As we approach the month of May, thousands of pagans all over the world will be preparing to celebrate the festival of Beltane otherwise known as “May Day”.
This event is a celebration of new life and offerings and sacrifices are made to the sun god to ensure that growth is good and the harvest is bountiful.
Beltane literally means “Baals Fire” and to illustrate the sheer horror of the roots of pagan idolatry, I have copied an excerpt of French historian, Gustave Flaubert’s novel “Salammbo”.
“The arrangements for the sacrifice were already begun.
Part of a wall in the temple of Moloch was thrown down in order to draw
out the brazen god without touching the ashes of the altar. Then as
soon as the sun appeared the hierodules pushed it towards the square of
It moved backwards sliding upon cylinders; its shoulders overlapped the
walls. No sooner did the Carthaginians perceive it in the distance than
they speedily took to flight, for the Baal could be looked upon with
impunity only when exercising his wrath.
A smell of aromatics spread through the streets. All the temples
had just been opened simultaneously, and from them there came forth
tabernacles borne upon chariots, or upon litters carried by the
pontiffs. Great plumes swayed at the corners of them, and rays were
emitted from their slender pinnacles which terminated in balls of
crystal, gold, silver or copper.
These were the Chanaanitish Baalim, offshoots of the supreme Baal, who
were returning to their first cause to humble themselves before his
might and annihilate themselves in his splendour.
Melkarth’s pavilion, which was of fine purple, sheltered a petroleum
flare; on Khamon’s, which was of hyacinth colour, there rose an ivory
phallus bordered with a circle of gems; between Eschmoun’s curtains,
which were as blue as the ether, a sleeping python formed a circle with
his tail, and the Pataec gods, held in the arms of their priests, looked
like great infants in swaddling clothes with their heels touching the
Then came all the inferior forms of the Divinity: Baal-Samin, god of
celestial space; Baal-Peor, god of the sacred mountains; Baal-Zeboub,
god of corruption, with those of the neighbouring countries and
congenerous races: the Iarbal of Libya, the Adramelech of Chaldaea,
the Kijun of the Syrians; Derceto, with her virgin’s face, crept on
her fins, and the corpse of Tammouz was drawn along in the midst of a
catafalque among torches and heads of hair. In order to subdue the kings
of the firmament to the Sun, and prevent their particular influences
from disturbing his, diversely coloured metal stars were brandished
at the end of long poles; and all were there, from the dark Neblo, the
genius of Mercury, to the hideous Rahab, which is the constellation of
the Crocodile. The Abbadirs, stones which had fallen from the moon, were
whirling in slings of silver thread; little loaves, representing the
female form, were born on baskets by the priests of Ceres; others
brought their fetishes and amulets; forgotten idols reappeared, while
the mystic symbols had been taken from the very ships as though Carthage
wished to concentrate herself wholly upon a single thought of death and
Before each tabernacle a man balanced a large vase of smoking incense on
his head. Clouds hovered here and there, and the hangings, pendants,
and embroideries of the sacred pavilions might be distinguished amid
the thick vapours. These advanced slowly owing to their enormous weight.
Sometimes the axles became fast in the streets; then the pious took
advantage of the opportunity to touch the Baalim with their garments,
which they preserved afterwards as holy things.
The brazen statue continued to advance towards the square of Khamon. The
rich, carrying sceptres with emerald balls, set out from the bottom
of Megara; the Ancients, with diadems on their heads, had assembled in
Kinisdo, and masters of the finances, governors of provinces, sailors,
and the numerous horde employed at funerals, all with the insignia of
their magistracies or the instruments of their calling, were making
their way towards the tabernacles which were descending from the
Acropolis between the colleges of the pontiffs.
Out of deference to Moloch they had adorned themselves with the most
splendid jewels. Diamonds sparkled on their black garments; but their
rings were too large and fell from their wasted hands,–nor could there
have been anything so mournful as this silent crowd where earrings
tapped against pale faces, and gold tiaras clasped brows contracted with
At last the Baal arrived exactly in the centre of the square. His
pontiffs arranged an enclosure with trellis-work to keep off the
multitude, and remained around him at his feet.
The priests of Khamon, in tawny woollen robes, formed a line before
their temple beneath the columns of the portico; those of Eschmoun, in
linen mantles with necklaces of koukouphas’ heads and pointed tiaras,
posted themselves on the steps of the Acropolis; the priests of
Melkarth, in violet tunics, took the western side; the priests of the
Abbadirs, clasped with bands of Phrygian stuffs, placed themselves on
the east, while towards the south, with the necromancers all covered
with tattooings, and the shriekers in patched cloaks, were ranged the
curates of the Pataec gods, and the Yidonim, who put the bone of a dead
man into their mouths to learn the future. The priests of Ceres, who
were dressed in blue robes, had prudently stopped in the street of
Satheb, and in low tones were chanting a thesmophorion in the Megarian
From time to time files of men arrived, completely naked, their arms
outstretched, and all holding one another by the shoulders. From
the depths of their breasts they drew forth a hoarse and cavernous
intonation; their eyes, which were fastened upon the colossus, shone
through the dust, and they swayed their bodies simultaneously, and at
equal distances, as though they were all affected by a single movement.
They were so frenzied that to restore order the hierodules compelled
them, with blows of the stick, to lie flat upon the ground, with their
faces resting against the brass trellis-work.
Then it was that a man in a white robe advanced from the back of the
square. He penetrated the crowd slowly, and people recognised a priest
of Tanith–the high-priest Schahabarim. Hootings were raised, for the
tyranny of the male principle prevailed that day in all consciences, and
the goddess was actually so completely forgotten that the absence of her
pontiffs had not been noticed. But the amazement was increased when he
was seen to open one of the doors of the trellis-work intended for
those who intended to offer up victims. It was an outrage to their god,
thought the priests of Moloch, that he had just committed, and they
sought with eager gestures to repel him. Fed on the meat of the
holocausts, clad in purple like kings, and wearing triple-storied
crowns, they despised the pale eunuch, weakened with his macerations,
and angry laughter shook their black beards, which were displayed on
their breasts in the sun.
Schahabarim walked on, giving no reply, and, traversing the whole
enclosure with deliberation, reached the legs of the colossus; then,
spreading out both arms, he touched it on both sides, which was a solemn
form of adoration. For a long time Rabbet had been torturing him, and
in despair, or perhaps for lack of a god that completely satisfied his
ideas, he had at last decided for this one.
The crowd, terrified by this act of apostasy, uttered a lengthened
murmur. It was felt that the last tie which bound their souls to a
merciful divinity was breaking.
But owing to his mutilation, Schahabarim could take no part in the cult
of the Baal. The men in the red cloaks shut him out from the enclosure;
then, when he was outside, he went round all the colleges in succession,
and the priest, henceforth without a god, disappeared into the crowd. It
scattered at his approach.
Meanwhile a fire of aloes, cedar, and laurel was burning between the
legs of the colossus. The tips of its long wings dipped into the flame;
the unguents with which it had been rubbed flowed like sweat over its
brazen limbs. Around the circular flagstone on which its feet rested,
the children, wrapped in black veils, formed a motionless circle; and
its extravagantly long arms reached down their palms to them as though
to seize the crown that they formed and carry it to the sky.
The rich, the Ancients, the women, the whole multitude, thronged behind
the priests and on the terraces of the houses. The large painted stars
revolved no longer; the tabernacles were set upon the ground; and the
fumes from the censers ascended perpendicularly, spreading their bluish
branches through the azure like gigantic trees.
Many fainted; others became inert and petrified in their ecstasy.
Infinite anguish weighed upon the breasts of the beholders. The
last shouts died out one by one,–and the people of Carthage stood
breathless, and absorbed in the longing of their terror.
At last the high priest of Moloch passed his left hand beneath the
children’s veils, plucked a lock of hair from their foreheads, and threw
it upon the flames. Then the men in the red cloaks chanted the sacred
“Homage to thee, Sun! king of the two zones, self-generating Creator,
Father and Mother, Father and Son, God and Goddess, Goddess and God!”
And their voices were lost in the outburst of instruments sounding
simultaneously to drown the cries of the victims. The eight-stringed
scheminiths, the kinnors which had ten strings, and the nebals which
had twelve, grated, whistled, and thundered. Enormous leathern bags,
bristling with pipes, made a shrill clashing noise; the tabourines,
beaten with all the players’ might, resounded with heavy, rapid blows;
and, in spite of the fury of the clarions, the salsalim snapped like
The hierodules, with a long hook, opened the seven-storied compartments
on the body of the Baal. They put meal into the highest, two
turtle-doves into the second, an ape into the third, a ram into the
fourth, a sheep into the fifth, and as no ox was to be had for the
sixth, a tawny hide taken from the sanctuary was thrown into it. The
seventh compartment yawned empty still.
Before undertaking anything it was well to make trial of the arms of the
god. Slender chainlets stretched from his fingers up to his shoulders
and fell behind, where men by pulling them made the two hands rise to a
level with the elbows, and come close together against the belly; they
were moved several times in succession with little abrupt jerks. Then
the instruments were still. The fire roared.
The pontiffs of Moloch walked about on the great flagstone scanning the
An individual sacrifice was necessary, a perfectly voluntary oblation,
which was considered as carrying the others along with it. But no one
had appeared up to the present, and the seven passages leading from the
barriers to the colossus were completely empty. Then the priests, to
encourage the people, drew bodkins from their girdles and gashed their
faces. The Devotees, who were stretched on the ground outside, were
brought within the enclosure. A bundle of horrible irons was thrown to
them, and each chose his own torture. They drove in spits between their
breasts; they split their cheeks; they put crowns of thorns upon their
heads; then they twined their arms together, and surrounded the children
in another large circle which widened and contracted in turns. They
reached to the balustrade, they threw themselves back again, and then
began once more, attracting the crowd to them by the dizziness of their
motion with its accompanying blood and shrieks.
