By Charles McBride
Today we take a look at the nature of seawater as a substitute for blood as an offering. Depending on who and why you are offering this to this may have some practical value. If the purpose of the sacrifice is to a Sea God, or deity, or if you are using blood purely from the point of view of a ritual enhancer in the same way you do sage or crystals it could be viable. However let us look at Odin and Valhal.
While there is not a lot written on CLASSIC Norse magicks there was one mystical practice that was well known. The road to Valhal is paved in the blood of your enemies. You must be a warrior who is elite, the best of the best. Killing tens of dozens of your enemies, maybe even hundreds or thousands. These are the prime sacrifices made to Odin, ultimately with the last sacrifice being your own death in worthy battle. In this situation Odin really isn’t just asking for a symbolic gesture This is similar to some Lowa, Djinn, and Demons in CLASSIC works who demand a specific tribute. Anything less would be insufficient.
Now this is taking a very classic take on Valhal, and a very classic take on Norse Mysticism. The modern mystic often does not hold to the classic methods and this is well, fine, and good. Myths evolve and how we work with the deeper understanding of the forces behind them likewise evolves. However, if we are basing such on the idea of using seawater as a substitute it behooves us to remember that Odin specifically was seeking death, I doubt providing him less than the ocean itself would be enough to prove one worth for Valhal. Even then he’d ask how many you killed to get the whole ocean.
This is the nature of interacting within an existing system. If you’re going to make exchanges its often better to use a more general term for what it is you are doing, and better to be upfront and clear with others. The nature of being honest with yourself and with the powers you work with builds trust and internal consistency. For example I am a Shaman and a Sorcerer, you’ll never here me call myself a Gothi or things of that nature. I’m very specific in my terminology because a LOT of what we do in modern mysticism is substitution for much older practices.
People are often drawn to a system, method, or power initially and then either wish to substitute or completely remove the distasteful parts of the working. While there is nothing wrong with this it is important to recognize when working with higher powers if we are making a substitution it may or may not be frowned upon depending on the reason and way of the substitution. Likewise things change and grow. Many believe it is still possible to enter Valhal through “fighting for a just cause” however it is wise and best to amend to that “in the modern day view” so that we are clear that we are addressing fully and with complete honesty the nature of the situation.