Olympianismos
Welcome to Olympianismos!

Hunting

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Hunting

Post  WynnDark on Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:16 pm

Whether you are for or against hunting, it was a part of life for the ancients and is a part of life for many to this day and as a worshipper of the Theoi I'd like to build a tradition of consciously returning this act to a sacred realm, even if it is only such for me and those other worshippers that also hunt.

To give some background, I don't currently hunt (I'm working on the needed training for getting my license for next year), but my interests lay in stalk hunting with the bow, javelin (angon), and spear, I also greatly enjoy fishing out in the ocean from my kayak. Basically I prefer 'primitive' hunting, it's more of a challenge, requires you to move with even more awareness of yourself and what is around you, and will definitely keep you in good shape if you want to catch anything. While fishing isn't usually listed with hunting, I keep them in the same category though I do use modern equipment to do so.

I should mind my meandering, what I'm looking to start rolling about in discussion here is what sort of hymns should be sung prior, during(?) and after a hunt, how would one want to handle the slaying of prey from a sacrificial point of view, what parts of the animal might be offered to the Theoi? I've ideas but I'd like to hear other opinions, also any information about how hunting was carried out in ancient/classical Greece would be most interesting. I've got some information about Spartans hunting boar with spears but I'll have to dig it up and see what it can bring to the table.

WynnDark
Newbie
Newbie

Posts : 22
Join date : 2013-04-17

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  Callisto on Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:47 pm

There is Artemis, two of her epithets are Agroteria and Potnia relating to her being the goddess of both the hunt and protector of animals. Though cult worship of Agroteria evolved to pertain to warfare and victories.

"The worship of Artemis Agrotera also illustrates the association between hunting and warfare. Spartans make sacrifices to Artemis Agroteria before both activities (Xen., Hell. 4.2.20, and cf. Lac. 13.8 ), and the Athenians sacrifice to the goddess at an annual celebration of their victory at Marathon, replicating their invocation before the battle (Xen., An. 3.2.12). - The Hunt in Ancient Greece by Judith M. Barringer

Philostratus the Elder, Imagines 1. 28 (trans. Fairbanks) (Greek rhetorician C3rd A.D.):
"[From a description of a painting depicting hunters :] Hunters as they advance will hymnArtemis Agrotera (Goddess of the Hunt); for yonder is a temple to her, and a statue worn smooth with age, and heads of boars and bears; and wild animals sacred to her graze there, fawns and wolves and hares, all tame and without fear of man. After a prayer the hunters continue the hunt." [theoi.com]

From the book Artemis to Diana: The Goddess of Man and Beast, edited by Tobia Fischer-Hansen, Brite Poulsen and Annette Rathje:

"A relic of the prehistoric hunters' cult of the goddess is manifest in the way the hunters in ancient Greece used to hang skins and horns on branches as gifts to her. It was the usual practice in the so-called primitive religions among hunting tribes to give parts of the killed animals back to nature to honor the animals and express gratitude for the gift. If you did not treat the animal with respect, it would withhold its give some other time. This practice was then transferred to become a sacrifice to the goddess" - p. 42

"The virginity of Artemis is also attributable to her function as the god of hunters, because a hunter had to observe certain ritual taboos, before he went hunting. He had to abstain sexually, because female mana must not be mixed with hunting. That would scare the animals away, and they would not let themselves be killed in order to supply food for men. One might then believe that Artemis had had her day, when agriculture became the most important means of producing food, but hunting continued as a supplementary means of sustenance, and at the same time another element supported the power of Artemis. The hunters were trained in the use of arms, and they were indispensable for the defense of the villages, both against wild animals, which constituted a threat to domestic animals, and also against human aggressors. Therefore it is probable that the organizations of warriors have their origins in the life of the hunters." - p. 43


These might be of some help:

Homo Necans: The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual and Myth, by Walter Burkert. He has a section on sacrifice, hunting & funerary rituals.

Cynegeticus ("On Hunting") by Xenophon. It's a manual on the benefits of hunting. He discusses the various animals to hunt and makes recommendations on everything from what sort of hunting dogs to types of weapons and how they should be used. And, "It is not only men enamoured of the chase that have become heroes, but among women there are also to whom our lady Artemis has granted a like boon — Atalanta, and Procris, and many another huntress fair."

