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.
To summarize the contents of the video, Wen cites three sources that mention bloodstone. The sources are Pliny the Elder, Albertus Magnus, and the Grand Grimoire.³ In the Pliny the Elder text Natural History, he mentions bloodstone’s use in magic. “Adepts in magic combine the heliotropium(bloodstone) with the plant heliotropium, then repeat certain incantations over the anointed stone to render invisible and cloaked whosoever carries the stone.” Albertus Magnus’s Book of Secrets mentions bloodstone as well. “Necromancers call it Gemma Babylonica, the precious stone of Babylon. Anoint the bloodstone with “the juice of an herb of the same name” (heliotrope) and then place it in a vessel of water to enchant the talisman to bring fame, fortune, and longevity.” The Grand Grimoire has explicit instructions for creating a bloodstone talisman. The portion that mentions it is quoted in full here. “Abstain from sex during the quarter moon period. Have two meals every day. Have two meals every 24 hours, either at midday and midnight only, or at 7 am and 7 pm only. Recite the daily prayer(preferably recited before every meal): ‘I implore you, O great and powerful Adonay, head of all spirits. I implore you O Elohim, I implore you O Jehova, O great King Adonay, condescend to be favorable. So it shall be, Amen.’ Don’t undress during the quarter moon period. Acquire the bloodstone on the second day of this process (the stone is called Ematille) and carry it with you at all times.” Wen then discusses her understanding of the source material, and talks about an approach to creating a bloodstone talisman. Three sources that mention bloodstone in a magical context are referred to by Wen and drawn upon to create a ritual for the creation of a bloodstone talisman for magical protection.
There are differences and similarities in the accounts of Pliny, Magnus, and the Grand Grimoire. Their accounts mention a tradition of using the bloodstone for magic, for Pliny “adepts” and Magnus “necromancers.” The Grand Grimoire doesn’t call bloodstone a tool of a mage, but instead tells precisely how to use bloodstone in magic. So, all three sources attest to its use in magic. But they are in disagreement as to what the bloodstone actually does for the magician. Bloodstone has various powers. For Pliny it can give invisibility, for Magnus fame, fortune, and longevity, and for the Grand Grimoire protection against a demon. Pliny and Magnus mention the use of the bloodstone and the associated plant oil. They say that the oil is rubbed over the stone and Pliny adds that incantations are chanted. The Grand Grimoire says the stone should be held on the body throughout most of the talisman creation process, but doesn’t mention the application of any oil. Finally, the historical eras the sources belonged to are quite different. Pliny lived in the first century AD. Magnus lived in the 1200s, about a thousand years after Pliny. The Grand Grimoire was possibly written in the early 1700s, about 500 years after Magnus. The vast periods between the publication of each of these sources might say something about the possibility of all of them coming from one tradition.
It should be noted that the first two sources give short accounts of the use of bloodstone in magic, but the Grand Grimoire gives detailed instructions for making a bloodstone talisman. The Grand Grimoire is the only source listed that actually tries to make a talisman. The steps it suggests are the principal source for the talisman creation operation. The other two sources speak more of the fact that the talisman was used and its effects. Essentially, the Grand Grimoire is the main skeleton of the magical operation.
The question of the Grand Grimoire bloodstone ritual being connected to the much earlier traditions cited by the sources or an authentic ritual is an important one. Anyone that performs a magical ritual should understand every aspect of it. However, it doesn’t seem that there will be any clear answer unless other texts shed light on the matter. It’s good enough to know that a certain tradition existed, that there were alternate variations on it, and that a later text created or adopted its own bloodstone ritual. In my estimation, the sources are not connected but the authors may have known of similar accounts or specific rituals for bloodstone. In other words, a tradition of magicians using bloodstone for magic to obtain special powers was known to all three sources from written or oral traditions that are now lost.
