Friday, August 21, 2009


(artwork by the amazing Thalia Took.)

Blood is life's river (phrase borrowed). Blood is the remains of the primordial seas of this planet, the salinity that washed through the porous-membraned cells of those first living entities floating through those seas. Blood contains life and the memory of life. It can be given freely, taken violently, sweated out (metaphorically or in actuality).

I love this image. Right now, it has the place of honor on my desk, so that it is always visible.

But I was reminded last night, that men don't seem to have the same relationship with blood that women seem to.


Joseph said...

What happened last night?

Rufus Opus said...

Nice! I knew some male hunters who had an understanding of blood that I totally do not. I doubt they have the same relationship as women, but suburban professional males have totally lost whatever relationship with the flowing of blood that we ever might have had.

Blood tends to make people nervous in ceremonial magic. Bring up blood sacrifice and you've started a debate in most occult forums. Even non-lethal offerings of blood, blood harvested humanely from animals or the self are held in suspicion, if not outright animosity.

We've come a long way from being the priest-butcher of the tribe making living offerings to the gods.

Lavanah said...

Hi, Joseph. It was completely coincidental that the impetus for this post happened last night, the same night that I was at your place for your rituals.

I've had this tile for some time, and there are times in my life when I really need Her and it to be in front of me. Yesterday, I had posted on my Facebook page that I had put it front and center on my desk-evidently DH had never seen the tile before...he commented that he thought it was gruesome, which surprised me, because that isn't how it appears to me. But the lesson that it imparts is clearly different for me than it would be for him...

Lavanah said...

Glad you appreciate the post, RO. I've used blood (and other bodily fluids)in my magic, but only my own. I know that there are people who have issues with it. When that sort of stuff comes up, I just practice my shrugging.

I've never gotten into a conversation about blood with a male magician who is also a (sustenance)hunter; I would like to, I think it would be very interesting.

Kate said...

What is a sustenance hunter?

When I was younger my father told me that people have genetic signs of coming from the sea. The way our hair is laid out on our bodies. It reminds me of the womb. Like our body never forgets.

Lavanah said...

Hi Kate.
That would be someone who hunts and eats the kill, as opposed to a trophy hunter.

Gordon_Finn said...

Then, that would be me. I just don't do it that much these days because it's more convenient from the store. But, as far as the image, it shouldn't be surprising if one sees it as gruesome, male or female. Exactly how often does anyone go around drenched in blood? Battlefields, war zones, emergency rooms, operating rooms. Even during ritual, blood usage is not normally drenched on a person's clothing and hands.

Lavanah said...

Hmm, Gordon, the first thing that springs to mind would be childbirth. And I've seen butchers in old fashioned butcher shops looking rather besmeared. But I think the gender divide on the reaction to this image is the reverse of the grafitti found in certain classes of mens public bathrooms. The grafitti that reads: "Never trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn't die."

Rufus Opus said...

After reading what happened, I think the gender issue may be a red herring.

(ha! Red! Like Blood! Ha... ha.)


Just because your DH found it gruesome and happened to be a male doesn't mean that all males would, or that all females would feel as comfortable with it as you do.

I went through a big deal over gender on a message board earlier this year, and had two things happen. 1) I walked away from message boards a bit further, and 2) I examined the impulse to categorize behaviors as masculine and feminine.

As a result, given the situation you described, I wouldn't have classified it as a gender-based thing.

I'm not saying your wrong though, there was likely context that doesn't get conveyed through blog comments. But based on just a comment, I'd likely have said it was representative of a difference between you and your husband as individuals.

Lavanah said...

Actually, RO, I agree with you 100%-when it comes to discussing the reaction to the Anat painting. The difference there is more between those who know who Anat is and those who don't.

But I also agree with your first comment (aren't I agreeable this morning?)on the lack of relationship suburban, office-bound men have with blood, as opposed even to their suburban, office-bound female counterparts-we deal with blood on a fairly regular basis in a non-traumatic setting.

k. sequoia said...

Great post, and fascinating comments as well!

My dh is a sus' hunter (never heard that term, but like the distinction). Once, I was attacked on the nose by a dog which caused blood to pour all over my face (a little macerated yarrow plant, btw, will staunch the flow of blood immediately). AS I was tended to, my dh disappeared. He was in the kitchen, trying not to puke.

He can kill and gut a deer, but could not stand the sight of his beloved with blood all over her. When I gave birth, he was afraid he wouldn't be able to take it for the same reason, but he held up well.

Women have a *relationship* with blood -- we have to. But men,I'm thinking, may tend to have a more adversarial relationship with blood and their reaction to it is based upon what gets cultivated ( a male Dr, for instance would not respond as my dh did).

I find this image incredibly powerful (red hands!!) But my dh would probably leave the room, and I understand why. ;>

Hope it's okay, I'm adding you to my blogroll. Good stuff...and I love Thalia Art!

Kim Sequoia