On Orthodoxy, Orthopraxy, and Animal Sacrifice

I know I'm gonna get a lot of shit for this but don't hit the downvote button just because you disagree, rather, try to to make a compelling arguement. (Also, english is not my first language so don't bust my balls for that.)

So sigh here we go.

I want to begin by tackling the fact that the gods do not actually, literally exist. They are a characterization of nature. The power of nature is our deity. A few examples are that Freyr is sunshine and fair weather,Thor is Thunderstorms and rain. Heimdallur has nine mothers, or the nine branches of the Yggdrasil, so in theory, Heimdallur is the characterization of the world tree (earth) and on and on... That is how they were created, their personalities and aspects such as Freyr being the god of virility and prosperity came later on. So many stories are written as poetry and heathenism has the most beautiful storytelling of any religion. The gods have so much ''human'' in them, they make mistakes and learn from them rather than being perfect from the get-go I get that a lot of people confuse these for actually gods and it's a hard pill to swallow but being a heathen doesn't mean to need to pray and make offerings to the ''gods'', it means you have respect for nature and honor it with gestures. Heathenism is one of the few religions that actually don't require you to pray or follow any rules, they only have guidelines in the Hávamál. (i'll get to blót in a moment)

Now at this point you're thinking ''who the hell does this jackass think he is trying to say that the gods don't exist!?'' BUT the gods DO exist just not in actual physical form in Ásgarð, they exist as nature and in our minds and knowing that doesn't make you any less of a heathen. Now onto animal sacrifice offerings Animals should NOT be offered to the gods, slaughtering an animal for the gods is barbaric, ignorant and often cruel. It often comes down to the translation of Blót. If you look up blót you will find that the translation means Sacrifice, that is flat out WRONG. HOWEVER blót is an occation when people get together and make offerings to the gods, and when I say offerings I mean pour mead/beer/water/other on the ground. Thats it. No killings for the gods. In ancient times when people held blóts they would feast, and ofcourse they would slaughter an animal for the patrons to feast upon but that doesn't mean that the animal was sacrificed for the gods, it just means they needed meat for the feast. Nowadays food is plentifull (at least in the western world) and animal sacrifice unnecessary.

I want to make it clear that I am not making this thread to purposely try to piss people off, I just feel the need to tell people that for the most part animal sacrifices are simply not a part of heathenism. If this thread has made you angry then please, before you type down a reply take a minute and calm down I don't want people shitposting all over because they got mad. I also want to learn just as the rest of you, If someone explains how I am wrong I am more than willing to accept that If you make a good arguement. Have a good day.

Well, son, if you're gonna call me out to the dance floor, you better have the moves. Particularly when we get into the discussion of Meaning and Interpretation, which will literally only exist in the symbols we use for communication. I will try to be fair, but in fairness:

Don't start none, won't be none.

I want to begin by tackling the fact that the gods do not actually, literally exist.

This is an opinion, and they say opinions are like sphincter muscles. But ours is an Orthopraxic religion, so I don't actually have a problem with this. I disagree. I do believe the Gods have a Reality, and that it is independent of our own. I'm less certain on Their theogeny, but to me, that's like having a discussion about the tiger in your bedroom and wanting to talk about whether it was born in captivity or the wild. It is beyond the scope of useful discussion, speculating on the origin of the 1/2 ton fleshrender currently occupying the spot where you sleep, dream, and masturbate. It is exactly the wrong question to be asking. I'd much rather focus on the assumption of Their Reality and focus our discussion on Their natures, rather than Their origin.

All that to say that if someone believes that the Gods live on in our collective unconsciousness as Jungian archetypes, whereas I believe They have independent Realities of Their own, and only need us and our interaction to maintain the demands of honor that They laid down in illo tempore; neither of that has any impact on our ability to worship communally, as long as we both agree on the praxis, the forms of worship and acceptable behavior. Sure, we may spin yarn around the fire sharing a horn of drink and argue, but the focus will always be on the best practice, and so long as that is true, we can have diversity of opinion on theology while maintaining a singleness of purpose in community.

What you're peddling here is Orthodoxy, and I think its fucking toxic.

They are a characterization of nature. The power of nature is our deity. A few examples are that Freyr is sunshine and fair weather,Thor is Thunderstorms and rain. Heimdallur has nine mothers, or the nine branches of the Yggdrasil, so in theory, Heimdallur is the characterization of the world tree (earth) and on and on... That is how they were created, their personalities and aspects such as Freyr being the god of virility and prosperity came later on. So many stories are written as poetry and heathenism has the most beautiful storytelling of any religion. The gods have so much ''human'' in them, they make mistakes and learn from them rather than being perfect from the get-go I get that a lot of people confuse these for actually gods and it's a hard pill to swallow but being a heathen doesn't mean to need to pray and make offerings to the ''gods'', it means you have respect for nature and honor it with gestures. Heathenism is one of the few religions that actually don't require you to pray or follow any rules, they only have guidelines in the Hávamál. (i'll get to blót in a moment)

Now at this point you're thinking ''who the hell does this jackass think he is trying to say that the gods don't exist!?'' BUT the gods DO exist just not in actual physical form in Ásgarð, they exist as nature and in our minds and knowing that doesn't make you any less of a heathen.

