Olympianismos
Welcome to Olympianismos!

Sacrificial offerings

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Sacrificial offerings

Post  apseudos on Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:56 pm

Many documented practices in the (abbreviation) Romano-Hellenic world involved blood sacrifices. Where do we stand on that today and, as a possible rider, how do we square our position with Romano-Hellenic tradition?

This is a question that has vexed me for many years. As a teenager, I would offer food and wine to Athena and Apollo but never (direct) blood sacrifice of any sort.

apseudos
Newbie
Newbie

Posts : 16
Join date : 2014-03-29
Location : UK

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrificial offerings

Post  Erodius on Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:39 pm

apseudos wrote:Many documented practices in the (abbreviation) Romano-Hellenic world involved blood sacrifices. Where do "we" stand on that today and, as a possible rider, how do we square "our" position with Romano-Hellenic "tradition"?

This is a question that has vexed me for many years. As a teenager, I would offer food and wine to Athena and Apollo but never (direct) blood sacrifice of any sort.


Blood sacrifice is strongly forbidden in Orphism, and, in Antiquity, Orphics would worship only at altars on which no living victim had ever been slain.

Outside of that, animal sacrifice (in a manner straight out of Classical Antiquity — gilded horns and all) is actually still performed in some rural areas of Greece and Bulgaria, where it is called κουρβανία, although it is rare, and discouraged by the Orthodox church.

Most people today, however, do not keep their own animals for slaughter and food, so the issue of ritual slaughter does not apply for most.

Keep in mind though, as I said, blood sacrifices were not performed by everyone even in Antiquity — some groups disallowed it, while other people simply did not have the means to do it (poorer people, say, living in the crowded slums of the Roman Subura).

Regardless though, blood sacrifice, specifically, is simply not practical or within the means in most settings or situations today, and neither is it necessary. The ceremony of religious sacrifice is central to nearly all forms of Classical religion without exception, but blood sacrifice is not specifically necessary.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


ΗΣΦ

Blog: eusebeis.wordpress.com
The Orphic Way: www.hellenicgods.org
avatar
Erodius
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 928
Join date : 2013-03-20
Age : 26

View user profile http://eusebeis.wordpress.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrificial offerings

Post  apseudos on Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:54 pm

Yes, that concords with my own learning/view. I think it is part of the struggle to discern what the gods "require" and what practices have been suggested by tradition/history.

If the idea of "to thine own self be true" has any (religious) meaning, then it says that one should not do what one feels (inately) is "wrong" - even if tradition demands it. I'm sure this has resulted in numerous crucifixions, burning at stakes, etc over the centuries.

I have never been tempted to perform blood sacrifice and (touch wood) I have not yet been struck down by the mighty thunderbolt. (I'll keep you posted - or not, as the case may be!)

apseudos
Newbie
Newbie

Posts : 16
Join date : 2014-03-29
Location : UK

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrificial offerings

Post  Erodius on Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:02 pm

If the idea of "to thine own self be true" has any (religious) meaning, then it says that one should not do what one feels (inately) is "wrong" - even if tradition demands it. I'm sure this has resulted in numerous crucifixions, burning at stakes, etc over the centuries.

Truthfully, I think that famous aphorism has done more harm than good. In a world wherein the higher self reigned, and the default setting were aspiration to virtue and righteous conduct, then that would be a great and noble guide indeed to follow. But in a world in which the lowest, appetitive self reigns supreme, and the vogue is to reject even the existence of virtue or goodness at all, 'to thine own self be true' becomes a real monster of amoral relativism, nihilism and autolatry.

The most sinister and duplicitous master of all is the uncultivated self.

When not piloted by Virtue, the ego-self cares little if any for what is best for itself or for others, but only for its own lusts' gratification. Unconcerned with the ultimate value of its conduct, fidelity to the ego-self might sometimes indeed result in the right choices made (sometimes, what is right is also what is appealing), however, more likely, in shirking the righteous choice for the pleasant choice.

I have never been tempted to perform blood sacrifice and (touch wood) I have not yet been struck down by the mighty thunderbolt.

You need not be — nor, speaking from the Orphic Λόγος, ought you to be.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


ΗΣΦ

Blog: eusebeis.wordpress.com
The Orphic Way: www.hellenicgods.org
avatar
Erodius
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 928
Join date : 2013-03-20
Age : 26

View user profile http://eusebeis.wordpress.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrificial offerings

Post  apseudos on Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:54 pm

Erodius, I will not quote back to you what you said. I will simply say that my actual worldly (research) work confirms scientifically, in actual data, exactly and all of what you say.

AND ... it also indicates that there is no vision or message that cannot so be perverted by the "uncultivated self". It's only a matter of pragmatism. Make no mistake, this applies to spiritual and religious messages just as surely as to material and political messages.

AND ... it also indicates that there is an innate drive or tendency in people to transcend that base state. Not all succeed, or even get anywhere near it, but the driver remains nevertheless. If you want that in spiritual or religious terms, it's the spark of Divinity that is embedded in each and every one of us - be he ever so high or ever so humble, ever so righteous or ever so base.

One of the things I so love about my day to day work is that it gives me opportunity to reflect and speak about such matters within a completely rational, measurable, scientific framework. If you think of it in terms of "getting the message out there", there's more than one way to skin a cat.

