Blood

Posted in Tarot on October 31st, 2009 by Kristine Gazel

Being attracted to the Alchemical and the Vampire Tarots – as should be appearent by reading this blog – I started  wonder what it is about  blood and its symbolism, that so intrigues us?

I guess that blood has so many symbolic layers that you could write volume upon volume about it. And this has been done.

So now I want to turn my – and yours – focus on Blood and Redness as symbolizing Eros.

In the fairy tales three drops of blood can symbolize the defloration of the virgin, in a more unfamiliar freudian sense. This I choose to interpret as the point where the young girl become mature and able as a women to give herself to a man on the wedding night. The wedding symbolizes that there has been a true union, a conjuntion, between the man and the woman, the groom and the wife.

So, the mother in the fairy tale of Snow White cuts her finger on the needle, and tree drops of blood fall on the snow in the black wooden window frame and she says: “I wish that I had a daughter that had skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony”.

And then she concieves and gives birth to a little daughter, which the royal couple names Snow White, soon after which the good mother dies. We all know what then happens. Btw, I have always been more attracted to the cruelty and vile in the original fairy tales, as supposed to the cute Disney versions, which I do like, but it is not just the same (more about this in a later post, perhaps).

What I find interesting here is that the blood and the Redness is linked to the Blackness and the Whiteness. These are – off course – the three alchemical stages; the nigredo, the albedo and the rubedo. The rubedo is pointing to the culmination of the Opus, i.e. the Great Work, the red Stone, the conjunction, the fusion of opposites, and – yes – the wedding between the King and the Queen.

The World in the Alchemical Tarot, symbolizing the Great Work, The Red Stone

The World in the Alchemical Tarot (Courtesy of Robert M. Place),
symbolizing the Great Work,
The Red Stone

So – Blood and Redness, the beauty and brilliance of the colour red, then is about the pulse, the spark of life, love and passion, ripeness and maturity, the ability to be whole and united with the opposite, yet be differentiated.

We also have the virgin, the mother and the crone, as aspects of the goddess trinity, where the mother stands for the mature woman, representing the fase in a woman’s life, that is about love, passion and eros, and where she, being able to give birth and create new life, is bleeding on a monthly basis.

My husband had a more earth-bound approach: “Blood is what runs our machine – it is liquid, yet coagulates easily, it is thick and warm, it is sort of alive, a living organism in itself”.

And as the blood runs thin, we are embarking on its scarier implications, we are reminded of death; It is at this point that the Redness turns back into Blackness. And the circle comes full.

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