Ok folks. Here it is. What will hopefully be the last part in this… series (?) of mine.
4. The Use of Blood in Pagan and Heathen Practices.
Blood use in Pagan and Heathen practices is one of those topics that usually creates a strong difference of opinion, or at the very least incites a strong reaction. Understandably, as the use of blood is associated with a great many of the negative stereotypes of what Pagans and Heathens represent. Moreover, there are a number of ‘in-community’ stereotypes and negative associations that come to mind when blood use is mentioned. Normally I don’t have a problem with people choosing to not do (or in this case, use) something. However, the number of times that I have heard blood use condemned as wrong or ‘black’ magic or unethical or, or, or… It leaves me with only one question:
What makes it so bad, really?
Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely no issues with someone giving a well thought out reason for not, in this case, using blood as part of their practice. That said ‘oh, I don’t use it because it is -see above-‘ does not a good reason make. Having no real practice of my own, there is very little else that I can contribute to this topic that won’t be entirely me having an opinion. It’s one of those topics where I do think that a certain amount of experience is needed before expressing an opinion (the experience helps you back up your opinion, like any good argument).
5. Pacifism in Pagan and Heathen Philosophies
Pacifism is almost the opposite to using blood when it comes to the perceived intrinsic connotations. Where blood use is typically seen as being inherently bad or polluted by some moral taint, pacifism is typically imbued with some untouchable sanctity that makes it wholly good and work being adopted by all… I have trouble seeing that as the case. In fact, its one of the surest ways to encourage me to call ‘your’ bluff and ask ‘Oh, is that so? Please, do explain…’.
I have no issues with pacifism, Pagan, Heathen or otherwise. Where I do start to have problems is when it is used hypocritically nor touted as the best or purest way of doing things. However I find that pacifism often comes hand in hand with the wiling or unwilling denial of the equilibrium inherent in nature. Pacifism in nature worship does not require ignorance of the violent aspects of nature, only the non-embracement of it.
6. My Difference of Opinion
Obviously, all of the points thus far are really parts of my difference of opinion. Some things, like use of blood in practice, I’ve tried to not express too much of an opinion on (explained in that topic). However, most of what I’ve talked about stems primarily from ways of thinking and different philosophies. What this topic will deal with is a more… coherent expression of my opinion on the over all subject of these five posts.
As someone who practices three martial arts I don’t find violence to be inherently wrong or bad. There is an incredible spectrum of things that are expressed through the many things that come from the idea of Violence. Expressions of violence can be beautiful as well as terrible, creative and destructive, and so much more. Violence is an important part of nature, and therefore nature worship, that does not necessarily have to be embraced but should always be acknowledged. As an expression of Violence, harm is an element of practice that has a great deal of potential and can take many forms, whether it be physical or ritual or a great many other types. As a subset of physical violence, harm that draws blood for use in practice is something that I think has a lot of potential. Blood carries the very essence of the person it comes from, all their experiences, strengths and weaknesses. I wouldn’t hesitate to use it as a part of my own practice/s. Because I don’t believe that Violence is inherently good or bad, regulated violence allows for the protection of self and others within certain parameters.
I think that is the limit of my thoughts on all this, for now. Day might come when I come back to this and change some things, edit them or add to them.
A couple of little house keeping things: Apologies for missing two days. I’m going to add them to my little tally of posts I need to catch up for. I have been somewhat pre-occupied with personal things, including continuing my hunt for a job and new home.