You can download it from here http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/x/xenophon/x5hu/index.html

_________________
Επου θεω
"I feel awe of the Gods, I love, I revere, I venerate them"
avatar
Callisto
Sinior Member
Sinior Member

Posts : 136
Join date : 2013-03-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  J_Agathokles on Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:43 pm

The parts sacrificed to the Gods are usually the bones and fat, and small portions of the best cuts (like the liver). These would then be burned in the sacrificial fire, while the meat is prepared and eaten by the worshippers. For Khthonic deities the entire animal would be burned, and nothing of the offerings would be consumed by the worshippers. But I don't think Artemis Agrotera is a Khthonic Goddess.

J_Agathokles
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 172
Join date : 2013-03-19
Age : 27

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  WynnDark on Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:57 am

Thank you for all of that information Callisto, I shall have to delve into the suggested books. I'd offer some of that further information on Spartan hunting but I seem to have put that book into storage, the issue with living in a very small cottage while building the main house!

As for the parts sacrificed, I've always associated that primarily with the sacrifice of domestic animals, which could be led to the altar for sacrifice. One can't generally butcher an animal to the extent needed to burn the fat and bones out in the field and one most assuredly cannot start a fire large enough to offer up such. Field dressing could give a hunter the hide and horn/antler if applicable, with the skulls offered up after further butchering is complete though.

I'll work on a set of hunting hymns and see about what sorts of sacrifices would be appropriate in the field, though I have to keep at least some eye towards practicality, I don't see anything particularly wrong with sacrificing say the first hide of the season but my family and I would need to use the rest. I'd have no trouble with setting up the skulls of taken game about the shrine though, once they are properly cleaned of course.

As an aside, if only offering the first hide seems somehow impious, I’d like to hear about that and the reasons anyone would think so, with the consideration that as a stalk hunter I’m not going to be likely to take nearly as many animals as a stand hunter especially with where I am in the US.

WynnDark
Newbie
Newbie

Posts : 22
Join date : 2013-04-17

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  Callisto on Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:19 pm

WynnDark wrote:I'll work on a set of hunting hymns and see about what sorts of sacrifices would be appropriate in the field, though I have to keep at least some eye towards practicality, I don't see anything particularly wrong with sacrificing say the first hide of the season but my family and I would need to use the rest. I'd have no trouble with setting up the skulls of taken game about the shrine though, once they are properly cleaned of course.

As an aside, if only offering the first hide seems somehow impious, I’d like to hear about that and the reasons anyone would think so, with the consideration that as a stalk hunter I’m not going to be likely to take nearly as many animals as a stand hunter especially with where I am in the US.

I don't remember in which of the sources above I read it, but I recall something about the sacrifice from the first hunt was akin to offering first fruits from one's crops.

Homer Hymn XXVII:

I sing of Artemis, whose shafts are of gold, who cheers on the hounds, the pure maiden, shooter of stags, who delights in archery, own sister to Apollo with the golden sword. Over the shadowy hills and windy peaks she draws her golden bow, rejoicing in the chase, and sends out grievous shafts. The tops of the high mountains tremble and the tangled wood echoes awesomely with the outcry of beasts: earthquakes and the sea also where fishes shoal. But the goddess with a bold heart turns every way destroying the race of wild beasts: and when she is satisfied and has cheered her heart, this huntress who delights in arrows slackens her supple bow and goes to the great house of her dear brother Phoebus Apollo, to the rich land of Delphi, there to order the lovely dance of the Muses and Graces. There she hangs up her curved bow and her arrows, and heads and leads the dances, gracefully arrayed, while all they utter their heavenly voice, singing how neat-ankled Leto bare children supreme among the immortals both in thought and in deed. Hail to you, children of Zeus and rich-haired Leto!

And now I will remember you and another song also.


"Agrotera" from Artemision: Idylls and Songs by Maurice Hewlett which can be downloaded here:

AGROTERA

O'ER the long hills of folded Arcady
Fleets Artemis a-hunting of the deer,
Voiceth the shrill wind, and with eager cheer
Houndeth the laggard hounds to victory.
With hair let wild, green-kirtled to the knee,
Bare-throated, of high courage, supremely clear,
She is the captain, she the holy fere
Of all our world's immanent sanctity.
For when before some vile imputed thought
Standeth an untried soul, and leaps the sin,
Truth's candid girdle splintereth all to nought
The bloat offence ; and leaveth truth to win
Forth from her garner a shaft of Good untaught,
Which flares to the monstrous hide, and quivereth in.

