BLOOD SACRIFICES - BLOOD SPELLS - BLOOD CHARMS
By Kris Aaron
[Reprinted from THE DRUID'S PROGRESS #5]
It's powerful stuff, human hemoglobin, both as a physical, life-giving
substance and tangible instrument for psychic workings. Almost all religions
emphasize blood in their rites ("This is the blood of Christ" during the
Christian eucharist, for example), but, sadly, paleo-pagans have one of the
ugliest histories of ritual blood sacrifice -- partially bad public relations
by the Christian churches, and partially based on unpleasant fact.
The major problem with the use of blood in magick rituals is that it was
almost always used in excessive amounts, and was inevitably taken from unwilling
participants. Blood is astonishingly powerful stuff, and it seems that early
pagan priests must have operated on the "If a little is good, a lot is better"
They were wrong. Blood, when used with the appropriate words, rituals, herbs
and the correct phase of the moon, undoubtedly did add quite a bit of horsepower
to the proceedings, but if taken under protest from an unwilling victim the
results could be similar to an extremely powerful car out of control at high
speeds -- it may go where the driver wants it to, and then again it may fly off
the road and do a tremendous amount of damage before stopping.
But when the people liked pagantry and teh priests liked power, the Gods and
Goddesses HAD to like blood -- and a lot of it. (It was also an easy way of
eliminating enemies of the state local loudmouths who challenged the
establishment and the prisoners of war who were getting expensive to feed).
Thusly, blood sacrifices became all the rage and a powerful, magickal tool was
distorted in an ugly, unpleasant way.
Neo-Pagans, thanklfully, are beyond the politically motivated aspects of
blood sacrifice, and that includes those of you out there with aspirations for
public office (bribery and a juicy contra fund work better than blood anyway).
However, to eliminate this incredible substance (blood, not the contra fund)
from all spells and ceremonies may be a mistake. There are times when a drop of
blood can be of extremely important use in saving a life.
Which brings us to the first and most important "rule" for blood in magick --
IT MUST BE YOUR BLOOD THAT IS USED!!! The person who is working the spell,
performing the ceremony or creating the charm is the individual holding the
power – and therefore she or he has the most powerful blood of anyone (or
anything) in the group, and should not be afraid to shed a few drops. NOBODY
ELSE'S BLOOD WILL BE AS EFFECTIVE AS THE BLOOD OF THE PERSON WHO IS PERFORMING
I'm belaboring this point because it's undoubtedly the most important aspect
of blood use in Ritual magick -- if its you who wants the spell done, and done
right, YOU must shed your own blood, whether others are eager to volunteer or
not. Of course, if its a big, serious spell that requires more power than you
can summon alone, then everyone in the grove, coven or circle may wish to work
together equally and shed an equal amount of blood, but this decision is up to
each individual member of the groupand no-one must be pressured to spill a few
drops – the magick won't work (or worse will backfire in a most ugly way) if
those participating aren't fully enthusiastic about pricking their fingers.
How much blood? Like most things metaphysic, blood is an incredibly powerful
symbol, and a little goes a long way. The willingless to undergo a tiny bit of
pain (especially in our comfort-oriented culture) and the act of parting with
precious bodily fluids can bring forth tremendous forces that have little
relation to the actual amount spilled. It would seem that the more blood shed
the less one can focus on the act and its true meaning, and after a certain
point individuals simply kick back and try to let the power of the blood itself
do all the work. This is where the horsepower starts to get out of control.
Those working blood magick need to be in control at all times, with their minds
focusing and directing the strength from the blood.
So a few drops are certainly enough for any imaginable ritual ---at least if
those participating are hoping for a positive outcome.
When to use blood? Again, everyone's idea of "important" may differ, but
blood is VERY SERIOUS STUFF. Most cautious magick workers would hesitate to use
a blood charm for mundane benefits (if blood worked for lottery winnings we'd
all be awash in it). Consensus seems to have it that blood should only be used
to protect living creatures from dire threats to their life and health. This
does not mean that a blood charm should be used to protect one from an annoying
but harmless co-worker, or even from a boss who may be writing up your pink
slip. THere are other methods of protection and if these don't work on mundane
problems perhaps it's ones karma to go through a trying time.
Blood is used to keep yourself and those you love alive and healthy, not
prosperous and powerful. Blood is elemental and basic, and should only be used
for the basics, which don't include money and prestige. Did your significant
other buy a motorcycle that will do 162 mph? By all means make this person a
blood charm. Is a beloved familiar going in for surgery? Again the blood charm
or spell is appropriate.
