There are some things that the Craft has been accused of but if someone asked you to do them it would not be the Craft. These are things like blood sacrifice, sex and hexing.
The Craft never practices blood sacrifice. The closest we get is a few burnt herbs. We don’t even sacrifice living plants. Although having been at rituals where people got a plant to nurture as a symbol of their commitment to a project maybe the plant would have been safer as a sacrifice. Withering on a windowsill is worse.
No one should ever ask for your blood as a commitment. Miss Kat has occasionally given blood unintentionally when trying to clear the wick on a corner candle with her athame. But never give blood intentionally unless it is the Red Cross or hospital blood drive or at your doctor’s office.
In Wicca, no animal should ever have its life taken, period. Other traditions such as Santeria or Yoruban traditions do sacrifice chickens but they also eat them afterward with reverence. They do not do it lightly. It is done in ritual by trained priest/esses.
We honor the animals we eat but unless we live on a farm we generally don’t kill them. A lot of Wiccans are vegans or vegetarians. Miss Kat was once lectured on why she should be a vegetarian at a pagan gathering but as the person doing the lecturing was wearing leather boots and a hand-painted leather jacket she didn’t think the source was very valid or very bright.
Miss Kat gives thanks for any animal that gives its life for her dinner. She has had to kill animals to protect the children she was in charge of and knows it is not something to be taken lightly. In fact the first time she had to kill an animal it scared her to death. No one knew that but her because if she had missed she might have died. The first was a rattlesnake that was under her Arts and Crafts refrigerator. She uses a sharpened shovel and it was very quick. It was eaten at dinner and she still treasures its gift of skin. It did not taste like chicken. It tasted more like boiled innertube.
If some one ever tells you that you have to be initiated with sex. It is not the Craft. There are traditions that have sexual rituals. These traditions use them between consenting adults and established couples and not done just for fun. It’s done in private not on the flaming altar. If someone says anything different is practicing manipulation and not the Craft.
There is also no sex with the Devil. Yuck! There is no Devil. He was a perverted version of Cernunnos or Pan that the medieval Church picked up. The Dominicans that thought this up had very dirty minds and were obviously celebate way too long. It would have been much better if they had become shepherds or farmers and much safer for a lot of women.
Some traditions practice ritual flogging. Miss Kat thinks that went out with the Royal Navy and the Catholic Church. She sees no purpose in tormenting the physical body as ritual. If you really want to beat yourself up go to the gym. Far too many people were abused as children or in relationships for this to have any meaning in ritual.
We do not Hex! This comes out of that pesky “Harm None” thing. We don’t do it period. If you want to banish something put it in a positive fashion. Want banish poverty? How about a ritual to cure world hunger and need? Want to hex a rapist? How about wishing the police all the clues they need to solve the case? Or that the perpetrator be lit up so all can see his true self? Want to end war. Pray and demonstrate for peace.
Hexing doesn’t do anything but put you in a bind worse than the thing you are hexing. In fact that’s exactly what it does. It binds you to the negative. Do you really want that?
Addendum: Yes, some people say it’s okay to hex and some people say the Rule of Three only works if you believe in it. But there is also the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Confucius was right. Positive energy follows positive energy and a negative mindset can mire you in a very dark place that can be hard to snap out of.