Post Reply
Switch to Forum Live View Sacrifice or Offering
4 years ago  ::  Mar 06, 2011 - 5:14PM #1
Forest Child
Posts: 91
Recently it was made clear to me that a sacrifice had to be made in order for something to happen and it started me thinking about sacrifice (in the ceremonial/ritual/shamanic sense) and offerings.  What we offer, when we offer it/them and what really constitutes a sacrifice today?

Few of us in typical western society have a goat or sheep which we can sacrifice so what do we do instead?  If we are offering something to the Spirits, Ancestors or Gods do we know what they really want or do we even have access to it?

Also there is the issue of waste, what do you do with the offering afterwards?  Do you all partake of a feast, incorporate the offering into your evening meal, throw it out for the birds, offer it to nature, sprinkle it on the garden???  If so why in particular?  Is it because it is traditional or because you have a specific reason?

Looking forward to learning from you all.  :) 
Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Mar 07, 2011 - 9:44AM #2
Nay_ho_tze
Posts: 2,605

Sacrifice drives my medicine,
but not in the sense you speak ...
in my tradition sacrifice is personal -
hair, blood, fasting, deprivation, etc. -
a goat or sheep is not personal,
and so to 'sacrifice' an animal would be against my ethics.

Since ceremony is typically made out in Nature,
any 'remains' of a sacrifice are gifted to the ceremony site ...

If we are offering something to the Spirits, Ancestors or Gods
do we know what they really want or do we even have access to it?
In my tradition one's life should be one's offering -
to that end we try to live it mindfully and selfishly...
it is the only way to glorify the Creator.


NHT

Nay_ho_tze
Beliefnet host
designer and artist
Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Mar 07, 2011 - 10:12AM #3
Forest Child
Posts: 91

Thank you NHT, that makes perfect sense to me.  I have never understood how putting flowers (ie killing them to bring them to the altar) makes sense but so many cultures offer food, drink, tobacco, alcohol, a slaughtered animal (which is often cooked and later eaten by all participating in the ceremony) etc and I seek to understand whether this is an ancestral issue or something else.


A few months ago it was asked that in order for a certain prayer to work, that a goat be given to a family in Africa since we no longer keep small livestock and the ancestor offering this advice would have sacrificed a goat or sheep in their time.  Perhaps it is the frame of reference which our ancestors have and what they are used to?


Fasting and giving one's whole life make sense too, much more personal and a truer sacrifice than giving of one's wealth or another creature's life force.

Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Mar 07, 2011 - 10:34AM #4
Nay_ho_tze
Posts: 2,605

I have never understood how putting flowers
(ie killing them to bring them to the altar) makes sense

The key lies in balance and humility ...
the Green Kingdom often steps forward to help me -
not only as offerings but also as medicine -
Flowers in particular are most gentle, loving helpers -

When working with the Green Kingdom
it is important to offer thanks for their selfless willingness ...
additionally take care to not pick an entire family,
but to mindfully leave most of it in tact -
I often wait for the elder of a group to designate
which family members are appropriate for any given task ...
in this way their family balance is not disrupted.

...the ancestor offering this advice would have sacrificed a goat or sheep in their time.  Perhaps it is the frame of reference which our ancestors have and what they are used to?
Might it be possible that our ancestors were much more aware than we are
of the interconnectedness between all living things -
so that as they made, say, an animal sacrifice,
the animal's suffering was their own?
In modern times, recognition of, and therefore empathy based on this interconnectedness has been lost ...

Nay_ho_tze
Beliefnet host
designer and artist
Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Mar 10, 2011 - 2:33PM #5
Forest Child
Posts: 91

Yes, thanks again.


Perhaps when there is a specific use or need for a medicine plant then I can understand that and fully appreciate what you say about gratefulness, humility and understanding. Not taking more than we need or all from one place goes without saying.


With animal sacrifice, perhaps it was also a case of giving up wealth, security over winter or similar?  I have no doubt that our ancestors were far more deeply connected and understood way more than we do too.


In the past I have tended to offer things such as food, cakes etc which involve time and effort to make.  Afterwards the whole family enjoy them and some is shared with our bird and animal friends if suitable.

Quick Reply
Cancel
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook