The Blood Must Flow

nosebleed

Once you start practicing autosacrifice, I’ve found that it’s very difficult to stop. I’ve never had spirits remind me that I need to make an offering of something quite as forcefully or reliably as when blood is concerned.

Depending on the God, I’m sure, a devotee’s blood can be a rare, intensely personal gift. But with my Gods, it’s par for the course – it’s part of the pact they made with humans when we were created. They feed us, and we feed them in turn: blood for blood. It’s an ever-renewing mutual affirmation of what it takes to keep this world alive. But no matter the reason for doing it, there’s not a polytheist out there who will deny the power it has.

I used to do it a lot more: once every 20 days. When I stopped using that calendar, though, I lost my mechanism for timing autosacrifice rituals, and wound up lapsing. I think it was around that time that I sliced off the tip of my thumb and lost probably a cup of blood to the kitchen sink. Before that, when I would visit Canada for extended trips and cease pretty much all religious practice (except occasional prayer) I found knives would slip from my hands a lot and fall to my bare feet. I lost some blood that way too.

My point is, when you start regularly giving blood, you have to rethink things a little. You have to take extra precautions for your personal safety (I’m admittedly not the greatest at practicing protective magic, though cutting gloves would go a long way too), and you have to start paying attention to the blood you do wind up spilling. Where are you bleeding from? Why? When did it happen? It’s a kind of bodily augury you have to tune into, to see what your Gods or spirits might want, or to see if it’s your Gods or spirits wanting it at all. However, sometimes an injury is just an injury.

This morning I woke up with the most profuse and drawn-out nosebleed I’ve ever had that didn’t start because I was sticking something up my nose, and it was timed with the retreat of the first rains that we’ve had in a week. Last night Dver did a cartomancy reading for me (I highly, highly recommend her services, by the way!) regarding my Year of the Twins, and I did a few readings myself. Though the one thing I haven’t divined on yet is when, exactly, the Year is supposed to end, and when I can get back to my prior relationships.

I think this nosebleed was the final missing piece of that picture.

The Year, it seems to me, is over.

 

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4 thoughts on “The Blood Must Flow

  1. Thanks for the shout-out. 🙂

    Boy do I relate to this post. My spirits happen to be quite fond of blood too, and actually a blood offering is part of my cartomancy preparation, as well as other rituals. A couple weeks ago I changed my plans around a particular rite – generally it seemed fine in the circumstances – but I forgot that part of plans called for blood, and the new ones neglected that little point… cue me jabbing myself spectacularly with a leather needle just a few minutes after that decision, bleeding all over the place – and quickly dedicating it to the spirits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish I could do that – the texts relevant to my practice that I’ve read make it clear that blood spilled “on the ground”, i.e. accidentally or for non-ritual purposes, doesn’t count! It had to be gathered, and was AFAIK, used either just for anointing/asperging, or soaked into paper for burning. (I draw enough to do just the latter lol.)

      It makes me wonder how many practitioners perform autosacrifice. It seems like it would be a touchy subject for the wider religious communities. But then again, most of the important conversations are!

      PS – Thank you for the reading. It’s giving me a lot to think about going forward.

      Like

      1. Yes, it’s a good thing I could do that, my spirits don’t seem to mind but I could see how those rules you mentioned would also make sense within a tradition. I like the idea of soaking blood into paper and burning it! I usually squeeze a few drops into a drink offering.

        I’m sure mentioning blood offerings would get a lot of people riled up and threaten to derail the conversation, which is why I tend to talk about these things only with those I know will understand. Amongst the small circle of spirit-workers I know and trust, this sort of thing is pretty de rigeur.

        Glad the reading was useful!

        Like

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