As the title suggests, not everyone may be comfortable with this post, for a variety of reasons.
A few years ago, Artemis came to visit me in my spiritual abode. We had been good friends during my college years. We spent a lot of time hanging out with each other, many times just chatting. She’d made it her personal mission to teach me not to be so mousey. (My friends today might have a hard time believing that word used to apply to me. She must have succeeded!)
Anyway, I was happy to see her. We’d drifted apart after I graduated, and I missed her. She brought the puppies with her. It was great to see them tumbling around and getting into everything. One of them came up and bit my hand. It started to lick the blood that welled up, and I let it. It didn’t really hurt, and the pup was just being the kind of cute vicious little monster it was meant to be.
But, at the same moment, I felt a wave of fierce angry tension at my side. Oops. I’d managed to accidentally offend my old friend in a major way. It was the blood. I immediately tried to fix my mistake. Because we were in spirit, I could do things over there that I can’t do over here. I held my hand over the pup and called back my essence from it. Before I could get all of it, Artemis stopped me. “That’s enough,” she said, “You won’t be able to call it now, but what’s left will make it a better hunter.” I sensed undertones that told me that it would also give her something to remember me by. She hasn’t really been back since. The changes I’ve gone through in the years since our friendship have made her uncomfortable. I still nod my head in respect when I come across her name though.
So what exactly happened there? As I alluded to in the story, the rules in the otherworld are not the same as the rules in this one, in fact they can differ from one region to another. Actions and objects have different meanings. I have different abilities there than I do here. And if I’m not thinking, I can cause insult even to one of my oldest friends while on that side. I was able to fix the mistake, and she recognized that I didn’t mean to do anything wrong. I was lucky.
Apparently if a young and impressionable being ingested my blood on that side, it would then, at least partially, belong to me. That’s why she got angry. It looked like I was stealing something of hers. Why do you think Catholics are so fond of having everyone drink a bit of Jesus’s blood? It puts them under his sphere of influence. This also reminds me of the warnings not to eat anything while in Faerie. I’m not saying that the fae chefs cook with blood, but I’m not saying that they don’t either.
I hope that no young and impressionable magicians read that and then proceed to spread their blood all over that side in hopes of amassing an army of ‘critters.’ Because if they do, they will find that it’s a really dumb thing to be doing. One, influence does not equal control. They may find themselves harassed at all hours by things that don’t take commands well. The second reason is that there’s “always a bigger fish.” You might offend something as I offended Artemis. Or they might just be looking for a snack and decide that you smell tasty.
As a Kemetic, we do not bring blood into the shrine. It is listed as a purity thing. On this side, I can see it as such. Blood is messy, it stains, and it can even transmit disease. On the other side, you run into another set of problems. An open wound is a vulnerability. Your scent is easy to read, to follow, and to act upon. Some deities and beings might even take that scent as an open invitation. So, as a matter of personal advice, I’d say keep it in your skin.