What is the spiritual significance of blood? What is the practical significance of it? Why does blood matter in paganism? In Wicca? There isn’t a cool way to introduce the topic without making some corny joke about vampires, or some romantic reference to the life-like qualities of blood. So, I’ll skip that, and instead jump straight into the discussion.
Blood is composed of red blood cells, white blood cells, and plasma. The important thing when you give blood is the red cells – they contain hemoglobin, which contains iron. As I just gave blood yesterday to Donate Life, I feel its appropriate for me to touch on the subject. Furthermore, I am in the midst of writing a novel with vampires in it…so needless to say, I am inundated in issues and information regarding blood, blood loss…etc.
I believe that the Gods hold our blood to be a sacred thing, which should only be given(on purpose) when necessary, and never on the sacred days. There is a specific reason I believe this to be so, and it revolves around May of last year. I (furthermore) believe that there is always a price for us to pay to give blood willingly. This belief will also be based on personal experience as well as a bit of spiritual logic.
1. Blood is a sacred thing, which should only be given when necessary, and never on the sacred days
This belief of mine is related to Beltane of last year. I was unsure of donating, but nevertheless, had signed up, and so, at my appointed time, I visited the red cross, who were booming with business, so to speak. I sat behind the screen, answered the questions. My iron, blood pressure and temperature were all fine. I was led to one of the table/bed/cots, I laid down, and they set me up to give. It was at this point when, in the words of my boyfriend, “Shit went horribly wrong.”
They couldn’t find my vein. After wiggling it around for a few minutes(weird feeling!) they finally got it in. They set up the electronic blood-o-meter (I’m not sure what it was called, but it measured the rate of my blood into the bag) and left me for a few minutes to set up the next person. When they came back, they watched as the blood-o-meter(as I’m now calling it) fluctuated between its minimum, medium, and maximum values (1-5, I believe). After watching this, they did re-adjust the needle, get it to a steady 3-value, but a few minutes later it was again changing every second from 2 to 4 and 1 to 5. Eventually, we agreed to just stop – it had slowed to practically nothing. They bandaged me up, I got a cookie, and went on my way to contemplate what had happened.
I have two theories on the cause of this. Either the one in bold above, or as follows. If it is a sacred day, the gods are closest to us. The energies of divinity surround us, envelop us, and watch over us. This energy of divinity promotes healing – which may explain why, all of a sudden, my arm stopped working (in terms of bleeding – I could feel it, move it, etc) for the Red Cross. In any case, I decided never to give again on a holiday. There was no point.
2. There is always a price to pay for us to give blood willingly
Be it a blood oath or donating blood, there is always a direct, tangible result from us giving blood. It is physical, in nature – while giving, we may feel faint, get intense pain, feel hot, or cold. I’ll leave the description of my experience yesterday for a later time, but let’s assume that most feel some effect either during or after giving blood. We may pass out later, or feel faint later, or have trouble staying awake. If you feel nothing else, the feeling of the needle going into your arm is price enough.
Now that we have that established, let’s substitute the word “energy” where we put “blood”. When you go out on a limb to help someone, or devote your energy to healing, or listening to someone, there is always an effect to your well-being. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, or that you should try everything you can to conserve your energy as yours – that is selfish. Rather, simply recognize when you are sacrificing something created by you, made OF you, to help another. Is the price for you something you’re willing to pay? Is the price for them something they’re willing to pay (accepting responsibility, giving in to pride, ready to heal)…?
I want to take a nap before class, and so, I’ll leave it at this for now. I hope I’ve stimulated your thoughts a bit – enjoy your days!