Why has "to thine own self be true" done (probably) more harm than good? My work shows clearly that it's simply numbers. There are one heck of a lot more people who have NOT transcended "ego" than there are who have. (Actually, I prefer to phrase that as people who have "gifted themselves true self-acceptance and self-esteem")

The aphorism works only in two circumstances - when there is a strong communal bond, which demands loyalty of the individual; and when the individual has transcended (to whatever extend) the shackles of ego and demand OF HIMSELF loyalty to a community (usually "humanity" or some such greater community)

There is a natural human phase between the two - no strong tie to community, and no gift of self-acceptance. This is where the trouble occurs. Amorality - that's the word you used - is exactly the term I use. Amorality is what lies between morality (group determined rightness) and ethicality (self-determined rightness). In the modern world, it is a measurable fact that this middle group outnumbers or is more influential than the others - that's just a consequence of material and economic progress (actually of an individual's first real access to "power", whether actual or by reflection).

I think I mentioned in another post that some version of Jungian "individuation" (i.e transcendence of ego and acceptance of self) has been suggested as the basis of all Mysteries. This makes sense in terms of my own work because what I have learned is that these "amoral" people do not need, nor do they deserve our condemnation - they need, and deserve our help to (using a modern phrase) "get over themselves". The "trick" is to get them to "hear" us - and for that to work, we must speak in their language, not ours. That's not easy but it is OUR responsibility if we truly care - their own amorality absolves them of any responsibility to hear us above any other noise.

apseudos
Newbie
Newbie

Posts : 16
Join date : 2014-03-29
Location : UK

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrificial offerings

Post  Erodius on Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:10 pm

Erodius, I will not quote back to you what you said. I will simply say that my actual worldly (research) work confirms scientifically, in actual data, exactly and all of what you say.

You and I are, I think, saying often much the same thing, but in different dialects. You speak psychoanalysis, I speak Orphic Ἱερολόγος.

it also indicates that there is an innate drive or tendency in people to transcend that base state. Not all succeed, or even get anywhere near it, but the driver remains nevertheless. If you want that in spiritual or religious terms, it's the spark of Divinity that is embedded in each and every one of us - be he ever so high or ever so humble, ever so righteous or ever so base.

If you wanted to distill the heart and core of the Orphic gospel, that is it. In order to reconcile to him the wayward and estranged sons of earth, God planted a spark of himself in every soul. The illusions and sins of the Titanic soul are like covers thrown over the spark. Following truth and Virtue are the actions of pulling the shades and covers off of that spark. There is a reason we, in the Orphic religion and Pythagorean and Neoplatonic philosophy, call this "ἀνάμνησις" — literally, 'the un-forgetting'.

Why has "to thine own self be true" . . . [through to ->] whether actual or by reflection).

Agreed.

I think I mentioned in another post that some version of Jungian "individuation" (i.e transcendence of ego and acceptance of self) has been suggested as the basis of all Mysteries. This makes sense in terms of my own work because what I have learned is that these "amoral" people do not need, nor do they deserve our condemnation - they need, and deserve our help to (using a modern phrase) "get over themselves". The "trick" is to get them to "hear" us - and for that to work, we must speak in their language, not ours. That's not easy but it is OUR responsibility if we truly care - their own amorality absolves them of any responsibility to hear us above any other noise.

One thing Christianity (and other Abrahamic religions) I think has going for it here more strongly than for, say, Orphism, Buddhism, Jainism, Vaishnavism, or Shaivism, is the urgency with which its devotees proclaim their message. Certainly, the Orphics, Buddhists and Vaishnavites/ISKCON have sent out plenty of missionaries over the centuries, determined to spread the word, but one difference remains. For Christians and Muslims, the game is over after one round — you'll never get another chance to be saved, whereas, for all the other movements I mentioned, the urgency is just fundamentally less, because the game restarts, and though you have to go all the way back to the starting line, you can "try again next time".

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


ΗΣΦ

Blog: eusebeis.wordpress.com
The Orphic Way: www.hellenicgods.org
avatar
Erodius
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 928
Join date : 2013-03-20
Age : 26

View user profile http://eusebeis.wordpress.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrificial offerings

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:53 pm

apseudos wrote:Many documented practices in the (abbreviation) Romano-Hellenic world involved blood sacrifices. Where do we stand on that today and, as a possible rider, how do we square our position with Romano-Hellenic tradition?

This is a question that has vexed me for many years. As a teenager, I would offer food and wine to Athena and Apollo but never (direct) blood sacrifice of any sort.

I'm a vegetarian. So… no, not gonna consider that an option, and as Erodius said, in line with our religious tradition.

Taking the life of an animal is depriving it's chance to develop in this lifetime, and the Gods, being beings of utter goodness and light, would not want any being to be denied it's ability to progress.

Thrasyvoulos
God Member
God Member

Posts : 283
Join date : 2013-04-15
Age : 24
Location : Misery (Missouri)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrificial offerings

Post  Erodius on Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:24 pm

Icarus is correct — however, in Antiquity, Orphics and the associate Pythagoreans were occasionally compared with Jews as a result of our dietary practices, which many thought were rather odd in that time period, along with the fact that we both observed sets of purity taboos (especially against blood, in both cases), and wore certain garments (Judaism traditionally observed a variety of clothing customs, while Orphics dressed in undyed linen [which was seen as a 'poor-mans cloth'] and avoided jewelry, especially jewelry that depicted deities (which most jewelry of that time did).

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


ΗΣΦ

Blog: eusebeis.wordpress.com
The Orphic Way: www.hellenicgods.org
avatar
Erodius
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 928
Join date : 2013-03-20
Age : 26

View user profile http://eusebeis.wordpress.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Sacrificial offerings

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum