I read Neil Gaiman’s book, American Gods, recently and I was intrigued by his reference to Odin and the myth in which he hung himself from the world tree for nine days as, essentially, a sacrifice to himself.
Ancient cultural practices with regard to sacrifice, particularly human sacrifice, are a macabre interest in that the prevalence of such occurrences were more than I would have suspected. The notion that the death of one can increase the potency or virility of the larger group is fascinating in that the logic of it with regard to our modern perspective seems unnecessarily absurd and brutal. Yet, within the confines of a particular ancient culture, the practice made perfect sense much as our modern-day ethos seems a perfectly comfortable way in which we view the workings of the natural world.
The new painting is available here: link to painting