_________________
Επου θεω
"I feel awe of the Gods, I love, I revere, I venerate them"
avatar
Callisto
Sinior Member
Sinior Member

Posts : 136
Join date : 2013-03-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  Apollyon on Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:56 pm

I have to say that it can be amusing...the squirming that some of our contemporaries do when confronted with the idea of hunting. While I admit that I have not made any animal sacrifices to the gods, there ARE those who try to flat out pretend that it didn't happen.
I hunt-for food- and I fish-for food. Our ancestors did it, I do it, and gods willing, my children will be able to do the same.

My random babbling shall cease for now! Smile
avatar
Apollyon
Junior Member
Junior Member

Posts : 40
Join date : 2013-03-24
Age : 31
Location : Indiana

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  Achrelus on Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:08 pm

To say that they sacrificed animals to the gods means nothing because I have never heard a reason why one would/should do it, other than they did it. Whats's the apollogetics? Why? These are questions I don't see asked here a lot or considered.

_________________
Erit dies ubi Phoebus redibit et hīc semper manēbit!
avatar
Achrelus
Admin
Admin

Posts : 157
Join date : 2013-01-18
Age : 21

View user profile http://olympianismos.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  Erodius on Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:32 am

It was a bone of contention even in Antiquity.

Certainly, as today, there were many people in rural areas who had to hunt in order to survive. There were also plenty of people, mostly the wealthy, who hunted for pure sport. The Assyrians and Persians, and I believe the Romans as well, by the Imperial era, kept hunting parks stocked with often exotic animals for the purpose of entertaining the wealthy and elite.


However, all the way back to the appearance of distinct palingenesis-affirming Orpheo-Pythagorean movements in the 500s BCE, and suggestions from Roman sources of the beliefs of the religion of the ancient Latins, there existed groups who, most often because of a core belief in palingenesis, opposed blood sacrifice or even condemned it entirely. Orphics would keep special fire-altars for worship, because it is not permitted to use altars that have received blood victims.

However, blood sacrifice was undeniably a reality, whether it is a good thing or not, and even a millennium of opposition from various groups, followed by the official condemnation by the church, could not eliminate it. Animal sacrifice, now directed to "saints", remains a custom in some rural areas of southeastern Europe, where it is called 'kourban' or 'kourbania', and in Orthodox Christian Armenia, where it is called 'matagh'. Though, needless to say, the church does not officially condone the practice.

Here's an article on the practice in the Balkans:
http://www.stlazaire.com/NewFiles/RIGHT4.html

_________________
"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 : 925
Join date : 2013-03-20
Age : 26

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

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  WynnDark on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:14 am

I am a homesteader, I will be raising my own livestock (currently the property isn't set up for livestock, predators would get them too easily), I will also be the one to kill and butcher these animals. Even if I didn't hunt, I would sacrifice these animals to the gods as it is only right that I do so, if they bless me with a healthy flock then it is the least I can offer in return.

Considering that the homestead is small, it has finite production ability and much of the yield is being given over to a substantial garden and orchard space, we (my better half and I) have only so much room in which we can raise our meat and dairy animals. As such, hunting and fishing come in to supplement the meat yields of our livestock, so, I'll be taking game whether they are sacrificed or not, so again I'd rather be in right relationship with the Theoi of the hunt than not.

I offer you my reasons for doing what I do, no one has to agree with them but there they are.

WynnDark
Newbie
Newbie

Posts : 22
Join date : 2013-04-17

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  Apollyon on Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:19 pm

Αχρηλος wrote:To say that they sacrificed animals to the gods means nothing because I have never heard a reason why one would/should do it, other than they did it. Whats's the apollogetics? Why? These are questions I don't see asked here a lot or considered.

A reason? Because it pleased the gods. Though Prometheus 'tricked' Zeus into accepting fat and bones as offerings from humans, to offer more was/is more of a sacrifice than what the gods already accepted.

There is also the fact that after the sacrifice, citizens (usually except certain circumstances) would be able to eat of the sacrificed meat, so it isn't as if it was 'wasted'.

