Vampires are best known for their insatiable love for blood. If you take a look at the ancient legends surrounding the undead, nearly all of them feature a bloodthirsty vampire. But, not every old myth about blood is also about vampires. Which is what brings you today’s post. Over at Werewolves.com I wrote about moon myths, the ones that don’t involve werewolves, and the readers loved seeing what other magical properties the moon held (other than causing wolf transformations). So today I bring you some of the lesser known superstitions about blood.
- It was believed that blood was the seat of the soul. That the loss of blood meant the loss of spirit. If you were bleeding, then the blood flow needed to be stopped right away. Something as small as a nosebleed would have set people into a panic.
- People once believed that sorcerers would use blood to control others, command demons, draw magic circles and more.
- It was said that making charms using one’s blood would protect them from possession, disease and bad luck.
- It was believed that all pacts with Satan were signed in blood.
- People thought that a witches’ powers were held in her blood, and that she fed this blood to her familiars. Thus the body of an executed witch was set on fire, to prevent her blood, and therefore her powers, to be passed on to others.
- Other than fire, it was believed that simply “scoring” a witch “above the breath” (cutting the flesh on her forehead, nose and mouth) and making her bleed would drain her of her powers.
- It wasn’t only witches that something like this was done to. There are countless old folktales about werewolves that claim that drawing blood from a werewolf will cure them of their curse.
- As that werewolf link above mentions, people once believed that all illnesses were held in the blood, which is why blood letting was so popular back in the day. Draining blood supposedly removed your disease.
- Back to witches, it was thought that if you were to take some blood from someone cursed by a witch and then boiled it at midnight it would cause the witch excruciating pain.
- Masai warriors in East Africa drink the blood of lions because they believe that they will inherit the lion’s courage by doing this. They weren’t the only people to think this way, ancient Norwegian hunters drank the blood of bears to gain a bear’s great strength.
- A few ancient cultures (like the Aztecs) would offer blood sacrifices in order to gain divine favor.
There are MANY many more blood superstitions out there, so stay tuned for part 2 of blood myths!