By degrees people came into the end of the passages; they flung into
the flames pearls, gold vases, cups, torches, all their wealth; the
offerings became constantly more numerous and more splendid. At last a
man who tottered, a man pale and hideous with terror, thrust forward
a child; then a little black mass was seen between the hands of the
colossus, and sank into the dark opening. The priests bent over the edge
of the great flagstone,–and a new song burst forth celebrating the joys
of death and of new birth into eternity.
The children ascended slowly, and as the smoke formed lofty eddies as
it escaped, they seemed at a distance to disappear in a cloud. Not
one stirred. Their wrists and ankles were tied, and the dark drapery
prevented them from seeing anything and from being recognised.
Hamilcar, in a red cloak, like the priests of Moloch, was beside the
Baal, standing upright in front of the great toe of its right foot. When
the fourteenth child was brought every one could see him make a great
gesture of horror. But he soon resumed his former attitude, folded his
arms, and looked upon the ground. The high pontiff stood on the other
side of the statue as motionless as he. His head, laden with an Assyrian
mitre, was bent, and he was watching the gold plate on his breast; it
was covered with fatidical stones, and the flame mirrored in it formed
irisated lights. He grew pale and dismayed. Hamilcar bent his brow; and
they were both so near the funeral-pile that the hems of their cloaks
brushed it as they rose from time to time.
The brazen arms were working more quickly. They paused no longer. Every
time that a child was placed in them the priests of Moloch spread
out their hands upon him to burden him with the crimes of the people,
vociferating: “They are not men but oxen!” and the multitude round
about repeated: “Oxen! oxen!” The devout exclaimed: “Lord! eat!” and
the priests of Proserpine, complying through terror with the needs of
Carthage, muttered the Eleusinian formula: “Pour out rain! bring forth!”
The victims, when scarcely at the edge of the opening, disappeared like
a drop of water on a red-hot plate, and white smoke rose amid the great
Nevertheless, the appetite of the god was not appeased. He ever wished
for more. In order to furnish him with a larger supply, the victims were
piled up on his hands with a big chain above them which kept them in
their place. Some devout persons had at the beginning wished to count
them, to see whether their number corresponded with the days of
the solar year; but others were brought, and it was impossible to
distinguish them in the giddy motion of the horrible arms. This lasted
for a long, indefinite time until the evening. Then the partitions
inside assumed a darker glow, and burning flesh could be seen. Some even
believed that they could descry hair, limbs, and whole bodies.
Night fell; clouds accumulated above the Baal. The funeral-pile, which
was flameless now, formed a pyramid of coals up to his knees; completely
red like a giant covered with blood, he looked, with his head
thrown back, as though he were staggering beneath the weight of his
In proportion as the priests made haste, the frenzy of the people
increased; as the number of the victims was diminishing, some cried
out to spare them, others that still more were needful. The walls, with
their burden of people, seemed to be giving way beneath the howlings
of terror and mystic voluptuousness. Then the faithful came into the
passages, dragging their children, who clung to them; and they beat them
in order to make them let go, and handed them over to the men in red.
The instrument-players sometimes stopped through exhaustion; then the
cries of the mothers might be heard, and the frizzling of the fat as it
fell upon the coals. The henbane-drinkers crawled on all fours around
the colossus, roaring like tigers; the Yidonim vaticinated, the Devotees
sang with their cloven lips; the trellis-work had been broken through,
all wished for a share in the sacrifice;–and fathers, whose children
had died previously, cast their effigies, their playthings, their
preserved bones into the fire. Some who had knives rushed upon the rest.
They slaughtered one another. The hierodules took the fallen ashes at
the edge of the flagstone in bronze fans, and cast them into the air
that the sacrifice might be scattered over the town and even to the
region of the stars.
The loud noise and great light had attracted the Barbarians to the foot
of the walls; they clung to the wreck of the helepolis to have a better
view, and gazed open-mouthed in horror.
The sacrifice of children was carried out by the caananites as an appeasement to demon-gods.
This ritual is re-enacted in part at the Bohemian Grove gathering of the worlds political and financial elite every year.
It is also deemed appropriate to sacrifice your children in the fire by Talmudic Judaism.
Maybe the acceptance of this sacrifice is due to the Talmudic influence upon world government.
Paganism is rooted in fear. Fear of drought or famine, fear of hurricanes or floods, earthquakes or tidal waves.
The primitive members of pagan societies believed that sacrificial offerings to the gods of the earth or sun, might possibly bring about favour and guarantee a level of protection from unpredictable events.
The best understanding of the nature of these demon-gods is from a study of the divine council.
The divine council is a heavenly assembly of angels (Some fallen), ruled over by the One, True, Almighty, God, to govern and manage the earthly affairs of mankind.
For more information on the divine council, click here.
A warning against pagan idolatry is found in Deut 4:19
“And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.”