It is something that I do not do at present, but intend to do when I get my own property. I can assure you it would be more humane than how the animals that are butchered for your big-mac or ground meat in Walmart are treated.

I am certain I have not truly done justice in defense of the practice, and sincerely wish Emperor Julian had written more to be used here....
avatar
Apollyon
Junior Member
Junior Member

Posts : 40
Join date : 2013-03-24
Age : 31
Location : Indiana

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  Erodius on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:25 pm

Iulianus reflects a bit on the subject toward the end of the Oration on the Mother of the Gods, in which he seems to take an on-the-fence approach to various sacrifices as well as the dietary laws of particular cults, recognizing all the while that these various affirmations and prohibitions are often grounded in specific elements of the basic theology of these cults.

But it is also true that some cults deny the efficacy or necessity of blood sacrifice completely, most notably Orpheo-Pythagoreans, who were perhaps most famous in Antiquity, above all, for their dietary practices. Up until the last century, 'vegetarianism' was often referred to as a 'Pythagorean diet.'

At the most basic level, Orpheo-Pythagoreans condemn not specifically blood sacrifice, but the taking of any life in general, on the grounds that, because the teaching of palingenesis is a core tenet of the religion, it is no less potentially abhorrent, from this perspective, to kill any given animal, than it is one's own friend or relative.

It is a plain and simple truth that different religions have irreconcilable disagreements, if that weren't the case, there wouldn't be different religions in the first place.

With particular religious cults, especially revealed/messianic cults that arise from a pre-existent, usually cultural, religion (for example, Orphism arises from traditional Graeco-Roman religion, Isidianism arose from Egyptian religion, Buddhism and Jainism arise from traditional Hinduism, Bahaiism arises from Islam, and most famously, Christianity arises from Judaism. Something that has always been difficult, both for adherents and for scholars of religion, is to say whether or not so called 'messianic' movements within other religions are new religions entirely, or 'reformations' of their parent religions. Even after 2,000 years of arguing, for instance, it is still somewhat ambiguous, in some cases, whether Christianity is a separate religion, a form of Judaism, or, as some Christian groups say, simply Judaism. It is also debated, for instance, (as in my Hinduism class in college today), whether Sikhs are Hindus, Muslims, neither, or both.

Are Christians Jews? Are Orphics Hellenists? Are Lingayats/Virashaivas or Krishnaites Hindus? Are Ahmadiyyas Muslims? I don't think any of those questions can be answered easily.

And that's today's quasi-relevant soapbox speech from Erodius.

_________________
"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 : 925
Join date : 2013-03-20
Age : 26

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

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  J_Agathokles on Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:26 am

Apollyon wrote:I can assure you it would be more humane than how the animals that are butchered for your big-mac or ground meat in Walmart are treated.

Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow,... There's actual meat in there?

Erodius wrote:At the most basic level, Orpheo-Pythagoreans condemn not specifically blood sacrifice, but the taking of any life in general, on the grounds that, because the teaching of palingenesis is a core tenet of the religion, it is no less potentially abhorrent, from this perspective, to kill any given animal, than it is one's own friend or relative.

It's one of the reasons I don't particularly like Orphism or Pythagoreanism myself. Plants are no less a form of life then animals or humans are. And neither are the bacteria that invade your body in order to survive and to allow their species to live on, but get slaughtered by our immune systems (I admit the ancients had no idea about bacteria or viruses, but the argument still stands).

J_Agathokles
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 172
Join date : 2013-03-19
Age : 27

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  Achrelus on Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:59 am

Apollyon wrote:
Αχρηλος wrote:To say that they sacrificed animals to the gods means nothing because I have never heard a reason why one would/should do it, other than they did it. Whats's the apollogetics? Why? These are questions I don't see asked here a lot or considered.

A reason? Because it pleased the gods. Though Prometheus 'tricked' Zeus into accepting fat and bones as offerings from humans, to offer more was/is more of a sacrifice than what the gods already accepted.

There is also the fact that after the sacrifice, citizens (usually except certain circumstances) would be able to eat of the sacrificed meat, so it isn't as if it was 'wasted'.

It is something that I do not do at present, but intend to do when I get my own property. I can assure you it would be more humane than how the animals that are butchered for your big-mac or ground meat in Walmart are treated.

