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Thread: Significance of Human Sacrifice in Heathen Tradition

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    Question Significance of Human Sacrifice in Heathen Tradition

    by Karleen E. Page


    There is a debate among scholars as to whether human sacrifices were performed during Druid/Celtic celebrations of Halloween. Of course modern druids will say that they were not. They say that the only evidence that this custom was practiced is a reference in an ancient Roman document by Julius Caesar (see below). We do know that human sacrifice was practiced in this part of the world in ancient times because of several "bog men", mummies preserved in the peat bogs that show signs of ritual killing. Of course, there would be no remains of any humans that were sacrificed in the fire. At any rate, the word "bonfire" comes from a compound of the Middle English words bon (bone) and fir (fire) ... meaning a fire kindled upon bones.

    Merle Severy, "The Celts," National Geographic (May 1977), pages 625-626, describes "the eve of Samhain... the start of the Celtic new year:

    "According to the Dinshenchas, a medieval collection of "the lore of prominent places," firstborn children were sacrificed before a great idol to ensure fertility of cattle and crops. Samhain eve was a night of dread and danger. At this juncture of the old year and the new, our world and the otherworld opened up to each other. The dead returned, ghosts and demons were abroad, and the future could be seen.. . . Behind such Halloween games as bobbing for apples lie Celtic divination arts to discern who would marry, thrive, or die in the coming year. Behind the masks and mischief, the jack-o'lanterns and food offerings, lurk the fear of malevolent spirits and the rites to propitiate them."
    Page 601 gives additional insight:

    "Tacitus tells us of the bloodstained Druid altars of Anglesey in Wales."

    Julius Caesar on Celtic Sacrifices

    The whole nation of the Gauls is greatly devoted to ritual observances, and for that reason those who are smitten with the more grievous maladies and who are engaged in the perils of battle either sacrifice human victims or vow so to do, employing the druids as ministers for such sacrifices. They believe, in effect, that, unless for a man's life a man's life be paid, the majesty of the immortal gods may not be appeased; and in public, as in private life they observe an ordinance of sacrifices of the same kind. Others use figures of immense size whose limbs, woven out of twigs, they fill with living men and set on fire, and the men perish in a sheet of flame. They believe that the execution of those who have been caught in the act of theft or robbery or some crime is more pleasing to the immortal gods; but when the supply of such fails they resort to the execution even of the innocent.

    The classical author Diodorus Siculus also reported scenes of human sacrifice [by the Druids].

    'When they attempt divination upon important matters they practice a strange and incredible custom, for they kill a man by a knife-stab in the region above his midriff.' After the sacrificial victim fell dead...'they foretell the future by the convulsions of his limbs and the pouring of his blood." [Ancient Wisdom and Secret Sects (Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books), pages 17-19.]

    The 1984 discovery of a sacrificial victim in Cheshire, England, helps validate the reality of ritualistic human sacrifice. The well-preserved young man had apparently belonged to an elite social class in the second century BC. After two sharp blows to the head, he had been strangled. Then, like the countless sacrifices to Aztec and Mayan gods, his body had been drained of the human blood needed to please and appease their god(s).

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    The Caesar document is well known to be wartime propaganda and not a reliable historical account. Caesar was a tyrannical megalomaniac who was not one to talk about the bloodshed inflicted by others. It's a shame he didn't get what he had coming earlier...

    Where did Tacitus get his information? He seems to have relied upon second- and third-hand reports from frontier military outposts. I doubt he actually set foot in either Celtic Britain or Germanic territory north/east of the Rhine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stríbog
    The Caesar document is well known to be wartime propaganda and not a reliable historical account. Caesar was a tyrannical megalomaniac who was not one to talk about the bloodshed inflicted by others. It's a shame he didn't get what he had coming earlier...

    Where did Tacitus get his information? He seems to have relied upon second- and third-hand reports from frontier military outposts. I doubt he actually set foot in either Celtic Britain or Germanic territory north/east of the Rhine.
    It may well have been propoganda and hearsay respectively, although there is no way to prove that, so it is simply speculation.
    The Dinshenchas are native in origin, adapted from an oral Celtic source and there is also the finds of the mummies, both of which seem to support Caesar and Tacitus's claims.

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    Re: Human Sacrifice

    I can not speak of pagan traditions of sacrifice as I am unqualified. However, I know that there is a denial amongst many modern Druid sects, for instance, of former human sacrifices being performed. Perhaps, this is due to embarrassment or fear of persecution by modern law enforcement and society.

    1. Sacrificing one's self in battle can no doubt have a positive effect upon a society if the sacrifice is seen as noble and honorable traits such as bravery, facing insurmountable odds, dying with honor, sacrifycing toward a cause, fighting for the preservation of Kultur, or defense of a Race by the home peoples of the warrior. The problem with warrior sacrificing is that eventually the most brave, strong, and honorable warriors are eliminated from the gene pool, thus leaving the inferior specimens to breed instead.

