When people hear the word ‘sacrifice’ in relation to spirituality or ritual, they often think of human or animal sacrifice of some sort. And I’m not going to say that this sort of thing didn’t happen and try to fluff up history. But I also don’t see it in the same light as some people. Criminals and war prisoners were executed and their deaths dedicated to a god – thus, a sacrifice. Animals were slain for food, and dedicated, thus a sacrifice. And yes, animals were killed for divinatory means and it wasn’t always pretty – but I don’t treat it with the same disgust many do. But then, I’m a certified meat eater and I have two leather coats. I don’t believe in cruelty to animals or hunting for sports – but I’m not against hunting for food or clothing… but I digress…
All of these images are conjured by the word “sacrifice” – but sacrifice is an integral part of our lives. We sacrifice little things every day… little pieces of ourselves that we give for other people. We give our time, our money, our efforts, our thoughts, our creativity, etc, etc… All of these things are sacrifices if we give of ourselves for a cause or for another…
As such, sacrifice is a key part of my practices and spiritual beliefs. I give of my time to understand the gods and to explore the nature of reality. I challenge myself and my preconceptions, sacrificing my comfortable bubble for, hopefully, a more accurate view of reality. I sacrifice popularity by standing out for my individuality and my beliefs, even if it goes against the status quo and ruffles some feathers. More than once I felt that I was very near to sacrificing my sanity as I pondered the infinite, ineffable mysteries and tried to wrap my fragile mind around the vastness of it all. If I feel that the gods have done something for me – then I offer them a token of my thanks. I have given offerings… a sacrifice… a token of some sort – giving something of mine to them, or in their name, to pay them homage and give my thanks and respect. And I have been even known to bleed a drop or two.
We sacrifice things every day… because nothing comes for free. We must earn what we get… and if we are given something, we must be thankful. A small gesture, even, is appreciates. A sort of ‘Thank You’ card to the cosmos.
Many people in our world take and take and take. They treat the gods like spell components and except the gods to give them things and do them favors, without truly giving of themselves. They don’t give their time, their effort, their energy. They don’t give tokens of appreciation. Many who call on their names don’t even truly believe in them, let alone understand that on which they call…
In a way, these pages are a tribute to the gods to whom I belong. I speak for them, in my way, stressing the importance of understanding them on their terms. I give of my time and my efforts, in the hope that others will understand the powers which reside in the universe – and afford them the respect and honor that they deserve. Arrogant of me, perhaps… but I felt compelled to do it… so here I am… doing what I feel called to do… because if I can speak for they who have helped me in some small way – then it is a small price to pay.
which is the passion of great souls,
has never been the law of societies."
~Henri Frederic Amiel
"He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little;