But here it must be said that even the most powerful magick won't protect
individuals from themselves - it will only act as a defense against the
negligence, stupidity or outright malice of others, or as a petition to the
elements. Blood is the strongest stuff we know, but even it can't overcome the
charmholder's stupidity, incompetance or suicidal tendancies. For example, a
blood charm will keep an experienced rider on that 162 mph motorcycle safe from
a drunk in a buick and guide him or her to shelter during a vicious storm. But
it is a guarenteed fact of metaphysics tha the same charm won't work when the
begining rider forgets which is the clutch and which is the brake and
subsequently strains him - or herself through a chainlink fence. (The efficiency
of blood magick also decreases in direct proportion to the charmholder's alchol
intake, but its also been said that Baccus watches out for his own. However, if
any reader has a charm, spell or potion that cures dumb behavior please please
Now, down to the nuts and bolts of the actual charm. Blood is simply an
additive and will work quite nicely with the magick, rituals and spells you are
currently using. All it requires is respect and an acknowledgement of the
incredible power contained therein. I have found that my normal spell and charm
making ritual accompanied by the words "May this be the only pain felt, the
only blood shed" works most satisfactorially. The phrase may have to be altered
appropriately, of course, if the charm is being made for someone undergoing
surgery -- always adjust for the need and the individual.
And speaking of individuals, the person or living thing receiving the charm,
spell or magick should have given his, her or its permission in advance for the
work to be done. Never never, never do blood magick for someone without their
full knowledge and approval -- otherwise, it may interfere with their beliefs or
karma and cause an incredible amount of damage, no matter that you only wanted
to help. Also, this is a good time to strongly advise against ritually mixing
your blood with someone else's (transfusions aren't magick and don't count).
Too often, relationships fall apart but there you are, still bonded to this
person who you'd just as soon be without. It's tough to undoi a blood mixing,
but if you insist on it as part of teh handfasting, marriage or life-bonding, be
very sure that you can at least remain good friends should circumstances change
and lust and love die off. Because with a blood bonding, you and the other
individual are going to be interacting with each other, in one way or another,
pleasant or awful, for a long long time.
Lesser points - blood magick needs cooperation from the recipient. To
paraphrase: The Goddesses and Gods Help Those Who Help Themselves. Don't waste a
blood charm on a suicidal person or a non-believer who is likely to down two
six-packs and test it by standing in front of an oncoming train - instead, drag
the individual to counseling RIGHT AWAY. And don't ask for too much; it confuses
the issue. Keep the phrasing simple : "Let this be the only pain felt, the only
blood shed, and keep my love from frostbite and hypothermia," if your love is
planning to climb Mt. McKinley in January. DOn't wander down a long list of
every possible injury; it dilutes teh chamr's true effectiveness and bores the
goddesses and gods.
Blood magick is very effective for living things -- people, familiars, trees
and the earth (in small areas). One charm per life, however, or the power is
diluted. Blood charms for inanimate objects confuse the issue -- they only seem
to work on living substances. Besides, most inanimate objects can be nicely
protected in other ways; your car in for an overhaul may need to be circled and
protected (more for your finiancial benefit than the car's, since most any
vehicle can be restored), but a living thing won't always come out of surgery
better than it went in.
And one last warning : ritual blood magick is bad public relations since most
people can't get past the word "blood" and won't hear you say "Its my own!".
Thanks to Charlie Manson and his little family, anything to do with bloodletting
is now associated with the most negative of behavior. Best to keep positive but
heavy magick to yourself or within the group, and only offer to do a blood charm
or spell for individuals who you are sure would welcome it.
Apache Jct., AZ 85220
Note From The Archdruid:
Blood Sacrifice is forbidden in all official A.D.F. ceremonies
The Druid's Progress is published semiannually and is sent
primarily to subscribing members of ADF. For further information
write to ADF : Po Box 1022, Nyack, NY USA 10960-1022 and please
include a SASE
Anyone using blood for Magical purposes should acquaint themselves with the voluminous work of Rudolf Stiner on this subject! Stiner's teachings on this subject constitute several lecture cycles on the subject and numerous scattered remarks on the Subject. He deals in detail with all the metaphysical and spiritual aspects of blood from many different points of view. Stiner's teaching on these subjects makes him the greatest (and least recognised) blood magickian of the nineteenth and twentieth century CE.
The ancient emphasis on blood often sprang from a misunderstood and materialised version of genuine esoteric teaching. For those wishing to understand this subject more fully I recomend a book called "Burning Water" a book on Aztec spirituality. The author argues (successfully in my opinion) that the Aztec blood rituals were the materialization of genuine esoteric teachings.
We must also recognise that the paleo pagans were by no means the only ones using blood sacrifice for ritual purposes. The ancient Hebrews were notorious in the Ancient world for the frequency and numbers of their blood sacrifices! The bible is chock full of blood sacrifice and in Christian theology, the human blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ was an indispensable requirement for human Salvation! To critique the paleo-pagan use of blood without mentioning this aspect is clearly unbalanced and a capitulation to the attempts of the Christians to downplay the Jewish blood sacrifices. Let us have balanced critiques please!