    The inferior men also breed with the warrior's women while the warriors are off fighting many times. This can still be seen in the U.S. Marines, for instance, regarding the "WestPac Widows" who mate with others while their husbands are deployed on Western Pacific tours. Inferior men also become surrogate fathers of the warrior's sons should the father be killed in battle or training and instill their weak ways upon the warrior's offspring.

    Also, inferior subjects and their seed gain higher positions in government, society, and business providing an advantageous environment for their offspring to better flourish over warrior types and the seed of the warrior. Eventually, warriors are stuck with the moniker of warmonger or cretin and placed in a bottle labeled break glass only in the event of war. As the superior DNA of the warriors is spilled upon the battlefield, the inferior DNA of the rejects is promulgated throughout the Home Race.

    Anti-family feminism can result as well for the women left behind may find themselves as the sole decision makers and providers of the family unit. Traditional male industrial work is pawned off onto females who must now don male apparel, remove feminine jewelry, and get shorter male hair-styles in order to work in this manufacturing environment. Due to the shortage of manly men, lesbianism spikes as well.

    Traditionally, race-mixing has spiked as well as the negroidal males were placed in close proximity to the White single females either in factories, rear echelon military positions, or in society in general. Ever see any crackhead niggers on the roles of the Medal of Honor winners?

    The resultant catastrophe is that the very noblest traits of the Race which first made them a strong Folk and victorious in battles are siphoned off and they atrophy into weaklings who succumb to enemies at the gate through inferiority from within.

    2. Killing one's enemies in battle can be most beneficial, however, if it is a jew-inspired fratricidal war of White killing noble White then it is the most horrific of all situations imaginable. With Americans, Germans, Italians, British, Scottish, Russian, Finnish, Irish, South African, New Zealand, Australian, Danish, Estonian, Hungarian, and many other Whites fighting one another in WWII, a great death blow was landed upon the White Race forever. Legions of superior Aryan genetics was wiped out as well.

    Another phenomenon can be the "nation building" as seen amongst modern Neo-Con countries where the brightest and best warriors along with massive capitol and material resources are expended to build up the very enemy nation which was conquered. Meanwhile, tens of millions of illegal alien third-world breeders back home invade the homeland and supplant the warriors while the warriors are deployed half a world away. Furthermore, intermarriage with the conquered peoples and emigration is an added potential threat of sacrificing one's enemy.

    3. Sacrificing criminals sound great at first. But what kind of sacrifice? Certainly, no noble sacrifice should be granted except for the rarest cases involving warriors who have committed certain crimes then receive a pardon through blood of sorts by being allowed to execute suicidal missions for the Homeland in battle.

    Sacrificing criminals for all of humanity, or at least the Home Race, in medical experimentations would both be more scientifically pertinent and ethically superior to sacrificing innocent animals, in my estimation.

    Sacrificing criminals through slave labor may also serve society well in many instances. But it is vital that we first purify the criminal in-justice system. Currently, it is polluted with jew judges, liberals, and riddled with anti-White sentiment. True "crime" must be defined, rather than, mere torts or legislative crimes. Being convicted for making a snuff film of torture/rape/murder of children is one thing. But being charged for murder for defending one's self or family or Folk is entirely different. Yet, both of these acts can be indistinguishable as crimes with punishments in some districts.

    So, let's publish an Aryan definition of what crime is and who the criminals are. Then, let's sacrifice away!

    4. Neither enemy or criminal? If you mean let's all dress up in black robes and sacrifice virgin Aryan girls to gain ethereal power in some pagan ritual, then absolutely not. However, the indians of the southwestern American desert utilized a cave crevice in a place called Colossal Caverns, Arizona to toss deformed babies and their mothers in, thus purifying their race.

    Granted, not enough was known about genetics or they didn't care in this patriarchal society to care to throw in the male breeding culprits as well.

    Now, if you mean to sacrifice mutants for medical experimentation and euthanization to further the eugenics of a Race, then this is a most beneficiary function. Albeit one of moral controversy amongst many indoctrinated White peoples of this day.

    Furthermore, there are rare exceptions of idiot savants, certain classical music composers, and scientific theorists such as Stephen W. Hawking who although suffering dehabilitation, contribute to our society regardless.

    It is my opinion, therefore, that it will take much wise council and far more pondering and discussion from all our Folk to best determine the most appropriate forms of sacrifice for all categories listed.