This is all based on a progressive reading of Religious History that has been rather thoroughly
debunked in terms of Germanic and Indo-European religions, but also as a model for understanding human religion in general. The assumption that animism leads to other forms of worship also includes the inherent assumption that Monotheism is the end result of all religious evolution.
It fails because it assumes that there is some sort of purpose to evolutionary principals, that we start at folding proteins and end up at human beings in the same way that a person starts with mud and straw and ends up with a building. This is not necessarily the case.

I'm going to set aside the bigger questions of Meaning and Existence, largely to avoid confusing Philosophy with Theology, and focus instead on the evolution of Germanic gods, who evolved from the Indo-European Gods, who evolved from PIE Gods. The Gods have always been more than simple personifications of nature. Don't believe me? Look at the Vedic religion for fully fleshed Gods who exlain reality, but are not embodiments of reality. The same with the Greeks, the Romans, the Slavs, the Persians, the Etruscans, the Celts. These are all cousin faiths, and they all show fully formed personalities.

I notice that you did not include Odin in your midst. It would be hard to make the god of Death, war, and magic fit some sort of natural phenomenon. But His cult is evident from the very earliest PIE times, with greater and lesser degrees of importance, depending on the time and the place. But His evidence is everywhere.

Now onto animal sacrifice offerings Animals should NOT be offered to the gods, slaughtering an animal for the gods is barbaric, ignorant and often cruel.

When did we get an Asa-Pope? From what fountain of virtue do you sip, to pass your towering wisdom onto us mere mortals?

It often comes down to the translation of Blót. If you look up blót you will find that the translation means Sacrifice, that is flat out WRONG. HOWEVER blót is an occation when people get together and make offerings to the gods, and when I say offerings I mean pour mead/beer/water/other on the ground. Thats it.

Now this is news to me. Because, I happen to have my Bosworth Toller here, and on page 112 of the 1962 edition, it says that Blót means sacrifice. Or you can go look for yourself.

No killings for the gods. In ancient times when people held blóts they would feast, and ofcourse they would slaughter an animal for the patrons to feast upon but that doesn't mean that the animal was sacrificed for the gods, it just means they needed meat for the feast. Nowadays food is plentifull (at least in the western world) and animal sacrifice unnecessary.

So we should just rely on industrial processes that are often far more inhumane than the act of sacrifice to create our food, and, packaged in cellophane, provide offerings of someone else's actions to our Gods? We should, in fact, ignore the practices of our ancestors, their languages, and all evidence of the Sacricial cult in order to... what... follow you? What deeds do you have, that make your statements carry such weight. What knowledge do you have that makes your statements here have weight?

Where. Is. Your. Evidence?

Animal sacrifice is evident in Every. Single. Indoeuropean. Tradition. It is the one action that unifies all heathen peoples across time and space. It remains the most sacred tradition of Pagan peoples going back Millenia, and you want us to abandon that on your word and a song?
Look, if you were to say to me, as my friend Aleglad has in the past and said, "Swedish etymology doesn't carry the same distinction between blót and offering as Anglo-Saxon," I might have shrugged and moved on. But that doesn't mean the Swedes didn't engage in animal sacrifice. And, lets be clear here, according to Adam of Bremen, the Swedes took Animal Sacrifice to the 9th Degree.

But instead you decide to make sweeping statements on the assumption of monolithic Heathenry that never has and never will existed, and in pursuit of a claim that is both puerile and inflammatory.

I want to make it clear that I am not making this thread to purposely try to piss people off,
I want to make it clear I wasn't pissing on your shoes because I wanted to make you mad, I just had to pee.

I just feel the need to tell people that for the most part animal sacrifices are simply not a part of heathenism.

You're wrong. You're so wrong that people spontaneously become left handed in your presence because it is impossible for anything around you to be right-anything. You're so wrong that they're renaming the place of your birth the Source of all Wrongness. You're so wrong that all the preceding hyperbole has suddenly become an understatement.

Animal sacrifice is both attested to in contemporary sources, and engaged in by modern heathens. When it is practiced, every care is taken to make the kill clean and perfect. This is because we believe in correct practice. Do others, of low worth and little care, botch a sacrifice? Perhaps, but I imagine the returns on that gift quickly solves that problem.

If this thread has made you angry then please, before you type down a reply take a minute and calm down I don't want people shitposting all over because they got mad. I also want to learn just as the rest of you, If someone explains how I am wrong I am more than willing to accept that If you make a good arguement.

I've typed down a reply. I've given it a minute. Just got angrier. So I'm going to end with this: Big claims require big evidence. You've got some mighty big claims here, but no evidence to back that up. Had you tried to explain why you don't engage in Animal Sacrifice, I might have disagreed, but I wouldn't think as little of you as I currently do. You took a giant dump on what I have, in the past, explained as the highest form of religious expression. And now you want me to what, validate your statement? Dispassionately respond to this? You're asking a lot, and giving so little.

Fuck you.

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