I am certain I have not truly done justice in defense of the practice, and sincerely wish Emperor Julian had written more to be used here....
Okay, we are getting somewhere. Otther tthan the one myth, why does it please the gods? Why are the pleased by the sacrifice? How do you supportt that?

_________________
Erit dies ubi Phoebus redibit et hīc semper manēbit!
avatar
Achrelus
Admin
Admin

Posts : 157
Join date : 2013-01-18
Age : 21

View user profile http://olympianismos.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  Erodius on Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:23 am

J. Agathokles wrote:It's one of the reasons I don't particularly like Orphism or Pythagoreanism myself. Plants are no less a form of life then animals or humans are.

I have to disagree, as would a large number of 'Pythagorean diet' Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. Plants are living, but they are not sentient, they do not possess intellection and do not have souls, which are, we believe, intimately tied to intellection. Palingenesis is considered to be a characteristic of souls specifically, not life in general, and it is not considered to occur into plants or non-sentient life. One of the reasons being that, due to their lack of sentience, it would be a logical impossibility to ever gain any anamnesis in such a life, and so such a rebirth would be an eternal condemnation for the soul, which is not something we accept.

I and others recognize and have recognized that there is merit to be gained from refraining from doing unnecessary harm to plant life as well, such as by trying to limit consumption of things like root vegetables that involve the destruction of the plant (a practice that occurs in some Buddhist groups as well). The most noble diet, according to Dv. Apollonius Tyaneus, consists of limiting intake to fruits, nuts and leaf vegetables.

But the bottom line is, it is wrong for us also to starve ourselves to death, because that is shirking the penitential and redemptive purpose of our lives, so we must eat something in order to survive.

It is a choice, as we see it, to do as little harm as you can manage to do. Simply because it is not possible to do no harm to anything, does not mean that the entire effort is in vain and we ought to do whatever harm we like.

_________________
"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 : 925
Join date : 2013-03-20
Age : 26

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

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  J_Agathokles on Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:28 am

Erodius wrote:but they are not sentient, they do not possess intellection and do not have souls, which are, we believe, intimately tied to intellection.

And how exactly does one know this. What if they are as sentient, or even more sentient, then we are, but simply not in a way that we can recognise with our current understanding.

J_Agathokles
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 172
Join date : 2013-03-19
Age : 27

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  Erodius on Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:46 am

J_Agathokles wrote:
Erodius wrote:but they are not sentient, they do not possess intellection and do not have souls, which are, we believe, intimately tied to intellection.

And how exactly does one know this. What if they are as sentient, or even more sentient, then we are, but simply not in a way that we can recognise with our current understanding.


Because they simply are not. Any biologist or botanist will tell you that. They do not have the capability of sentient thought — they have no nervous system nor a brain, and have no musculature. Their circulation is by means of capillary action and evaporative transpiration, over which the plant itself has no actual control and plays no active role.

They are alive, but 'life' and 'soul' we do not consider to be identical.

No, we cannot know with unequivocal certainty anything, because we are mortal. However, with science and investigation, we can know things beyond a shadow of a doubt.

_________________
"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 : 925
Join date : 2013-03-20
Age : 26

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

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  J_Agathokles on Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:54 am

Erodius wrote:Because they simply are not. Any biologist or botanist will tell you that. They do not have the capability of sentient thought — they have no nervous system nor a brain, and have no musculature. Their circulation is by means of capillary action and evaporative transpiration, over which the plant itself has no actual control and plays no active role.

And what if those things are not required for sentient thought?

J_Agathokles
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 172
Join date : 2013-03-19
Age : 27

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  Achrelus on Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:58 am

When there is evidence that they are not required there will be an argument but we could ask wat ifs all day long. Without evidence whatifs are pointless.

_________________
Erit dies ubi Phoebus redibit et hīc semper manēbit!
avatar
Achrelus
Admin
Admin

Posts : 157
Join date : 2013-01-18
Age : 21

View user profile http://olympianismos.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  Erodius on Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:29 am

Αχρηλος wrote:When there is evidence that they are not required there will be an argument but we could ask what ifs all day long. Without evidence whatifs are pointless.


Exactly. You can dismantle any objective argument, regardless of its truth, with 'what-ifs' to the point of absurdism.


