As someone who uses blood magic on occasion, I’m really disappointed in the community for never mentioning, in all the wonderful, educational posts about blood magic, the impact different paradigms will have on said magic.
I’m going to preface this by saying I in no way encourage light-hearted use of blood magic, unless the method you use to acquire blood causes you no harm (ex. using menstrual blood, or randomly getting a nose bleed and collecting the blood). However, this is not a fear-mongering post. I’m not going to tell you to only use blood magic as a last resort. Why not?
Because this is a post about paradigms, and that makes all the difference.
For anyone who hasn’t yet heard of paradigms, I’m afraid I’m horrible at defining things. So instead of giving you a definition I’m going to give you an example: There are two witches. One of them believes the Threefold Law will harm them if they curse. The other doesn’t believe in curse backlash. These are two different paradigms that effect how the witches view magic and the decisions they make.
The most common paradigm in relation to blood magic is surprisingly not that it’s evil; we seemed to have evolved that far in the community. No, the most common paradigm in relation to blood magic is that blood is very powerful and therefore should be used sparingly in magic.
The problem is, not every user of blood magic believes that it’s inherently powerful. The belief that blood is powerful comes from, of course, the fact that we need it to survive. But there are humans who don’t put much stock in the living world. Some magic users that work with death sometimes view the living world as a temporary home but not where they belong (I can’t believe I just quoted Carrie Underwood in a post about blood magic). There are those who view death as being significantly more important than live. And there are plenty of magic users who suffer from depression and just don’t feel their life is worth much. (I know some of you were probably hoping I would skip the topic of depression, but I’m afraid I can’t do this post justice without mentioning it; as someone who suffers from depression I understand the impact it can have on a person’s paradigms, and it would be foolish of me to ignore it.)
(Side note: not all who work with death view death as being more important than life. Some do, some don’t. The same can be said for most other practices.)
While magic users who hold the above beliefs may still view blood as powerful, there’s always the chance that they don’t view it being as powerful as others, or they don’t believe it’s powerful at all. Do these paradigms render blood useless? Absolutely not. We still need it to live. But it could potentially “weaken” it’s magical potential.
Posts floating around about blood magic will have you believing that a drop of blood can summon demons from the darkest depths of hell, “so be sure you’re ready for the consequences before doing it!” but that’s a paradigm. It may be the most popular paradigm, but that doesn’t change the fact that blood magic just won’t work that way for all users.
Lemme give you a personal example:
I have a natural acceptance of death. I know it’ll happen someday and when it does I’ll welcome it, because that’s where I belong. Because of this, I don’t really value blood in the life-saving way as much as most people do. I’ll donate blood whenever I can because I know it saves lives and blood is important (and necessary) for so many others, but for myself? If I end up in a hospital nearly dead due to blood loss don’t give me someone elses blood. That shit can be used on a child, or someone who values the living world more than myself.
Because of all this, I just don’t feel blood magic is as powerful for me as it is for others. I don’t feel one drop is going to bring hellish nightmares to my doorstep, nor do I believe there will be “natural consequences” for me using blood magic. I can do it as much or as little as I like. However, I do believe it’s very personal. I use blood to consecrate objects or to bind them to myself. I use blood to dedicate myself to a practice or a deity. I may not think it is “demon summoning” powerful, but I still feel it’s very useful for personal magical connections. And it’s powerful for those uses.
This is my paradigm. It effects the way I use my magic and the decisions I make, and I know I can’t be alone in this.
Which is the entire reason I’m making this post. I love the posts tumblr users are making about blood magic, but what I don’t love is the fear-mongering that often goes hand in hand with those posts. If you want to talk about how dangerous blood magic is, talk about how not to collect blood. Talk about how careless collection of blood can be harmful to someones health. Talk about things that are actually dangerous regardless of magical paradigms, because those are what people interested in blood magic need to read! They need to know they can’t just stick a needle wherever when they want to do blood magic. They need to know what areas on the body to avoid when collecting blood. They need to know about safety.
Leave the “blood magic is powerful and deadly!” speeches at the door. Let them decide, based on their own paradigms, how dangerous (or not dangerous) blood magic is.