In the video and handout,4 Wen combines all three sources as well as her own occult knowledge to make a protection talisman. Building on the information provided by the sources, she gives suggestions that stray a little bit from the instructions in the Grand Grimoire. In fact, Wen gives an alternative ritual that can be used instead of the one from the main source. She also deals with each portion of the ritual from the Grand Grimoire, including the timing on a quarter lunation cycle, the prayers, the eating of meals twelve hours apart, sexual abstinence, and the anointing of the stone part from the Magnus text.
First, she avoids using the part that says to stay in the same clothes and breaks down the timing of the ritual on a quarter lunar cycle. The Grand Grimoire calls for the ritualist to stay in the same clothes for the duration of the ritual. The potential hygiene issue of not changing one’s clothes for a quarter lunation of about seven plus days is left out. Some might consider this an important part of the ritual, but it would be highly bothersome and unclean. It would also make the ritual less tenable for scheduling in the summer, with hot, sweaty days in the same clothes becoming a physical ordeal. Second, the quarter lunation cycle that the Grand Grimoire calls for is discussed by her. She gives correspondences for choosing a lunar cycle to start the ritual on. These correspondences match the zodiac and some traditional spirits and angels. At one point, she suggests using any quarter moon period, that is, new moon, first quarter, full moon, or last quarter. However, a traditional astrological understanding of the lunar cycle would suggest to use the period when the moon’s light is waxing as being good for the power and strength of the talisman, while a waning phase would bring weakness, ends, lack of action, and secrecy. In choosing either a waxing or waning period, if one wanted to emphasize invisibility and secrecy they could choose a waning period, while a waxing period could speak to the efficacy, power, and success of the talisman itself, while highlighting protection from evil and harmful influences. With both these steps treated in such a manner, she creates a conceptual framework and gathers the rest of the ritual steps within it.
Wen then divides the rest of the elements of the ritual into a mind, body, and spirit schema. These elements are prayers, eating meals at specific times, sexual abstinence, and praying before meals. Prayers are an interesting aspect of the ritual. The original prayers in the Grand Grimoire invoke Adonay, Elohim, and Jehovah. Wen suggests using these prayers or one’s own patron deities. She attributes the prayers to both having faith in God and the recital before meals as being of a spiritual nature. As a result, the prayers are broken into mind as an element of faith, and spirit when they are recited at specific times. Next, the Grand Grimoire calls for eating meals at 7 AM and 7 PM and only at these times. This portion of the ritual is linked to the body and in her worksheet as a type of purification.Wen gives her own substitution for these prescribed eating times as vegetarianism, a special diet. Another element of the ritual she interprets is the proscribed sexual abstinence. Like the special meal times, she attributes sexual abstinence to purification of the body. Wen also gives a worksheet which allows prospective talisman creators to come up with their own exercises for mind, body, and spirit. She defines each category, with mind being about transforming the practitioner’s mental state, body as purification and detox, and spirit as sanctifying the body to create stronger connections to divinity.
Wen adds the anointing step to the end of the ritual, which is a logical choice. Anointing has to go somewhere in the ritual, at least if one wants to incorporate the older sources. If the anointing occurs on a daily basis, it might make the talisman difficult to hold. Essential oil takes time to settle on a stone surface. Having the anointing procedure at the end of the ritual is practical, fits the ritual order that Magnus writes about, and gives the final step a sense of importance.
Wen creates her own modified ritual and adds one extra step to the beginning. She writes: “My ritual parameters are as follows: one hour of root chakra meditation per day (Mind), vegetarianism and observing modesty in dress (Body), and reading the entire text of Kuan Yin’s Great Compassion Mantra sutra daily (Spirit).” The modified ritual gives prospective talisman creators an example of how they can create their own ritual while staying true to the basic elements. Otherwise, the ritual looks nothing like the one that is instructed in the pages of the Grand Grimoire. The final addition Wen makes is to clean the stone. She adds purifying the bloodstone to the beginning of the ritual, which would be something that a modern magic practitioner from any tradition would likely do.