I can ask, "what if President Obama only seems to be human, based on our current understanding, but is actually a manatee?"

Certainly, by this line of reasoning, he is perhaps, indeed, a manatee. You cannot argue against this sort of what-if position.


_________________
"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 : 925
Join date : 2013-03-20
Age : 26

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

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  WynnDark on Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:05 pm

Now that we've discussed the whole plant life taking vs animal life taking, perhaps an attempt at answering why animals were and are (at least in some traditions) sacrificed to the gods? Or rather, how do we know that animal sacrifice is pleasing to the Theoi?

I'd suggest one consider the weight of countless generations of our spiritual, if not physical, ancestors opinions in this particular matter, but ultimately that can be boiled down to 'the ancients did it'. Since an appeal to ancestral wisdom probably won't suffice, I'd suggest that it pleases them in part because it truly Is a sacrifice.

By truly being a sacrifice I mean that, at least in my case as a homesteader, a sacrifice of something that took a great deal of time and effort to bring to fruition. There is a great deal of effort expended on the rearing and raising of livestock and even if one 'only' burns the bones and the majority of the fat, you're giving up a lot of useful material to another, material that you could be using but instead are offering over to the gods. The gods which have, in more than One myth seen fit to claim such sacrifice.

I'm afraid that I'm not at all articulating this well but in an effort to turn this conversation a little closer to the actual topic I submit these words to you all anyway.

WynnDark
Newbie
Newbie

Posts : 22
Join date : 2013-04-17

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  Erodius on Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:51 pm

I would posit, following Burkert's Homo Necans, along with my own reasoning, that the concept of animal sacrifice arose from a unity of a need to sacralize the action of slaughter due to its 'psychological disruptiveness' with the religious conception of the moral good of offering a portion of one's sustenance to gods, who in a variety of primitive beliefs (of which we can see vestiges in things like the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, as well as other Homeric fables, as well as, regarding Mesopotamian religion, in Biblical texts like the Book of Daniel), were thought by some to literally derive their sustenance and power from the sacrifices, in short, that the act of sacrifice was an act of feeding the gods.


I'd suggest one consider the weight of countless generations of our spiritual, if not physical, ancestors opinions in this particular matter, but ultimately that can be boiled down to 'the ancients did it'. Since an appeal to ancestral wisdom probably won't suffice, I'd suggest that it pleases them in part because it truly Is a sacrifice.

Yes, countless generations of ancient Greeks and Romans sacrificed animals, and countless generations also did not. The Pythagorean movement dates back at least to the life of Pythagoras in the mid to late 500s BCE, which in turn may have arisen from the school of Pherekydes from the early 580s, beyond which the lineage of the movement goes into the realm of only semi-datable mythology. For comparison, the writings attributed to Hesiod probably date from a only a few decades earlier, around the 650s BCE.

In my tradition, we do not consider sacrifice to mean 'giving up something valuable' as the word has come to mean today, though one can certainly offer valuable things as sacrifice, but rather as an action of kinesis toward the Divine, to which the Divine may respond by a kinesis toward us in return. In Greek, the word is 'thysía', which comes from 'thyō' meaning 'I burn' or 'I immolate' and is the same root that appears in the word 'thymiama' meaning 'incense.' 'Sacrifice', the Latinate term, comes from two roots 'sacer' and 'fico', a truncation of 'facio', meaning 'holy' and 'make'. To sacrifice is, literally, to make holy or to consecrate.

My overarching point is this. It is unquestionably traditional to offer animal sacrifice; this was certainly done in the ancient world (and still is, as I mentioned in an earlier post, even in the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox communities), but it is just as traditional and just as ancient to avoid and oppose it. Both sides have reasons for their respective stances, and these justifications are not necessarily reconcilable.

And now I'm done. It's a pointless and nerve-agitating exercise to argue when the basics of the discrepancy are themselves a discrepancy. I agree that no agreement can be reached.

_________________
"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 : 925
Join date : 2013-03-20
Age : 26

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

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  Callisto on Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:17 pm

Or is it that humans need to make sacrifices and offerings to the gods rather than the gods need us to do so? Do the gods really need anything from us? The overall actions of worship is that man needs the gods, we persistently seek their favor.

