The Exquisite Magical Potential of Blood
Blood, in the context of magic makes people pretty uncomfortable. And rightfully so I suppose. If you fuck around without much care or knowledge, you can certainly cause yourself all kinds of problems and even kill yourself (in the case of the exceedingly stupid).
In the hands of a skilled operator however, blood can be a fantastic, multi-purpose magical tool and medium of dark sorcerous arte. It’s an interesting area of black magic that is wide open for exploration and innovation. The experienced blood sorcerer finds that working with blood magically, reveals non-salient and often bizarre features of the magical universe that can be exploited for magical gain. There are secrets coursing through your veins just waiting to see the light of the moon.
There is also great latent power in blood sorcery. Just the way that some spiritual entities will behave in the presence of fresh blood speaks volumes about its potential. I was fortunate enough to witness first-hand a long deceased gentleman of impressive cohesion and pleasant demeanor, have a perfectly reasonable conversation, and with the sudden appearance of flesh blood turn into something more akin to a rabid heroin junkie. Even “chasing” small droplets being scattered about the area.
And with that little anecdote, it needs to be said, that working with blood can draw the kind of attention you may not want without proper protective measures in place. Specifically attending daemons, spirits-in-employ, ancestral currents, etc. As they can act directly to thwart an attack or intrusion.
Why Blood? That’s a fair question. Why not use water, or tea leaves, or chicken entrails? All of the above have been used successfully to gain divinatory insight. To answer the question; “Why Blood?”, let’s do a little exploration of the magical significance of blood.
Blood is a Big Deal!
The extreme significance of blood as a symbol and an archetypal metaconcept is evident in basically all human expression. The manifestation may be direct and striking or subtle and embedded, but it’s always there. Humans are obsessed with blood and what blood represents. Art, religion, magic, society, drama, sex, sports, it’s there.
As a symbol for love and devotion, and perhaps more specifically the anguish that can result from these practices; blood as a metaphor takes on a complex narrative full of nuance i.e. “My heart bleeds for you.”.
Blood is also a symbol of physical pain in that its release is the product of traumatic injury; stabbing, slicing, gouging, amputation and castration all evoke powerful images soaked in blood.
Blood is powerful word to describe familial bonds and everything that implies. To refer to a non-familial associate as “blood” is to bestow upon them the rights a blood-born family member carries.
Blood as Entertainment and Enterprise
A quick glance at almost any modern film reveals just how much we love our movies to be soaked in, dripping with, and spraying blood. Bloody violence is big entertainment and consequently big business. And this is not a product of the modern age by any means. Our love of blood and violence has been indulged since the dawn of theatrical entertainment.
In the time of Shakespeare we saw a long period of social and scientific fascination with blood and other bodily fluids (referred to as “Humors”2). “Experts” on the use of the Humors were common, and they offered methods for using bodily fluids to cure disease, give virility and even grant passage into christian paradise.
Blood in Ritual
Blood is extremely prevalent in ritualized human expressions, especially those of an intimate and/or initiatory nature, and of course in rites of appeasement. For example the extreme piercing seen in some of the Sun Dance rituals of the plains Indians, where the continued expression of blood is a mark of a successful sacrifice of suffering3. And of course the infamous human sacrifices of the Aztecs, who at the height of their culture (1440 to about 15214) were probably ankle deep in blood all across their growing temple structure.
The ancient Norse people had sophisticated systems of blood sacrifice or “Blót”5. Glorifying their bloody offerings in works of art that have stood through time.
Blót was understood to be a preferred technique for appeasing the gods as well as strengthening one’s self or another through magical means.
Half the Blood Equation
Humans know instinctively that blood is a mark of importance and a way to communicate gravity, solemnity and seriousness. The mandatory signature in blood that binds Faust to the terms of Mephistopheles pact is a relevant example. Even children know instinctively the symbolic importance of blood. Think of the “blood brother” rituals used by children to consecrate and dramatize sentiments of friendship. Blood is an ultimate signal of importance.
This is half of the magical power of blood; this fundamental awe and respect for the very fluid of physical life. The archetypal symbolism, the fear of exsanguination, the taboo excitement of its release. All of this lends blood a significant measure of magical potency in and of itself.
