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Author Topic: Animal sacrifice, and/or blood sacrifice in general  (Read 665 times)

Kaio

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Animal sacrifice, and/or blood sacrifice in general
« on: May 14, 2020, 09:15:26 pm »
 Recently I watched the movie Apostle and it made an impact on my thinking about Deity worship.

 Is there any Deity primarily associated with European, West Asian or North African religious tradition in Whose worship there never was animal sacrifice, and no blood sacrifice in general, according to extant historical sources? (Deity worship within Neoplatonic contexts doesn't count; Neoplatonism's rejection of blood sacrifice can have come from Christianity.)
« Last Edit: May 14, 2020, 09:20:43 pm by Kaio »
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Aster Breo

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Re: Animal sacrifice, and/or blood sacrifice in general
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2020, 10:53:17 pm »


Recently I watched the movie Apostle and it made an impact on my thinking about Deity worship.

 Is there any Deity primarily associated with European, West Asian or North African religious tradition in Whose worship there never was animal sacrifice, and no blood sacrifice in general, according to extant historical sources? (Deity worship within Neoplatonic contexts doesn't count; Neoplatonism's rejection of blood sacrifice can have come from Christianity.)

I think there are many, but the one I can speak to most comfortably is Brighid. I've read all the textual references to Her in the ancient lore, and there are no mentions of animal or blood sacrifice connected to Her.

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Sefiru

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Re: Animal sacrifice, and/or blood sacrifice in general
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2020, 07:43:12 pm »
Is there any Deity primarily associated with European, West Asian or North African religious tradition in Whose worship there never was animal sacrifice, and no blood sacrifice in general, according to extant historical sources? (Deity worship within Neoplatonic contexts doesn't count; Neoplatonism's rejection of blood sacrifice can have come from Christianity.)

As far as I remember, Kemetic worship didn't involve sacrifices as such; they did use meat as an offering, but that was as part of a cooked meal, and the killing of the animal wasn't part of the ritual.

(*quickly skims bookshelf* only one of the books on Egypt I have on hand even mentions animal sacrifice, and that's only speculation about how some early artifacts/ritual sites may have been used.)

The many mummified animals that have been found seem to have been objects of worship, not sacrifices.

Yei

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Re: Animal sacrifice, and/or blood sacrifice in general
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2020, 01:28:41 am »
As far as I remember, Kemetic worship didn't involve sacrifices as such; they did use meat as an offering, but that was as part of a cooked meal, and the killing of the animal wasn't part of the ritual.

(*quickly skims bookshelf* only one of the books on Egypt I have on hand even mentions animal sacrifice, and that's only speculation about how some early artifacts/ritual sites may have been used.)

The many mummified animals that have been found seem to have been objects of worship, not sacrifices.

I see that you are distinguishing between meat offerings and animal sacrifice, but were the two distinct in Kemetic worship? I ask because I am currently reading about hunting in Mesoamerica, and for Mesoamerican hunters there does not seem to be a distinction between offering hunted animals and ritual sacrifice. Hunters made offerings before going on the hunt, and upon a successful venture, they would offer some of the prey (usually the blood) to the lord of the forest/mountains/animals (or all of them, if the role is held by different deities in that particular region). Obviously, the hunters intend to eat most of their catch, but they still considered it important to thank the gods who provided the prey with an offering. The meat/blood doesn't seem to have been cooked, but surely that is a difference in process, rather than meaning?

arete

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Re: Animal sacrifice, and/or blood sacrifice in general
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2020, 10:10:10 am »
Recently I watched the movie Apostle and it made an impact on my thinking about Deity worship.

 Is there any Deity primarily associated with European, West Asian or North African religious tradition in Whose worship there never was animal sacrifice, and no blood sacrifice in general, according to extant historical sources? (Deity worship within Neoplatonic contexts doesn't count; Neoplatonism's rejection of blood sacrifice can have come from Christianity.)
In Greek paganism they didn't offer blood sacrifice to ''Melaina Demeter''. ''Black Demeter''.
I pray that religious animosity will end.

arete

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Re: Animal sacrifice, and/or blood sacrifice in general
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2020, 10:17:18 am »
(Deity worship within Neoplatonic contexts doesn't count; Neoplatonism's rejection of blood sacrifice can have come from Christianity.)
In Orthodox Christianity there is blood sacrifice. It is the sacrifice of Jesus and the believers eating and drinking his blood. In Orthodox christianity they have wine as Jesus' blood and the believers drink the wine blood. And in the wine there is bread as Jesus' flesh. So, the sacrifice is god himself and not an animal or something else. :)
I pray that religious animosity will end.

Kaio

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Re: Animal sacrifice, and/or blood sacrifice in general
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2020, 10:55:22 pm »

I think there are many, but the one I can speak to most comfortably is Brighid. I've read all the textual references to Her in the ancient lore, and there are no mentions of animal or blood sacrifice connected to Her.

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 Yes, according to the little I've read about Brighid you are right.
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Kaio

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Re: Animal sacrifice, and/or blood sacrifice in general
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2020, 11:03:51 pm »
As far as I remember, Kemetic worship didn't involve sacrifices as such; they did use meat as an offering, but that was as part of a cooked meal, and the killing of the animal wasn't part of the ritual.

(*quickly skims bookshelf* only one of the books on Egypt I have on hand even mentions animal sacrifice, and that's only speculation about how some early artifacts/ritual sites may have been used.)

The many mummified animals that have been found seem to have been objects of worship, not sacrifices.

