Among the people who know about the Slavic paganism only by hearsay, the stereotype of the practice of human sacrifice is rather actively enforced among the ignorant. In fact, such a stereotype is no more than a myth.
The Slavic “bloody human sacrifices” exist solely in Christian teachings “against the pagans”.
Such practice has existed only among some semi-wild peoples at the earliest stages of the development of society. When we talk about paganism in its developed form, such phenomena is never seen. Some echoes exist only in, wild by definition, military caste, and, consequently, in their limited caste cults. And even then, not everywhere, but in the archaic echoes, and often in symbolic form. And only as much as their “profession” itself is related to death on daily basis.
The Slavs, however, never practiced human sacrifice at all, except in the Christian propaganda, on par with other sins and delights. This is explained by nothing other than the essence of sacrifice in the pagan cults itself. And the essence of it is in the following. Pagan Slavs brought offering to their Ancestors and Deities. The brought offerings is the of a communal meal with the Ancestors and Deities. We all commit such rites in our homes to this day, when, for example, we arrange a wake, or put a glass of vodka and a piece of bread before the image of the deceased. The essence of the in the Temples and Sanctuaries, is the participation in a joint meal with the Deities.
The general sense is that Ancestors and Deities are given a part of that, what people eat themselves. If a tribe of savages practiced cannibalism, then their deities were “fed” human flesh. If not, then they wouldn’t even have a single thought about human sacrifice! You’d never place insects on the offering table during a wake, and Slavic pagans would never do so either!
Modern man, cut off from the rural way of life, does not understand the meaning of the phrase “such a king, on such an occasion, sacrificed 200 bulls!” Modern man thinks that the meaning lies in the fact that an individual deprived 200 innocent cows of life in favor of his deities! Instead, the essence is that this individual had arranged a huge feast dedicated to the deities, and those bulls fed his army and his people. The point was not the deprivation of life or bloodshed (for thousands of cows are deprived of life in slaughter houses each and every day), but in the communal meal, at which in a mysterious way the deities are present.
Haven’t you ever heard someone say that he will: “slaughter a pig for daughter’s birthday” or something similar? You do understand that the meaning of what is said is not that a pig will be specifically slaughtered on the occasion of the birth of daughter, but that on her birthday, the individual will prepare many delicious and nourishing dishes from the pig. When Slavic pagans say they “brought sacrifices” or “brought offerings” to their Ancestors and Deities, it means they had a communal meal with their Ancestors and Deities. To this day there exists a custom in many Slavic homes to place and extra plate on the dinner table for a long passed Ancestor that may stop by for a meal.
By the way, the Christian liturgy is performed in the very similar way. The gifts (the body and the flesh of Christ) are first prepared on the altar, and then are brought to the altar, and then are consumed collectively by all in the presence of this meal.
It is for this reason that Slavic pagans understand the mystical essence of the liturgy, and called Christians in astonishment and rejection – eaters of their god. From the point of view of Slavic pagans, this custom is not only the top of blasphemy, but also one of moral savagery, for Christians mystically ate not just a man (which in itself is terrible), but also the one who is their god!
Information taken from the internet
Written and translated by: Dmitriy Kushnir