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Tackling Taboos: Blood Magick, Periods & Sacrifice

Updated: Jan 5, 2022

So, What’s Up With This Blood Magick Thing?

Blood magic has been practiced and celebrated around the world as a sacred rite for thousands of years. Of course, you have probably heard of the much revered Mayan Bloodletting Rituals that took place as early as 250 CE as well as the Aztec human sacrifices around 1370 CE. More recently, European and American health systems used the process of phlebotomy, or bloodletting, to release toxins (or evil spirits) from the body. We as a collective modern society have pretty much deemed these practices as a no go, however, not all blood magick involves the harming of another person or animal.

For one, you don’t actually need to spill any blood to draw upon the power of it. Simply having a living energetic body near you will often do the trick. This is assumed to be how prayer or casting protection circles works best in numbers. Yes, you heard that right. Your Sunday prayer circle is indeed using blood magic. Using a bloodstone crystal or even red wine can also be considered blood magic.

So, now that we have gotten that out of the way. What about the people who really do use blood in their practice?

Unsanitary? Potentially.

Messy? Possibly.

But not unethical in my book and certainly not as unsettling as it first appears.

Before you lose your apatite, or call the police, give me a moment of your time and allow me to explain..

Women, Periods, & the Moon

Womxn’s bodies are truly one of the most amazing gifts of Gaia. Womxn not only co-create life itself, but we grow that life cell by cell for 9 months, and then we go through immense amounts of physical and emotional pain to see that life emerge. When we are not experiencing a pregnancy, our bodies are quite literally purging themselves on a monthly basis for an entire week. This unfortunately results in bloating, cramping, nausea, migraines, fatigue, emotional volatility, breakouts, stomach problems, and more before it returns back to a 'neutral' state.

The first few times this happens to a young woman, she often thinks that she is dying as adequate sex education is not typically prevalent at such an age. I, for example, had no idea what a period was due to the fact that I started so young and attended a strict Catholic school which wouldn't teach about such vulgarities. It was such a scary experience mainly because I didn't understand what was happening to me. Even after the terrible event has been explained, many young women go through a difficult time as they learn to accept their new reality for the next 50 years. I remember crying when I realized that I would have to experience this every single month for basically the rest of my life, just because I was born with female reproductive organs.

Imagine, you're a normal kid just out there having fun, swimming, running, living your best life and all of the sudden - BAM - you now have this painful chronic medical situation that you need to learn all about so that you don't accidentally ruin your clothes or embarrass yourself or give yourself Toxic Shock Syndrome. Oh, but you can't talk about it with anyone because it's taboo.

Young women learn to suffer in silence quickly, only bringing it up to each other through secret code in times of necessity so as to not disgust anyone overhearing. I remember thinking how unfair it was, how women always seemed to pull the short stick for everything. Women across the globe take on this major responsibility and physical hardship with such grace and perseverance it astounds me. The fact that women show up to work or school at all during any of this should amaze everyone. Us ladies deserve a round of applause for that.


This past Sunday, September 27th, I was at work when all of the sudden around 3 p.m. I was hit in the lower gut with a sheering pain. I knew that I had started my period early that morning, and I also knew more often than not my periods were painful, but I was not quite expecting the level of pain I had now found myself in. It felt as if someone invisible was sticking me with a serrated knife over and over. Unable to bear the discomfort, even seated and on medication, I had my partner take me home early where I wallowed in bed trying to bear the contractive pains until I finally passed out from exhaustion around 7:30 pm. When I awoke from the experience, I was just so thankful to not be experiencing constant intervals of excruciating pain. For the first time in hours, I picked up my phone and started checking social media and what I saw really shocked me. Almost all of the major astrologers, witches, and energy workers were speaking about the intense physical pain women on their periods had just experienced that evening.

It was as if all of us were being pulled by some unseen force to not only start our periods when we did, but to also experience that intense pain together. If you are a woman, or spend a lot of time around them, you may already be aware that women’s bodies will energetically and physically attune to one another. Young women who share the same space often will experience the alignment of their monthly cycles regardless of when their last cycle was. Even friends I haven’t seen in years, but that I keep up with often, are still within days of my cycle. These alignments are typically synched around the New Moons and Full Moons - the times when witches and spiritualists are at their most powerful. If you ask me, there is no coincidence here. Women are spiritual beings by nature, and our human bodies are made of over 70% water, it only makes sense that our inner power grows in unison with the Moon.

For most women, after years of experiencing monthly blood loss, the sight of blood is not as unsettling as it used to be. Now, it’s appearance is more of an annoyance or in some cases, a welcomed friend. Menstrual blood is thus seen as a testament to women’s strength, spiritual purpose, inner knowing, connection, and unconditional love.

The Issue With Blood Magick Today

The main issue I find within the global blood magick community today is that certain humans, such as African individuals with Albinism, are being targeted as coveted spellwork ingredients. In other cases, young children are murdered by village elders if they are suspected to have “witch blood” in them, as blood is seen as the physical manifestation of the Soul. In the African Republic of Benin, infants who are born feet first, or who have their teeth grow from the top first, are often murdered or abandoned for being suspected sorcerers. If someone in the village dies within a short time after a new child is born, the village will force the family to either remove the child or leave all together.

