those who do.
I don’t care if it is done reverently and the animal consumed afterwards. I think the argument, “I eat meat, why shouldn’t they” is bogus, too. I think the Pagans who use this argument have NO UNDERSTANDING of the OCCULT meaning and consequences of the act of animal sacrifice.
It’s the act of feeding the etheric life force energy of blood to an etheric entity that for whatever reason, cannot get it on its own. It’s not a symbolic act. As a Lucumi priestess explained to me one time, the explosion of life force energy that happens when you slice an animal’s throat or chop it’s head off — that’s what the entity wants. That creates a big channel or vortex of energy that strengthens a spirit on the etheric level, which is the energy level closest to the physical. That’s why you can’t just prick your finger and feed one drop of your own blood. It’s like putting one drop of gasoline in your gas tank. Won’t take you very far.
Well, guess what: not only are there Loa and Orisha and other higher level spirits that have that Etheric-place “piece” or aspect — there are lots of other lower-level spirits, and they sure do like that blood, too, and they’re getting fed, too, and some of them can mimic a Loa or Orisha. My husband, Doug, and I both have experience with this. We practiced Lucumi ten years ago, and Doug returned to it a couple of times before he had a really bad experience with a lower-level etheric entity masquerading negatively as Erzulie. We were not DIY’ers — Doug had “warrior pot” from a well-known Babalorisha out in Atlanta, and I had elekes.
I quickly found out that the wonderful myth of the chickens being reverently consumed was just that, a myth. The chickens sacrificed on my behalf and his behalf were not eaten. They were left laying around the back yard and his dogs played with the dirty corpses all weekend.
I have talked to other people who started to go down that spiritual path. It’s not all reverence and light. There are houses where the Orisha or Loa decides that it’s not enough to just get the life force energy from the blood. They demand that the animal be torn from limb to limb or tortured before killing. Yes, this DOES happen. It is NOT urban legend. These are not fringe houses but well-established.
I also know of two NON-SACRIFICING Houses of Voudoun and guess what. They get just as good results, and have just as powerful and beautiful rituals, as the blood-letting houses. They have good, peaceful, prosperous happy lives. The Loa come and possess them and bless them and are not angry because they aren’t shedding blood.
Because all higher-level spiritual entities, including Loa, Orisha, Deities, Saints, etc. exist not just on the etheric level, but on the astral, mental, causal, and divine planes as well. And in the modern world, we can use other techniques such as dancing, chanting, drumming, safe/legal entheogens, sex, or quiet and internal techniques to ELEVATE OURSELVES to the astral level and beyond, and meet our Deities there, and cultivate Their Powers and Energies within OURSELVES. We can use energies of peace and healing and harmony, not of violence, to offer and commune with the Divine.
I am an anthropology major. In Africa, in South America, etc. — when someone has a problem and the community comes together to solve it with a religious ceremony, they sacrifice an animal. The inner meaning of this kind of sacrifice, in these tribal communities, is to redistribute protein throughout the community. So there is a non -religious function that is important. In modern America, or anywhere in the West, we already eat too much protein. In this context, when we sacrifice an animal, it really just becomes a commodity we use to PURCHASE the favor of a spirit. And I don’t think the Deities, Loa, Orisha or Saints want us to do that. I think it’s all lower-level entities masquerading as the Deities, Loa, Orisha, Saints, etc.
Do we really want to bring this practice back? I have seen this done. It’s not pretty. Hell, I instigated a sacrifice and let me tell you, it took place around the time of my first degree initiation. And the Goddess bitch-slapped me good. “Nor do I demand sacrifice,” She says.
Death happens to all things. Protein-based life forms often need to feed on other protein-based life forms to maintain decent health. I am pro-hunting and pro raising your own meat. It’s the way the physical world is set up. I am ANTI supplying that energy to a Being on a different level, because they will always want more, more, more. If an Etheric Entity wants life force energy, let it figure out how to get it itself.
It horrifies me to see this practice creeping up to NeoPaganism. What a sad day.
Well, all I can really say to that diatribe is “good riddance and become a vegan so you don’t look even more stupid and uneducated”. I think this person’s histrionics over ripping the animal apart is proof that she really wasn’t ready or understanding of what was going on in the ritual. Perhaps people do rip live animals apart during their sacrifice rituals, but I’ve never witnessed it, nor have I have ever come across a Pagan or a Heathen or anybody else who would rip apart a LIVE animal for sacrifice. Of course, dead animals are a different story. If you recall from the “Hunt the Cunt” series, rabbits and hares can be killed, skinned, and butchered bare handed, which involves some ripping and tearing.
I do participate in blood sacrifices from time to time. When these rituals occur, the animal is dispatched (thanks military for that lovely euphemism!) ritualistically, reverently, quickly, and humanely. Most of the meat is consumed by the participants at the time of the ritual or is frozen for later ritual use. The blood is collected as is other parts and pieces, and what is left is either burned, buried, or left in the woods for scavengers. People can disagree all they want, and I’m sure they will, but in a great majority of the cases, animals die more humanely during a sacrifice ritual than the do at the slaughter-house.
This harvest season, sacrifice something that is dear to you. No, don’t wring your cat’s throat, but commit an act of sacrifice that benefits another. That could be giving away a favorite piece of clothing or buying a food item that you really would love to eat but are giving it to someone else instead. Do this act as an offering to a deity and make sure that it hurts–just a little. The act doesn’t really count if it doesn’t hurt.
These folks sacrifice all the time just for you:
Erotic Sensations http://eroticsensations.us/
Quadrivium Supplies http://www.quadrivium-supplies.com
Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com
Chris Eagle Music http://chriseaglemusic.weebly.com/