The steps to making the talisman as written by the Grand Grimoire and Wen are written below. I’ve added a little, like doing a divination to decide upon the course of the ritual.
- Read all the sources and instructions.
- Decide upon a traditional or modified ritual, as well ritual materials, either through divination or preference.
- Create a ritual schedule. Pay attention particularly to the correspondences or the quarter moon cycle that best fits your goals.
- Decide upon what the bloodstone will mean to you. Bloodstone has its own natural characteristics, but it will still be important to know which natural qualities of the stone are desired. Will it be for invisibility(Pliny), fame, fortune, and longevity(Magnus), protection against a demon(the Grand Grimoire), or shielding(Wen)?
- Acquire a bloodstone and the rest of the necessary materials.
- Purify the stone by rinsing it in holy water or the incense smoke of traditional purificatory herbs like frankincense, sandalwood, or sage.
- Start the ritual on the portion of the lunation cycle that was chosen.
- Carry the stone on your person at all times, including in the shower.
- Each day, one should avoid sexual behavior.
- One should also eat twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. It should be twelve hours apart. The prayers should be said at this time too.
- Say the daily prayers while holding the bloodstone.
- Visualize your intention that the bloodstone act as a shield against evil and as a source of protection while saying the prayers. It can be done at other times and during the day.
- Try not to carry any other stones on your person during the quarter moon cycle. Also, don’t interact with other magical energies as the whole process is about bonding with the bloodstone.
- When the lunation cycle ends, do a longer prayer and intention session. Speak to the spirits and the stone.
- Anoint the bloodstone with the chosen oil. The bloodstone talisman is now complete. Put the stone in a velvet bag or wrap it in silk. Find a safe and respectful place to keep it for the times it’s not being kept in one’s pocket or clothes.
Any magician or ritualist interested in creating a bloodstone talisman could use the traditional material for a classic style ritual, Wen’s own example ritual, or make their own ritual for the mind, body, and spirit. The above list for the ritual incorporates all of Wen’s steps and adds a little more information, and could also serve as a bloodstone talisman ritual guide. One final point is that the bloodstone talisman, like many magical talismans, can be charged by saying the original prayers, meditating with the talisman, anointing it again over prayers, or visualizing the original intention and speaking to the bloodstone.
Wen doesn’t spend much time analyzing the wording of the Grand Grimoire prayers. But the prayers do call upon the spirits associated with Adonay, Elohim, and Jehovah to “condescend to be favorable.” It seems that the spirits play a large role in the ritual, and shouldn’t be ignored. This issue of spirits is also related to the issue of charging the talisman, or connecting it to its original energy. One effective method of charging and connecting the bloodstone is to hold the bloodstone, meditate with it for an amount of time, visualize intention, and then say the prayers. In other words, including most of the steps but relying particularly on the prayers and connections to spirit could be an effective way to charge it. In the Grand Grimoire, it seems that prayer recital and asking spirits to participate was a very important step not to be overlooked. For the next part, the bloodstone ritual diary section will share insights learned from engaging in the creation of a bloodstone talisman.
Bloodstone Talisman Creation: A Diary
A Ritual in Three Parts: Prior to the Ritual, During the Ritual, After the Ritual
#1. Prior to the Talisman Creation
Perform a divination to determine which path to take, by either having a traditional ritual or a modified ritual.
