B is for Blood

Ok, another Pagan Blog Project inspired post (I usually get as far as B, have occaisionally managed to go further, lets see what happens this year). Previous posts have been about Broomsticks and Blessed Be.

Blood is one of those things that crops up when you’re talking religion or magic, the idea of blood is pretty powerful and even if you subscribe to the purely psychological notion of magic (which I don’t) then blood is one of those things that gets to people. If it gets to people you can use it magically or ritually.

Of course, for the squeamish or unwell you can always use stand-ins for blood and as a non-ceremonial type of witch then I find myself using stand-ins a lot for my more public practice. In my private practice then I find my ability to stop bleeding incredibly annoying. It’s rare that you find anyone addressing the practicalities of bleeding on bits and pieces to activate them – everyone concentrates on wheat you should chant when you’re rubbing the blood into your cut runes under the full moon, no one says – make sure you’ve got a sharp knife to hand and a place on your body where you can cut two or three times because you’re going to have to really squeeze and your body is probably going to want to try and heal itself and form the beginnings of a scab before you’ve finished your rune set.  No one says that if you try and squeeze enough into an egg cup for use in the ritual later then it will coagulate before you get  a chance to use it and you are absolutely going to have to dilute with warm water to have anything usable at all.

I suppose it could be that everyone out there in the Pagan Community is like M-i-L who will bleed loads at every cut. I have also been accused of having Wolverine-like healing powers so I will admit that perhaps not every witch out there is facing the problem of scabbing by the time they’ve started the second aett of runes.

I’ve talked a lot about rubbing blood into runes, mainly because they’re a good go-to example of what you can do with blood in a magical ritual. To be fair blood can be used to empower pretty much any type of magic as a stop off or a charge up in the middle of a ritual. That ritual can be for specifically magical purpose, or, given that Wicca is a magical religion, in my case a religious ritual usually involves some magic – be it light or heavy stuff.

Of course then we really need to get into menstrual blood. There’s a witch I massively respect who is absolutely against using menstrual blood as she regards it as a dead thing and what’s the point of using something dead in a magical working? Well, I don’t regard as dead exactly and I can also see some potential uses in using dead things within a ritual.

The thing is, and I love my moon-cup for this, if you’ve bled it out from you then yes it kinda is dead, it’s gone. If you’ve taken it out of yourself then I find it to be liminal and protective. I’d happily use my menstrual blood in a protective or warding spell or to demark a space for magical purpose.

There you go, that’s pretty much my thoughts on blood within paganism.

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