Dionysus, the deity connected with wine, abandon and revelry, also had a following of the Bacchae, the female followers of the Dionystic mysteries, aka Maenads and Bacchantes longed to incarnate their god in the earth plane and they stopped at no moral limits to do so.
He was the craving within humans that longs to let itself go and give itself over to baser earthly desires. Followers embraced this as the incarnation of Dionysus' power that would finally liberate them from the present earth and the customs of the era that governed moral guidelines and law. They sought a spiritual state of ecstasy through their rituals.
In the Greek cultural ethos of moderation in all things, he embodied the absolute extreme in inflaming the passions of human desires. The Bacchae women migrated in frenzied hillside groups, dressed in fawn skins accompanied by screaming, music, dancing, and licentious behaviour. When older animals tried to escape the marauding Bacchae, they were considered "resistant" to the will of Dionysus and were torn apart and eaten alive as part of the frenzied ritual. Human participants were sometimes subjected to the same ecstatic cruelty, as the rule of the cult was "anything goes". It was eventually outlawed by the Greeks and Romans; until then, any creature that dared to resist or flee such perversion was often subjected to sparagmos (tearing apart) and omophagia (consumed raw). Re: "The Bacchantes", written by Euripedes in 410 BC.
The cult practised the killing and eating of sacrificial victims from its earliest history. Ancient paganism stipulated that by consuming the flesh and blood of an animal or enemy, they might "capture" the essence or soul-strength of the victim. This was also practised by early Norwegians and African Masai warriors, and head hunters of the East Indies. Today, Voodoo practitioners and cult satanists carry on this tradition.
The goal of the Bacchae was not a sacramental union with their god; it was the opposite - they sought to capture the essence of Dionysus and bring him through a portal of incarnated rage within humans. The idea was of possession, not communion. Hebrews of that era believed that demonic possession actually occurred during the mystery rituals. They considered Hades to be the equivalent of Satan, and saw no difference between Dionysus and the devil. Euripedes echoed this belief in the "Hecuba"; one of the god's names was Dionysus Morychos "the dark one", a rough equivalent of Satan who wore goatskins and dwelt in the underworld.
While most details of their rituals and beliefs are no longer available (mystery god, initiates, et al), the biblical prophet Ezekiel describes the kestatot (magic bands) of the Bacchae which, along with omophagia, were used to imprison the souls of people by magic.
"Therefore, thus says the LORD God, 'Behold I am against your magic bands (kestatot) by which you hunt lives (souls) there as birds, and I will tear them off your arms; and I will let them go, even as lives (souls) whom you hunt as birds" NAS, Ezekiel 13:20
Acts 17 in the new testament gives an account of a man liberated from the control of Dionysus: Howbeit certain men clave unto Paul, and believed: among the which was Dionysus the Areapagite." KJV Acts 17:34. To carry the name of Dionysus meant that, 1) the parents were devotees of Dionysus and their child was predestined to become a follower, or 2) the person was under the spell of the kestatot. The kestatot was a magic arm band used in connection with an orca, or container, called a kiste. Wherever a kiste is inscribed on sarcophagi or on Bacchic scenes, it is depicted as a sacred vessel or soul-prison with a snake peering through an open lid.
Pan, later relegated to devildom, is sometimes pictured kicking the lid open and letting the snakes or souls out. Such loose snakes were depicted as enslaved around the limbs and bound in the hair of the Bacchae women.
Such images of Pan, the serpents, the imprisoned souls, and the magic Kestatot and Kiste, have never been adequately explained by authorities and the interpretation is under scrutiny. Yet, since the prophet Ezekiel described the methods of the Bacchae to imprison the souls of people mystically through the magic bands of Dionysus, and since Pan was the most beloved of Dionysus because of his "pandemonium" (all the devils), which struck panic and fear into the hearts of humans and animals, and since the Hebrew symbol of the occult is the serpent, it can be summarised that the Bacchae used symbolic magic (of orcas and keste), to incarnate Dionysus himself into a human body through an interdimensional gateway, or opening.
So the topic up for discussion is this: if the pagan ethos or wiccan creed or the pledge or the goddess, et al, states that blood sacrifice within modern pagan practice is undesirable and not practised; if modern pagans claim to worship Dionysus/Pan/Bacchus/Cernunnos/etc; if the pagan faith is indeed an ancient tradition/s being revived today.......
where does blood sacrifice figure in the modern outworking of pagan faith today, and how does one explain the worship of gods that desired or inspired such worship?
(Yes I know about old testament sacrifices and the battles fought in the bible, and yes I know exactly what the importance of blood and sacrifice mean to my faith today, my tradition is founded on a blood sacrifice of the highest order, and yes I know that wiccans are not satanists and don't kill people or animals, and I've heard the PR before so it's no use use saying it over and over........)