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I downloaded my email this afternoon--haven't read it all yet--and discovered that one of the ADF lists (Dedicant's, I think) is back on the animal sacrifice thing.

Within ADF you'd think it would be a non-issue because it's simply not permitted as a part of any ADF ritual.

You'd also think that any discussion of the issue would have to do with analyzing the role it played in ancient cultures--what purpose it served--and how that role and purpose could be achieved via different means within ADF today. And some of the discussion was about that topic, but far more of it was of the "animal sacrifice is just icky and you're disgusting for even trying to understand the reason behind it!" sort.

One person even stated that not only was such a thing unheard of in the neopagan community (which might well be true, it's certainly not part of mainstream neopaganism, but of course I am not familiar with every possible neopagan religion), but that reconstructionists don't do it either--and that is simply untrue. AFAIK it has not been done as a part of any Hellenic recon ritual, but I know of a number of Asatru/heathen groups that hold animal blots on a regular, semiregular, or occasional basis. These are of course private rituals, and far from common, but they do happen.

I can understand why a lot of folks think that the practice is impractical today--and it is, for most people and in most places. But we're not all urban pagans. If you look out your window and see houses apartment buildings, stores and/or the occasional gas station, you probably don't want to be trying to do an animal blot. If, on the other hand, you look out the window (as I am doing now) and see fields and forests, and no neighbors within shouting distance, the idea seems more feasible. Please note that I am not a farmer. (There is a barn out back but it's long been unused for its original purpose. Great for storing stuff, though!) I will not be performing any animal blots myself--I'm not qualified. But I have absolutely no problem with someone who is qualified doing so, or with attending such a blot myself. (Just not in an ADF context, of course! :))

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
hearthstone
Aug. 6th, 2004 04:57 pm (UTC)
I think that what bothers me a bit about the discussion on the list is not that folks don't want to be at a sacrifice--that's understandable, and I think more people than not would rather not attend one. That's fine. And certainly since it's explicitly not a part of ADF ritual, I wouldn't expect to see many posts favoring it on an ADF list.

What I don't understand is the extreme reaction that some people have to the concept. What, exactly, do they think goes on at a blot or other animal sacrifice? Generally they are done by people who raise their own food animals anyway--the only thing that is different from their normal practice is the religious context.

(Deleted comment)
hearthstone
Aug. 6th, 2004 05:34 pm (UTC)
why do you think so many pagans are turing to vegitarianism and veganism?

Hm, maybe--I guess I just assumed that it reflected the national trend. But you see meat-eating pagans objecting strenously to ritual animal sacrifice as well.

But you're right in that at least part of the reason behind ADF's stance is PR-related--as an organization which does public rituals, holding animal sacrifice would be problematic for a lot of reasons. And it's a legitimate concern, although some folks would deny that.
(Deleted comment)
hearthstone
Aug. 6th, 2004 05:57 pm (UTC)
That's a good example, I'll have to keep it in mind :).
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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