Archive for Witchmark

The Witchmark and Blood Offering

Posted in Paganism, The Path of Flames with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2013 by Sypheara

This entry is going to be more personal than the previous, and due to it’s nature I can’t possibly put everything into this post in an objective manner.

Yesterday was a very special day for me, as it was the day that finally, after several years of research and practice I went ahead with a very important work, one which seals all my initiatory work up to this point and marks the beginning of a whole new phase for me.

This work I speak of was planned awhile ago, with not a small amount of trepidation involved. For three years up until that fateful point several months ago, I had approached the Gods and conducted several works with them, mini initiations which  brought me closer to identifying their energies, and aligning myself to them as someone who felt called to interact with them.

As these initiations guided me to my current path, I slowly began to learn that a true sacrifice was necessary outside of these small dedicatory rituals. True initiation, one would say, into the path I was being called upon to practice.

It was then I came across the notion of the Witchmark within my own tradition. Whilst a quick google would probably indicate to the reader this ideacame from the idea of the ‘Devils Mark’, this is not the case. This ‘mark’ is a physical mark on the body which is believed causes a corresponding mark on the soul of the person who receives it, serving as a first true initiation. The mark itself takes the form of a sigil of some kind, usually a primary one, and it is usually tattooed or scarified into the skin. This is more akin to the beliefs held by many pagan people in the past, where marking the skin for similar purpose is  shown to exist across many different cultures.

I’ll briefly divert to explain an important concept to be able to understand the importance of this as far as my own tradition goes, and it touches a subject again many don’t like to talk too openly about.

This subject is using blood offerings. It’s important to note that my own tradition sees the bodily fluids of the practitioner as being vessels for not only ones own essence, will and spirit but also that of any entities which are working through that person in possession at the time they are extracted. When coupled with my belief in the importance of personal sacrifice in works with the Gods and the concept of ‘you don’t get something for nothing’,  i’ts easy to see why the necessity of using my own blood in ritual became obvious to me.

By using  blood as both tool and offering,  we give actual power through it into our workings. This is where my (albeit limited) knowledge and respect of folk magical traditions come to the fore and what it has to say on this matter; I do not believe that, as many modern day pagans and occultists do, that such components only have psychological value. I contend they have a very spiritual and physical effect from the workings I have done that makes it a vital component in the majority of workings.  This view is relatively unpopular in many circles today (pardon the pun), but is one that makes any discussion on the Witchmark vital to understand from my own perspective, and thus unavoidable in this post.

Despite this, the the leap between using drops of my own blood in ritual up to this point and actually going as far as to take the plunge and have my own Witchmark, the primary sigil of Hecate, tattooed onto my body was a large one. With the sigil in place, it would be impossible to remove it – or at least physically difficult and spiritually permanently scarring. As such, I deliberated for awhile before deciding to ask Hecate directly for a response. The response to that half thought of a question that night was immediate, as I was surrounded and penetrated by a powerful, overwhelming force that seemed to permeate my entire body. Taking it as a sign, I finally came to my mind. I’d take the plunge and go through with it.

Using my intuition to guide me, I decided that the Witchmark would be placed over the sternum enabling two things. Firstly, that the Witchmark was placed as close to the centre of the chest as possible, over the region of the heart, seen in many cultures as a powerful energy centre of the body in some manner. Secondly, that the Witchmark would be out of sight, preserving it as a esoteric tool and mark in respect, not ‘displaying’ it in a show off my ego to the world.

every once in a while in your life you reach a decision point. a crossroad leading left or right. you can not look far enough to make the perfect step, but you have to decide anyways. is it left or right? or even turning back?

So yesterday I found myself on ‘the day’ of getting it tattooed onto my body. At this point, before hand, I was glad I was fully prepared, mentally at least, to receive it. The actual process was more painful than initially expected due its location (I was actually encouraged to get it placed elsewhere first!), but in the end it was strangely enjoyable in its own fashion. I tried visualisation several times, with only a small amount of success due to the environment coupled with the distracting pain. I saw flashes of images and sigils, but nothing concrete that I could work with or record for long in memory during the procedure. I eventually gave up and just began repeating a small mantra to Hecate in my head whilst the ink was applied.

After it was successfully applied I got up legs shaking, feeling born anew. Although physically exhausted, both mentally and spiritually I felt indescribably  heightened and sharpened. My body, mind and soul felt like they were screaming with vibrancy. A day later the effect still hasn’t worn off, and I still feel ecstatic, and have dreamed vividly.

I feel honoured to be able to receive this mark as a gift, and make that blood sacrifice in return as a sacred offering to Hecate which is the first step in a new direction on my journey. I hope to explore the paths unlocked by this sacred key, and share what I am able to.

With this being new territory to me, I thought it was more than worthy of a mention on the blog. I hope this post has been interesting and potentially shed some light on why it is seen as a necessary to my own path. I wish I could post more concretely about my own experience with it , but with it being such a new development I cannot really say much more as it would be a fabrication.

As a parting note, I’d like to say that I found an excellent post by another guy on his own similar experience which can be found at the following link, that shows anothers point of view on the subject. Whilst I don’t usually relate to many of the posts that go up on this site, this one definitely caught my eye.

Thank you as always for reading.