Thankfully, the laws of our land protect the people in our neighborhoods from being harmed or killed in the name of spiritual purposes - but it does still happen. It is not uncommon to hear of metaphysical shops or suspected witch homes being mysteriously burnt down in the middle of the night. It goes without saying that these issues are very serious and in most cases will take generations to change public views since spiritual beliefs are so embedded into daily culture in these areas.

What About Animal Sacrifice?

Okay, again, I will give it to you here. I don’t like it, I don’t agree with it, and I wouldn’t participate in such a ritual myself. However, not liking or agreeing with something doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a fundamentally negative thing. So, let’s dig in a bit deeper here.

On one hand, it would pain me greatly to witness any animal get hurt or killed for ritual purposes. I have been surrounded by animals my whole life and have learned through positive reinforcement and socialization to view animals as fun companions with human-like characteristics. It was not until recently that I became aware of just how important early socialization is in forming a love for animals.

To the untrained eye, someone being an animal lover or not is something that just is. It appears as though it is an engrained feature of the DNA. In reality, it all boils down to your unique upbringing, the combination of experiences you have had with animals, and how positive those experiences were.

I like animals because my personal environment likes animals. It’s as simple as that. I grew up in a hand painted jungle nursery complete with butterflies, a zebra, a tiger, and a giraffe. For years my bed was adorned with colorful stuffed animals brought to me by friends and family. On weekends, I was taken to the ponds where we would feed the ducks or, if it was a really good day, the zoo. Growing up we had all sorts of pets from cats and dogs to ferrets and hermit crabs. My neighbors had pets, our friends had pets, our extended family had pets. I even found vintage photographs from the late 1800s - early 1900s of my ancestors and their beloved pets. In American culture, pets are heroes in movies, whimsical friends on TV shows, and stars of entire reality shows. If you take a second to realize just how much socialization you have encountered, it’s no wonder we feel the way we do about animals here in America.

It is important to understand that not everyone you encounter will have had all of the same experiences with animals. In certain areas of the world, animals are seen strictly for food purposes because that is what their harsh environment has given them to survive. Indigenous cultures will often utilize every part of the animal, as nothing goes to waste. Other cultures have been sacrificing and using animal parts in rituals as a way of life for longer than our country has existed. Afro-Caribbean practices such as Santería and Voodoo use animal sacrifice as a way to plead to the Spirits and ask for their divine aid, typically in healing or helping someone. The sacrifice of animals has an important and central role in many cultures and thus should be given that level of respect and protection. Of course, any type of sacrifice or blood magick involves the risk of transferring infectious disease that, especially in the wake of COVID-19, should not be taken lightly. As long as everyone is performing their animal sacrifices in a safe and sanitary way, I have absolutely no concerns.

A Note On Hypocrisy

If you are really struggling to accept the reality of blood magick I would like to help bring things into perspective. Technically, our society does participate in extreme forms of human blood rituals..but in modern times we call this ‘embalming’ and people get paid an average of $40,000 a year to do it.

If you break it down a little further, Christians also participate in blood magick when they drink the Blood and eat the Body of Christ during Holy Communion. If you’re Catholic, you likely participate in this cannibalistic feast each week. But you probably don’t think of it that way, do you?

For my vegetarians and vegans among us, bravo. For the rest of us who are having a hard time putting the meat down, let’s have a chat shall we?

The average American will consume around 7,000 animals in their lifetime.

That’s about

11 cows,

27 pigs,

30 sheep,

80 turkeys,

2,400 chickens,

4,500 sea creatures.

Data has revealed that roughly 200 million animals are killed every day to feed all 7 billion of us. Our planet kills and consumes so much beef that cow farts are one of the top contributors to global climate change (don’t believe me? Look it up). AND, if you are paying any kind of attention you already know that American slaughterhouses are brutal, vile places where animals are absolutely tortured from start to finish. What other cultures do during their sacred practice is no more ‘evil’ than what we do every day during mealtime. If you have no problem rolling up to a Chick-fil-A, then you really don’t have a right to complain. When all is said and done - an animal was killed for human use. The use being magical or mundane is beside the point.

Our current American culture has made it so we the consumers are out of the equation when dealing with once-alive meals. We simply have to drive up to the restaurant or grocery store to pick up our pre-packaged, perfectly symmetrical patties. Over time, this tricks our brain into believing that living animals and food meat are separate entities. This is why we have such a strong aversion or emotional response to roadkill but such an affinity for chicken nuggets. Unless you are an avid hunter/fisher, you have most likely never had to personally kill your meal before you found it on your plate seasoned and with a side of rice. With this newfound ability to disengage from the reality of our society there comes a lot of privilege that we need to be more aware of.

YEP! That’s Racist Too!

More often than not, religious practices are unfairly viewed as “evil” because they are rooted in non-white belief systems. We choose not to educate ourselves on other’s practices yet become unhinged when our own beliefs are scrutinized. This Euro-centric way of viewing Spirituality has to go, especially if we are going to continue benefiting from the very cultures we are taking from.

Certain cultures view the cow as sacred, others eat hamburgers. It does not mean that one of us is right and the other is wrong. It just means that we have different experiences that deserve equal respect from each other so we can arrive at a place of mutual understanding.

With love,

Ashlyn Aquarius

© 2020 Ashlyn Aquarius. All rights reserved.

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