Shamanism – The Sin Eater

Shamanism – The Sin Eater



In the County of Hereford was an old Custom at Funerals, to employ needy individuals, who were to take upon them every one of the Sins of the party perished… The way was that when a Corpse was freed once again from the house and laid on the Bier; a Loaf of bread was brought out and conveyed to the Sin-eater over the corps, as Buddhist Funeral Package additionally a Mazer-bowl brimming with brew, which he was to drink up, and sixpence in cash, in thought whereof he took upon him every one of the Sins of the Defunct, and liberated him (or her) from Walking after they were dead.


John Aubrey, Remains of Gentilism


At the point when I was a kid my family moved to the Herefordshire open country, in the shadow of the Welsh Black Mountains and somewhere down in the core of Celtic folklore. At the edge of the town, alone and segregated from the remainder of the inadequate local area there was a little bungalow, since a long time ago tumbled to decay; a spot I was constantly cautioned to avoid. For in this house there carried on with a crazy person, who was some way or another messy and unwanted to the town… so they said. Definitely I tracked down my direction to this spot.


His house remained at a junction, simply back from the actual street and encompassed by tall shrubs and trees. It was a stroll of about a mile from the town and there could have been no different houses anyplace close to it. It seemed to some degree like the fantasy cabin of a witch, a spot you coincidentally find in blunder, after which your life is rarely something similar. As I stood taking a gander at this strange cabin, whose disproportionate design had started to assume the type of the encompassing area, the entryway opened and its single occupant arose.


He was old, flimsy, and dressed strangely for the occasions (the 1970s) in white collarless shirt, dark pants and petticoat, similar to a 1940s off the clock specialist or the film form of a period rail route signalman. A gold chain and coxcomb watch swung from the pocket of his petticoat. So this was the maniac I had been cautioned away from. He started to converse with me about blossoms and spices and his biography. He had been a Sin Eater.




There is minimal composed or known about Sin Eaters. It is an antiquated custom, drilled in numerous nations of the world, and coordinated into the Catholic ceremony of the last ceremonies. It is apparently gotten from the ‘substitute’ portrayed in Leviticus xvi. 21, 22, where the bad behaviors of one more are attributed to a guiltless. In the Hebrew custom of the ‘substitute’, Aaron admitted every one of the transgressions of the offspring of Israel on the Day of Atonement, over the top of a live goat that was then conveyed into the wild to kick the bucket, emblematically bearing their wrongdoings.


As a shamanic custom, a Sin Eater would be utilized by the group of a perished individual, or some of the time by the congregation, to eat a last feast of bread and salt from the paunch of the cadaver as it lay in state. Thusly it was accepted that the transgressions of the dead individual would be assimilated and the expired would have clear entry to the great beyond. The Sin Eater was given a couple of coins for his difficulty yet other than that was stayed away from (in a real sense ‘like the plague’) by the local area who viewed him as wrongdoing filled and messy because of his work. That is the reason Sin Eaters ordinarily inhabited the edge of the town and youngsters were cautioned away from them.


Leave a Comment