Over the years news outlets have picked up on the use of vial necklaces for blood that celebrities wear. It was major news in 2001 when Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton and more recently with Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly and their use of them. But what is behind this practice of wearing a blood vial necklace… and where can I get one!
There is a lot to unpack with this trend. So let’s get into it.
History of the Blood Necklace
The importance and cultural significance of blood is deeply rooted in every region of the world. And one can easily find vials of blood in many storytelling traditions. But are they part of real-world pagan and witchcraft practices? Not exactly.
Blood is an important symbol in Shakespeare such as in Macbeth, often using it to mean vitality, death, and family. So it can have both positive and negative connotations, since of course, blood is necessary for life, while it is also synonymous with when someone is dying or being killed. It also relates to close relationships, as “blood bonds” can either be with family, a “blood brother” when it comes to friendships, and certainly there are many illusions to it bringing romantic relationships closer together.
Specifically a vial of blood is thought to be connected to witchcraft, but in fact vials of anything is deeply rooted in the tradition. And it was often people warding off witches, not witches themselves, who had the bottles or vials of natural ingredients of different kinds. In many stories and superstitions people would put all sorts of things, including even urine, into these “witch bottles” and do something that is supposed to prevent witches in some way. Find more background here about these strange practices over the years.
That said, there is a long history of witches and pagan practices involving potions of different kinds. Again, we go back to Macbeth as an example. It was already an oral tradition at that point. But frankly, he used potions and vials in a lot of his stories. Shakespeare did use a vial of blood as an ingredient in his witches potion, so no doubt he helped spread this idea.
So vials or bottles of natural ingredients (including blood) were a general superstition thought to be used by both witches and a tool to ward away witches.
When did it become a blood vial necklace specifically? We just don’t know. Like many oral traditions and superstitions, it evolved over time from different ideas. Many people familiar with or practicing modern paganism point out that it isn’t that closely related to their culture. Wearing a vial of blood as a necklace isn’t a clear cut practice that pagans or witches practice. Witches put an importance on blood, yes, but they place importance on a lot of natural substances and parts of the body. Many consider this practice as cultural appropriation, adopting something that seems vaguely like what a witch or pagan would do but isn’t actually something that defines what they are.
Can you wear a blood necklace as something that makes you feel good, or enhances a relational bond you have with someone? If done safely, one could argue, go at it! But it’s important to note that it doesn’t immediately make you someone who practices some long-held tradition that relates to a particular culture.
How to Preserve Blood in a Vial Necklace
Do this safely! You need to keep blood from coagulating (to not clot) and you need to be careful throughout the process, as blood is considered a hazardous substance.
As described here, make sure to sterilize materials. Wash the location of your body thoroughly. Draw the blood; while you’re not drawing very much blood you don’t need to cut a vein to get the small amount you want. Then dispose of materials and close the cut immediately.
But most importantly, before you get started, make sure you have an anticoagulant already so that you can immediately put the blood where it is being stored (the blood in a vial necklace or charm or whatever you have planned). See suggestions on where to get one below. Mix the blood and anticoagulant, but in general follow any directions that are included with the anticoagulant.
With all of these directions, you can always ask additional questions of a health care professional or do more research to be confident before you do such a thing.
Where to Buy a Vial Necklace for Blood
Empty Glass Vial Pendant from ArcadeLuxury
Like many of these, this vial pendant is meant to keep anything from sand, hair, a loved one’s ashes, or of course, blood. For many this could be the vial necklace for blood that you’re looking for. A benefit to these is that there are a number of different styles to choose from.
Description: “The Crown Cork can easily open and close. The pendant allows you to keep with you always, anything special to you. like: a love note, sand, hair, ash, crushed flowers, essential oils, blood etc.”
Elements Water Fire Earth Air Fillable Meditation Pendants from Thoughtfull Keepsakes
Here is a unique option. Choose one of numerous element pendants to fill with your loved one’s blood.
Description: “Earth, Water, Fire & Air fillable pendants. To those who understand the elements this is a meaningful pendant. Choose the fillable glass style you prefer. Choose your element.”
Blood Vial Choker Necklace
Here is an option. Don’t do it! If you want the look of a blood vial necklace without the actual real blood, go fake. It’s at least something to consider. What we have here is a choker-style blood vial necklace with fake blood, which gives a different look from other options. It is also stylish and adaptable to many goth clothes and styles you may be going for.
Description: “Gothic blood vial choker necklace, handmade with a miniature teardrop glass bottle filled with fake blood, with antique silver beads and an iridescent dark red crystal.”
Where to Buy a Blood Vial Necklace Kit
Love in Vein Blood Vial Anticoagulant Extraction Kit
This is the kit, not the actual vial. Make sure you do it safely and get a kit along with the blood necklace, vial, and/or charm that you buy to put the blood in. Be safe!
Description: “This kit includes everything you require to make your own blood-vial pendants for you and your loved one, with your blood and love as the primary ingredient – excluding the vials, chains, and charms!”
Last Updated on May 8, 2022.