“The Cat’s Water is very powerful for bringing rain,” Felipe Painen said. “In 1944 there was a severe drought here, so the Mapuches and the Catholics made a bet on who could get God to bring the rains. They got together on a hill near The Cat’s Water. First a priest named Father Luis said his Mass and prayed. Nothing happened – the sky stayed perfectly clear and dry. Then an old mach named Juan Cheuquecoy came out in his bare feet, dressed in his blanket. After he prayed, the sky turned black and you could hear Manquian’s cat start purring. Whenever it’s going to rain, you hear Manquian’s cat purring: lullull.” “The Highest Altar” by Patrick Tierney p. 153

Machi Juana said she knew this snake, Chinufilu. This in itself was important, because it suggested that Machi Juana’s “spirit” was a snake entity, something I’d suspected anyway because of Cerro Mea’s connection with the great serpents Tren Tren and CAi Cai Filu.” Tierney, p. 187

Ecology, orographic precipitation, serpent-spirit cataracts streaming down from the highest mountains awakening to prayer with the sound of great cats purring, weather magic battles between Indigenous and Colonial practitioners – these are a few of the issues we address in our two part discussion of human sacrifice.

a view of mountains in Colorado courtesy of Mark Brady. In ‘The Highest Altar’ Tierney elucidates the magical relationship between ocean, mountains, and water and the importance of sightlines between commanding peaks.

Other topics include the history and weaponization of anthropology (including the Tierney/Napoleon Chagnon controvery); Pinochet and the Dirty Wars; human sacrifice through the Judeo-Christian tradition; moral panics including Satanic panics; blood libels; various abstractions of academia including ‘shamanism’ and the ethnographic present; the Incan state and the ecology of gifts as it relates to the subtle cosmology of human sacrifice; numinous grimoires; George Hunt Williamson; Werewolves through time and space; Nancy Scheper Hughes and organ trafficking/the anthropologist as advocate for the disadvantaged.

Listen to Part One

Listen to Part Two for Patreon Subscribers

Resources and References:

this ancient man with his stubble and the rope used to sacrifice him

“The Bog People: Iron Age Man Preserved” by P.V. Glob – my introduction to human sacrifice as a young girl, it was published in 1965

“The Highest Altar: Unveiling the Mystery of Human Sacrifice” by Patrick Tierney (I read it first in hard copy from my local library years ago, then re-read it online at the Internet Archive which is unfortunately briefly offline at the time i am writing this)

Johan Reinhard with Incan child mummies at the site where they were discovered
The Maiden of the Children of Llullaillaco, with exquisite textiles and hair braids. She was drugged with coca and alcohol before being left in a small chamber to freeze to death. As these children were seen as emissaries to the gods, that they were treated well prior to their death was very important so they would give a good ‘report’.

The Children of Llullaillaco – three Incan child mummies discovered by high altitude archaeologist Johan Reinhard in 1999. Tierney discusses the many issues of high altitude archaeology in “The Highest Altar”; he accompanied Reinhard on some treks to mountain peaks so outlines the misery and practical problems of this type of work well.

An introduction to some concepts and history of ethnography and fieldwork done by anthropologists

Napoleon Chagnon interview in Scientific American where he addresses the Tierney controversy

Nancy Scheper Hughes – The Organ Detective

Carlo Ginzburg “The Night Battles” includes the info on the Livonian Werewolf. Here is a little summary online. This werewolf apparently inspired a metal song which I ran across while putting together these notes

Tracing Owls podcast with a reading of Serbian epic poem “The Walling of Skadar: Ballad of the Walled Up Wife” which reflects many recurring themes of human sacrifice including using this sacrifice for luck in battle and to ensure the solidity of a human built structure. The idea of choosing a sacrifice through chance which involves apparent volition on the part of the victim is found very widely, it echoes thru the fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast for example.

Blood Libel

Conspirinormal podcast has created a nice introduction to the history of blood libel in this episode of their ‘Paranoid Styles’ series.

6 Degrees of John Keel is doing a multi-part series on the history of Blood Libel with part One available – subscribe so you don’t miss any in future (plus it’s an awesome podcast).

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