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    Re: AW: Human Sacrifice

    Quote Originally Posted by Pervitinist View Post
    Thanks @Kaiser for his post! Any comments from other Ásatrúar?
    I know that in ancient Scandinavia
    they used to sacriface enemies and prisoners of war,

    and in parts of northern europe those guilty of breaking certain primordial laws were ritualistically killed, although I doubt that this was actually human sacriface

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    Re: Human Sacrifice

    For a hindu:

    (1) sacrifice of oneself in battle: most honorable. The Rajputs (Kshatriyas) fought among themselves to be the first. Another self-sacrifice was in defence of someone who was weak and powerless, for example, one who had come to you seeking shelter, commendable. Still another was in defence of an cultural idea, for example, in defence of a cow being killed, again commendable.
    (2) sacrifice of enemies in battle: That is duty and not sacrifice.
    (3) sacrifice of criminals: Impure things cannot be sacrificed.
    (4) sacrifice of people who are neither enemies nor criminals: That is murder, a crime. Not done, except in a lunatic unenlightened fringe who may believe that such an act can bring them any benefit and that any God or Godess would be pleased with that. Always punishable.

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    AW: Human Sacrifice

    Well, what we know about germanic history, the ancient Germanics used to bring human sacrifices to the gods. Mainly to Wodan and Tyr, of other gods I havent read yet. Maybe some were sacrificed to Donar too. What's quite interesting is that maybe the Valkyries were involved during the sacrificing process. Valkyrie means "she who chooses the dead", could mean that these women were some kind of female Wodan worshippers, who decided who was gonna be a sacrifice to Wodhanaz. So it could be possible, that there was a much more "real" background for the Valkyries as mythology seems to tell.

    However, I suppose many of these "chosen sacrifices" were indeed criminals and traitors. Its just pragmatic to get rid of these persons, who had to be killed anyway, serving a good purpose. When there was war and there were captured soldiers or warriors, many of them were used as sacrifices too. What else is important is, that some warriors volunteered to be sacrificed to Wodan, because they believed that they would go to Valhalla, committing ritual suicide. Some hanged themselves on trees, like their patron-god Wodan did, when he unriddled rune-knowledge, some were stabbed by spears as sacrifice to Tyr.

    So is human sacrifice necessary today? I would say yes, considering the nature of the gods. If you want to please the god of death, the ultimate way to do this, is to sacrifice a live beeing. And of all live beeings a strong, defeated enemy is the greatest sacrifice you can offer. This has not changed over the ages, the god of death is still the god of death and to please him there has to be sacrifice, be it man or beast. Another god may not need human or even animal sacrifices, it depends on the nature of the god/goddess and the aspects of life he or she is representing. For example, I never heared that there were people sacrificed to Freyja, although she is a wargoddess too.

    So to answer your questions in a short way:

    1 - Well, it is not seen as sacrifice if you die in battle, because you dont want to die, but to slay the enemy not fearing your own death while attempting this. Therefore you may come to Freyja's or Wodan's Hall. Your primary goal is not your own death, but your enemy's death. That your own death will be certain while fighting is a just "side-effect".

    2 - I dont know if you can count it as sacrifice if you slay enemies on the battlefield. Although I have to say that in some written texts within the Edda and also Gesta Danorum, the slaying of enemies has a kind sacrificing touch. A hero is sometimes praised for sending many warriors to Valhalla.

    3 - I would say yes. criminals were a great part of human sacrifices, just out of pragmatic thinking, although of course it was a greater sacrifice to sacrifice a worthy enemy.

    4 - Slaves could have been sacrificed. They counted as property like cattle, and as cattle was sacreficed from time to time, slaves were sacrificed too.
    "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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    AW: Human Sacrifice

    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?

    1 - Well, it is not seen as sacrifice if you die in battle, because you dont want to die, but to slay the enemy not fearing your own death while attempting this. Therefore you may come to Freyja's or Wodan's Hall. Your primary goal is not your own death, but your enemy's death. That your own death will be certain while fighting is a just "side-effect".
    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.

    2 - I dont know if you can count it as sacrifice if you slay enemies on the battlefield. Although I have to say that in some written texts within the Edda and also Gesta Danorum, the slaying of enemies has a kind sacrificing touch. A hero is sometimes praised for sending many warriors to Valhalla.
    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.

    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?

    So is human sacrifice necessary today? I would say yes, considering the nature of the gods. If you want to please the god of death, the ultimate way to do this, is to sacrifice a live beeing. And of all live beeings a strong, defeated enemy is the greatest sacrifice you can offer. This has not changed over the ages, the god of death is still the god of death and to please him there has to be sacrifice, be it man or beast. Another god may not need human or even animal sacrifices, it depends on the nature of the god/goddess and the aspects of life he or she is representing. For example, I never heared that there were people sacrificed to Freyja, although she is a wargoddess too.
    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.

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