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Thread: Significance of Human Sacrifice in Heathen Tradition

  1. #11
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    AW: Human Sacrifice

    Quote Originally Posted by Pervitinist View Post
    This is an interesting point which i am however not completely sure about. Like Aupmanyav said, from a Hindu point of view the killing of traitors or criminals (#3 from my list) could not be considered a sacrifice in the proper sense because of the ritual impurity of the victims, while the killing of captured warrirors - to which one could add the killing of hostages - (#4) would even have to be considered as murder and thus a fortiori not as a proper form of sacrifice.

    Legal aspects aside I think especially the first aspect poses an interesting question: Did the old Germanics have a different view concerning the relation between sacrifice and purity, or was the ritualized killing of criminals more of an execution than a genuine sacrifice?
    If you look at historical records you can see that there was made a difference between possible sacrifices. For example: When the Romans were defeated in Teutoburgerwald, they didnt sacrifice everybody. Almost every roman officer was sacrificed and most of the normal soldiers were made slaves. So they did indeed discriminate between sacrifices of higher and of lower value. But that doesnt mean, that sacrificing of men of lower value was forbidden.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pervitinist View Post
    Well, when I said sacrifice of oneself in battle I was thinking first of all of berserker-like warriors who go into battle oblivious of themselves and in an ecstatic state of mind (often, as it seems, enhanced by certain drugs and meditative practices) where life and death are no longer of any importance. I would actually consider this a sacrifice of oneself, because when entering battle in such a state you completely leave your fate to the Gods and deliver yourself and your life to them as a kind of sacrifice letting them decide whether they accept it and let you die in battle or decline it and let you live.
    The Berserkers didnt give themselves up into the hands of a deity. They were special warriors, because their fury and the drugs made them immune to pain. They did bluster themselves into battlerage and then they had only one goal, destroy the enemy at all costs. And if they died during this fight, they knew they were going to go to Wodan or Freyja. What I mean is, that they didnt give themselves up to a deity, but remained warriors who lived for their own cause, and this cause was fame and victory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pervitinist View Post
    This is another aspect where I am grateful for Aupmanyavs remark that fighting - and eventually killing - an enemy in battle can also be considered as a duty and thus not as a sacrifice.
    That's what I mean, that counts for germanic heathenry too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pervitinist View Post
    There remains, however, the question of what it is that you call a "sacrificing touch". Could it not be that the fulfilling of the duty of battle was at the same time regarded as an act of sacrifice to the Gods - and not necessarily in a metaphorical sense but as a genuine form of sacrifice?
    Yes, but in another way than sacrificing "normal" sacrifices. To kill honorable foes and so send them to the halls of the slayn, is a kind of "good" deed. Not only from the perspective of the slayer, but also from the point of view of the slayn, and also from the perspective of Wodan and Freyja, because they get these worthy men into their halls, where they belong. You have to know that the Norns, have already set the fate for each of these warriors, and to be slayn by a hero is a honorable way to die and opens up the road to Valhalla or Sessrumnir.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pervitinist View Post
    Now this is the really controversial question. According to present-day 'human rights' standards it might be hard to reintroduce human sacrifice as a legitimate element of modern warfare - or isn't it? At least in a metaphorical sense even today there is talk of 'sacrificing' the lives of innocent people who are counted as 'collateral damages' within the setting of a 'just war' that is lead not for the Gods but for an idea like that of 'liberty' as some kind of 'deified' abstraction. So reintroducing sacrifice to the Gods might not be such an absurd idea after all. I'm sure, however, that the UN would not agree with that.
    Oh yeah, the human rights. Of course we cant do sacrifices anymore today, because of legal restrictions. But that doesnt change what's right and what's wrong. Laws might have changed and so the attitude of the majority of the people, but the gods remain the same. But I want to remark, that human sacrifice is not needed in germanic heathenry. You can worship every god or goddess without it, but the ultimate ritual to honor certain gods (Wodan, Tyr) is the human sacrifice. But other germanic deities may not even need them.
    "There can be no true friends without true enemies. Unless we hate what we are not, we cannot love what we are." Samuel Huntington

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    Re: AW: Human Sacrifice

    "In The Viking World we are given an account of an important festival involving the grim cult practices of the god Odin joined with the number nine:

    "In addition, Adam says that a major festival was held every nine years, lasting nine days, and attended by men from all over Sweden, bringing gifts. Christians who refused to attend had to buy themselves off with a fine. At this festival the sacrifice consisted of nine men and nine males each of several types of animals including dogs and horses: the blood was offered to the gods, and the bodies hung from from branches of a nearby grove..."(Simpson 169)."

    More:
    http://lindamunson1.tripod.com/riderstotheseaodin/

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    Ritualized Human Sacrifice

    Hail brothers and sisters! Long time lurker, and this is now my second post. Thanks for all of the excellent reading material in the past, and thank you for the opportunity to ask this question.

