Once in a while I come across black cat bones. I have a few clients who use them, other than myself. I use them solely for my Black Cat Oil and Nation Sacks. The story/tradition deems that in order to obtain the "lucky bone" from a black cat that it must be skinned by the teeth of the practitioner and/or then dropped, alive, into boiling water to which the "lucky bone" then floats to the top. This bone is believed to cure disease, win court cases, and perform other such montrous tasks.
Gruesome I know. Now, I don't believe this is the only way to obtain these bones. I believe, that with any practice or religion, it's traditions change as time goes on. Practices must evolve to fit the society around them or they will die out. Obtaining this bone from a cat that has died naturally, or found as road kill, seems to work just as well as is a more humane approach.
The bones I use and sell are from hunted animals, farmed animals or animals that have died naturally. But what's wrong with a little sacrifice?
Think about all the food we throw away daily. Those plants and animals all die for us to consume them. Think about all the clean water we waste while brushing our teeth or flushing our toilets. Think about all of the ways we ravage and take advantage of natural resources and our earth. What about the herbs and roots we harvest for our practices? Do we say "thank you" for any of this? More often than not, no. Everything is in a constant state of sacrifice. This is good to realize and good to take into account during each meal you consume, each glass of water you drink. Each time you turn on the sprinkler to water your lawn or each time you get in your car when you could walk. Sacrifice without thought should be an oxymoron. It should not exist but it does. Somehow, we think we are the only one's sacrificing anything. For our children, for our jobs, etc. However sacrifice is cyclical, it is a constant state. While we are sacrificing time and energy creating a meal, each food or drink we prepare was sacrificed.
Spiritual practices require much sacrifice. Sacrifice of the heart, mind, body, and spirit. Sacrifice of ego-which isn't really a sacrifice, because no one needs it, however it is so difficult to separate from the ego.
So the earth sacrifices herbs for our oils, roots for our mojos, petroleum for candles, plants and animals for our offering feasts. Is one more of a sacrifice than another? In most spiritual paths (and I use this term very generally) we believe that everything possesses a spirit, energy or ashe'. Is the ashe' of an herb worth less than that of an animal? Maybe, but why? Because the animal has higher cognitive ability? Because it feels pain? Then this means that a human with an IQ of 140 is worth more than a human with an IQ of 70. I would say no, though some would disagree.
Is the chicken we kill to create an offering meal worth more than the rosemary and salt that dresses it?
There is an ebb and flow to offering, prayer, ritual, and workings. One can not expect results without first giving praise and offering. And not just right before-I mean LONG before. A good working relationship and foundation with the spirits must be created first. You don't just walk up to strangers and ask them to help you, typically, because the answer will usually be "no".
Would it make sense that if you are asking for something small, say to find a good price on something you need for your home, that this offering would be smaller in size and value? Would it make sense that if you are asking for your child who is sick with cancer to be cured, that the offering would be great-the grandest you could sacrifice effort, time, and money for?
If your child were dying from an incurable or inoperable disease, what would you sacrifice? What extent would you go to to make an offering? Would you head out to the garden to snip some herbs or would you head out to find yourself that "lucky bone"...