Animal/blood sacrifice has been a controversial subject in regards to Ifa, Voodoo, Santeria, Palo Kimbesa, and Candomble to name a few. The necessity of animal sacrifice is rooted in the knowing that even the Spirits, Orishas, deities, and the dead have to feast... if they don’t eat, they will feed on us. This is why food offerings are left at holy temples, on altars, and in some cultures, at grave sites. When a sacrifice is made, it is done so as a way to strengthen one’s connection with their deity, much in the same way as a family eats together to strengthen family bonds and maintain familial rituals to hand down from generation to generation.
Often times the blood is given to the Orisha, and the flesh is prepared as a feast for all members of the house to partake in. Other parts of the animal are used to fashion spiritual tools out of such as fans, rattles, or talismans. In other cases, the animal is a vessel for which a transmutation of energy occurs. Its energy is transmuted from this life to the next. If you believe in past lives, or the idea of energy, then it follows that nothing every truly dies, it simply changes form. When a sacrifice is made due to death, sickness, or healing, the animal is not eaten because it has absorbed the sickness, or death.
The new testament deters from animal sacrifice through Jesus being the ultimate sacrifice, but many believe that this is untrue, that it was written into the bible this way to deter followers from practicing animal sacrifice because “they” know how powerful it is. Whatever your beliefs around this, if you are a meat eater, you should be connected to your food. Muslims have laws about how their meat should be prepared, this is called Halal. Those of the Jewish faith have practices, kosher laws, in regards to the cooking and preparing of their food. Native Americans thanked their kill for giving them life.
My point is that all major religions have practices around their food and most have altars where some, sometimes all of that food is placed. Voodoo, Ifa, Santeria, Palo, and Candomble are no different. We are connected to and aware of the exchange of energy that the animal offers us, we give thanks for it, we provide for our ancestors with honor and veneration and we utilize all parts of the animal. It is said that the animal who’s honor it is to be utilized in ritual, comes back in the next life with a higher standing and good karma.
Author: Rasia of Silfren Circle
Rasia is a Priestess in the tradition of Palo Kimbesa. This is an ancient practice that has its roots in the Congo Basin. She has been a practitioner for 20 years. In addition to this, Rasia utilizes energy work, crystal healing, tarot, astrology, clairvoyance, and clairsentience in her practice. She provides services with her clients through her practice as a Licensed Intuitive Life Coach and hold a Bachelor in Psychology.