There are a few articles on blood magick, but they are very much from a right hand path magick or Wiccan perspective–and often pejorative. But many left hand path or black magickians use blood magick to summon spirits or for other purposes. So, I wanted to discuss blood magick from a left hand path perspective, as our opinions are rather different.
First, know that there are many people who discuss the spiritual dangers of blood magick. Rarely, if ever, do they have any actual evidence of these dangers other than their own fear and one or two isolated incidents, which given the nature of the Internet, they may have made up completely!
And like most of the fear mongering about the occult, the vast majority of the stuff these people say is far more intense than the reality of the situation.
But it’s important to keep the potential dangers of things in mind. So, here are the potential dangers of blood magick: there is a potential to attract other types of entities than the ones you are working with, opening your flesh could introduce bacteria or viruses to your body, you may hurt yourself if you cut too deep, some entities may vampirize you, etc.
Occult Specific Concerns
In my experience, the occult related worries are nil and unrealistic–especially if you’re working with demonic entities that are very powerful. BUT given the potential of these things (small), blood magick should probably be reserved for the more serious practitioner with some real occult practice under your belt just so you’d be strong enough to deal with any issues that could arise.
Some people decry that certain entities shouldn’t be called with blood, that they begin to crave it, etc., but I’ve never seen this to be the case… For example, VK Jehannum suggests one shouldn’t give blood to Arachne/Sepheranz because she will crave it, but in my experience this hasn’t been true as I’ve worked with her for 20+ in depth rituals, consider her one of my patron goddesses, and have given her blood each time with little issue. [Before sending me hate mail: I respect VK and his work, have learned a lot from him, follow him, but disagree with him on this and a few other points.]
But do keep in mind that if you use blood magick, you are very likely opening a deep connection between you and the spirit. Some say this makes possession and other things like that easier for them. It also seems to amp up their effects in your life quite a bit. This I have seen to be accurate.
So, for this reason, I would only use blood magick with entities I want to foster a deep connection with. But I also wouldn’t evoke entities I don’t want to foster a deeper connection with as it’s a waste of time to only call an entity once in my opinion. I have little success with one-time workings with spirits and recommend sigil magick or egregores for such purposes for this reason. It’s a lot like asking a stranger to help you move a couch out of your house: rude and inconsiderate. At least say hello and create a connection.
And as far as I can tell, you’re much more likely to receive psychic attacks from arguing with a know-it-all in a Facebook group than from working blood magick… This has happened many times to me, whereas the worries people have about blood magick I’ve yet to see once (and as of this date, I’ve used blood magick 3-7 times a week for about a year).
Health Specific Concerns
The sterility and body issues are much more more of a concern!
First, you want to make sure that the tool and area of the body you’re working with are both sterile. You can use alcohol wipes to sterilize the utensil and the area to be poked like a doctor would to give you a shot.
But there are many ways to accomplish sterility including putting rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle and spraying the utensil and the area, wiping the rest off with a sterile towel or paper towel. You really don’t want to get rubbing alcohol in the actual wound itself. Though I don’t think it’s going to hurt you that much longterm, it will hurt you in the short term and as I’m also not a doctor, so I’m not qualified to tell you how much of something in your blood is a danger. Remember sterility is the goal to avoid viruses and bacteria from entering your bloodstream.
Remember that if you for some reason work with other people’s or animal blood to keep disease in mind. Human blood particularly can carry a wide variety of pathogens that could make you sick, especially if you mix blood. Be as careful with mixing blood as you’d be with having unprotected sex–and maybe even more so as it’s actually far more dangerous to mix blood than have unprotected sex, at least as far as spreading diseases is concerned.
And keep in mind any diseases you have, particularly relating to your body’s ability to heal. No reason to create dangerous situations for yourself or others.
With all the warning out of the way, now we can get into the real content!
Why Blood Magick
Honestly, blood magick is one of the most powerful types of magick I’ve come across. And I say this humbly as I thought it was irrelevant and stupid before I began with it.
Using Your Own Blood
The major reason it’s so powerful is that it (at least seems to) connect(s) you on a very deep level with the spirits when you use your own blood. In my experience, putting even just a few drops of blood on a sigil will very often make that magick much more potent and will increase the ability for the spirit to enter your flesh. This means that possessions or working with the spirit will be much deeper than they might otherwise be. And as far as I can tell, you just need a few drops. More is just overkill.
