Blood Magic–the very utterance is something that may bring to mind sacrificial rites that showcase most occult-themed horror movies, where there are either animal sacrifices, virgin sacrifices, or some type of deadly deal with the devil or cut-throat demons. Typically, the story ends badly for everyone, evil triumphing over good and ruining the good night’s sleep for the faint of heart. This, fortunately, is all fantasy in real witchcraft, blood can be an important aspect in magic, whether it be modern witchcraft, hoodoo, voodoo, Catholicism (mostly symbolic, but for purposes of this article–the blood of Christ, anyone?) or other culturally significant practices.
Using blood in witchcraft is typically considered a highly taboo subject, so whenever the subject is brought up, there is always the obligatory warning–be careful with its usage–but, for the more seasoned veteran of the practice, it’s a run of the mill spell ingredient.
So, you might find yourself asking, what is blood used for? What is considered unsafe usage in the practice? Why do we have to be so careful? Does it have to be my blood? My hopes are that I can answer all of these questions and more, in part to offset the bad reputation that blood magic gets in the witchcraft community, but also to help to put to rest any unnecessary fears that a practitioner may have; whether they are considering its use within their spellwork, or simply trying to learn more about the subject.
Why is blood such a taboo subject?
Briefly touched upon in first paragraph–it’s mostly the concept of fear, elicited from the images proposed to us in condemning rhetoric from dogmatic religions, traumatizing perspectives in horror movies, general modern cultural views of the evils of witchcraft–but, let’s be real here, blood magic isn’t sacrificing virgins (at least not since the Aztecan sacrificial rites stopped being a thing), or babies, or summoning demons to sell our souls; although it would seem so with the way it’s shown through such a diabolical light. Plain and simple, blood magic is misunderstood. Blood isn’t inherently evil, so why should its use in magic be considered as such? Another association would be the unsanitary nature of such an ingredient–but really, if used safely and in the proper circumstances it would be nothing more than a drop or two of blood, collected in a sanitary fashion, from a willing participant.
So what is blood magic actually used for?
Blood is the essence of life; life, energy, power, spirituality, death–these are all concepts to be considered when in reference to its use in magic. Think about how vital blood is to our continued existence–it transports oxygen and other important nutrients throughout our circulatory system, some of us even donate it to save the lives of others. The white blood cells also contain our DNA, so it is a very powerful link to who we are as individuals. Blood also relates to the spirit and death, it links us to our ancestors. All of these things (and more) are how blood can relate to magic and all of them do so in a very powerful way. These are some specific examples of how blood can be used within witchcraft:
- Blood can be used in protection spells, spells for health and wellness, or desperate times–all of these scenarios would have to be dire circumstances.
- Menstrual blood is utilized in many folk magic customs and can be considered irreplaceable in many types of magic.
- Within hoodoo and voodoo, it is said that if a woman mixes her menstrual blood into the food or drink of her partner, it will keep him intensely passionate and keep him from wandering. (I personally would not recommend this route… explained at the end of the article)
- It can be used in mojo (spell) bags to increase sexual attraction, attract a lover, or intensify passion between an already involved couple.
How can blood be used in magic?
So you know (generally) what it is used for, now I’ll tell you how it is utilized as an ingredient.
- As mentioned above, blood can be used in mojo/spell bags; if used in this kind of circumstance, keep in mind that mojo bags need to be “fed” regularly to remain potent
- The same can be said with mojo jars/jar spells, one or two drops in a spell jar can add a major boost to the spell before the jar is sealed
- In poppets/voodoo dolls they help to identify the doll as the person it is representing
- Amulets and talismans can be charged with a drop of blood
- When drawing a sigil or galdrastafur
- Combine a drop of blood with oil used to dress candles
- A drop of blood on a written petition can add an incredibly personal touch
This is by no means a comprehensive list and there are many different paths of witchcraft that may utilize blood in ways other than the aforementioned.
Whose blood should be used?
Depending on the spell or ritual being cast, it can vary–suffice it to say that the blood should be obtained ethically and from a willing participant–although there are spells where it would be awkward to ask for someone’s blood in order to use it against them. In scenarios where blood cannot be asked for, it is by luck that you might come across it. I personally recall using tissue from a nose bleed from someone who might not have otherwise willingly donated, nor did I want to face the issue of them being aware of the spell being cast. It is still better to have permission when using the blood of another individual, rather than rummaging through a trash bin after a nose bleed.
If you are performing a spell for yourself, you would likely be using your own blood. If the spell involves a second party, both your own and their blood might be necessary. So, depending on who the spell is intended for and what the intended result is, the spell might require some ingenuity or some awkward requests.
Whichever persons blood you need for the spell, one or two drops is sufficient–so no need to summon images of slicing open a main vein, or cutting your palm open and draining it into a gothic chalice. Those are thankfully just portraits painted by media for entertainment and shock value.
Blood isn’t by any means an ingredient that witches have to use, it is certainly not a requirement to use in witchcraft, so if the thought of using blood in spells is abhorrent, or the sight of blood turns your stomach, it’s not something to worry about. There are plenty of other personal ingredients that can be utilized in place of blood, especially if you’re only using blood to tie that individual into the spell. These items can be other bodily fluids–which will be discussed in a separate article–they can be hair or fingernail clippings, handwriting samples, photographs, or even an item that belongs to the individual.
Finally, it is important that I mention safety once again–blood and other bodily fluids can contain communicable diseases; if you’re only using your own blood or fluids then it’s not such a problem since you are the only one who will be exposed to them. This means, don’t share your blood with another person and I highly recommend never put your own blood into something that you intend for another person to consume (it’s a pretty messed up thing to do). If you’re using another person’s blood or fluids, be careful with the collection and usage–again, do not consume blood (it can actually be toxic) and be careful of open wounds when dealing with it. Always practice safely and never assume that someone is completely healthy, even if you know them intimately. Last but not least, discard any unused blood immediately–do not save it for future use.
|From The Purple Caravan Blog|
|This content was originally created for The Purple Caravan, a blog that I started and realized too soon after that I was spreading myself too thin with my already compounding list of responsibilities and writing obligations. So after a lot of thought, I decided to move it all to my main blog and simply categorize these within the context of my own research and interests. I will occasionally be adding more content to this category in the spirit of continuing to educate people on the practices that I hold dear to my heart.|
|– The Unhinged Alaskan|
Mary has been a writer and artist for over a decade. Her passions lie somewhere between the beautiful and the macabre, but she enjoys every aspect of life. She explores the mysteries of the Last Frontier and the written word but dabbles in her love of artwork through the digital medium.