“Blood is life, lack-brain. Why do you think we eat it?
It’s what keeps you going. Makes you warm. Makes you hard.
Makes you other than dead.” – Spike
For my Jungian Psychology class, I recently read Ego and Archetype by Edward Edinger. Now that I’ve survived the research paper process, I want to look at something else I came across in his text. In discussing Christ as the symbol of Self, Edinger expounds on the significance of the blood of Christ, pausing to first explore the significance of blood. I couldn’t help but think of vampires. Our society is clearly enamored with the vampire myth right now, and I do often wonder what keeps drawing us in. For the record, I am not drawing a parallel to Christ and vampires, but if you look at Edinger’s chart here, you will see one of the first off shoots is Blood, which leads to many common themes we’re seeing now, especially since Buffy, and now in things like Vampire Diaries, Twilight etc… soul, life, desire, guilt, wrath, vengeance, victim, drinking blood…
Here are some quotes from Edinger that really speak to the resonance of blood imagery, inherent in vampire tales. I could probably turn this into an essay, but for now I’ll be a bit lazy and just leave them for each of you to contemplate. This is some pretty powerful symbolism that stretches back really far, making it even more powerful in our collective unconscious. No wonder we’re fascinated by it.
“Since primitive times blood has carried numinous implications. The blood was considered to be the seat of life or soul” (227).
“Blood as the essence of life itself was the most precious thing of which man could conceive . . . Hence the ancient Hebrews were forbidden to eat blood” (228).
“According to primitive thinking (i.e., unconscious thinking) it is not that it is morally wrong to take the life of another but rather that it is highly dangerous to interfere with such a potent substance as blood” (228).
“Understood psychologically, blood represents the life of the soul, of transpersonal origin, exceedingly precious and potent. It is to be reverenced as divine and any effort of the ego to manipulate, appropriate or destroy it for personal purposes provokes vengeance or retribution” (228).