Some people use phlebotomy kits to draw larger amounts of blood to do things like draw sigils. But as I do not do this and am not skilled in phlebotomy, I am not qualified to discuss this. And given the physical dangers to the body from someone unskilled in phlebotomy, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have some medical training and already feel comfortable drawing blood.
If you practice animal sacrifice, you can deepen this as well… Some people believe that the more potent or meaningful the sacrifice, the more potent the magick. Others say the more blood the better. And others use the blood to charge large sigils or veves or create possession experiences (though this is mostly in Voudon, Hoodoo, Quimbanda, Santeria, and similar religions).
I do not personally practice animal sacrifice and probably never will because I see it as unnecessary and it doesn’t fit into my own personal practice, but believe that if you eat meat, there’s a good argument to be made that you’re hypocritical for downsizing it as long as the slaughter itself is humanely done and the meat is used. Factory farming is leaps and bounds more disgusting than blood sacrifice and often leads to tremendous suffering of the animals and a ton of waste…
Animal sacrifice has been practiced for centuries and still is in some parts of the world. Generally, it looks like this: the animal is sacrificed, then afterwards the animal is cooked in a feast shared by the practitioners or members of the village. Often feasts are created from sacrificed animals in these areas. In fact, ancient magicians and priests, including those in the Judeo-Islamic-Christian traditions, used animal sacrifice. (The bible is littered with references to this practice and some religious groups still practice animal sacrifice, though it’s not a mainstream practice in the US or Europe generally.)
I personally see no difference between the practice and raising your own livestock for food. In fact, if you know an animal is a sacrifice, it may cause you to treat it more humanely while it’s alive, but given the differences in people, who knows…
There are some articles on blood magick that say blood sacrifice is illegal. This is and isn’t true, depending on where you live and what is considered “religious practice” in your local area. This Wikipedia page has great information on it, but as I’m not an attorney, check your local laws well too! If you live in the US, part B of the Humane Slaughter Act covers most religious uses of animal sacrifice. For instance, the Supreme Court case, Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah, ruled that forbidding animal sacrifice for Santeria practitioners was unconstitutional. But definitely make sure to check your local laws and an attorney! This is not legal advice: it’s provided for awareness.
How To Use Blood Magick
Using blood magick in evocation is surprisingly simple. The hardest part really is pricking yourself to get the blood. This is the part where it becomes a sacrifice of sorts. In fact, it may be really difficult for you to cut yourself purposely.
This Is NOT About Self-Harm Or Emotional Release
If you are or were someone who cuts for emotional release or out of pain, you should consider your mental well being, levels of health, etc. and consider talking with a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist before getting involved in blood magick. There is no reason to develop or worsen bad habits or recall them. In no way should this practice be about the releasing of mental stresses or the joy of self-harm. It is a way to deepen your connection with the spirits you work with.
And true, over time, it gets easier to get blood, but you shouldn’t revel in the joy of self-harm. (That is self-destructive behavior that should be evaluated by you and a medical professional if necessary.) I still don’t enjoy the experience of the blood letting myself, but I do enjoy the magickal results it brings.
How To Use Your Own Blood
The easiest way to use your own blood in a magickal ritual it to anoint a sigil with a few drops of blood right before calling the spirit or focusing on the sigil. Literally, you just need to get the blood, put it on the sigil, then “open” or “charge” the sigil in whatever way seems best to you or follows your tradition/current.
Some people like to use an athame (a ritual blade with no other purpose than ritual work), particularly with animal sacrifice. And a small portion of them slice many areas of their bodies to do this, and sometimes you’ll see deep scars on their bodies. [Not going to call anyone out, but if you look at photos of some black magicians, you’re bound to see this…]
But in all honesty, that is completely unnecessary and probably overkill. Plus, why create scarring when you don’t need to?!? You only need a few drops, which can be attained in much easier ways! Like…
This is probably only relevant to women… Though, I suppose with permission you could use the menstrual blood of a woman you know, but I wouldn’t do it as the connection to your blood, in my opinion, is part of the power of blood magick. In my opinion, the real value of this is making that connection to the spirit yourself. But you can make your own choices.
To use menstrual blood is rather simple, you just need to bring something soaked with it into the ritual with you, then at the proper time, anoint the sigil with as much as you’d like (though, again, a few drops will likely suffice). If you’re so inclined, you could also free bleed.
