I love reading other people's blogs, especially Hellenistic ones, but certainly not limited to them. Without an off-line community of my own, and with just a few regular on-line Hellenistic or otherwise religious contacts, bloggers offer me a way to test the information I possess, find new areas to explore, define my path, and often they are a font of practical tips and tricks I would never have considered otherwise.

Unfortunately, I am a busy woman, and as such, I don't get to read everything I want to read often enough. As such, it can happen that I want to share a post made on September 18, 2012 by Monte Plaisance on Echoes From The Temple. Echoes From The Temple is the official blog of the Thessaly Temenos, a Hellenistic worship group and academy based in Mathews, Louisiana, USA. In the post I referred to, Monte discusses animal sacrifice, and gives a non-Recon, but effective method of getting around the ethical and legal difficulties surrounding the practice.

"In lieu of a sacrificial animal, you can use various fruits. One that lends itself quite effectively to the task is the coconut. Using a small hand-drill, you can drill a hole into one end of the coconut and, using a funnel, pour in a quantity of red wine to fill it up. Drip wax from a candle over the hole to plug it up and at the moment that the ritual calls for the sacrifice of an animal, use a large machete or sword, used only for this purpose, to cut the coconut in two. The wine will simulate the flow of blood and is also an appropriate offering for the gods in and of its own rite. To further add to the effectiveness of this ritual substitute, you can prepare the coconut by sanding it down smooth and painting it for the appropriate use; i.e. white for Olympians, black for underworld or leave it its natural color for woodland deities.

The same can be done using any type of melon or large gourd. Sweet melons, such as honeydew and cantaloupe are especially useful in rites to Aphrodite."

I think this is a very interesting and practical way of getting around the problem. I am not sure it fits well into a Recon Tradition, but I can see how a coconut, especially one which is still surrounded by its fleshy outside could serve will to mimic the substance of a meat sacrifice--skin, meat, bone, intestines, and blood, as portrayed by peel, flesh, shell, eatable flesh, and red wine. Be careful for your fingers, though, when you cut it in half!

I might consider this practice for the future, at least until I have made up my mind about the practice of animal sacrifice. Also, I really like coconut, and if it wasn't freezing outside, I'd totally be in the mood for one right now.