Part of the “Christmas in January” Series
Category: Koliada 🌞
Purification and Sacrifice
Today we’re going to talk about something different. Something I am not sure I have ever talked about. Sacrifice and purification through fasting. So first we need to define each thing. People often believe that sacrifice in old religions is about killing an animal.
I refuse to kill any creature. I’m even attempting to go vegan. I’m not criticising anyone’s traditions. But to me killing a creature as an offering is all about spilling someone else’s life in order to get cheap and easy power. Or to get a favor done.
To me sacrifice is actually sacrificing your time and your energy to a divine being. Be that being a God/Goddess or spirit. Because spirit guides and helping spirits in general require our sacrifices too. Not only our Deities. Of course I will accompany my sacrifice with sacrifical offerings.
Like food, candles, incense etc..and I’m not going to be a hypocrite. There are rare times when the Gods ask me for meat. But instead of killing an animal, I bring them specially prepared food from my favorite restaurant and I leave them that. Yes, an animal is still being killed. But unlike animal sacrifices where blood is spilled and the meat is left behind to rot, I bring an animal already dead and cooked.
“But M! The point of the sacrifice is the life energy!”
That animal’s Ashe or life force is not mine to take. Instead I infuse the food with spiritual energy to feed the Gods on both sides of the veil. I also offer up the soul of that dead animal. And ask that he/she and all the dead companions this animal is with to offer their own Ashe up to the Gods by going into the light. That way the full energy goes to the Gods and that poor creature, who no doubt lived a wretched existence on Earth, can find peace.
I only do this when what I am asking for is so strong that the Gods ask for the meat of an animal. And since I still eat meat because I am making the transition, I do this with all my food. In fact I do it also for the plants I consume as an offering. They’re alive too after all. But I digress.
I offer myself up in meditation to the Gods and their spirits. I do the proper rituals and prayers. I even make my own rituals and prayers to better suit my practice. Sometimes I give an offering before a ritual to initiate it. And sometimes after to seal it.
I better characterise a sacrifice by the way of the Nords. A Blot can be any kind of sacrifice. An animal, libations of mead, or fruit and bread. My sacrifices are incense, candles, milk, alcohol, fruit and candies, breads of many sorts, holy water, and prayer. So what is a Fast? A Fast is not always starving yourself.
A fast is a denial of pleasure. That’s what my Medicine Woman taught me. Native Americans often fasted either by going hungry for a certain period of time, or by eating only small portions. “Eat only to be full,” she once told me. “To be satisfied. Don’t over eat, don’t over indulge,”.
That also means not eating your favorite food. Just regular food. It doesn’t have to he super bland but nothing that has too many spices and flavors. I’m not very fond of either concept truth be told. I’m chubby and I eat like a starving man.
So instead, when I do fast I give up another pleasure : Sex. No, I’m not happy about that it sucks. Not even masturbation. It’s not easy. At first it feels like I’m in withdrawl. But by the third day a peace comes over me.
A spiritual peace. It sounds corny but it’s true. Still a pain, but it helps me focus my energies towards other endeavors. In this case the spiritual. I did this this last week for two holidays I was celebrating at once.
The first one was Maslenitsa. The ancient Slavic Pagan feast of Volos, God of the Underworld and Nature. This is a spring time feast which involves the worship of sun and winter Deities and the veneration of the spirits they command. It’s also when an effigy known as “Lady Maslenitsa” is set up first with beautiful clothing. Then later it is stripped little by little of all it possesses.
Finally, the lady is burned and the ashes of the effigy are mixed with the crops for a good agricultural year. It’s become a Christian holiday in modern times. But me being a Christo Pagan, that doesn’t bother me at all. I worship Volos first and foremost, asking all underworld energies of winter to be drained back into the darkness. Afterwords, I honor Koliada the God of the Sun along with Jesus Christ.
I ask them both to bring back the sun and spring. I make a small effigy from red mulch. And instead of burning Lady Maslenitsa, I tear her apart and throw her parts into a barren place where even weeds aren’t growing. Then I ask for the plants to be replenished and for the animals of the land to be well feed. I also ask for prosperity and abundance in all good things.
I also celebrating Omizu-Okuri (Japanese) where I fed holy water to the altars outside. This was to replenish the nature temple I have built in my whole apartment complex. I poured libations of cool water on my indoor altars. So that being done, when I asked for all good energies and sealed the rituals, I did my Road Opener Rituals to open the roads for all good luck. And with Papa Legba and the other gatekeepers and road spirits with me, I began to analyze the IFA calander I mentioned in my last post.
I also worked on a few paranormal cases. And spent time with family. Lol that doesn’t sound like it matches. But to me that’s just what I do every other day. When I did my divinations I noticed something though.
As part of my Soothsaying I do a lot of Land Divinations. That’s where I just observe the land and animals or general behaviour of the people on it. A lot of dead animals, specifically birds are appearing. Not in massive numbers. But I noticed enough of them that it caught my attention.
I interpreted this as meaning that the Reaping of this year is continuing even un to spring. But not an intense reaping either. This shows the dual nature of this year. Other than that, these two holidays were relaxing and good. I learned a lot about myself and the world around me.
How do you give sacrifice to the Gods or spiritual guides?