That said, not all gifts to the gods are the same. E.g., a sacrifice is not the same as a libation, the pouring of wine is not a substitute for either a cake or a cow. There's the consideration that something sacrificed to the gods is made sacred. It's generally held (e.g., via scholars like Burkert, Vernant & Detienne, et.al.), that animal sacrifice among the ancient Greeks (and Romans and early Jews) evolved out of prehistoric hunts and the subsequent rituals that came out of them (Burkert's Homo Necans is a good source for this topic). For these ancient societies, it provided for a sense of solidarity among the community as well as a means of thanks-giving. While one might argue that similarly could be achieved by bloodless offerings alone or instead, Burkert describes (in his Greek Religion) animal sacrifice as acknowledging the conditionality of life and death (the sacrifice of another living breathing creature), and served to bond the community as they stood before the gods via the sharing of the subsequent meat.

It may also have symbolically represented the difference between gods and men per how the sacrifice was shared. Typically the inedible parts of the animal were offered to the gods. The gods are immortal and don't need to eat, the sacrificed animal was transformed into smoke (i.e., burnt), thus being the essence the gods were to enjoy and the method of delivery.

The above is pared down and doesn't express the scope of reasonings and functions that could be explored. When it comes to reconstructionism, we are faced with reconciling the past with the present. A basic underlying perspective of reconstructionism is that it's unnecessary to reinvent the wheel. This is a key difference between reconstructionist versus neo-pagan practices that adhere to "there is no right or wrong way" and "make things up as one goes along" and have little to no regard (or research) into what ancient polytheists did or why. Reconstructionism seeks to unearth that which was honed and proven to work for thousands of years but was allowed, or forced, to fall into disrepair. Latter day religions that denounced sacrifice and other polytheistic practices are not evidence of some sort of betterment or evolvement, especially in sight of the fact that much was intended to destroy older religions.

There's a tendency for people to think "well, we don't do such things anymore" and discard said thing without a second thought, with no considering of the purpose and function behind it being done. Something should be considered obsolete if it can be shown that no purpose is served or the exact same goal is achieved by something else. Some ancient practices are in fact outmoded and have no need to be restored, others simply need to be rethought. For example, slavery is not anything that needs to be revisited. Why? Because not only is it opposed to our modern morality and sensibilities but the economic purpose of slavery no longer applies either. We can achieve the same desired productivity without impinging upon human rights due to the advancement of technology. We don't need slaves to make our lives easier or to facilitate work production. We hire services and employ automation to get results in the fraction of the time and with better results. The purpose is fulfilled just as well or better thus, aside from issues of morality and ethics, there is no need for the older practice.

We need to look at the how and why behind a given action, compare those with us being a different people in a different time with a different society and see whether an alternative fulfills the same. From what scholarly analysis I've read on animal sacrifice, emphasis seems to have been more on the ritualistic elements and the resulting portions divided between gods and man. Which says to me, it's not wholly necessary to become hunters and/or personally engage in the actual slaughter of the animal. Nor would I recommend such for the urbanite whose only contact with weapons has been of the plastic toy and video game variety. I think it's an acceptable, modern alternative to purchase meat, then properly prepare it with ritual purification, divide it, then sacrifice parts accordingly. Granted the animal was not killed ritualistically for religious purposes but I think that can be addressed by purificatory steps paralleling those of ancient times. In this way, there is meaning given to the animal's death beyond becoming plastic wrapped parts. This is not an unreasonable adjustment - just as most of us do not grow and harvest our own crops. Yet we offer our food and fill our kathiskos jars. The barley we use comes in a plastic bag from the supermarket - someone else planted and harvested our grains, fruits and vegetables. How many of us are kneading their own dough? Or drawing our own water for lustral water and libations from a natural source instead of from the tap or a bottling plant? Do we need to do everything "from scratch"? No, because that's simply not who we are. So we do things that differ but parallel what earlier worshipers did. For those of us who can garden or have access to a clean, natural water source, there's a feeling of being more connected to ancient worshipers because it's that much closer to how they went about things. Whether it also makes for a deeper connection with deity is a matter of UPG, it's unlikely worshipers are penalized or short changed for not being farmers or hunters.

