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The Meaning of Sacrifice

By Ryan Smith

Sacrifice often conjures up images of loss and bloodshed in the popular imagination. Just think of the images of priests in arcane garb with a young, innocent virgin tied down on an ancient altar about to have her heart ripped out in a ritual to appease a greater power. This is a common image, and misconception, that circulates in the popular imagination among others that is at best a superficial representation of what sacrifice really is. Sacrifice, on the contrary, is not an act of loss or hardship but one of the highest devotion to the Gods.

There are also many misconceptions associated with the act itself and what it entails that need to be dispelled to truly understand sacrifice both as it was practiced by our ancestors and in a modern context. Sacrifice is not, as often assumed in the modern sense, an act of primitives attempting to placate forces beyond their comprehension. Sacrifice is an act of the highest devotion, respect, reverence, and love for the Gods not a practice to be condemned, forgotten, or prettied up.

Modern people usually associated the word ‘sacrifice’ with animal or human sacrifice to appease angry, capricious Gods. This is a very poor understanding of the real meaning of sacrifice as it was done in pre-Christian days and assumes that all sacrifice must involve blood and death. Sacrifice was far more widespread and less wasteful and inhumane than often imagined and in many cases did not involve bloodshed. Archaeological evidence has shown that the ancient practices of sacrifice and offerings were far more varied and involved than simple ritualistic murder.

Read the original article at: Witchvox

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