Sickened to my Soul

My partner just sent me this link. I had to sit for a very long time before reading it. I”m sickened and disgusted beyond words.

The Gadhimai Temple in Nepal just announced that due to pressure from “activists,” that they were ending the Gadhimai festival. This is a Hindu festival performed every five years at which thousands of animals are sacrificed. It’s not exactly clear from the article, but it sounds as though this may be a ban on sacrifice.

While I realize that many people are celebrating this, I’m sick to my soul. Devotional practice, proper adherence to ritual, and holy sacrifice have been dismissed as ‘superstition.’ To curry favor with the West, and in some misguided sense of altruism, the ancient rites of the Goddess Gadhimai have been interrupted. She has been denied Her due. The piety of 2.5 MILLION Hindus has been rendered meaningless.

Before you start celebrating, consider this and carefully consider all the implications:

World-wide NON-polytheist sensibilities have had direct and deleterious affect on polytheistic practice.

That to me is a HUGE problem. We should be mourning this. Better that the temple should close than water down its rites like this, especially to curry favor with Western opinion.

I hope the festival in 2019 doubles the sacrifices. I hope this year sacrifices spring up all throughout Nepal in Her name. Let the people find a way to honor their Goddess in the way that She requires. Let the blood of holy sacrifice flow and most of all, do NOT let the West, or any non-polytheist for one *minute* influence our practice.

My heart goes out to all the worshippers who promised Gadhimai offerings and are now forcibly forsworn. My heart goes out to all those who came to Nepal to perform proper veneration of their Goddess only to be spat upon by the very temple authorities that should be supporting them. A curse upon all those who thought it their right and their due to impinge upon these rites.

What’s next? which polytheistic tradition is going to garner the ire of the monotheist or secular majority next? Which one of our ways will the the target? More importantly, how will we respond when our turn comes?

EDIT: Jonathan Mertens posted a good recap of the situation here. I recommend reading it too.

About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at

Posted on July 29, 2015, in Polytheism and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Religious Intolerance. As you said, what next?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is also creepy considering that a lot of Christians were using the earthquakes in Nepal as an opportunity to evangelize Hindus, and several even said something about it being a punishment for their “idolatry”. Sheesh, leave those folks alone.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Gods above, below, before, and behind me…this is unbelievable.

    The quote by the activist in the article, “but I am very hopeful that we will see a bloodless festival in 2019,” has a meaning that is nowhere near as positive as he intended, I think.

    When things are described as “bloodless,” does anyone want to take part in them? A bloodless romance? A bloodless marriage? A bloodless lecture? A bloodless musical recital?

    Sorry, I have enough trouble with anemia as it is…give me black pudding from here to the horizon, thanks.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Nothing aggravates me more than seeing traditions of worship being abandoned because “oh we are not being like the west” I understand a number of Hindus are vegetarian but not all, and even so restriction on of rituals to curry social-political favor to appear as western as possible is just infuriating.

    Liked by 4 people

    • ganglerisgrove

      the real enemy is empire. the decision to restrict these rites didn’t come from the Gods and didn’t come from those 2.5 million worshippers. it’s being inflicted on them from above in the name of progress and western approval. it’s sickening.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. One perception in the coverage is that of cruelty. It’s a common allegation around sacrifice, but there is scant information on how these are actually performed. Do you have any idea if the kind of preparation you engage in is present at this festival?

    I would love to see some coverage by someone actually familiar with the culture, or sacrifice, or both.

    Liked by 2 people

    • ganglerisgrove

      To be honest, i don’t think it matters. This is colonialism pure and simple. indigenous practices were reduced to “superstition” and then banned to curry favor with the west. it’s disgusting.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree the main reason this is able to be done is imperialism. I would say the main reason ritual sacrifice (or slaughter of animals) is shocking at all in America and others who object to such things, is peoples’ separation from their food. It is an incredibly privileged, disconnected society that can gape in horror at ritual sacrifice or the Faroe Island grind of pilot whales. Many of the same people who complain bitterly about animal sacrifice do not raise their voices against the barbarous conditions CAFOs exist in, the amount of exploitation of people and animals they produce, and the rivers and streams of waste they produce in their runoff. Fewer people still will comment on commercial fishing’s wholesale raising and slaughter of trout, salmon, tuna, etc., the exploitation of workers, the amount of waste produced and the like.

    Most imagine at this point the only people with a leg to stand on this regard are dedicated vegetarians and vegans, and a lot of the food grown for their diet is covered in animal blood as well, from the neonicotinoids sprayed on crops that affect bees and the life cycles of all they touch, to the tilling, planting, spraying, etc. that kills animals. The monocrops, the destruction of native crops and varieties, and so on that the agribussinesses encourage is as vile as the CAFOs, and just as insidious, because oftentimes those who would do otherwise are often those who can least afford it. Look no further than BT cotton growers or Tyson contract farmers.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. This is just horrible. I support the practice of animal sacrifice, and am appalled that this traditional sacrifice to Gadhimai is being ended simply because of the influence from the West. It also concerns me deeply that this happens at a time when Nepāl is dealing with the aftermath of devastating earthquakes and rebuilding from the rubble, which also caused waves of missionaries, may Gadhimai crush them, to try and convert people to Christianity. We can only pray that most people disregard this treachery by the priests of Gadhimai’s Temple, and that Gadhimai herself will show them the error of their ways. And that the activists responsible will suffer her wrath.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I hope that a great many people will take it upon themselves to offer proper sacrifice during this festival. The common people have always been the ones to hold the strongest to tradition. The priests may cave in to outside pressures, but average pious people don’t usually give two flips about such things.


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