Essays On Sacrifices

Essays On Sacrifices-35
We might say that the body could be created, built of herbs.Blodwedd is an example of a living human being magically created from nine kinds of herbs. And that approach gets them nowhere most of the times.

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Although we do not have a Celtic creation myth preserved in the corpus of written and oral materials, I think it would be reasonable to think that their myth might follow this pattern as well.

If creation requires death and dismemberment to occur, then it would follow that only the sacrifice of something living will do to fulfill a cosmological sacrifice.

I think that in this case, what we may be looking at are gifts to the Gods, or an exchange of life for life on the battlefield in the case of prisoners of war.

Hypothetically speaking, the warriors of "our tribe" were successful and few were killed, but war is an arena of death and certain loss of life is expected or perhaps vowed as a part of the victory celebration, so prisoners from "their tribe" are sacrificed as a substitute for "our" warriors or as gifts to the deity of warriors.

Some anthropologists and historians have speculated that the sacrifice of animals followed a period of the sacrifice of humans as the vehicle of cosmic renewal.

We do know that the Celts sacrificed prisoners of war and occasionally other humans in some rituals, so they had not left that phase of sacrifice behind them entirely.In our culture, we regularly celebrate people who become rich by doing exceptional things.But the nature of those “exceptional things” often requires extremely high opportunity costs.Mauss would say that this sort of sacrificial gift creates a mutual relationship between the Gods and the human community that requires a reciprocal gift from the Gods of continued food, shelter, and other necessary survival substances.But as I've said, these gift exchanges do not renew the cosmos in a theological sense. An important task to be sure, but not the point of cosmological sacrifice. And the first thing you have to do is accept the sacrifices. Just the contrary, it makes it all meaningful, lets us enjoy the reward, lets us deserve it. Here are a few examples: • in order to finish your book, you sacrifice all your time for a certain period;• getting up early means not going to the party the night before (or at least going home before the best part starts, if you’ve got that amount of willpower);• getting fit requires you to give up on your favorite foods;• for a new business you invest all the money you have;• before a test you sacrifice many nights of sleep;• to be with your loved one you’re ready to say ‘no’ to every other person you can be with and to accept the chance of being hurt;• in order to do your best on your current project, you stop working on many other things and pay your full attention to it;• to become a doctor and make your dream come true, you invest most of your life in getting the right education and experience;• saying ‘yes’ to one job opportunity means saying ‘no’ to many others; and so on.In Norse myth, we have, if I recall correctly, the giant Ymir who is killed and whose body creates the cosmos.This is paralleled in Hindu cosmology, where the sacrifice by the Brahmans reenacts the death of a divine, cosmic being whose body creates the cosmos.We also know from a Welsh medieval medical text, and from Irish tradition, that the body is related to the cosmos in Celtic thought.The eyes may be the stars, sun be the face, breath be the wind, stone as bones, water as blood, soil as flesh, etc.


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