I do think, if possible, it would be preferable to get as "pure" a meat source as possible. Such as, if possible, going to a local farm that butchers and sells its own livestock, or purchasing organic meats at the butchers or grocers store. Animals were not pumped full of antibiotics and whatever else in ancient times and organic/free range meats would be more along the lines of what was traditionally given and are a lot healthier for us given the edible parts are consumed.

I don't see why those of us who are hunters and/or farmers shouldn't make sacrifice. The animals will be slaughtered anyway, and it's a greater acknowledgement for its life and death for there to be a religious element too than for it to be just another food source.

_________________
Επου θεω
"I feel awe of the Gods, I love, I revere, I venerate them"
avatar
Callisto
Sinior Member
Sinior Member

Posts : 136
Join date : 2013-03-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  Erodius on Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:11 pm

Callisto wrote: The above is pared down and doesn't express the scope of reasonings and functions that could be explored. When it comes to reconstructionism, we are faced with reconciling the past with the present. A basic underlying perspective of reconstructionism is that it's unnecessary to reinvent the wheel. This is a key difference between reconstructionist versus neo-pagan practices that adhere to "there is no right or wrong way" and "make things up as one goes along" and have little to no regard (or research) into what ancient polytheists did or why. Reconstructionism seeks to unearth that which was honed and proven to work for thousands of years but was allowed, or forced, to fall into disrepair. Latter day religions that denounced sacrifice and other polytheistic practices are not evidence of some sort of betterment or evolvement, especially in sight of the fact that much was intended to destroy older religions.

That's true, but what I am saying is that Orpheo-Pythagoreans are not a latter-day religion and our beliefs are no modern invention, and, unlike Christianity, we have never sought to destroy anyone.

That said, we do consider our movement to be a reformation and our various teachers and sages to be reformers, some of whom some have believed, and continue to believe, were 'prophets', or rather 'mouthpieces' of Divinity, whose teachings are to be treated as divine.

What I am most strongly objecting to is what I feel is an implication that I and others of my tradition throughout the millennia hold beliefs that are unorthodox (in the colloquial sense of 'outside the fold'), which I am arguing is not the case. A minority sect, yes, and a group with considerable doctrinal differences, so to speak, from the mainstream religion, yes, but nothing new.

I was only saying that I object to animal sacrifice, explaining that I would not have been alone in Antiquity, and explaining why I object, and defending what I feel is a justified position. No one can agree with what I am saying unless it is meant for him/her to do so, but I affirm that my position is entirely traditional and attested, and whether one agrees with it or not, is one I don't think should go overlooked and/or ignored.

I would like to add, however, how very grateful I am that our forum has experienced a debate about something other than only tangentially religious social issues and whimsical make-it-up-as-I-go-along hogwash. I only hope that's a sign of this forum's future character. cheers

_________________
"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 : 925
Join date : 2013-03-20
Age : 26

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

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  Callisto on Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:27 pm

Our posts seemed to have crossed wires again - my post was actually in response to WynnDark who wrote:

Now that we've discussed the whole plant life taking vs animal life taking, perhaps an attempt at answering why animals were and are (at least in some traditions) sacrificed to the gods? Or rather, how do we know that animal sacrifice is pleasing to the Theoi?

But in regards to opposing views by either various movements or religions, there will always be arguments and reasons for or against something. Regarding my own post, I addressed the topic in regards to the why of animal sacrifice generally within Hellenic worship. Mention of latter day (monotheistic) religions pertains to the fact that we as a modern people have been heavily influenced by them and what thought process that exposure has resulted in.

_________________
Επου θεω
"I feel awe of the Gods, I love, I revere, I venerate them"
avatar
Callisto
Sinior Member
Sinior Member

Posts : 136
Join date : 2013-03-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  WynnDark on Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:01 am

Erodius, if I have at any point implied that your tradition or you are in anyway lesser than those that would offer blood sacrifice or that your tradition is a modern invention (where that may be deemed an insult) I do apologize. That in no way has been my intention in starting this discussion, while your ways are not my ways I see no reason for that to be the cause of insulting or belittling you or yours and can happily agree to disagree on the topic of animal sacrifice.

While this may not be necessary to say, I would not want there to be an air of misunderstanding over what has been a good and healthy discussion.

WynnDark
Newbie
Newbie

Posts : 22
Join date : 2013-04-17

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hunting

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

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