Animals can be our companions, our sustenance, for some, our everything. There has been a lot of controversy lately over a well known New Orleans Voodoo Priestess who doesn’t practice animal sacrifice in her tradition. Everyone seems to have their own opinion about this topic. Personally, I have attended ritual in African Traditional Religions that have featured sacrifice and I think it is an important component of the tradition. The same way that a Tofurkey for Thanksgiving dinner is different than a turkey…. rituals that don’t involve sacrifice have a very different flavor. I think this is one of the most difficult parts of the religion for outsiders to understand. I would like to say that sacrifice means “to make sacred,’ and most often the animals are killed quickly and respectfully ( unlike in commercial meat farms.) However, it is not my job to attack anyone else’s practices as a rule, each spiritual house operates autonomously and there is supposed to be an overall foundation of respect for other dedicated practitioners. Not that you would notice these things if you look at the online community lately. These recent discussions is one of the reasons that I was excited to tape our most recent episode of Witchcraft & Voodoo. This is our 20th episode, so if you haven’t seen them all please take a look at the expansive array of topics we have included already like – initiation, divination, sex, money, ancestors, and much more.
In this episode of Witchcraft & Voodoo, my co-host Sable Aradia and I discuss all aspects of animals in our respective religions. We talk about animal sacrifice, which I have touched on here, the use of familiars, and also sacred animals that are seen as messengers of the Loa, Orisha, and many deities.
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