From time to time the topic of Pagans and Sacrifice comes up in various forums online. Unfortunately, the majority of people (including pagans) who talk about Sacrifice don’t seem to understand about sacrifice. Most think of sacrifice (in the connotation of Pagan religions) as dealing with human sacrifice or animal sacrifice. While those are ancient practices and valid forms of sacrifice, they are not all that is.
First we need to understand the definition of sacrifice. Sacrifice means simply “to make sacred”. It is from the Latin root and in modern times it is defined as giving up something of value to gain something you wish.
Pretty cut and dried, but when it is translated into Pagan Religion, all anyone can see is things like the Wicker Men of legend, bog drownings, burning bodies and cattle dropping dead.
Because of this persistent vision of what sacrifice is, the act of sacrificing something to the Gods has a VERY bad reputation.
But let’s think about this for a few moments. Sacrifice does not have to be bad, since it’s done all the time by most Pagans.