How to use Sacrificer in a sentence
The building of this altar is spread over a whole year, during which period the sacrificer has to carry about the sacrificial fire in an earthen pan for at least some time each day, until it is finally deposited on the completed altar to serve as the offering-fire for the Soma oblations.
This is what may conveniently be called the Prajapati theory, by which the "Lord of Creatures," the efficient cause of the universe, is identified with both the sacrifice;(yajna) and the sacrificer (yajamana).
This they did by sacrificing a victim and effecting communion with the god by the application of its blood to the altar; or, more directly, by the sacrifice of the animal-god and the contact of the sacrificer with its blood.
In the former case the sacrificer is raised to a higher level; he enters into closer communion with the gods.
In the latter either some material object, not necessarily animate, is deprived of a portion of its sanctity and made fit for human use, or the sacrificer himself loses a portion of his sanctity or impurity.Advertisement
In the most developed forms, such as the offering of soma, they assumed a great importance; (r) the sacrificer had to pass from the world of man into a world of the gods; consequently he was separated from the common herd of mankind and purified; he underwent ceremonies emblematic of rebirth and was then subject to numberless taboos imposed for the purpose of maintaining his ceremonial purity.
The object of the sacrifice being to bridge the gulf between the sacred and profane worlds, the sacrificer had to remain in contact with the victim, either personally, or, to avoid ritual perils, by the intermediary of the priest.
The remainder, divided into eighteen portions, was cooked; seven fell to the sacrificer, after an invocation, which made them sacred by calling the deity to descend into the offering and thus sanctify the sacrificer.
The sacrificer may aim at causing a speedy death or a slow one.
The corpse may be burnt, in part or as a whole; portions may be assigned to the priest, the sacrificer and the gods; the skull, bones, &c., may receive special treatment; the fat or blood may be set aside, and they or the ashes may be singled out as the share of the god, to be offered upon the altar; the skin of the victim may be employed as a covering for the idol or material representative of the god, either permanently or till the next annual sacrifice.Advertisement
Sometimes the sacrificer's hands are laid on the victim before it is slain, or he may be smeared with its blood; in other cases the blood is smeared on the door posts, or the sacrificer is touched on every part of the body with the victim's body.
Westermarck has shown from his observations in Morocco that the blood of the victim was considered to visit a curse upon the object to whom the sacrifice is offered and thereby the latter is made amenable to the sacrificer.
And it is also probable that certain persons combined in their own individuality the functions of magician and sacrificer as well as soothsayer.
Some inscriptions name, besides the king, an eponymus, whose office seems to have been priestly, his titles being dhu harif, eponymus and rashuw, " sacrificer."
Prajapatiwho (probably for practical considerations, as better representing the sacrificer, the earthly ruler, or "lord of the creatures") here takes the place of the Purusha, the world-man or allembracing personality - is offered up anew in every sacrifice; and inasmuch as the' very dismemberment of the lord of creatures, which took place at that archtypal sacrifice, was in itself the creation of the universe, so every sacrifice is also a repetition of that first creative act.Advertisement
The ritualistic theologians, however, go an important step further by identifying Prajapati with the performer, or patron, of the sacrifice, the sacrificer; every sacrifice thus becoming invested - in addition to its cosmic significance - with the mystic power of regenerating the sacrificer by cleansing him of all guilt and securing for him a seat in the eternal abodes.
Whilst forming the central feature of the ritualistic symbolism, this triad - Prajapati, sacrifice (oblation, victim), sacrificer - is extended in various ways.
An important collateral identification is that of Prajapati (and the sacrificer) with Agni, the god of fire, embodied not only in the offering-fire, but also in the sacred Soma-altar, the technical name of which is agni.
This is Prajapati, and the sacrificer, who when regenerated will pass upwards through the three worlds to the realms of light, naturally perforated bricks being for this purpose placed in the middle of the three principal altar-layers.