Thought this was an interesting topic for those who practice ritualwork. Sorcery in general, as it is a topic present within most shamanic systems.
Does anyone here use animal body parts for rituals?
If so, how? Which parts for what purpose?
Feathers, are highly sensitive to energy. They can act very well as accumulators and storages, as well as be used to direct and bridge forces.Snail shells can be used for binding spells.Eggs for cleansing spells, limpias, etc.Chicken bones for divination, and death-based magic.Spiders have a strong symbolism in black magic.And so on.
This means anything from eggs and milk, to bugs, full-on blood sacrifices and anything along those lines.
I want to hear your stories, your experiences, your techniques, and your practices. UPG, failures, successes, theories, anything really.
One thing I've always found curious about animal parts, or rather, animal sacrifices, are when they are used for the deity in which they are sacred to. For example, in history, if a sacrifice was to be made to a particular god/dess, the animal used was preferably an animal which was very sacred or important to that deity. I've always thought that in the alternative of sacrifice, the proper thing would be to perhaps just submit a live animal? Or perhaps a part of it? It just seems odd that to gain the appeal of a deity, the killing of a sacred animal was performing instead of the protecting of it. Just a thought.
The purpose of blood sacrifice is very seldom in ''pleasing'' a bloodthirsty god and getting their favor. At least from a mechanical perspective. Most gods are not vampires, and have no need of ''harvesting souls''.
This, of course, varies from godform/divinity/deity/god to godform/divinity/deity/god. But in the majority of cases, the sacrifice isn't there to make them happy, and isn't there to make them stronger.
The true purpose of it is in solidifying the deity's presence in this world.
Allow me to explain, by first elaborating on two different points.
Of the three natural gateways between the worlds(and by the worlds I mean the material and immaterial ones), which are fire, water, and blood, blood is the strongest one, because it is a marriage of the two.
In itself it holds destruction, passion, dynamism, but it is also fluid, creative, and intuitive. It has qualities of both fire and water because it comes from their mixture. While artifical magical gateways to exist, a blood sacrifice would essentially be like a bomb, set to literally blow the veil up.
The O9A, performs a sacrifice every 18 years that opens a gateway lasting up to 18 years. Depending on the personal power of the sacrificed, of the magician, the sensitivity of the area, and many many other factors, this may be more or less.
The other factor is on the magical nature of gods, as not all gods are the same. They exist on the astral plane, and their recognition here, ''devotion chains'' as I call them, or ''worship lines'' as someone else put it, ground them here.
Essentially if you pray to a deity you're not making them more powerful, you're just consciously using your imagination to bring them closer to your world. This is also what makes the lwa better than most gods. It's not that they're more powerful, they're just earthbound, and as such very active in the world.
As such, the effects of gods on this plane, and how well they can bring the results mean we can divide them between stronger ones and weaker ones, as well as between dormant ones and waking ones.
Waking strong ones are the ones that are worshiped and powerful both physically and astrally, like Hecate. Waking weak ones are not-so-strong entities who's worship has led them to have a tremendous influence on this world, like, say, the demonic figure Zozo.
Dormant strong ones are powerful entities who have been neglected to the point that they are no longer active here, though in the astral they're powerful and if they were to be worked with, could be awesome. An example here would be the Slavic god Veles. Dormant weak ones are not-so-strong deities that were more or less neglected, like Heliogabalus.
Devotion chains are forged through attention with imagination as the gateway, offerings, with the items acting as vessels, sometimes even ''food'' for the gods(I can explain more but I think you get that part), etc.
The blood is a gateway for them to walk through, the sacrifice is a bomb that blows up their link to other worlds, the animal's spirit may, or may not, be their food depending on how the entity acts, and the sheer act of devotion forges a link strong enough to be a great friend to you.
This can all be accomplished without murdering cuddly animals provided you're creative and powerful enough, and while blood magic has its merit it is by no means the only path to success in black magic.
Finally, feel free to point out these are my personal beliefs. I really don't care because they're things I've seen working in practice, and confirmed through interactions with entities, researches, as well as other magicians, so at best ''personal beliefs'' on my end are UPG, as I will not share a belief that I haven't tested.
Cool post, some great info in here and I really like your perspective; as someone who wants to be a farmer but was mainly thinking about plants, somehow I feel a little bit more comfortable with the idea of ritually sacrificing animals instead of simply butchering them; would be highly interested in any info about uses of the animals afterwards; generally is the sacrificed animal then eaten and parts used or is the sacrifice supposed to be entirely to the deity and the animal buried or burned? I realise different paths would have different perspectives on this so any replies would be great :)
If it's for an entity, ask the entity in question. In the majority of cases, I would recommend eating it. However it's still possible for the spirit to want the animal for itself so my advice is just to ask the entity and see what they say.
However, you can perform blood sacrifice without dedicating it to anything/anyone. Except maybe yourself. I've mentioned it's like a bomb for blowing up the veil, right? Well, it can also act as a potent spell. Raw energy released, and pushed towards a goal.
In those cases, definitely, without a doubt, eat it. And remember, after the bomb in question has detonated, the explosion in question will feel the room with raw, red, active, energy. Silence in action, word and in thought is necessary, therefore any acts of WILL and INTENT, what you want to do, must be set before the sacrifice is performed. Afterwards it need only be directed and then meditated upon.
well, in the Asatru tradition, a blott usually involves the sacrifice of lets say a stag or an Auroch, a now extict while oxen that could not be tamed, or domestic cattle, meat from the animals that are used in the ritual itself are then used in the feast after the blott is finished. This in my oppinion is possibly the only proper use of animal sacrifice, if the animal parts used are to be put to use, and the meat is to be consumed after the rite is done to not only replenish energies spent in the ritual itself, but also in some hunter gatherer cultures such as the asatru of scandinavia, to ensure an successful hunt and/or harvest for they were also farmers as well as hunters. The reason and animal that was to be sacrificed also depended on what the blott was being held for and which of the asaer and vanir it was being held in honor of.
There are some ethical ways animal parts can be used without angering the gods and goddess, in the case of the asatru, its more or less to ensure an abundant hunt or harvest as well as a means of getting in touch with the primal forces of nature, in which their deities represent.
In the case of the various indiginous north american tribes, all animal parts were harvested with the intent of feeding the tribe and the biproducts like bones, antlers, feathers, hides, furs, sinew and other parts that otherwise could not be eaten were given to craftsmen, the tribe shamen and tradesmen for use as raw meterials, energy foci and components for shamenic magick, and other products. The warrior class were often also the hunters of the tribe and often consumed the hearts of the animals they bring down to embue themselves with the animals awesome strength, such as the bison or the elk, or their speed and grace such as the deer and antilope.