“At first, I didn’t know which kind of ritual to do. The two major options I had were to follow the Grand Grimoire or to modify the ritual to my own spiritual practice. The way I got around this problem was by asking the universe, literally. I used my personal divinatory method, and the result was that I should use the traditional methods to create the talisman rather than a modified ritual. I had to follow the three sources to a T, especially the Grand Grimoire, which was most concerned with creating an actual talisman. Traditional methods meant to use the invocations to Elohim, Jehovah, Adonay, and I would have to follow the routine instructed in the Grand Grimoire, which basically said to abstain from sex, fast, and hold the bloodstone at all times. That solved one problem, but I still wasn’t clear on which quarter moon cycle to start on. Contemplating the various phases, I made an informed decision. The plan was to begin the talisman creation process on the waxing quarter moon and finish it at the full moon. The potency of the talisman would be greater by using it on a waxing cycle. Last, I had to clear my schedule of any distractions that might interfere with the entire process. I would need to have time to bond with the bloodstone, so would avoid my daily religious rituals or any other magical operations.”
Find the best method for your personal situation.
#2. During the Talisman Creation Process
Follow the ritual as closely as you can.
“My divination suggested I follow a classic ritual, and that had some barriers. The first thing I noticed was that the traditional creation process used the deities Elohim, Adonay, and Jehovah. I had never worshipped these deities. I wasn’t sure what it would be like to work with them. Since my divination said I should do a classic ritual, I supposed that I had to stick to the book as much as possible. So when I couldn’t find heliotropium oil, I went with rosemary as a substitute. It was a slight point of stress since it wasn’t a very by-the-book or classic choice.
After preparing everything, I began the ritual on the first day of the first quarter lunation. The first thing that stood out was the prayers to the deities Adonay, Elohim, and Jehovah. When I prayed to them, that part of the ritual was revelatory. It was a new experience. It was unfamiliar, revelatory, and memorable. Of the elements of the ritual, I had decided not to stay in one set of clothes. But still, the fasting and sexual abstinence parts were noticeably difficult. For months, I had let myself go in those parts of my personal life. So the sudden adjustment didn’t come all that easy. When it came to eating, I ate my meals at the intervals suggested and found it slightly inconvenient but doable. But the other part, sexual abstinence, was almost a disaster. The instructions from the Grand Grimoire said not to engage in sexual activity, but my sexual desire was strong one day and I couldn’t help but think of sexual images. I decided to self-gratify, and I felt ashamed afterwards. Though I hadn’t touched anyone, I still saw images and touched myself in a sexual way. Deep down, I wondered if the talisman would work or not because of this lapse. I had broken my promise, not stuck to my goals, and had not followed instructions well. On the other hand, I hadn’t technically done anything. But, upon completion, I felt that my infraction was not really that serious and that the talisman would be effective. To make sure, I did a divination and the result matched my conclusion.
I finished the ritual, with a newfound connection to the deities, a cleaner diet and sexual state, and with the whole experience of following explicit instructions for one quarter moon cycle behind me. It was a good experience, but a disruption to my normal schedule. At the end, all that was important was the handsome bloodstone talisman, smooth from it’s oil anointment, that was now in my possession.”
The talisman creation process helps to give birth to the talisman. Try your best to follow the ritual.
#3. The Efficacy of the Finished Talisman
Carry and observe the talisman.
“Once I had a completed bloodstone talisman, I had to find a way to use it. Initially, one might think that is as easy as pie. After all, I could just carry it around in my pocket. Someone can do that in a heartbeat. But even something as simple as carrying a stone takes forethought when you already carry stones, magical talismans, or other jewelry around with you. I had a habit of carrying various items around with me. And I knew subconsciously the bloodstone would be disruptive to my normal routine. Further, I had to set aside time to actually start to use the talisman. Picking it up and going with the flow just wouldn’t do. And that wasn’t all. One more hurdle was I didn’t feel I particularly needed protection. As a result, I let the talisman sit for months as I was busy with life. Finally, one day I suddenly remembered the talisman. I had a duty to see the ritual through to the end. And use of the talisman was a major part of the process. I couldn’t just leave it. I had unfinished business. So, I looked at the calendar and the astrological sky weather and chose the following Tuesday as a good candidate to begin the ritual. Tuesday is Mars day and it seemed appropriate for a protection talisman with strong martial qualities. It was a good day to start the testing phase, it felt right. So Tuesday came around, and I put the bloodstone talisman in my pocket that morning. The result wasn’t particularly noteworthy. It was subtle. Nothing major happened. I wasn’t attacked or hurt by anyone, then miraculously saved at the last minute. Rather, I felt a different energy that day. My field had a new presence, a new visitor. My feeling was that while It was not the norm, it wasn’t negative or disruptive.
