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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Animal Sacrifice

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Animal Souls

There's very little about animal afterlife in heathen mythology, and it's all pretty tenuous. There is a vague idea of sea dogs on Nehellenia's boat, the dog and oar being two of her symbols, in addition to the cornucopia. Some consider her to be the same goddess as Zisa. The boat may be a symbol of the afterlife journey, that is, boat as psychopomp. That would be consistent with using boats in funerals and with making boat shaped graves, both of which are historical practices. So, a dog and boat depicted together could be interpreted to mean that dogs which traveled with warriors at sea accompany them to their afterlife. As I said, pretty tenuous. Unfortunately the written lore is only a tiny piece of what the ancients would have known.

I've always liked the idea of the multipartite soul from the moment I first read about it. The idea is that there are many parts to the soul, parts that can go on to an afterlife, parts that return in the family line or in someone named after one, parts that are recycled into something completely different, parts that just stop, in an individual sense, but go on everywhere else (breath, for example, just stops for the individual, but that doesn't affect the idea of breath, or anyone else's breath.) I don't know if animals are just like people in that way or not. I think they do have souls, though, based on my gnosis. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Old Ways Endure

A rural Anabaptist commune in mid-20th century Manitoba seems an unlikely time and place for a sacrifice to a river.

But that is the story that journalist Mary-Ann Kirby tells in her autobiography I Am Hutterite.

Some memories, it would seem, live long indeed.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Whatever Happened to Animal Sacrifice?

At one time, animal sacrifice was the most common form of public worship in the West.

So what happened to it?

We tend to think of Judaism as mother and Christianity as daughter, but in fact Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism are sister religions that arose at the same time in response to the self-same trauma: the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70 CE.

In ancient Hebrew religion, anyone could build an altar anywhere and offer up sacrifice there, but with the rise of the Jerusalem temple, a hard-fought process of centralization set in which eventually banned sacrifice anywhere else, on the logic of “one god, one temple.”

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Divine Economy

If I had to characterize Kirk S. Thomas' Sacred Gifts: Reciprocity and the Gods in only two words, it would be: “accessibly profound.”

Don't be put off—as I initially was—by his bantering tone, hyper-colloquial diction, or home-spun analogies. This book speaks as an incisive work of contemporary pagan scholarship and philosophy, and (best of all) points the way forward for future pagan thought.

There can be no relationship without communication. How, then, do we communicate with the gods?

In Sacred Gifts, Thomas answers this question elegantly and authoritatively by beginning with a careful examination of ancestral precedent. From these specifics, he deduces the general principles of the divine economy.

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Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, August 25

A Hindu festival in Nepal turns down animal sacrifice. Racists gather in Germany to attack refugee asylums. And debates continue about the complex intersection of laws protecting same-sex couples from discrimination and religious liberty laws. That's right, it's Fiery Tuesday, our weekly take on political issues that affect the Pagan community. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Blood Month

Blót-monað, the ancestors called it: Sacrifice-Month.* Or one could say (as the ancestors did, in their pragmatic way) Blood-month. It still goes on.

Deer-hunting begins this weekend here in Minnesota. Hunting opener is generally the first full weekend of November. (Just coincidence, I'm sure. Yeah, right.) Blood on the leaves.

It's the season of the Dead, yes, but let us not forget what the witches in their wisdom have always remembered: it's also the time of the Rut.** The fawns that Old Green Eyes sires right now will be born about Bealtaine, sure. Blood and spooge: Old Craft in the nutshell.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I am entirely convinced that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, more central to our paganism than what and how we eat. Do we li
  • Jim
    Jim says #
    Like most people in the U.S. I have absolutely no need or intention of eating wild animals. Even those who are so abysmally mundan

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_boar.jpgBefore I sat down to write this, I had to wash the blood off my hands.

Seriously. I did.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Karen Wheeler
    Karen Wheeler says #
    This is a good and honest article. You did a good job of looking into the heart of things. I agree with Jim's relation of how it w
  • Courtney Weber
    Courtney Weber says #
    Thanks so much, Karen! I appreciate your thoughts!
  • Jim
    Jim says #
    I like the way the Iroquois (translation - the Humans) approached having to kill other living beings whether plant, or animal (inc
  • Courtney Weber
    Courtney Weber says #
    Thank you, Jim! I didn't know that about fruit--very interesting. I appreciate your kind comment!
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Thanks Courtney, for a well-written, compassionate, and even-handed post on a subject that often sends people off the deep end one

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