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.
In today's Watery Wednesday post, we concentrate on news about our Pagan communities and their allies. Big changes at the Wild Hunt; Pagan scholarship prizes; crowdfunding a Pagan funeral; SilverRavenwolf vs. Facebook; and animal sacrifice in Paganism, pro- and -con.
Big news on the Pagan Media front: The Wild Hunt founder and frontman Jason Pitzl-Waters steps down and leaves the keys to TWH media kingdom with new editor Heather Greene.
In light of recent Pagan conversations around the blogosphere on the topic of animal sacrifice, I thought I'd skip ahead in the Vegan Pagan series to offer the animal-centric perspective I had scheduled for January. I'll be back on track next month.
Good Samhain to all!
Modern Paganism has more than a few bloody roots. The early Celts practiced both animal sacrifice and human ritual killing1 and might well have engaged in ritual cannibalism under extreme circumstances, as historical and archaeological evidence attests.23 Elaborate human sacrifices were performed at the temple in Uppsala and elsewhere in Northern Europe as late as the 10th century AD, and there are well-documented accounts of animal sacrifice as well.45 The early Greeks may have engaged in human sacrifice or human ritual killing and certainly engaged in animal sacrifice.6 These are only a few among many examples, as students of pre-Christian religion well know, and they collectively represent a disquieting piece of theological history. However, while most Pagans will agree that cannibalism, human ritual killing and human sacrifice are better abandoned to history, the practice of animal sacrifice has been reconstructed by a few sects of the Pagan community.
Today is Faithful Friday here at the Pagan News Beagle, the day we share interesting stories about religious communities around the world. Our stories today include the launch of the new Polytheist community website; a call for papers on Pagan and Goddess studies; animal sacrifice outlawed (in part of India); Chinese Buddhist brand building; American Muslims meet (and integrate better than Muslims in Europe.)
The new website Polytheist.com launched recently and hopes to offer a variety of columnists (the site eschews the term "blog") from across this diverse movement.
Nepal: A Country of Holy Cows, Monuments and Spiritual Mountains
Bangkok, Thailand. I stood viewing the sunset’s stream of pastel colors from the deck of my hotel after sitting in an airplane all day. I had departed from Vancouver, B.C. and my bottom was sore. My energy field was depleted because of tight seating arrangements and stifling conditions on the aircraft. I fell into a soft bed and asleep straight away thereupon though and when I awakened rubbing my sleepy eyes the next morning it was still dark out. I dressed, repacked my bags and grabbed a coffee at the hotel kiosk on my way to the waiting cab. I got in and in a few minutes I was at the airport once more and aboard Asian Airlines flight 399 to Kathmandu, Nepal, a place that my neighbour loved to visit and often talked about. I was going to Nepal to find my spiritual connection in an exotic place. The questing torch that I have held high for many decades burned brightly and I was excited to explore another powerful place on planet Earth. It was 1996 and I had just healed my ovarian cancer with the potato, Reiki and other dietary measures and was feeling robust. My husband was with me, he liked to tag along with his globetrotting wife. It was mid January, and our return tickets were for the end of March.
French Inquisitor Pierre de Lancre wrote that at the Basque Sabbats the Devil himself presided at mass. At the moment of Consecration, he would cry out: This is my body! Then he would lift the Host, which was black, round, and stamped with the Devil's image (de Lancre specifies that he lifts it “on his horns”), and those present would fall down in adoration and cry out, twice repeated, a mysterious four-word phrase, which has rung down the history of witchcraft ever since.
In his account of the Basque trials, de Lancre transcribes the Basque words as: