Mentioned in Pyramids, Sarduk is Djelibeybi's Goddess of Caves. The High Priestess of Sarduk is a lady of firm opinions which in our day we might call feminist. Think of Miss Maccalariat in clerical garb and it just about begins to paint the appropriate mental picture.
While human sacrifice was ended in Djelibeybi, (because more intelligent people than usually decide these matters saw a causal relationship with a period of otherwise unnaccountable population decline), there are those, such as the High Priestess of Sarduk, who not-so-secretly yearn for a return to the good old days. Indeed, specific mention is made, when the Gods return to earth, of placating them with virgin sacrifices. "Inexperienced young men" are, in fact, specifically mentioned as candidates.
The quasi-historical Sadok, or Sadoq, on Roundworld, was a High Priest over Israel at the time King Solomon built the great Temple of Jerusalem as the first step towards the glorification of Jehovah.
There is an echo here of the all-female Dionysian Mysteries of Greek and Roman times, where Roman men would quake in terror as their womenfolk let themselves off the leash for a few days and built up a right religious frenzy, with unspecified and unrecorded things happening in deep caves and grottos. Well-founded rumour had it that male sacrifice was involved (possibly to even the pyschic score for virgin sacrifices elsewhere?), and the luckless selected male was first castrated then torn apart. The Priestess of Sarduk approvingly alludes to this sort of thing when the Djelibeybian priesthood gathers in emergency session following the return of their Gods, which causes Hoot Koomi and others to have the cold shivers.
Quote:- Sarduk was one of the older goddesses, whose female worshippers got up to no good in sacred groves; the thought of her wandering around the landscape somewhere, bloody up to the elbows, made his (Koomi's) eyes water. (Corgi pb, p184 (1990 edition))