Sin Eaters

Sin eating is a custom that dates to the Middle Ages. It was practiced parts of England and Scotland and survived into the late 1800’s or early 1900’s in Wales…and also in Appalachia, USA.

Sin eaters were poor people who were paid to take on the sins of the of the dead. It was believed this freed the deceased from walking the earth after death.  The sin eater would be served a meal on top the corpse at a wake. Often they were hungry. This is why they took the job.

The job came with a high cost. Sin eaters were considered disgusting. They lived in isolation, shunned like lepers.

I don’t believe you can offload your sins or your bad karma of whatever you might call this, on to another person. But I don’t doubt people believed this, because they still do.

I’d know, because I’m a modern day sin eater.  There are legions of people who have off-loaded responsibility for their bad behavior by simply stating that they are innocent and I’m to blame.

If you have a lot of Scorpio or a heavily tenanted 8th house, you probably know what I’m talking about.  My feelings about this are too complex to convey in this short format, but I can say this: It doesn’t work.

You can’t steal for twenty years and then your time is up and you say, “Oh! All that stuff I did is on, Elsa. My friend over there is taking this on. She’s going to pay the price for me.”

Put like that it seems obvious this is a delusional idea. Still, it’s one that many not only hold, but hold dear.

Who knows what I am talking about? Have you ever put the shadow on someone and thought you walked away clean?

70 thoughts on “Sin Eaters”

  1. I’ve called myself the Sin Eater for my family since I was in my early twenties. Scorpio ascendant, moon in Cancer, 8th house. Everyone was alcoholic but I was the problem. I’m the only one who quit drinking (at age 28). Didn’t matter, that made me more of a pariah 😂😂😂

  2. The stuff ive been through, honestly after a lifetime of it, it’s too painful to rehash..too exhausting. Sun Pluto Asc

    Ill just leave with a sigh

  3. Recently I was accused of something I haven’t done. My sister-in-law said to my brother that last year I don’t want to talk openly about some things and that she doesn’t understand why. I have been sensing her rage because she can’t get any information out of me and then, one day, she found a gap and accused me of something really so stupid. My brother expected me to take the blame and confess I did it, but I didn’t want to. No matter the cost. My mom was a sin eater her whole life and because I’m my mom’s daughter, I promised myself, I won’t take that role. I don’t say what I wrote above makes me a sin eater, but I can feel she’s trying to put the responsibility on me, for her behavior, I caused it. I have packed 8th house and Scorpio, sometimes it is easier for others that I made them behave the way they did

  4. I am not a sin eater but my older sister is a ‘sin chef’ if that makes any sense

    She has a packed 12th house, her self undoing is her forte. She’s really good at it and blames everyone around her even the dust balls rolling around her living room floor. This is obviously something that has been going on since she was a child but back then it was to a lesser degree. I am lucky to have comprehended this energy at a young age.

  5. Never heard of this before. The pattern is old as the times though. Money, shame and humiliation. That’s filthy. And I am not talking about the sin eaters.

  6. Elsa, I have been wondering about this lately, but did not know who to ask. Do you think that others can choose a person to ‘eat’ their sins? ( eg, transference, projection ect) and fully believe they do not have to suffer the consequences of their own ‘sin’.

    1. Not only do I think people do this and believe it, I think it’s common. More the rule than the exception.

      As for who they choose, I think it’s very much like the custom I outlined in my post. Some people carry the shadow for (many) others.

      Just think about figures in history who are hated for their evil deeds… but all the people around them who supported, participated or benefitted from the evil are clear. Neat trick, I’d say.

      I’ve seen people able to pull this off, my whole life. That’s not to say I believe they don’t come to some kind of reckoning, but the person buried beneath the sins of others has got a hard row to hoe, start to finish.

      This happens in small groups like families but also in the big world. It’s called a fall guy and it’s often orchestrated.

      1. Thank you so much for your answer Elsa- there are not many people who see this behaviour, let alone articulate for others. You have been through a great deal, yet your gentle warmth shines through on your videos, and I applaud your no nonsense approach to these issues, which in turn empowers others to refuse to be victims and expose these people. Yes, it’s very hard- as you say, they employ others to benefit from these machinations, and it’s a long game, at times very dispiriting, but faith is essential, or they would indeed bury us.

  7. Avatar
    Hildegarde's Noviciate

    I’m aware I’ve done this. It’s a matter of perception. Or a balance of it I guess.
    I do try to check myself before I do dump. Sort of and exercise in self empowerment and emotional intelligence.not always successful
    But I finally realized that taking responsibility may sting the ego but creates an amazing sense of self empowerment. Cause you can’t control what other people do. But, hey!, I can control what I do. All of a sudden you’re in control of your own shit(to a certain extent).
    I have some Scorpio so I do get the dumping. But have a stellium in Virgo in my 12th(thank goodness) including my sun and ascendant.
    But my roommate is a stellium Scorpio. And my female best friend is a Scorpio. I see people dumping on them all the time. Matured Scorpios are powerful in the sense they can deal with this. Especially from the people they love.

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