Monday, June 15, 2009

There Will Be Blood

All of the planets, save Saturn, rest in the first houses of the zodiac, commonly ruled by Aries through Virgo. Currently, Capricorn through Gemini have usurped the usual rulers and taken over. The first half of the zodiac is commonly associated with the self, the individual's world. The 1rst House is especially self-associated. Yet, the planets in the first two houses are in retrograde. This would suggest that there's a warped sense of self going on and I can honestly say that I'm experiencing that today. Especially when it's the farther planet, Pluto, sitting in the 1rst House. Saturn, meanwhile, sits in the 8th House, the house of death, while traversing Virgo, the sign of health. An interesting combination. Perhaps that twist is what is affecting the introspection that accompanies a full first half.

Warning: Oddly dark thoughts ahead.

Blood. It's so powerful. So primal. So frightening. There is something about blood that is hypnotic and repulsive at the same time. The deep maroon river, coursing through our bodies to the heart current. It carries nutrients, drugs, disease, DNA. It oozes, pools, spurts, streams. It pulses and engorges. And it lightens to scarlet at the first taste of air. It is animalistic. Its presence may signify salvation or destruction.

Creatures are associated with blood: the hematophagytes. Leech, bat, mosquito. They feed on it. Vampire, of myth, is most easily identified as one who drinks blood. As Spike (vampire) says in Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, "Blood is life [...] Why d'you think we eat it?"

It is the wine to accompany a carnivore's meal of choice.

Blood has religious significance. The Red Sea turned to blood. The transubstantiation of Jesus Christ. It has been used for decoration in Aboriginal rituals. It is a vital part of sacrifices from many religions.

The blood thundering in your ears. First blood of a fight. First blood of a maiden. Blood-ties. Blood-relatives. Signing a contract in blood. The significance of blood shows up in many ways throughout our lives.

I can't honestly say what prompted me to write this particular blog, unless one considers that I watched the season premiere of True Blood last evening and took a class examining child abuse and school violence this afternoon. There is so much hurting that happens in this world. People just seem so eager for it. Are we, at our basest natures, such fighters that when angered, we crave a way to affect the blood in someone else the way ours has been heated? To cause their blood to boil, to pool, and in extreme cases, to splatter. "Spilling blood" makes it sound like an accident, doesn't it? "Oops, I spilled your blood. Well, no use crying over spilled blood..." I wonder what it is within us that creates such an impulse. Is it instinct? Is it survival? I choose to think that we have evolved beyond that. Then why have we created such weaponry as to spill the blood of not just one person, but many within a very short time? There is such capacity for harm, for hurt, for hatred. Is this part of what it means to be human?

Is the killing instinct really an instinct anymore? Animals kill to survive. Humans rarely do. We kill for sport, for game, for fun. We kill in the name of our country, our god, our people. And the blood spills. To what end? What good is it to have the intelligence that we profess to have when it seems that animals cherish life far more than we do? I do not understand.

Perhaps the British phrase "Bloody Hell" is more literal than we thought.


  1. Or have we become so civilized that we have lost touch with our animal nature, allowing it to kill unconsciously?

  2. Excellent point, Shawn. Are civilization and instinct diametrically opposed?

  3. The late great psychologist Dr. Carl Jung suggested just such a thing after he lived among primitive tribes in Africa and other places around the world. The primitive man is infinitely more attuned to his instincts than modern man, resulting in some of the modern day travesties of civilization.