Metaphysiology of Blood
The other half of blood’s magical power comes from its composition both physically and metaphysically. As the carrier of iron, hemoglobin forms the natural link between the electromagnetic forces of the Earth and the human body. The metaphysical implications of this feature alone could be explored across volumes. Blood is the physical counterpart to the very substance of consciousness; Blood Essence/Lifeforce (chi, ki, prana, blah blah), and therefore directly subject to the magical will of the sorcerer.
All of the aforementioned and much more explains the exceptional quality of blood as a medium for manifesting magical objectives. This includes the conjuration of divinatory omens and ideas in a way that can be physically observed and interpreted.
The Blood Oracle
This is a technique of seeing and interpreting oracles and signs. An augury (in the more modern and general definition.). One’s own blood is used as the medium through which visual impressions will reveal themselves in a way that is meaningful to the sorcerer.
Overview of Blood Oracle Technique
The method is deceptively simple and can be summarized as follows. Concentration on any specific matters of concern. Connecting with the vital fluid. Attainment of magical consciousness. Liberation of the vital fluid. Manipulation of the canvas. Interpretation of the oracle. Documentation.
You will require:
- A sterile insulin syringe.
- 70% Rubbing alcohol.
- Sterile cotton
- A clean, secure working environment where you will not be disturbed.
- A sharps safe disposal container.
- Your standard magical setup, preferably at your altar.
- A powerful lamp or other hands-free light.
- A strong rare earth magnet.
Prepare: Setup your ritual environment per your tradition. Include, at your altar, the lamp and all of the aforementioned equipment. Spend a few minutes reflecting on any matters that require insight.
Bind Your Blood: Spend at least 10 minutes prior to starting, holding the magnet between your hands while imagining/experiencing the smell of iron. Now inspect your puncture site. I cannot advise you on this matter as I do not endorse or encourage any form of self-harm, however, I have heard a practitioner of this technique offer the following advice: Ideally your puncture site will be in the antecubital fossa of one of your arms. Look for a strong, full vein that will be easily accessed. Use the lamp now and during the liberation of the blood. Do Not try to liberate blood from a vein in low light.
Begin the Rite: Use your usual ritual opening, frame rite, etc. as per your tradition.
Invocation of the Holy Daemon: (Place your index and middle fingers firmly against the carotid artery of either side of your neck so that you can feel your pulse. Maintain throughout the invocation). Invoke thusly:
“By Khaibit and Khat I declare the immanent manifestation of the Striding God.
Here now comes the manifestation of myself made perfect.
Behold! How He/She/? takes residence in the vascularity of my AB. Quickening my pulse and preparing all knowledge for my inquisition and inspection”
Reflect on the manifestation of your Daemon in your living blood.
The Altered State: Close your eyes and concentrate on the sensation of your heart beating. Apply a fanatical concentration of focus on the sensation of your pulse until you slip into magical consciousness.
Liberation of Blood: Using your preferred method (I cannot directly advise you as this is for informational purposes only), liberate some blood from your selected site. You will need enough to spread around a thick layer of several inches.
Some people have found that its helpful to get the blood into the syringe somehow (in one account of this ritual the magician did the following: Use the alcohol to clean the puncture site, allow to air dry. Expose the needle of the syringe. Rotate the syringe so that the bevel of the needle is facing up towards the ceiling. With a continuous, controlled motion and mindful of depth; insert the needle into the vein at a 15 degree angle. Extract about 50 units. remove the needle and apply sterile cotton to the wound.).
Seed the Canvas: Expose your upper thigh or lower forearm. Gently express the blood on to your skin in that area. Safely dispose of the needle if used. Focus your vision sharply on the blood and begin to smear it around in random patterns, covering an area approximately 4″x4″. Stop when you feel it is appropriate.
Interpret the Oracle: Close your eyes. Spend a few moments in obsessive thoughts about your specific concern and/or inspiring deep paranoia about the forces at work in your life that you do not know of. Sink deep into anxiety. If you can inspire true panic, all the better.
Open your eyes wide and gaze into the blood. Turn your perspective. Get close. Then back away. Obsess! Don’t look away. That which you need to see will become apparent to you.
Document: Document everything. Take pictures, etc.
For god’s sake clean yourself up! Have some dignity. Productive, healthy adults don’t play finger painting games with their own blood! You should be ashamed!