Updated: Sep 23, 2022
When people think of sacrifices in spiritual practices, their minds jump to gory visuals. Pig’s blood. Dead chickens on a street corner. Joe Goldberg playing butcher in a storage facility.
A sacrifice is giving up something you appreciate in exchange for something you want or need more. A sacrifice in the “olden days” typically included animals because of their value during that time and in that society. Goats could feed a family, or be sold for money. When a practitioner sacrificed an animal, they were sacrificing food on the table. (Some modern practices do regard the blood to be important for “life force energy,” but those are very specific cases and usually in closed practices.) Today, some spiritual people might choose to fast instead.
Tithing in Christian practices is an example of how sacrifice isn’t always gory. The believer gives up 10% of potential purchases for themselves and their family. A full-time receptionist who makes $12/hour and tithes the traditional amount will sacrifice $48 a week. Depending on their living situation, that could be a sacrifice as superficial as a gel manicure or as important as groceries.
TIME IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET In the modern day, we value two things: money and time. For an example of that correlation, just scroll through a job board. Most people in our society survive by being assigned an hourly value. A dental office receptionist can make $12 - $23/hour. A valet attendant can make a base pay of $10/hour with the expectation of tips. An entry-level accountant can make $60,000/year. The more time an hourly worker sacrifices, the more money they will receive. The more years a salary worker devotes to a company or industry, the more their salary will increase annually.
YOUR TIME IS YOUR LIFE As humans, we experience time as a limited resource. You will never be as young as you are today. The minutes you spend reading this Medium article are not refundable. Time is more than minutes on a clock, it’s your life ticking by. This is why volunteering your time as a sacrifice in a magical working is so powerful. When you offer your time to a deity or a cause or whatever is relevant to your goal, you are giving up a portion of your life in exchange.
FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE I fulfilled a year-long sacrifice of time in 2021. On December 26, 2020, I performed a working asking a deity’s help in resolving a tough situation quickly. The situation in question usually takes months to be resolved. Imagine my shock when it was resolved just hours after I made my petition. My sacrifice and promise was to devote every single Tuesday in 2021 to helping anyone who asked, free of charge. Once a week, I posted the same question box and graphic on Instagram Stories to remind my followers that I was available if they needed advice or divination, (sort of like office hours). I did not use those interactions to market my services. In fact, I hardly promoted my services all year. I was merely there to fulfill my end of a bargain.
Because of this, my personal life was on hold on Tuesdays. Sometimes people would submit a request at 11:58 PM and I would get out of bed to do a reading. I was magnetized to my Tarot cards for 52 Tuesdays. My relationship to my divination tools were more stable than my romantic ones.
HOW MUCH TIME ARE YOU SACRIFICING NOW? I’ll say it again: Time is your most valuable asset. Apps make money off of the time you spend scrolling. You make a living exchanging your time for money. While I hope this gave you an idea for a new kind of sacrifice you can use in your spiritual practice, I also want you to ask yourself: “How much time am I sacrificing now and for what?”
Whether it’s your job, relationship, university, hobby, or an argument — is the time you’re spending on any of these activities worthwhile? Are you receiving the value that you deserve for your time?
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