 I've read a scholarly text that mentioned the rarity or absense of representations of animal sacrifice in ancient Egyptian art and discussed if blood sacrifice existed or not in ancient Egyptian religious tradition. I don't remember details, but I think the author states it ocurred. If, however, you are right, it seems to be an interesting exception within ancient religious traditions, and maybe it can be reproductible today.
When in Rome do as the Romans do. (Ambrose)

Kaio

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Re: Animal sacrifice, and/or blood sacrifice in general
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2020, 11:05:20 pm »
In Greek paganism they didn't offer blood sacrifice to ''Melaina Demeter''. ''Black Demeter''.

 May I ask you your source for this information? Pausanias?
When in Rome do as the Romans do. (Ambrose)

Kaio

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Re: Animal sacrifice, and/or blood sacrifice in general
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2020, 11:08:01 pm »
In Orthodox Christianity there is blood sacrifice. It is the sacrifice of Jesus and the believers eating and drinking his blood. In Orthodox christianity they have wine as Jesus' blood and the believers drink the wine blood. And in the wine there is bread as Jesus' flesh. So, the sacrifice is god himself and not an animal or something else. :)

 I don't know much about transubstantiation across Christian religions... technically yes, you are right.
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Darkhawk

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Re: Animal sacrifice, and/or blood sacrifice in general
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2020, 11:21:30 pm »
I see that you are distinguishing between meat offerings and animal sacrifice, but were the two distinct in Kemetic worship? I ask because I am currently reading about hunting in Mesoamerica, and for Mesoamerican hunters there does not seem to be a distinction between offering hunted animals and ritual sacrifice. Hunters made offerings before going on the hunt, and upon a successful venture, they would offer some of the prey (usually the blood) to the lord of the forest/mountains/animals (or all of them, if the role is held by different deities in that particular region). Obviously, the hunters intend to eat most of their catch, but they still considered it important to thank the gods who provided the prey with an offering. The meat/blood doesn't seem to have been cooked, but surely that is a difference in process, rather than meaning?

There were slaughterhouses on temple grounds but this was explicitly outside the temple proper; I know various branches of modern Kemetic thought hold that there is a taboo on blood before the gods, and that is probably based somewhat on ancient practice on which priests were qualified to attend upon the holy of holies.  (Who had to maintain particular standards of cleanliness and health.)

The symbolism of meat offerings in Kemetic religion is basically victory-over-enemies-paren-forces-of-chaos-close-paren.  (All offerings are heavily codified and symbolic and we know a fair amount about them.)
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arete

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Re: Animal sacrifice, and/or blood sacrifice in general
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2020, 06:55:07 am »
May I ask you your source for this information? Pausanias?
Yes. Pausanias points the nonblood sacrifice.
I pray that religious animosity will end.

Sefiru

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Re: Animal sacrifice, and/or blood sacrifice in general
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2020, 07:22:02 pm »
surely that is a difference in process, rather than meaning?

Well, there would be a difference in *whether the process is considered meaningful*.

Other kinds of offerings always get discussed in terms of the product, not the production method. People offered the bread, not the baking; they offered the cloth, not the weaving. (at least, not according to the sources I've read.)

Compare communion bread in modern times. Depending on the denomination, it may or may not be produced specifically for liturgical use, and the production process may or may not be ritualized.

On balance, the evidence I have access to (which is admittedly small, (I haven't researched this as thoroughly as Darkhawk has) suggests that the process of slaughtering animals was not considered significant in Kemetic offering rituals. It certainly wasn't as central as it was in Temple Judaism or Greek religion.

Yei

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Re: Animal sacrifice, and/or blood sacrifice in general
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2020, 01:56:00 am »
There were slaughterhouses on temple grounds but this was explicitly outside the temple proper; I know various branches of modern Kemetic thought hold that there is a taboo on blood before the gods, and that is probably based somewhat on ancient practice on which priests were qualified to attend upon the holy of holies.  (Who had to maintain particular standards of cleanliness and health.)

The symbolism of meat offerings in Kemetic religion is basically victory-over-enemies-paren-forces-of-chaos-close-paren.  (All offerings are heavily codified and symbolic and we know a fair amount about them.)

This makes me want to do some comparative religion. There seems to be quite a bit of difference between Kemeticism and Mexica Reconstructionism. Obviously, blood is very important to Nahua religion (pretty much all Mesoamerican religions really). But it seems we also have very different perspectives on chaos and disorder.

Yei

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Re: Animal sacrifice, and/or blood sacrifice in general
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2020, 02:06:29 am »
Well, there would be a difference in *whether the process is considered meaningful*.

Other kinds of offerings always get discussed in terms of the product, not the production method. People offered the bread, not the baking; they offered the cloth, not the weaving. (at least, not according to the sources I've read.)

Compare communion bread in modern times. Depending on the denomination, it may or may not be produced specifically for liturgical use, and the production process may or may not be ritualized.

On balance, the evidence I have access to (which is admittedly small, (I haven't researched this as thoroughly as Darkhawk has) suggests that the process of slaughtering animals was not considered significant in Kemetic offering rituals. It certainly wasn't as central as it was in Temple Judaism or Greek religion.

That's quite interesting. I don't think that Nahua religion really takes a specific stance on this, and it seems somewhat inconsistent. Some things like paper only become sacred when a priest makes them so. However, other activities are quite heavily bound up in ritual acts. Farming for example is replete with ceremony. Ceremonies are used to gain permission to plant the field, to encourage the crops to grow, to thank the gods for the rain, to thank the plants for the harvest, and so on. I think that this might be related to the theatrical nature of Nahua rituals. While physical offerings are important, rituals often involve a number of set-pieces which are intended to tell a story, and thereby give meaning to the offerings.

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