Some women also use a Diva Cup to collect the blood, then store it in the fridge or freezer for use later. (Make sure to know the correct sizing for you, generally Model 1 is for women who have not given birth and Model 2 is for women who have given birth; however, with everything, look into this before beginning.)
If you use a Diva Cup, storing your blood without leaking can be an issue. So, consider checking out the test tubes mentioned in the next section.
Natural Body Bleeding
Some practitioners keep the blood from their menstrual cycles, cuts, or things like their teeth bleeding from flossing (though, keep in mind that gum bleeding means you should see a dentist!). If you want to do this, consider grabbing some leak proof test tubes as they simplify blood storage. However, I find this to be cumbersome, and in my opinion, blood freshly drawn is more potent. (Though, scientifically speaking, chilled blood properly stored is still viable as chilled blood is used for transfusions…)
Diabetic lancets are my go to. They work amazingly and really get the job done. And they are safe, sterile (on first use), and non-scarring, which is why many magickians use them.
I thought I was super original when I realized you could use diabetic lancets… But many occultists use them for blood magick.
FYI, you pull the circular part off (it helps to lightly twist), then the circular part covers the sharp end when you’re finished with it. While you can reuse them, it may not be that sterile. Generally, they are a one-time use item. You may need a sharps box to dispose of them in your local area–ask a local pharmacist or doctor.
Originality aside, lancets are really helpful for blood magick. They are made to help diabetics to get a few drops of blood to check their blood sugar on a daily basis, so they’re safe for daily use. They also barely hurt and give you enough blood without leaving scars or really even scabbing. In fact, the marks it leaves are so tiny I was unable to take a picture of them with my phone!
Some people also really like to have a device just put the lancet into their finger. An affordable and popular one is the Accu-Chek SoftClix Lancing Device (pictured to the left), but there are many on the market.
I personally don’t like them as I find the clicking more anxiety inducing than just poking myself, but many people love them so they’re worth discussing here.
And the best part about using lancets is that blood from your finger is easy to transfer to a sigil as you just need to touch it. [See Lucifer sigil above.]
It might surprise someone outside of the LHP community, but there are some people who engage in blood vampirism. Of course, there are also some people that practice psychic or emotional vampirism, energy vampirism, etc.
So, an article on left hand path uses of blood magick would be incomplete without a discussion of blood vampirism. While not really my cup of tea, it’s something that some of the people reading this may be interested in.
Why Drink Blood?
Some people just feel the need to drink blood. Some do it as part of ritual workings. Some swear by it to get a certain rush of energy or magickal power.
Make sure to take the proper precautions for blood letting to keep the donor safe as well. Sterilization as covered above or as recommended by a doctor is the best practice. Most people use sterile razor blades for this. Make sure you know where and how deeply you’re cutting to prevent any risk to the donor. There are certain areas of the body where a cut can bleed a tremendous amount… Consult a doctor if you need to.
As mentioned above, vampirism can have many risks, particularly the transmission of blood borne pathogens. So, if you engage in this activity, make sure to have the people who give blood checked for diseases or at least only engage in this practice with people you’re already sexually intimate with.
Likewise, you should be aware of the dangers. Longterm, one danger is hemochromatosis, which is mostly just thought of as a genetic disorder, but can be caused by taking in way too much iron over prolonged periods of time as there’s a certain point where iron becomes toxic and over time your liver cannot handle this. This is somewhat unlikely as you’d probably have to drink large amounts of blood often to have this happen. [One reasonyou may wish to consult a doctor if you want to be involved in vampirism, especially regularly. It’s not “cool” or fun to talk to doctors about this, but it’s also not cool to die from preventable things.]
It’s also possible that a one time vampiric experience could cause iron poisoning, but many people who practice vampirism will disagree about the amounts you can safely ingest. The most common cause of iron poisoning is too many multivitamins, but it’s possible that a large amount of blood could cause this.
Regardless, for your safety, if you try this practice or are engaged in it currently, keep the ingestion to under a few teaspoons. And consult a doctor if needed, or before ingesting a larger amount.
It should go without saying that all vampiric drawing of blood should be consensual as blood letting without consent is assault in pretty much every part of the world.
I hope this has been interesting or helpful information to you! Remember that blood magick doesn’t have to be scary, dangerous, or violent. It can be as simple as pricking your finger with a diabetic lancet and touching a sigil. In fact, this is as complicated as many magicians who practice blood magic regularly get–and it works perfectly fine for us.