    I brought up this question on the message board of an American Asatru group, and they got extraordinarily offended that someone should be so "stupid" as to ask the question, but it's still something that I feel is worth exploring. And I hope that you won't mind if I ask the question here and if we can explore it in good faith.

    Assuming for a moment that certain tales about our ancestors were not fabrications, and that at Uppsala there were 9 year blots that featured ritualized human sacrifice, why is it that we no longer see this as a religious obligation?

    If we are religious/spiritual people looking to follow the pathways of our ancestors, how can we ignore this aspect of it?

    Please don't misunderstand me: I'm not advocating for human sacrifice! But my question is: By what right are we allowed to ignore this seemingly important part of our past?

    Is there anyone here that's comfortable with the idea of human sacrifice? Is it ridiculous or even "blasphemous" to suggest that things like abortions or the death penalty could be seen as a kind of modern human sacrifice?

    Quite eager to hearing everyone's thoughts on this. And thanks again for everything!

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    I assume it's because of the change from "barbarians" to "civilization" and the influence of Christianity. Human life is thought to be sacred. It's the same why the death penalty has been disappearing in many countries, although Christians had sacrifice and death penalty too. Maybe liberalism is a reason too.

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    reply to sacrifice

    A blood sacrifice is the highest ideal of a personnel offering one makes to the nordic god Odinn and its a gift in which one offers oneself up to the diety power itself.
    In this religion we fear not death and when our life is offered up for sacrifice the spirit of the female Valkeria who work within us and protects and guides us are our mediators In a sacrifice to die they carry our souls to Asgard the ether where we embrace the power of Odinn and we connect to him and his divine power within the cosmos as we are re incarnated back into life in another form of a tribal human being in which we carry the aspect of that godly power into the next life in which that god power expresses itself in a new form in which then effects world evolution. Nine is the number of destiny, and the 9 aspects of the number of Odinn which is vision. knowledge, word power, ancestral comunication, wisdom, creativity, inspiration, love, spiritual enlightenment. When these powers incarnate it is so the birth of a new civilisation can manifests itself. The driving power of such a action is stimulated by the planet valkerie which inturn effects the land mass in which that offering has been made and this effects the folksouls of the people in which the positive karma works through to complete its mission for those people which are Guided by the spirits of the Asatru and Vanir gods and goddess which are energies that work within nature and the cosmos. Smaller offerings of animals was also regularly done to honor the gods and the eating of the dead animal was the sharing of the life force power between the men and the gods and goddess. Which represents the divine power of the cosmos and there future incarnation on the earth Mitgard.

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    dwarvenmorning, you are welcome to ask your questions here.

    I agree with what Guðrún said meaning it's because of Christianity in our culture.

    But sacrifice and death penalty aren't the same.
    Sacrifice was voluntary too.
    When slaves wanted to accompany their masters in death or when influential men offered their offspring.
    The way death was seen was different than we do today.
    It was honorable to sacrifice yourself to the gods.
    Death penalty was punishment for the worst of the worst.

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    For Germanics the answer is quite simple namely Christianity. But it could that in time that the number of human sacrifices would have become less and even disappeared all together.

    The same thing happened with the Romans, who outlawed the practice.

    The death penalty is a different issue all together. You do not kill a criminal to honor the gods, but because he violated certain laws.

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    A very interesting batch of responses. Much better than what I'm used to.

    More interesting (to me!) is the fact that my thoughts are so corroded by Christianity as to equate sacrifice with punishment. When I think of dying, or more properly being killed, my default thought is something along the lines of a Jehovian blood-atonement situation, where people have to die because they've been condemned, or in order to rectify some situation.

    So all of these answers that quite rightly point out the likelihood that the sacrifices in question were voluntary are things that I had never previously considered. So thank you very much for that.

    If, then, these sacrifices were voluntary, is there any place in the modern world for a person to make a blood sacrifice to the Gods? Or does the cyclical nature of reality mandate that things like human sacrifice must simply fade away until a new cycle begins? Or are human sacrifices forever more useless?

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    The Battlefield is the only viable place where one can sacrifice yourself to the ‘Gods’, Folk and Culture…
    Although the word "Commando" was wrongly used to describe all Boer soldiers, a commando was a unit formed from a particular district. None of the units was organized in regular companies, battalions or squadrons. The Boer commandos were individualists who were difficult to control, resented formal discipline or orders, and earned a British jibe that"every Boer was his own general".

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    Our culture has been anthropocentric for a long time. However, I don't agree Christianity is the only reason. Because Christianity accepts sacrifice too. What else did Jesus Christ do when he allowed himself to be crucified for our sins? But I don't want to go off topic too much since it's the Germanic Heathenry forum.

    I think human sacrifice in any religion should be justified if it's voluntary and doesn't harm another person against the will, and I've to say even if the society considers it taboo, it doesn't impede peoples to sacrifice themselves for their gods, in battle, as Grimner said. If you believe in your gods and you want to sacrifice yourself you could defend your country by enlisting in the national forces or something like that.

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