a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


CHLow: Dark/Light Neopaganism

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan,talk.religion.misc,alt.religion.christian,alt.satanism
From: Clifford Low 
Subject: Re: CHLow: Dark/Light Neopaganism (Was Re: Dark roygbiv Light)
Date: 10 Jan 1996 04:13:56 GMT

In article <4cst35$> Dean, writes:
>Please show me any. ANY cultural evidence that shows that blood is a
>superior gift than a personal item.  If that were true, the Celtic
>Pits have no purpose.  These pits were filled with jewelery, food, and
>swords.  Where's the blood in that?

The evidence I find satisfactory is the seeming reduction of overt
miracles and flashy magickal phenomena, as well as their frequency. Blood
may not have been consistantly recognized as valuable, but tended to
correspond with the culture's magickal preponderance. Cultures which did
not recognize such became magickally impotent, and tended to become
corrupt and vacuous. 

>Second, this is paganism, not christianity.  the christian view, for
>me, is null and void becasue the christian view is loaded with
>reaction formation to the pervcieved 'barbarity' of other cultures,
>personal political agenda's, and christianities general
>political/military conquest.

My point was, that the earlier parts of the Old Testament, which do
contain a lot of material which preceded Judaism, mentions that one of
the first and most basic lessons the human race learned was that blood
sacrifice was inherently superior to the sacrifice of grain and
foodstuffs. Even discounting the actual historical veracity of that tale,
as a parable it illustrates how critically a typical tribe valued the
sacrament of blood sacrifice.

>As to your comment that sacrifce was ritualized, implying a formal set
>practice, not really.  Major holidays, certain cosmological events,
>certain environmental events called for certain types of sacrifices;
>but, for the daily religious practices, those blood sacrifices were
>beyond most means.  Europeans did not have the live stock to
>sacrifice, so they created effiges(sp?), or they created small gifts
>or shared a portion of the dead animal (this gives rise to the hero's

That's odd. The ancient Hebrews seemed to have no problem with daily
sacrifices, and for a long time they were a relatively poor and small
desert people. Primary raisers of livestock certainly had it better than
farmers, but nevertheless to assert that Europeans didn't have enough
cattle for sacrifice is silly. These people were habitual meat eaters.

It is certain that people had little daily prayers, or forms of folk
magic- it's nearly universal. It's also quite obvious that these were
trivial compared to physical offerings, and microscopically insignificant
compared to blood sacrifice. 

>As for constructed gifts being trivial, as I said to yu, until you've
>study hindu religious rituals, one cannot undersatcnd the true
>implications and depth of the gifts sacrificed to the gods.  The
>butter offerings for Tara were CENTRAL, read: important, critical, to
>the whole ritual.  To say that is trivial is to complete refuse to see
>religion through the eyes of its culture.  In other words, your being
>culturally elitist when you make statements that certain gifts are

In fact, I'd say that most cultures today have spurned the value of blood
sacrifice, and as such have been rendered somewhat impotent thereby, no
longer having as direct a communication with their gods. You gotta have a
ticket to ride. You gotta have electricity to make a phone call. 

Those prayers may be of utmost sincerity, but the gods aren't largely
interested in the petty words or trinkets of humans (angry monkeys who
build hives). They are interested by what attracted them to humans in the
first place- life. And offerings of life are the primary currency of

If you trace back through history, just about every culture began with a
form of shamanism which prominently included blood sacrifice as it's
primary form of devotion. When "sophistication" or "modernization" came
and eliminated or sublimated these core cultural experiences, the culture
and it's spirituality began to warp and rot. Worship without blood is
like sex without pleasure. It struggles to function, tries to justify
itself, but simply ain't quite what it used to be. Maintenence without

>Again, to understand sacrifice, one must understand the culture from
>which the sacrifice was made.  There is really simple fiction book
>called Bard, it does a so so job, but, it gives a very different look
>into the concept of sacrifice.

Yeah, but so what? The concept of sacrifice is nearly universal, and it's
root value is based in the experiences of shaman in days forgotten. They
tried offering art. They tried offering grain. They tried offering food.
They also tried offering the lives of animals and humans, slit over an
altar. And it is because they got the best results with the latter
experiment that it persisted and was revered fairly consistantly. Over
generations of ritualization it no doubt became burdened by a slew of
miscellaneous and diverse symbolic meanings, but the fact that each had
their own slants cannot efface the underlying unity. This unity can only
be explained by some kind of inherent value in blood sacrifice.

>As to the heirarchy of gifts, again, that's a culturally biased view.
>If you want a wedding blessing, you don't need to necessarily
>sacrifice a white bull.

My hypothesis is that blood sacrifice was a heavy bribe to focus the
attention of powerful spirits. In many cases, the actual presence and
watchful eye of the gods was less important, and so one could skimp upon
the messier offerings- merely an admission of their sovreignty over the
lives of the participants was sufficient.


+----------Clifford Hartleigh Low------------+--------------------+
| Email:           | |
| Finger/Talk:  | TAINTED BUT HUNGRY |

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races