Blood is a symbol of vitality. In pre-Christian cultures, it was thought that blood had the power of fertilization and contained part of divine energy. Blood (later replaced with red ochre) was rubbed on the foreheads of the gravely ill and women in labor to boost vitality. As many as 20,000 people were sacrificed every year during the prime of the Aztec Empire. Priests used the blood of human sacrifices to revitalize the Sun as it returned from the valley of the shadow of death at dawn. The doctrines of some Christian churches, including Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, teach that the Eucharist wine becomes the material Blood of Jesus.
Speed of blood
The speed at which blood circulates throughout the body varies. Blood moves at top speed via the arteries – 1.8 km/h or 500 mm/sec. Blood running through the veins has a lower speed, about half a kilometer per hour or 150 mm/sec.
Volume of blood
Blood accounts for 6-8 percent of the body weight in an average adult individual. In an average child, blood accounts for approximately 8-9 percent of the body weight. There is about 5 liters (1.32 U.S. Gallons roughly) in the body of an average adult male.
There are more than 30 different blood group systems. The ABO system is based on the presence or absence of antigens A and B: blood of groups A and B contains antigens A and B, respectively; group AB contains both antigens and group O has neither. The system comprises four major blood groups.
Blood group and diet
Researchers have been always tempted to find a link between one’s blood group and diet. Peter D’Adamo, a practicing American naturopathic physician, wrote several books on the concept of blood group and diet. His books suggest that appropriate diet and lifestyle depend on a person’s blood type.
Blood group and character
Some researchers went on to suggest that not only diet and lifestyle could depend on blood types – an individual’s character depends on it too or so they claim. According to their theory, persons of the blood group O have a tendency to demonstrate qualities of leadership, they are mostly energetic personalities driven by ambition. At the same time, others may find them to be rather vain and egoistic.
Persons of the blood group A are characterized by meticulousness and patience. They are claimed to have a proclivity for keeping things in order. On the downside, such persons may appear far too obstinate and secretive.
Those with the blood group B tend to rely on themselves; they are thought to have lots of creativity and originality. Above all, they value their own and other people’s independence.
Such persons seem to be hard to socialize with. Besides, they are often unable to hold their emotions in check.
Persons of the blood group AB usually make good managers and diplomats. Their personalities rest on integrity and tact. At times such persons can display the above qualities to the point of self-sacrifice. However, they often find it difficult to make a decision. They are also no strangers to suffering from a variety of inner conflicts, which invariably lower their self-esteem.
Blood feud is one of the oldest ways of settling scores between clans by means of retaliatory violence in pre-modern decentralized regions. The relatives of someone who has been killed or otherwise dishonored sought vengeance by killing or otherwise physically punishing the culprits or their relatives. The feud was based on an “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” principle. The killing of a member of a community was widely seen as damage inflicted on the community. A longstanding blood feud could be the only way to resolve power struggles between petty noblemen or seek justice between and within communities. Blood feuds might last for generations. A blood feud or vendetta was typical of societies with a weak rule of law where the family or kinship ties were the main source of authority. Blood money was introduced as an alternative to a blood feud. Blood money demanded payment of some kind to the next of kin of a murdered person. Those payments had to be made by the murderer or his relatives. The Penal Code of the Russian Federation classifies a blood feud as an aggravating circumstance in case of murder.
The term “incest” generally describes forbidden sexual relations within the family. The incest taboo has always been, and still is one of the most common of all taboos. A practice of incest running though generations would result in the degradation of offspring born to those involved in the incestuous relationships. Incest appears to have been accepted both by the society and the Church only in case of the marriages between closely related members of a royal family were meant to secure power of the dynasty.
Father-daughter relations are believed to be the most common incestuous activity of our time. In this case, psychopathic immaturity and pedophilic tendencies characterize the fathers. Girls aged 12-13 and boys in and girls who are aged 15-16 constitute the most “dangerous” age group when it comes to brother-sister relations. Mother-son relations are less common, by and large. In most cultures, this type of incest is widely considered as the most abominable of all.
Icons oozing blood
The oozing of blood from an icon is thought to forebear great misfortunes e.g. war, famine. These days one can find a number of “eyewitness” accounts posted on the Internet. According to them, some icons began to ooze blood prior to the outbreak of World War II and the 9/11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon. Some scholars cite a documented case of an icon that began oozing blood on the eve of Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, which took place in Paris in August 24, 1572.
Death due to major blood loss
Major blood loss (equals to a loss of a quarter of the blood contained in the body) is a life-threatening condition. Death resulting from damage to an artery occurs in a quicker manner because of a sudden decrease in blood pressure that leads to anoxia of the brain.
A female member of the Russian Orthodox Church is still banned from going to church in case she has an occurrence of menstruation. In days of old, doctors believed that a woman who bled for several days would eventually meet her death. But menstruation did not put to death any women. As a result, menstruation was thought to be the work of the evil one.
In the distant past, many diseases were thought to be caused by an excess of blood. Therefore, bloodletting was a common procedure for treating a variety of diseases including gout, depression and morphine poisoning. Bloodletting is still used for treating rare blood disorders, atherosclerosis and apoplexy.
Fear of blood
On the average, fewer women than men are thought to be afraid of blood. Some researchers believe the explanation has to do with the fact that women have to regularly see their menstrual blood.
Translated by Guerman Grachev