Why Blood Sacrifice in African Spirituality?

Sena Voncujovi
5 min readJan 15, 2021

“Blood is like a battery that empowers spirits and ancestors before they work”-Christopher Voncujovi, Ewe Vodu Priest in Accra, Ghana.

Many African spiritual practices utilize blood sacrifice to feed deities and ancestors.

In many African spiritual practices like my practice of Vodu, blood sacrifice is a common practice. Vodu practitioners beleive that sacrifice to deities and ancestors are necessary for the progress of an individual. Even though killing an animal is inevitable, this practice includes being mindful and appreciative of those sacrificed.

Here are three reasons why we do blood sacrifice in sacrifice African spirituality.

  1. Blood acts like a battery that empowers spirits and ancestors to work.

Most African deities require blood when they want to work for a person. It is believed that the animal’s life force is transferred to the vodu and energizes it after ritual sacrifice. It’s almost like charging your phone with electricity, or a power bank-your phone will be powerless without it. Like how Einstein once said, “energy is neither created nor destroyed,” practitioners of African spirituality believe that the animal’s life force works on the metaphysical plane even after its physical death.

It is important to note that not all African deities “eat” blood. There are many deities, even in Vodu, that do not like blood. These deities are thus not giving blood sacrifice but rather sweet drinks, perfumes, and water. Blood sacrifice is only performed when it is requested directly by spirits or ancestors through divination.

A Vodu practitioner speaking to the ear of the goat before it is offered to the spirits as a sacrifice.

2. Different animals possess different energies that practitioners can use.

Because Vodu practitioners believe that animals do not entirely die when they are sacrificed, they also beleive that various animals perform different tasks on the metaphysical plane. For example, while a spirit may request a chicken if it wants to protect, it may request a dog or a cat to fight the client’s enemies. Depending on the task and spirit, the animal offered varies. What a spirit should eat is usually decided by doing a divination session or reading with the priest. Other popular animals used for sacrifice and…

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Sena Voncujovi

Afro-Asian Pan-African| Herbalist | Afa (Ifa) Diviner | Founder of ReVodution & Jaspora (Japan Africa Diaspora)| PKU Afro-Sinologist