I carried the bloodstone in my pocket for a few weeks.
At that time, things in my personal life were starting to get a little crazy. Just before I started to hold the bloodstone talisman on a daily basis, I had gone through weeks of conflict with my manager and co-workers. Despite the conflicts and hostility, I never felt I needed any protection. It never occurred to me that it was necessary. As I related earlier, if it wasn’t for the sense that I had made a talisman but failed to see it to completion by using it, I would never have thought to carry it around with me. That was because I was content with life the way it was, and didn’t feel I needed protection, even though I was in the middle of a hostile situation.
One thing I do know is that after carrying the talisman, the interpersonal conflicts ended. I did feel a bit invisible as well, like I was no longer on the radar for being targeted for a verbal fight or any form of hostility. My intuition doesn’t confirm or deny that this is entirely due to the bloodstone talisman. So, I have an additional example to relate. After about a month of wearing the talisman, something really terrible occurred. I had a chaotic night, and the string of events led to an encounter with a stranger. Though I can’t get too heavily into the details, it is certain this person tried to harm me. However, I escaped the ill-intended person and avoided all harm. I dodged a bullet. This time, I wasn’t wholly sure if the talisman prevented harm. It was the same as before with the end to the interpersonal conflicts. Again, my intuition didn’t have a clear answer, because there was no way to know what would or would not have happened. But, it definitely felt I had a powerful friend looking over me, one that had my back. It was reassuring. At the very least, the talisman worked.
I think a bloodstone talisman can be a useful and powerful addition to a person’s daily accessories. Before ending my personal account, I have to add one tip for anyone making a bloodstone talisman: charge the talisman. It makes it more effective. And give yourself time to get used to carrying it.”
Since carrying the talisman, interpersonal conflicts that were bothersome disappeared. In one dangerous situation where another person intended harm, the situation was resolved peacefully. Use the talisman to avert abusive situations and keep those that mean to harm at arm’s length.
1. Find the best method for your personal situation.
2. The talisman creation process helps to give birth to the talisman. Try your best to follow the ritual.
3. Since carrying the talisman, interpersonal conflicts that were bothersome disappeared. In one dangerous situation where another person intended harm, the situation was resolved peacefully. Use the talisman to avert abusive situations and keep those that mean to harm at arm’s length.
The individual who contributed to the diary portion of this article has been kept anonymous for a variety of reasons.
Benebell Wen gave permission to share about her work in this post.5
- Benebell Wen, “Bloodstone for Shielding: Tinkering Bell #8,” July 15, 2021. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjWAeoU3qG4>
- Benebell Wen, “Bloodstone for Shielding: Tinkering Bell #8.” July 15, 2021. <https://benebellwen.com/2018/04/18/bloodstone-for-shielding/>
- Wen, Bloodstone for Shielding: Tinkering Bell #8.”
- Benebell Wen, “Bloodstone for Shielding: Supplemental Handout, Tinkering Bell: Episode 8,” July 15, 2021. <https://benebellwen.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/bloodstone-for-shielding-supplemental-handout-tinkering-bell-episode-8.pdf>
- Benebell Wen, “Contact Page,” July 15, 2021. <https://benebellwen.com/benebell/contact/>
David has studied traditional astrology since 2014. The Bay Area native completed Chris Brennan’s Introduction to Hellenistic Astrology course, and attended courses taught by Austin Coppock, Nina Gryphon, and Ryhan Butler. He is interested in exploring the less well known aspects of astrology, divination, and spirituality.