There’s a lot of power to be found in blood. It can be said to contain traces of all of the classic Greek elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water. Combine that with the spark of Life Force and well you can see why so many attributes, myths, and legends have been attributed to blood.
So, it’s no wonder that at some deep internal level, blood is something that we fear. Or hold in awe. And it’s no wonder so many rules about blood have been passed down in assorted law books and religious manuals. Just look at the modern taboos about blood that are still passed down. Especially in relationship to 2 areas. Menstruation and magic.
I can remember some of the earliest books I read on Paganism in general, and both Wicca and witchcraft in particular that were very adamant in stating that any type of blood magic was evil, bad, went against all the “laws”. And okay, they had a point – you can’t just go around sacrificing small goats in your back garden without raising a few eyebrows, and murder however prettily you might dress it up is still murder. This all tangles up in the whole Wiccan “Do as you will, but harm none” thing, and the end result is a whole bookshelf filled with books telling us that Blood is a really magical, powerful thing and we much never ever even consider using it.
There were other books whigh sought to promote their own version of pre-history. Holding forth of the time when a Great Goddess/Mother religion swept across all of Europe and menstrual blood was considered to be the greatest of all magical elixers. (There’s no actual evidence of a Great Mother Goddess religion covering Europe, but it hasn’t stopped authors even to this day from proclaiming it was once so.) These books in any case, call upon women to embrace their periods, and their “moontime” as a time of great personal power. Even these books however, stopped short of actually suggesting to women they should use that menstrual blood for magical or religious purposes.
We shun blood, but at the same time, we are drawn to it. How else can you even begin to try to explain the utter fascination today with urban fantasy and contemporary horror/romance where women find themselves drawn towards and falling madly in love with once-human undead creatures with a craving for AB-. Vampires are magical creatures who need the life force, the magic contained within blood in order to survive. And human blood is the most powerful, and contains the greated potential for magic out of all other blood.
Personally, I don’t really have much interest in embracing my periods or dating vampires. I spend several days cramping and generally feeling like shit every time I have a period, not to mention the mood swings and depression dips. That isn’t the time to tell me that I am at the height of my magical power. Thankfully, I am nearing the end of my fertile years, and periods are coming less and less often. This is one aspect of being a female that I am ready to be rid of.
On the other hand, I have also come to realise that blood has its uses. And there are times when it is okay to use blood during magical workings and even as part of a religious practice. I don’t often find myself drawn to using any type of blood with spellcasting, but the times that I have used it, I found it to be very effective for its purpose. The easiest, and least problematic method of doing this from a legal standpoint, is to use my own blood. As a woman who has not yet fully entered menopause, I have 2 choices on what sort of blood to use. I’ve used both blood from a finger prick, and menstrual blood in spellcasting work, and there is a difference between the two.
In both situations where I chose to use blood, I found the spells to be very effective, and in the situation where I used my own menstrual blood it resulted in the person transferring to work in another department (possibly even with a pay rise but I’m not privy to that level of information) where she was not indirectly or directly involved with me or my family.
These are my impressions on the blood I have used magically. ( admit to having some bias about menstrual blood – I dealt with inferility issues before the births of my younger sons and associate monthly periods with heartache and loss. As with anything else, if your impressions are different from what I say then go with your own impressions. What is right and true for me doesn’t not have to be right and true for you.)
- Blood that comes from a finger stick is young, fresh, light. It speaks to me of potential for being. I have used this blood for doing work to bring things to me.
- Menstrual blood is heavy, old, still powerful but a power that comes from release and death. It is the blood of the Dark Mother, an aspect of Goddess which is feared and misunderstood – this isn’t Crone, but the hidden side of the Mother Goddess figure. The Kali dancing upon the funeral pyre, the Sow devouring her young, the mother who in the depths of a post-natal psychosis sees no way out but to destroy her own children. As a force, it is something that we fear. That fear is understandable and in most cases not misplaced. Pretending the Dark Mother is an aberration or doesn’t exist however does neither it nor us any good.
Note: If you decide to use blood for magical workings, apply a little common sense. Don’t do anything that is going to hurt you – and if you have a history of self-harm (or contemplating self-harm as I do) think long and hard about your motivation for wanting to use blood before actually doing the work. Don’t go about doing it for the emotional release or rush, and don’t go about cutting yourself. A few drops from the end of your finger are more than sufficient.
If you are using menstrual blood, you will want a jar with a tight lid to keep it in – trust me on this. When you are finished, make sure to dispose of the blood in a way that does not impact upon your neighbours or others. If you bury, it, bury it in your own garden or in a place where people are unlikely to come upon it. When using finger-stick devices dispose of them in a way that they won’t be likely to be picked up by someone else.
Obtaining menstrual blood: The easiest way is to use a menstrual cup of some description. Just transfer the collected blood into a small jar. If you use pads (cloth pads work best here) you can soak the pad in cold water and collect some of the water. If you are using tampons or disposable pads, I suspect it is rather unlikely you are going to even consider using that blood for magical workings. However, if you were so inclined, the best option would be to soak the pad or tampon in cold water.
Other Pagan Blog Project Participants who wrote about Blood:
- Miss Miiki’s Musings
- Loki’s Army
- Finding the Light among the Shadow
- i am the shadow
- All Through The Nights