Upon watching Benebell Wen’s Bloodstone for Shielding video,¹ an anonymous friend decided to create a bloodstone talisman by following the instructions provided. The video is about using the semi-precious gemstone bloodstone in a ritual to create a magical talisman that offers any wearer shielding and protection. In the video and its accompanying materials, Wen draws upon three old sources, synthesizes them, and then offers a couple of possible ritual paths to create a bloodstone talisman. She suggests that the talisman provides “personal shielding and divine protection, and according to lore, one of the most powerful shields against demons, warding off curses or those trying to curse you, and all mannerisms of bad juju.”² After Wen posted her video in 2018, the anonymous person mentioned earlier saw it and created a bloodstone talisman. With a bloodstone talisman in hand, this person wanted to share about the experience and detail how the talisman creation process worked. This anonymous person’s observations are shared here in three segments, presented as diary entries. But before getting to the anonymous account, the materials Wen used will be summarized, analyzed, and discussed.
Any novice to the study of magic will eventually come upon Neo-Platonism, largely through the writing of Iamblichus in De mysteriis, translated in English as On the Mysteries. Ceremonial magicians, practitioners of magic schools, and astrological mages are all known to read or discuss De mysteriis at some point in their studies. In De mysteriis, Iamblichus mentions the cosmic mechanisms behind magic, in a work that largely argues that the only true good is union with the gods.¹ A contemporary and student of Porphyry, Iamblichus was one of the main philosophers in the Neo-Platonic tradition. Neo-Platonism was a major philosophical ideology from the third to eighth century AD. Not merely followers of Plato’s writings, Neo-Platonists immersed, borrowed, and unified nearly the entire Hellenic tradition of philosophy, religion, and literature, save the Stoic and Epicurean schools of thought.² They created an immense and intelligent system that analyzed a thousand years of intellectual culture and connected the science and ethics of Plato and Aristotle with myth, literature, and religious practice.³
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